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Why Do Muscles Cramp?

Author:FTM
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The cause of muscle cramping is not yet fully understood. Why do some people cramp while others don't? Or why do you cramp during one race and not another? Science is slowly discovering the reasons. Although we don't yet have a complete picture, as is often the case when trying to unravel the secrets of the human body, the predominant view is that cramping is linked to 3 factors; Poor physical state of your muscles (muscle fatigue), dehydration, and electrolyte imbalance.

In this video on Competitor.com - Dr. Jordan Metzl - explains in simple terms the above 3 factors.


Others believe the main culprit is primarily muscle fatigue. We agree that muscle fatigue is a big contributor to cramping and strongly support strengthening your muscles for the specificity of your sport. The better prepared your muscles are, the better you will perform.

We think, however, that staying well hydrated and taking electrolytes is still important as they are probably contributing factors to minimizing cramping and, more importantly, will ensure you perform at your best all around. Remember that even a slightly dehydrated athlete will see a drop in his/her performance.

So, if you strengthen your muscles specific to your sport, duration, and intensity as well as stay well hydrated and top off your electrolytes, you will improve your overall performance while reducing the likelihood of cramping.

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