Leg cramps, muscle cramps, burgers and insurance

What do walking cramps, hamburgers and insurance have in common?

Many runners who burn a lot of calories don’t seem to have too much trouble eating everything they like. Well, I think you’ve earned it – as long as the “calories in” are less than the “calories out”, you have nothing to worry about, right?

The great thing about running is that it’s one of the best ways to burn calories and even if you’re on a bad diet, enjoying the occasional burger or fast food, you’re not in much danger of gaining weight.

That may be for a while, but if you get regular muscle cramps or notice minor changes in your health, such as headaches, aching joints, muscle and eyelid twitching, changes in blood sugar, higher blood pressure, fatigue, high cholesterol, weak immune system, cracked cuticles and even gray hair – then it’s time you took a look at exactly what you’re eating.

Remember that even greats like Lance Armstrong got cancer and look how hard he trained. Regular and vigorous exercise does not necessarily equate to good health.

When you eat “fast” or “junk” foods, you actually deprive your body of proper fuel and increase overall toxicity with flavor enhancers and preservatives. These are stimulants to the brain and therefore tend to produce increased muscle tone (i.e. turn on muscle contraction), increasing the likelihood of cramping.

In hamburgers, for example, much of our processed meat contains antibiotics, which are bad for the gut because it leads to loss of the good bacteria and absorption into the bloodstream of more toxic proteins that the liver then has to remove.

All these toxins must be cleared by the liver for detoxification and therefore reduce your energy output as the liver burns your energy reserves to detox you. This makes you feel tired and you have less energy to work your muscles.

Sugar and refined carbohydrates are also very bad because they cause energy spikes, resulting in periods where you have less energy, making it more likely that you will get a cramp – especially at the wrong time.

Hard training also results in an increase in the production of free radicals – dangerous compounds that form in the body when they combine with oxygen and must be neutralized by antioxidants. And for antioxidants you need minerals, vitamins and other specific nutrients. The harder you train, the more you should have.

Also remember that when you sweat, you sweat out more than just the sweet-tasting, nicely colored sports drinks. Your sweat is a soup of vitamins, minerals, amino acids and an array of essential nutrients. If you regularly lose these, you have to work even harder to get them ‘back in’.

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The best place to start to reverse this situation is to increase your intake of fresh fruits and vegetables – up to six servings of vegetables and three servings of fruit (to reduce sugar intake).

However, there is a small problem with that. Current research consistently shows that just 10 years ago, fruits and vegetables contained 30% more vitamins and 30% more minerals than they do today.

And because we don’t pay our farmers to put those minerals and nutrients back into the soil there are no nutrients in the soil during the growing process and we see this and it’s becoming increasingly important that we find a supplement that is able to support our eating efforts.

I don’t know about you, but I find it quite difficult to get those 6 servings of vegetables in and so I personally like to supplement the diet and advise others to do the same.

If you regularly suffer from leg cramps and running cramps, but are otherwise fine and healthy, consider it a health insurance policy and a way to extend your athletic life into old age.

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