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Prevent cramps

Discussion in 'Injuries' started by thejym, Nov 15, 2009.

  1. thejym

    thejym Regular Member

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    Hey guys,

    I was just wondering what you do to prevent cramps during long tournaments.

    Yesterday I participated in a 15-hour tournament (from 9am to 12am), and played MS, MD, and XD. During my semi-final MS match, I got a cramp in my right calf in the middle of a jump smash. Luckly I had some spray I got from China (called Yun Xiang Jing), which helped to alleviate the cramp and let me continue to play. In the final MS match, I got yet another cramp in my left calf while doing a jump smash. Needless to say, at this point I had no hopes of winning.

    A bit later, I continued to play in MD, with a mixed-style of play. I focused on covering the net area and setting my partner up for smashes, since I could not jump to smash in the back. We actually made it to the finals, but during the third set at 15-15 I reached a point where both my hamstrings were twitching and contracting, as it usually feels on the verge of cramping. As I tried to stretch this out, I felt myself getting shin splints. I had already taken a few breaks during the match to spray my legs, so I felt bad to take another break (also I ran out of spray). We lost the final match 21-16.

    I feel like I keep getting cramps every time I play at tournaments. This never happens at practice, even a 4-5 hour practice, because I never give myself the time to really cool down. In tournaments, there is always a wait before the next match. Is the lack of serious physical conditioning a reason for the cramps? Or is it a nutritional issue?

    I'm really hoping to resolve this so it doesn't happen in future tournaments. My partner played a great game and I was so disappointed that I was the reason we lost.
     
  2. Karakalkat

    Karakalkat Regular Member

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    cramps

    It is my understanding that the loss of sodium, potassium and minerals from sweating is what causes the cramp...When I was young we just took salt pills....
    Now days the electrolyte drinks should help you as well as eating bananas during breaks...
    Always cool down while stretching out....
    To get the exact reason for cramps and how to prevent them check it out on the internet...
     
  3. NoRice4U

    NoRice4U Regular Member

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    No?

    Looks like my science class came in handy ^o^

    The real cause of cramp is because you have latic acid left inside your muscle and your not receiving enough oxygen to remove those latic acid from your muscle.

    When you exercise you breath in oxygen, you need oxygen to perform Aerobic Respiration.

    Basically i'll cut the scientific definition of cramp.

    It is caused by lactic acid which is the left over chemical inside your muscle when you exercise. In order to get rid of lactic acid you need to breath in oxygen in order for the oxygen to burn away the lactic acid (this is why you still breath heavily after exercise)
     
  4. Distanc3

    Distanc3 Regular Member

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    Karakalkat
    NoRice4U

    are both correct.

    to sum it up, cramps are caused (during exercise) is mainly due to
    1. dehydration
    2. electrolytes potassium, sodium (stuff from sports drinks, and banana)
    3. muscle fatigue
    4. lack of warm up and warm down

    on a note of aerobic exercise, lactic acid cause muscle fatigue which contribute to the cramp, if you train more aerobically you muscle can endure longer exercise periods hence decreasing the effects of lactic acid.
     
  5. derrickn

    derrickn Regular Member

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    what everybody said above is very valid. I, myself, has had a problems with cramps for a very long time and it eventually peaked at the 2008 Canadian Nationals in Richmond where I was eventually escorted out of the venue by paramedics because I was going into shock due to every single muscle in both my legs cramping at the same time for around 2 hours (yes.. even every single toe)... I depleted an entire tank of laughing gas by the time i reached the richmond hospital and when the pain started kicking back they had to dose me up with some morphine and an IV drip.

    But enough about me :D! Since then, I have not cramped. How so? I got myself a sport dietitian and a physical trainer to start me off on a program.

    The things I needed to do was simple. Physically, I needed to train more. I had to go and do sport specific weight lifting. Squats, lunges, plyometrics, etc..

    Now came the hardest part for me. I needed to change my eating habits. For some, not so hard.. but I can bet for most, this could be a life style change. From supplementing, to eating more carbs, fresh fruits and vegetables (and not with that tonne of dressing), and most importantly hydrating to a point where there should be no point in your day where you should ever feel thirsty. If you feel thirsty, it's too late.. you are already dehydrated.

    Most people go work out, train, compete and then hydrate after. That's wrong! You should be hydrating before you do all those things! Also, be careful with the advice on salt. If you are not a salty sweater then it is very possible you do not need to add that extra salt in your water or sports drink. We already get tons of salt from our regular diet. Make sure you are a salty sweater before you go adding more salt.
     
  6. druss

    druss Regular Member

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    I have to agree with with derrick, hydration (or the lack thereof) is the most common cause of cramps. When you know you're going to play all day make sure that you drink a lot, not just sports drinks but mostly water. Take snacks like fruits and granola bars. Leading up to a major tournament eat a lot of pasta (complex carbs) and stay away from simple carbs (sugars).
     
  7. visor

    visor Regular Member

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    Sounds like the OP had too much cool time sitting around waiting for the next games.

    Make sure you stay warm and limber. Wear enough layers and stretch while waiting for your games. Drink enough water or Gatorade to flush out the built-up lactic acid in your muscles. And if you're a smoker, you gotta quit!

    And if you're going to be playing such marathon games, you have to train for them, ie. improve your aerobic capacity.
     
  8. Trmun

    Trmun Regular Member

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    Fixed it for you - lactic acid is only formed when there isn't enough oxygen to your muscles, hence it is anarobic, not aerobic metabolism.

    You all seem to mess this up, so for the sake of it:

    Aerobic: with sufficient oxygen, complete degredation of glucose to carbondioxide and water.

    Anarobic: Lack of oxygen, degredation to lactic acid.

    Cramps are actually mostly due to the membranepotential of the cells, which is something both lactic acid formation and electrolytes interfer with (as they are all charged -duh :p), so everyone was right on this accord :)
     
  9. jonpuppie

    jonpuppie Regular Member

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    Banana's potassium is a miracle for cramps.
     

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