To fight and prevent cramps we want to give you some simple tips, which we hope will be useful to you. A balanced and conscious diet forms the basis of the solution to the problem.

1- Hydration. Take enough according to the demands of our body (age, sex, constitution, state of health and physical activity). For moderately active adults, 2 L of water per day is usually indicated, to be increased in case of intense physical activity and high temperatures.
If it is difficult to introduce a sufficient quantity of water, we can include in our diet foods that are particularly rich in it: cucumbers, lettuce, radishes, watermelon, tomatoes, yellow squash, melon, radicchio, courgettes, milk, yogurt, soups and velvets, freshly squeezed fruit and vegetable juices and smoothies. It is useful to consume drinks rich in salts and electrolytes, the deficiency of which promotes cramps. It is therefore very important to maintain a good supply of hydration before preparing for long runs or workouts.

2- Potassium. Mineral present in variable quantities in all foods, especially in fresh ones not subjected to treatments (fruit, vegetables, fresh meats). The main sources of potassium of plant origin are: potatoes, artichokes, fennel, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, tomatoes, rocket, spinach, avocado, apricots, bananas, kiwi, pomegranates, melon, peaches, figs, dates, beans, chickpeas, lentils, soy, almonds, peanuts, hazelnuts, spelled, wheat bran, oats, buckwheat. Among the sources of animal origin we find cod, salmon, mackerel, tuna, chicken, turkey, beef.

3- Sodium. The guidelines for a healthy diet recommend not to exceed 2 g / day of sodium (5 g of table salt) and to limit the use of salt in home preparations and the consumption of industrial foods, which contain it in high quantities. (baked goods, cured meats, aged cheeses). In the case of the sportsman, due to the loss of the mineral through sweating, following a low-sodium diet is counterproductive. No special precautions are necessary to ensure sufficient sodium intake: it is present (albeit little) in almost all natural foods and in larger quantities in commonly used industrial foods, such as bread, and we add it to the table with salt. .

4- Magnesium. We find it in almost all foods in different quantities and it is very sensitive to processes such as grain refining, pasteurization and cooking, which drastically decrease its concentration. We find abundant quantities of magnesium in: wheat bran, quinoa, millet, spelled, almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, beans, lentils, chickpeas, corn, spinach, beets, artichokes, coffee. The association with fructose, proteins and complex carbohydrates promotes their absorption.

5- Calcium. In addition to not being particularly abundant in food, we are able to absorb a rather low percentage of it, which is why the calcium intake with the diet needs special attention. It is absorbed in the intestine thanks to vitamin D, its bioavailability is reduced by oxalates (present in spinach, tomatoes, chocolate) and phytates (whole grains, legumes, dried fruit) and is increased by the presence of lactose, milk proteins, inulin and oligosaccharides. The foods for which calcium absorption is greater (30-40%) are dairy products, which are the best source of the mineral, and brassicas (broccoli, cabbage), which however do not contain sufficient quantities. They are rich in calcium: aged, medium hard, soft and fresh cheeses, milk and yogurt, almonds, dried legumes, anchovies, squid, shrimp, octopus.
 
Following a good diet is very important, if in addition you practice physical activity, it is essential to consume the right foods useful for the purpose of energy consumption during physical exertion. To prevent the onset of muscle cramps, it is essential to avoid conditions of dehydration and electrolyte imbalance.

What about supplements?

They certainly play a very important role for all athletes who train and compete. Especially in running, where in the summer the loss of liquids is very impactful, it is necessary to favor the reintegration of the aforementioned elements. ProAction offers two types of products that are right for you: Mineral Plus and Mg + K in sachets, discover them on ProAction.it.

Andrea Zonza, Proaction nutritionist