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Cramping in Sports: Beyond Dehydration

Buskard, Andrew N. L. MS, CSCS, CISSN, USAW

Strength and Conditioning Journal: October 2014 - Volume 36 - Issue 5 - p 44–52
doi: 10.1519/SSC.0000000000000091
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ABSTRACT EXERCISE-ASSOCIATED MUSCLE CRAMPS (EAMC) ARE A COMMON, YET POORLY UNDERSTOOD PHENOMENON IN ATHLETIC COMPETITION. PREVAILING WISDOM SEEMS TO SUGGEST THAT DEHYDRATION AND ELECTROLYTE DISTURBANCES ARE THE MAIN CAUSE OF EAMC; HOWEVER, ON REVIEW OF THE AVAILABLE LITERATURE, THIS DOES NOT SEEM TO BE THE CASE. THIS ARTICLE PRESENTS AN EXAMINATION OF THE PAST AND PRESENT KNOWLEDGE ON THE SUBJECT OF EAMC IN THE HOPES OF FACILITATING A GREATER UNDERSTANDING SURROUNDING THE POSSIBLE CAUSES OF CRAMPS DURING EXERCISE. A VIDEO ABSTRACT OF THIS ARTICLE CAN BE FOUND IN SUPPLEMENTAL DIGITAL CONTENT 1 (SEE VIDEO, HTTP://LINKS.LWW.COM/SCJ/A151).

Supplemental Digital Content is Available in the Text.

Department of Exercise Science and Sport Studies, Springfield College, Springfield, Massachusetts

Conflicts of Interest and Source of Funding: The author reports no conflicts of interest and no source of funding.

Supplemental digital content is available for this article. Direct URL citations appear in the printed text and are provided in the HTML and PDF versions of this article on the journal's Web site (http://journals.lww.com/nsca-scj).

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Andrew N. L. Buskardrecently completed his M.S. in Strength and Conditioning at Springfield College and has begun Ph.D. studies in Exercise Physiology at the University of Miami.

© 2014 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association