Saturday, 25 October 2014

Cramps - Electrolytes

Original Source:

In physiology, the primary ions of electrolytes are sodium (Na+), potassium (K+), calcium (Ca2+), magnesium (Mg2+), chloride (Cl), hydrogen phosphate (HPO42−), and hydrogen carbonate (HCO3). The electric charge symbols of plus (+) and minus (−) indicate that the substance is ionic in nature and has an imbalanced distribution of electrons, the result of chemical dissociation. Sodium is the main electrolyte found in extracellular fluid and is involved in fluid balance and blood pressure control.

All known higher life forms require a subtle and complex electrolyte balance between the intracellular and extracellular environment. In particular, the maintenance of precise osmotic gradients of electrolytes is important. Such gradients affect and regulate the hydration of the body as well as blood pH, and are critical for nerve and muscle function. Various mechanisms exist in living species that keep the concentrations of different electrolytes under tight control.


ther than muscle overload and fatigue, probably the most persistent contributor to leg cramps is electrolyte deficiency. In martial arts, as well as in sports, there is a direct connection between electrolyte loss through sweating – usually sodium – and the onset of cramps.

I’ve been there far too often. My specialty used to be hamstring cramps, mostly during the night. As a wake up call, nothing compares to a cramp suddenly biting down on your right hamstring like a shark during a feeding frenzy. And just when you think it has let go of you, it comes back to munch on you some more.

Excessive training and long hours of teaching take their toll on the muscles. In fact, I could feel my leg muscles tightening before I went to sleep. My solution: a light bout of stretching coupled with a late serving of banana.

Although reaching for a banana while in the throes of a cramp doesn’t put the pain on pause, you can practise preventative maintenance by ensuring that there are enough electrolytes in your diet.

CALCIUM - seafood, soy products. almonds. asparagus, blackstrap molasses, broccoli, cabbage, carob, mustard greens, parsley, oats, prunes, sesame seeds, turnip greens, whey and leafy vegetables

MAGNESIUM - fish, soy, lima beans, kelp, apricots, apples, avocado, bananas, peaches, millet, sesame seed, green leafy vegetables, wheat and whole grains.

POTASSIUM - bananas, whole grains, avocado, chard, potatoes, raisins, citrus fruits, green leafy vegetables, wheat, brown rice, yams, fish, dates, dried fruit, bran, nuts and juice (grapefruit, tomato and orange).

SODIUM - salt.

CHLORIDE – in salt. Also found in lettuce, tomatoes, celery, olives, rye and seaweed. 

* Be especially careful of salt.  Do not take salt tablets when doing a strenuous activity. Excess salt diverts fluids from the muscles to the stomach. An excess of salt can also lead to high blood pressure, kidney and liver damage, etc.

Original Source:


Suffering from cramps in the calves? Gently rub or press B 57. Location : in the middle of the back of the leg halfway from the crease at the knee to the heel.

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