Leg Cramps and a Bad Diet – The Elastic Band Theory

You never used to get leg cramps (until recently), you run regularly and exercise for two hours a day or more, you’re fit, you’ve got a ‘6 pack stomach’ – so you can eat anything you like, within reason, right?

It just doesn’t work like that – let me explain using the ‘elastic band theory of health and longevity’ to explain why you’re starting to get leg cramps, muscle cramps and other health problems that are sure to follow.

The body is just like a wonderful machine – so good in fact that for over 30 to 40 years, no matter how ‘low grade’ the ‘fuel’ you put in, your body just works and works and works.
In fact, some people find that as they hit their mid thirties, that they’re just as fast as in their early twenties. Sure, you’re putting on a little weight, that’s normal, but overall you find that you’re just as fast and don’t need to train as often or as hard.

That is until one day you start getting cramps that won’t go away, or you can’t put up with that joint pain like you used to or your blood pressure starts to rise, or you need glasses or your hair starts going grey – fast.

Just like a thick elastic band, from a health point of view, the body can just keep stretching and stretching and stretching until one day it just ‘snaps’.

That’s when professional athletes just ‘drop dead’ from cardiovascular disease and that’s when you find out you have diabetes, cancer, or arthritis or you’re told by your doctor that you have a ‘problem heart’ and you’re professional sporting career is over.

It is really a ‘no-brainer’ that an unhealthy diet will contribute towards muscle cramps or other health problems and that these conditions are really just early warning signs or worse things to come.

Prevention of cramps and other health challenges from a nutrition point of view comes down to consuming a mostly fresh food diet that is high in minerals, avoiding ’empty’ foods that are high in sugar and low in minerals and which also introduce toxins and antibiotics into our systems.

Fast foods of any type, fried food, processed or refined carbohydrates (such as cakes, biscuits and most types of bread), alcohol and excessive amounts of caffeine are all examples of foods to avoid.

In terms of cramping, eating the wrong food does the following:

1. Reduces our muscles’ energy reserves and makes cramping more likely

2. Deprives the muscles of minerals required to relax and contract the muscles.

3. Introduces toxins (preservatives, food colouring and flavour enhancers) that have a stimulatory effect on the muscles that induce cramping and tend to inhibit the relaxation response that prevents cramping.

And while muscle cramps, running cramps you suffer during exercise and leg cramps at night are the end result of these nutritional problems, it’s the other lifestyle-threatening and life-threatening conditions you should be worried about.

My advice – cramps are just indicators of potentially more serious health problems. Fix the cramps from a nutritional point of view and you’re taking positive action from a long term health and longevity perspective.

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