Search This Blog

Friday, 16 August 2013

Severe Muscle Cramps Caused By Exercise

About 4 years ago I was introduced to high intensity exercises, I didn't know anything about bodyweight exercises so used to do high intensity exercises on the treadmill. I used to do sprints on the highest hill for short intervals. After about 2 minutes into the session I would get really sick. I would suffer severe cramps in my stomach and I would have to heel over myself trying to stop the pain.  The pain would be constant for about 5 -10 minutes with no relief.  When it kept happening it turned me completely off exercising that I stopped going to the gym.

After a few months my friends and I decided to try out a bootcamp. The first day after about 10 minutes I was heeled over again in extreme pain then once the pain had passed I was fine again. Our bootcamp instructor thought I was making excuses to take a break and didn't believe me when I explained how I felt. I got so fed up I decided to see a doctor about it but when she said she never heard of the symptoms and couldn't explain what was wrong with me I started to think maybe I was imagining it. She then referred me to a sports physician.

The sports physician took my bloods and nothing showed up, I was was healthy. She said what I was experiencing was very common in marathon runners. The body is not distributing enough oxygen and when you are training at a high intensity  your body needs more oxygen, when your lower body doesn't get enough oxygen quickly enough your body cramps. Your body keeps cramping until it gets enough oxygen or until you slow down that your body doesn't need a high amount of oxygen. This is why I felt fine after about 10 minutes. Your body is in such severe pain that it triggers feelings that you might vomit.

This is common in women as we lose a lot of iron each month. I was advised to up my intake of iron and see would it make a difference. Iron is required for the production of red blood cells (a process known as haematopoiesis) but it's also part of haemoglobin (that is the pigment of the red blood cells) binding to the oxygen and thus facilitating its transport from the lungs via the arteries to all cells throughout the (e.g., the muscles) that need oxygen to perform their activities.

I took iron supplements daily and they really worked, I didn't get any cramping pain any longer. The problem with iron supplements is that after a while they can make you very bloated and constipated. After a while, I stopped taking the iron supplements but for some reason in the last two years I haven't experienced the cramps.

However in the last few weeks I have upped my training and I started to get really sick again and I forgot how bad it was. A friend recommended Spatone iron supplement (liquid supplement) so I decided to try it out. This supplement has been a life saver. I pour one sachet with a little bit of water right before my workout in the morning and it works straight away. Previously I would have to set my alarm an hour or two before my workout to wake up and take a supplement so it would be in my system by the time I worked out that morning. Unlike other iron supplements Spatone doesn't give you that bloated constipated feeling. Be warned it does taste like drinking blood (blood must taste like iron)-no joke I just hold my nose and knock it back. I don't care though as I will drink anything not to feel that pain again!

I just wanted to share my story with you as I am sure there are other people who suffer the same symptoms and like me because of the pain are put off exercising.

You can get Spatone in Boots and it costs £8.25 for 28 supplements.