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25 Sep 2007

muscle cramping
I coach a high school football team who suffers several cramps a game. Although cramping is part of the game, we lose 8 to 10 guys a game due to cramping. We feel it may be related to the meals we feed our players prior to the game. Is there any food that we should avoid feeding our playes prior to competing. Are there foods that we should feed them?

Thank you,
Coach G
Answer 337 views

01 Jan 0001

Dear Coach G
During a course on sports nutrition that I attended at Potchefstroom University, the lecturers enphasised that most cramps experienced by athletes of all types, are due to insufficient warm-up of muscles (e.g. stretching exercises prior to the match, running, etc). In addition, any athlete who participates in strenuous exercise and only drinks water during the event, can dilute his electrolytes (sodium, potassium) to such an extent that cramping could occur. It is essential to ensure that your football players drink sports drinks (Energade, Powerade, EnerG, etc) before, during and after an event to ensure that they firstly prevent electrolyte depletion and secondly replenish their depleted glycogen stores in the liver and muscles (which may also cause a type of cramping). Other nutrients that could be involved are magnesium and calcium. Click on 'Fitness' at the top of this page and then on 'Nutrition' and read the articles on 'Diets for Sportsmen and women' for additional information.
Good luck with the team
The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical examination, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.
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