Story by: Sara Thompson on June 13, 2022
If dehydration leg cramps are cramping your exercise routine, the cure might be as close as your water bottle. Cramps from dehydration are usually harmless but painful. Here is the lowdown on what causes leg cramps, how to stop leg cramps and more.
Leg cramps are common for many people and usually occur in the calf muscle (the back of the leg between the knee and ankle). These cramps are sometimes called a “charley horse.” There are many causes of leg cramps, including vigorous exercise, activity in high temperatures and muscle strain.
Dehydration is when your body loses more fluids and electrolytes (essential minerals for health, such as potassium) than it takes in. Depending on how much water you’ve lost, symptoms range from mild to severe. When you are dehydrated, the body uses what fluids and electrolytes it has for the vital organs (heart, lungs, etc.), which means water is pulled from the less important muscles (like the lower legs).
Calf cramps can be ease with stretching. Here are a few stretches to try:
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Be sure to drink enough water throughout the day on a regular basis. How much water is “enough”? That can be complicated, but here are some guidelines:
In general, drink water when you are thirsty and drink extra if you are very active, especially in hot weather.
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