Ouch !


Have you ever been taking a nice stroll around campus and all of a sudden... BAM! Your leg muscles feel excruciating pain! The pain is so severe you are not able to continue on with your exercise and are forced to stop wherever you may be. This cramp of the leg is referred to as a Charlie Horse. The story behind the origin of the term Charlie Horse is unknown. Some say the term was named after a baseball player named Charlie who complained a lot about leg cramps. Other Stories indicate it was named after a horse. Whatever the case may be, Charlie Horses are extremely undesirable. I myself often experience Charlie Horses therefore I became very curious and wanted to do more research on these leg cramps. Here's what I found:


The causes of Charlie Horses are:


·        Overuse

·        Dehydration

·        Circulatory Problems

·        Extreme changes in temperature

·        Lack of oxygen to muscles

·        Maintaining the same muscle motion or positioning for long periods of time

·        Lack of stretching prior or exercise

·        Lack/imbalance of electrolytes

·        Side effects of some medications

·        Pregnancy


The recommended measures to get less frequent Charlie Horses are simply to maintain hydrated, stretch your muscles, and stock up on electrolytes. Most energy drinks for athletes are loaded with electrolytes providing your body with a great source! Lack of stretching is also the number one cause as to why people do get Charlie Horses.



Is so interesting to find out that the reason people get Charlie Horses is due to dehydration. I always figured that the main reason this happened was due to poor stretching prior to exercising, or putting too much straight on your muscles. It is so interesting to find out the importance of water , and how it affects your entire body.

I agree. I guess water plays a way more important role than we thought because I thought that it was mostly due to poor stretching too.

When I read this, I immediately thought of the advice I've always been given when I had a period when I got a lot of charlie horses - eat more bananas! But then, I started thinking maybe that was just one of those old wives' tales and decided to do a little digging. This article supports the dehydration issue and also explains that charlie horses are sometimes due to insufficient potassium, and one good source of that mineral is bananas. So....eat your bananas, stay hydrated, and give your calves a break!

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