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Heat Cramps

Heat cramps are strong muscle contractions (spasms). The muscle contractions are forceful and painful usually involving muscles that are fatigued by heavy work such as calves, thighs, and shoulders. These cramps can be connected to heat, dehydration, and poor conditioning (examples: exercise or work in a hot environment).

Some of the most common symptoms of heat cramps are:

  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Hot, sweaty skin
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting and exhaustion
  • Nausea and vomiting

Rarely, heat cramps can accompany heat exhaustion.


  • Rest briefly and cool down
  • Drink juice, water, or an electrolyte-containing sports drink
  • Practice gentle, range-of-motion stretching and gentle massage of the affected muscle group