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Why might I cramp during a workout even though I’m drinking water?

The cause of exercise-associated muscle cramping is not well understood. The three main reasons people cramp during or immediately after exercise are muscle fatigue, dehydration, and electrolyte imbalance (loss of sodium and potassium). Some people are more susceptible to cramping than others.

Some ways that you can decrease the likelihood of muscle cramping are to drink proper amounts of water and sports drinks before, during, and after activity; increase the sodium (salt) in your diet, and perform a proper cool-down activity.

(This answer provided for NATA by the Appalachian State University Athletic Training Education Program.)

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.