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    What Causes Calf Cramping?

    August 20, 2015 2 min read

    What causes calf cramping? How can Zensah help?

    Have you ever been running or exercising when your calf cramps up, forcing you to stop?  Even though calf cramping is extremely common among athletes, the exact cause of this phenomenon still hasn’t been determined.  These cramps can last for just a few seconds, or as long as ten minutes!  Thankfully, Zensah’s Compression Leg Sleeves, Ultra Compression Leg Sleeves, and Ankle / Calf Sleeves can help!

    Zensah Compression Leg Sleeves
    Zensah Compression Leg Sleeves

    What are calf cramps?  What are possible causes for calf cramping?

    Calf cramps are painful, involuntary contractions of the calf muscles (gastrocnemius and soleus muscles).  Although the exact cause of calf cramping has not been determined, there are several potential causes that affect different athletes.  These cramps can happen at any time: during exercise, or as long as six hours after a workout.  Cramps cause the muscle to spasm, and obstruct the flow of blood to the muscle, making it difficult for oxygen and nutrients to reach the area.  According to Dr. Martin P. Schwellnus, a professor of sports medicine at the University of Cape Town, cramps affect 39 percent of marathon runners, 79 percent of triathletes, and 60 percent of cyclists at some point in their lives.

    Some potential sources of calf cramping are dehydration, tight muscles, and electrolyte deficiency.  Dehydration from prolonged exercise is believed to cause calf cramps by reducing blood volume in the muscle.  This can be prevented with proper hydration during exercise.  Along with dehydration, tight muscles can cause calf cramping.  Tight muscles are contracted and have less blood and nutrients to perform properly.  Stretching before and after exercise helps reduce the risk of getting calf cramps during a workout.  In addition to dehydration and tight muscles, electrolyte deficiencies are another source of calf cramping that affects athletes.  Too little sodium or potassium can cause calf muscles to cramp up.  Eating energy gels or drinking an electrolyte beverage during exercise can help bring electrolytes back into the body to avoid calf cramps.

    How can Zensah help?

    Zensah can help alleviate the pain and frustration of calf cramping with Compression Leg Sleeves, Ultra Compression Leg Sleeves, and Ankle/Calf Sleeves.  Micro-ribbing on the back of the Compression Leg Sleeves provides additional calf support.  Using the leg sleeves while running helps reduce calf cramps, and lessen fatigue.  Graduated compression improves blood circulation in the calf, and speeds up the flow of oxygen back to the fatigued area.  Like the Compression Leg Sleeves, Zensah’s Ultra Compression Leg Sleeves utilize compression technology to stabilize the calf muscles.  These leg sleeves give athletes a tighter fit in the calves and shins to stimulate blood flow.  This works to reduce the frequency of cramps, along with the pain created by them.  For athletes that experience calf cramps post-workout, the Ankle/Calf Sleeves are a great recovery tool.  Like our Compression Leg Sleeves, the Ankle/Calf Sleeves utilize graduated compression technology to improve circulation.

    Even though we haven’t uncovered an exact cause for calf cramps, Zensah’s compression gear can help!  Visit www.zensah.com and see how our products can keep calf cramps at bay!

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