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Calf Cramps After Running

Bhakti Satalkar Jul 31, 2020
It is common to experience cramps in the legs and calf muscles after rigorous running sessions. It may be caused due to dehydration, overdoing the exercise than necessary, magnesium deficiency, etc. Read this story to get detailed information and ways to prevent cramping.
Nowadays, more and more people are participating in marathons. However, there are a number of people, who do not train themselves sufficiently before they run the actual marathon, which gives rise to a number of health issues. One of them is calf cramps either during or after running in a marathon.
Apart from practice, there are a number of other reasons, which can also trigger a cramp. It is important to note that leg cramps or calf cramps are among the most common injuries suffered by athletes all around the world. The worst part about calf cramps is that a person experiences immense pain in a matter of few seconds.

What Causes Calf Cramps After Running?

It is very difficult to pinpoint the exact cause of cramps after running, or even while running. However, one of the main causes can be too much exercise. If you are new to exercise and you suddenly take it up rigorously, it can cause cramps. Therefore, when you start exercising, it is important you listen to your body well.
When you think the body has had enough, then it is best to stop training immediately. Else the chances of cramps increase.
It is commonly seen, that people consume way too less fluid when they are running. This leads to dehydration. The paucity of water in the body results in the muscles tensing up and giving rise to cramps. Along with water, electrolytes lost from the body also have to be replenished. Electrolyte loss is also among the causes of cramps.
After a long run, it is important one stretches the muscles in the leg. Often, athletes who suffer from calf muscle cramps do not stretch the muscles sufficiently after running. Stretching only for a couple of minutes is not sufficient to relieve all the tension in the muscles.
One has to devote sufficient amount of time to stretch the muscles in the legs and the hips. When one does the stretches, it is important that the stretches are done at slow pace, which will give the muscles sufficient time to lengthen themselves.
Deficiency of magnesium is also among the causes of calf cramping. Magnesium has an important role to play in contraction and relaxation of muscles. Apart from calf cramps, there are other conditions, which can be caused due to the deficiency of magnesium.

Ways to Prevent Calf Cramps

The first step for preventing calf cramps is not to overwork yourself. The exercise routine is probably getting to your body. In other words, you should rest for sometime. It is best to stop your training schedule for a couple of days. You can start with the training, again, once your body feels alright.
When you experience calf cramps during or after running, it is important to check if you are dehydrated. Hydration is very important if you want to keep the cramps away. Drink sufficient amount of water before, during, and after running, to keep yourself hydrated. Along with water, it is important that electrolytes are replenished as well.
Stretching both before and after running is important. When the stretches are done before running, they will help in stretching the cold muscles and blood supply to the calf muscles will increase. Likewise, after you finish running, you should stretch again. Stretching after running will prevent the calf muscles from tightening, thereby preventing cramps.
The next point to prevent cramps is to ensure you do not wear wrong clothes. You should not wear clothes, which are tight, as it will hinder the blood supply to different muscles. At the same time, the muscles will be tightened which may lead to cramps.
You may also want to take a look at the shoes, socks, shin guards, that you are wearing. If the shoes, or any of the other accessories, are tight, they may restrict blood flow to the calf area.
Along with all the other factors, you will want to take a look at your dietary habits as well. If you are not consuming nutritional food, then that is the first thing you should change about yourself. Make sure your diet gives you all the nutrients required, so that you are able to protect yourself from cramps. It is important that you also include magnesium in your diet in sufficient quantities.
If, after following all the measures, you still do suffer from calf cramps before or after running, then it is best to consult your health care professional. Maybe there is some other symptom, which you are missing out on.