Learn From LeBron’s Mistake: Avoid Severe Cramping

When you participate in physical activity, no matter how much you stretch or how good your pregame routine is, the possibility of injury is always looming. Now, the conditions such as weather and proper hydration during any activity also plays a great deal into just how effective your performance will be.LBJ

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, one of the most talked about instances of the conditions getting the better of an athlete has arisen recently. The NBA Finals are well under way and one of the faces of the league in LeBron James, has already made headlines. What people are dubbing “Crampgate” occurred during the first game of the NBA finals, and it saw the superstar player leave the game late in the fourth quarter due to severe leg cramps.

In heat upwards of 90 degrees thanks to a broken air conditioner in the arena, LeBron’s body got the better of him and he was unable to continue. To add insult to injury, unfortunately his team, the Miami Heat lost the game. One of the most common causes of muscle cramps is overexertion in hot environments. The body loses fluids through sweat, and so in order for it to stay hydrated and functional it needs more fluids to be taken in. Dehydration causes the muscles to take water from themselves to put back into the body, when this happens the muscles restrict and cramp.

Muscles that cross multiple joints are more likely to cramp than other muscles. These muscles generally have more activity during exercise when they’re more likely to get tired. Most cramps happen when you push yourself harder than you’re used to. If you get a cramp, the best way to get rid of it is to rest, as well as lightly stretching the muscle simultaneously.

It’s proven that drinking pickle juice may help your cramps disappear faster than drinking plain water or nothing at all. Since the effect is probably due to the acidic and salty taste, any similar drink or food would probably work well, too. Sports drinks replenish electrolytes that are needed in order to keep the body hydrated.


Consult your primary care physician or chiropractor for any medical related advice.

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Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of David Shankbone