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In fact, everyone suffers from muscle cramps once in a while. The word cramp comes from the English word cram, which refers to uncomfortable squeezing. Cramp is recognized by a sudden contraction of muscles accompanied by an excruciating pain and spasm lasting a few seconds to minutes.
Cramps are formed when the nerves in the muscles cause them to contract undesirably. They give unwanted signals that cause the fibers to contract. The cause of cramps has not been fully identified and therefore remains unpredictable. Cramps usually occur when the muscle is overworked or exhausted, such as from exercise. Thanks to sports, the fluid balance changes due to sweating. During fluid loss, the electrolyte composition is disturbed or changed. Electrolytes are particles responsible for nerve signal transmission and muscle contractions. Cramps also sometimes occur when the blood supply is disrupted, for example due to an incorrect posture (6).
Non pharmacological treatments
Non-pharmacological means that no medicines are used. A simple way to relieve the pain during a cramp is to slowly stretch the muscle (during the cramp) and activate the antagonistic (flexing) muscles. This helps to relieve most cramps (1). Another way to prevent cramps is stretching exercises, 3 times a day, before going to bed and/or before exercising. Especially before a workout, it is an effective way to prevent cramps.
Furthermore, it is also important to stay well hydrated, especially before and after exercising. This also applies to consuming enough food.
Calcium, sodium and magnesium have been tested as supplements against cramps. Magnesium came out best in the test (2), taking magnesium is a good choice to combat cramps. Vitamin E as a supplement is also used against cramps, taking vitamin E orally can reduce the number of cramps (3). There is also a study into the influence of vitamin B6 (30 mg per day) as a supplement against cramps. Among those patients, a reduction in cramps has been experienced (4). Quinine (400 mg per day) also appears to have an effective effect against cramps (5). Quinine is present in the bark of plant species (from the genus Cinchona), but it also occurs in tonic where it functions as a bitter substance.
Fortunately, all the vitamins & minerals mentioned (except quinine) are present in a certain amount in all Jake products and contribute to the recommended daily amount.