Do you get muscle cramps while swimming? Cramps are the most unpleasant experience you can have while swimming.
Almost everyone who swims has had muscle cramps at some point in their lives.
Don’t worry! After reading this post, you’ll learn how to prevent muscle cramps while swimming.
What are muscle cramps?
You should know the reason behind cramps before you learn how to prevent them. According to MayoClinic, a muscle cramp is a sudden and involuntary contraction of one or more of your muscles.
Muscle cramps are usually harmless, but they prevent you from swimming. Cramping in the calf is a common occurrence when swimming for long periods.
Most muscle cramps occur in the leg muscles, particularly the calf. You may feel or see a hard lump of muscle tissue under your skin in addition to sudden, sharp pain.
Why do you get muscle cramps while swimming?
Swimming for a lot of time, especially in a warm climate can lead to cramps in your calf muscles.
The most common reason behind the cramps is dehydration.
What is dehydration?
Dehydration means losing a lot of fluid from your body. You get dehydrated when you sweat a lot and don’t drink enough water to replace that lost fluid.
You might be surprised to know that you can sweat while swimming! Yes, you read that right. You can sweat when swimming.
Like a gym workout, swimming is an exhausting task. Your body uses a lot of energy while swimming which causes your body to heat up. Naturally, you start sweating to keep your body cool.
How do you prevent muscle cramps while swimming due to dehydration?
The most common solution to prevent dehydration is to drink plenty of water.
Following are the best ways to prevent dehydration:
1: Drink water before you swim
Ensure that the water you drink has enough minerals and electrolytes dissolved in it. When you sweat, you lose sodium, chloride, and potassium.
You can add electrolyte powder to water before drinking. You don’t need to a add lot of electrolyte powder unless you are severely dehydrated.
2: Consume fruits & veggies rich in potassium before you swim
A vast amount of the population is potassium deficient. Low potassium levels in your body can lead to muscle cramps. It can also affect your swimming performance in a bad way.
3: Drink water in between swim sessions
You sweat while swimming and to replace the lost fluid, you should drink water while swimming. You don’t need to drink a lot of water but just a couple of sips every 10-15 minutes will prevent you from dehydration.
Should you drink Gatorade to prevent muscle cramps while swimming?
I usually don’t suggest sports drinks that are high in sugar. But if you are planning to swim longer than one hour, you should seriously consider consuming sodium-rich sports drinks.
According to the label, a 591ml Gatorade bottle has 280mg of sodium and 80mg of potassium. The only downside is that it has a whopping 38 grams of sugar! Look out if you are on a fat-loss journey.
Is it better to swim on an empty stomach?
It depends on your goal.
Are you swimming to lose weight?
Then yes, swimming on an empty stomach will boost fat loss. Just ensure that you are hydrated. Low sodium and potassium levels can affect your performance.
Are you looking to increase your performance?
Then no, don’t swim on an empty stomach. You can eat a banana to get that last-minute energy boost before swimming.
Is coffee good before swimming?
Coffee contains caffeine which can reduce fatigue and enhance your performance. But coffee may cause dehydration due to its diuretic effect so ensure that you drink plenty of water.
Now it’s time to swim without fear of muscle cramps while swimming!
If you’re looking for more tips on how to improve your swimming, check out our other blog post on the subject listed below. Thanks for reading! 🙂 Don’t forget to subscribe to our RocketSwimming YouTube channel so you never miss a new video or training tip! We publish new content every week!