Dehydration and electrolyte loss are not the sole causes of
EAMC because many individuals can experience cramping when they
are hydrated and supplemented with electrolytes.
A more recent theory suggests that EAMC is related to sustained
neural activity that results in fatigue. This idea is supported
by athletes who are more likely to experience cramps toward the
end of an event. A distinction has been made between EAMC that
result from fatigue and that resulting from heat (in which electrolyte
and fluid losses result in a contraction of extracellular fluid
In one study, participants who experienced cramps had a higher
average sweat rate than those that did not experience cramps.
Subjects who experienced EAMC who consumed a carbohydrate - electrolyte
beverage were able to exercise 150% longer before the onset of
Other common treatments include:
Jung AP, Bishop PA, Al-Nawwas A, Dale RB (2005). Influence
of Hydration and Electrolyte Supplementation on Incidence and
Time to Onset of Exercise-Associated Muscle Cramps. Journal of
Athletic Training. 40(2): 71-75.