Heat cramps are muscle spasms or pains that occur in the body due to overexertion in hot weather. They are caused by a body's loss of salt and water due to excessive sweating. Heat cramps usually occur in the arms, legs, and abdomen and can be quite painful.
Heat cramps can be prevented by drinking plenty of fluids, avoiding alcohol and caffeine, and taking frequent breaks in the shade or a cool environment. It is also important to replace lost electrolytes, such as sodium and potassium, by eating salty snacks or drinking sports drinks.
If heat cramps occur, stopping all activity and moving to a cool environment is important. The affected area should be stretched and massaged, and the person should drink plenty of fluids. Medical attention should be sought if the cramps do not subside after a few minutes.