Nocturnal leg cramps are very common, particularly in the calves although the hamstrings and sartorious are often involved. In our experience the solution usually comes from one or more of these three:
1. Daily stretching
2. Drinking more water
3. Adding sea salt to your food and water
If you try all 3 of these then you should notice some major improvement in your cramping situation. We'll discuss each in more detail:
1. Daily stretching...if your calves are the main problem area then do two separate stretches for the gastrocnemius and the soleus. To stretch the gastrocnemius you will need a slanted wooden board and the best one we have seen is made by Jeremy Pricer. Jeremy's e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org
he will ship one to your house. It is adjustable to 4 different angles. Start at a nice easy angle and get your knee FULLY locked with most of your weight in your heel. Stretch just one leg at a time as this will give you a MUCH stronger stretch. Hold each stretch for just 30s and alternate between left and right legs until you have done each leg at least 3 times. If you want faster changes then do 6 times on each leg but never more than a 30s hold.
To stretch the soleus do a similar stretch but your knee must now be bent by at least 20-30 degrees i.e. 150-160 degree angle at the knee AND you must lift and separate your toes.
Again do 3 times on each leg in an alternating manner using 30s holds.
2. Drinking more water...as a rough guide you should drink water according to this scale:
If you weigh 100lbs you should drink AT LEAST 50 fluid ounces per day.
If you weigh 150lbs you should drink AT LEAST 75 fluid ounces per day.
If you weigh 200lbs you should drink AT LEAST 100 fluid ounces per day.
The rule of thumb is thus "drink half your body weight in fluid ounces per day".
3. Adding sea salt to your food and water...most of us are mineral depleted and drinking lots of water often makes this worse so add a pinch or two of sea salt to every glass of water you drink and sprinkle sea salt over your food at every meal. If you have salt cravings be VERY liberal with the sea salt and if you are the type of person who has dried salt on their skin after heavy sweating be VERY VERY liberal with sea salt!
Let us know what you notice when you try these "cramp control" techniques.
Enjoy the rest of February and Happy Valentines Day!