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Cramping isn't Calais Campbell's style

When Miami Heat star LeBron James went down with a cramp in Game 1 of the NBA Finals, the role of hydration in sports was thrust into the headlines.

Take a spin through the countless stories about James' cramps and it's clear that being hydrated doesn't always prevent cramps, and dehydration isn't always a reason for cramps.

Any athlete in Arizona knows this. They also know how important hydration is when temperatures straddle 100 degrees, as they did Wednesday when Arizona Cardinals defensive end Calais Campbell spoke to a group of kids as part of Gatorade's "Beat the Heat" program.

Before Campbell stood in front of them and told his football story, the sweat began beading on his forehead and soaking through his grey T-shirt. Even out of his uniform, Campbell said he understands the need to stay hydrated.

That becomes even more important during the season or during organized team activities and minicamp, when Arizona is practicing outside as the temperatures reach 100 or higher like it did at times during the last month.

"Me personally, I sweat a lot," Campbell said. "I'm a big sweater. I have to hydrate two, three days before. I just kind of try to stay hydrated all the time. I'm always hydrated. I'm never dehydrated."

Campbell learned about hydration the hard way. He remembers cramping during his time with the Hurricanes to the point he couldn't move. Even his neck was cramping. That experience showed the boy from Colorado staying hydrated is important.

Growing up in the rocky mountains, consuming water or a sports beverage wasn't always a priority like it was for high school football players playing in warm-weather environments. When Campbell got to the University of Miami, he experienced how humidity could make him sweat -- profusely. And in Arizona, Campbell saw how excruciating extreme heat can be, especially on his body.

"In college, you learn that a lot," Campbell said. "I go out there coming from Colorado and didn't know any better. I'm like, 'OK, it's hot out there and I'm just going to keep drinking.' Drink a lot.

"Pulled muscles come from being dehydrated. And the one time I've ever really had a pulled muscle or got hurt was when I tore my calf. I missed a couple games because I was dehydrated. You can't be that way."