SALT AND FLUID LOSS IS ASSOCIATED WITH WHOLE-BODY CRAMPING
Stofan, J. R., Zachwieja, J. J., Horswill, C. A., Lacambra, M., & Murray, R. (2003). Sweat and sodium losses in NCAA Division I football players with a history of whole-body muscle cramping. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 35(5), Supplement abstract 262.
Football players with a history of full-body muscle cramping (N = 5) were matched with players (N = 5) who never cramped. Full-gear practices lasted 2.5 hours.
Players who cramped lost more total sodium, were more dehydrated, and had higher sweat rates than non-crampers. There was no effect on sweat-sodium losses when salt water was consumed by crampers. Non-crampers consumed mainly water which did not alter their sweat-sodium losses.
Implication. Large sodium and fluid losses through sweating precipitate whole-body muscle cramping. There is little that can be done about the sweating while the ingestion of salt during practice does not affect the amount lost.
Return to Table of Contents for this issue.