Taking A Peek Inside a Muscle Cramp
By Edward Kane
Cramping is one of the most common complaints
of athletes. It can occur at any time but more often at
the tail end of their workout. Cramps are a one way street
in the complete cycle of muscle action. All body motion
is controlled by the opening and closing of ion channels
that sit in the membranes of all cells. Sodium (Na) contracts
the cell and potassium (K) relaxes it. Similar action occurs
to transmit a thought with Na and K triggering neurons
(depolarizing) to both transmit and fire. In effect the
electrolytes do it all. You can’t blink your eye
or even see or hear without them.
A heart cell begins the process with Calcium (Ca) signaling
the Na ion channel to open to begin the contraction cycle.
There are hundreds of Na and K ion channels on each cell.
A half second later Magnesium (Mg) encourages K to rush
in which relaxes the cell. That’s the beat of your
heart or the closing of your fist. With a heart cell the
cycle is non stop; constrict with Na and relax with K.
Its quite easy to see what happens when a muscle cramps.
In essence you have half a beat. If a cramp hits your heart,
you’re history, but in a different muscle you’ll
hurt, but recover. If you’re swimming in a race half
way home, it could be a disaster. Whenever it happens,
it’s the guys in charge of the relaxing half of the
cycle, Mg and K, that are missing.
Often, athletes who are pushing the envelope sense a tingling
of sorts, in say a leg muscle, before it tightens. A swig
of ElyteSport could be a G-D send at that moment because
it contains a high concentration of both K and Mg. (Check
out the exact numbers at elytesport.com - Compare Sport
“ I don’t cramp any more!” We hear this
from our elite athletes. All of them also say that they
last longer. They don’t see an improvement in performance
or time, but they are able to stay at a strong performance
rate for a longer time. (Read Nicole and Ron’s comments
on the athletes spotlight). I would argue that if you can
train longer, the logic would be that you would also increase
muscle mass, or improve the flow of nutrients to a more
efficient level, which, over time makes you stronger and
better. But I leave the proof to the performers.
Actually, what is happening, is that the high K concentration
is sufficient to complete the back side of the heart beat,
or leg pump, etc. Without those 2 electrolytes Mg and K,
in plentiful supply, your muscles have only the first half
of the action potential to work on. Over time, that’s
a one way street, that can end up as a cramp. Cramps don’t
usually occur when your doing sprints, they are the result
of cellular stress (loss of electrolytes) over long workouts.
What ElyteSport does is make sure that you have enough
K and Mg to complete the back side of the muscle pump.
A number of coaches have tried “pickle juice” to
prevent cramping in hot weather. Pickle juice is predominantly
vinegar. Vinegar is acetic acid, and is used to remove
sodium (Na) with individuals with high blood sodium levels.
The coaches are lowering their athletes Na levels to prevent
the first half of the muscle cycle instead of making sure
that they have enough of all the electrolytes needed. Lower
Na and you may not begin the cramp. Not exactly what the
doctor ordered, but it can work.
However, you are removing Na to restore balance, instead
of providing the correct electrolytes that the body needs
at that moment, which is ……..Mg and K. Training
logic says that you want as high a level of electrolytes
as possible, all the time, not robbing one, Na, to achieve
balance. ElyteSport is perfectly designed to address the
problem of cramping, and very possibly, the big one after
that, and that is the potential loss of an athlete that
could not handle the extremes of temperature and high performance
workouts. If you're in training, a coach, or a trainer,
you owe it to yourself and your athletes to check out ElyteSport.
• The E-Lyte Story:
Why You Need Electrolytes!
• Sugar Free Electrolytes
• Compare ElyteSport with
other "Sports" drinks
• Pickle Juice
• Taking A Peek Inside a Muscle
• Night Cramps
• ElyteSport Preloading
• References depicting
the difficulty within the Medical Community to Resolve "Cramping"
The information contained in this web site
is for educational purposes only and is not intended or
implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice.
Inclusion here does not imply any endorsement or recommendation. Always
seek the advice of your physician or other qualified medical
provider for all medical problems prior to starting any