The age old cramping issue

Discussion in 'Training / Health' started by rola643, Apr 11, 2018.

  1. rola643

    rola643 Two skinny Js Staff Member Admin Staff Tavern Member

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    I saw this and thought, meh another article on cramps that no one really knows how to stop or even what really causes them.

    I'll just say I'd never heard of Tums working at least for cramps. I'll also add that a few years ago I tried Endurolytes and for me, these had some very undesirable side effects and never used them again.

    I've found for me the best cure for cramps has been simply riding more and getting time in the saddle. Having said that, I can get cramps in my calves and ride through that with no issue at all. Now a cramp in the quad or inner thigh that stands you straight up out of the saddle is without question the worst for me. I seem to get that one on long windy hilly rides and then when I spend more time in front pulling more than I should or normally would.

    I've also settled on Skratch as my ride hydration choice. A close second is EFS.

    This all reminds me of this old thread
    https://www.twospoke.com/threads/always-been-a-gatorade-guy.7939/

    List of Leg Cramp Remedies for for Cyclists and Runners

    Leg Cramps: Why? And now what?

    [​IMG]Fred Matheny has suffered from leg cramps throughout his cycling career. Whenever he mentioned that in the RoadBikeRider.com newsletter — as he did after his crampfest on one epic Colorado ride — RBR would receive a rash of remedies from subscribers.

    In fact, Fred reckons he’s now heard about every cramp cure known to science — and some that should be placed more properly in the realms of folklore, voodoo or the occult.

    But as Carol Torgan points out here, cramps are multifactorial. No single cause seems to exist.

    [​IMG]
    What Causes Cramps? An Overview

    By Carol E. Torgan, Ph.D., FACSM
    National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute

    Cramps are miserable. I’m an exercise physiologist who specializes in skeletal muscle, so let me give everyone a little background about cramp causes and prevention.

    A cramp is an intense, involuntary contraction of a muscle that usually occurs during or immediately after exercise. Cramps were traditionally thought to stem from fluid or electrolyte imbalances, but they are not always the reason. Cramps may occur following chronic muscle use by individuals, such as musicians, who are not sweating.


    https://www.roadbikerider.com/solutions-for-cramps-d1/
     
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  2. John_V

    John_V Well-Known Member Tavern Member

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    When I first started riding, at age 63, I was getting cramps on almost all of my rides. The worst ones came after my rides and especially night cramps. The night cramps got so intense that they would wake me up screaming in pain. A few brought tears to my eyes. I was almost on the verge of giving up riding because it just didn’t make sense to me to be in pain during and/or after my rides.

    I had a doctor’s appointment coming up so when I saw him, I asked about the cramping and what I could do to get rid of them. I was told to drink more water during the ride and try less aggressive rides. I didn’t understand the “aggressive ride” part because at the time I was riding a steel frame comfort bike; a Giant Sedona. I don’t drink much when I ride so I thought maybe I should drink more, even if it meant stopping more for bathroom breaks. That didn’t work and the cramps kept coming.

    One of my paramedic instructors was a chemist/pharmacist and, for some reason, I remember him giving a lecture about potassium and cramps. I went and got a bottle of potassium supplements that day and tried them. I started taking one each morning before my rides and to this day I have not had any cramping issues during or after a ride. In fact, I can’t remember having a cramp since I started with the potassium.

    I still don’t drink much during a ride since I’m one of those rare people that don’t perspire. So for me, dehydration was never a problem. The potassium has also helped some of the people I know that suffered from cramps, while it did nothing for others that I’ve talked with.

    I’m not saying it’s the solution to eliminate cramps completely for everyone, but it worked for me and some friends of mine so it may be worth giving potassium supplements a try.
     

  3. rushlake

    rushlake Member Tavern Member

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    I know this will turn into a barrage of product endorsements. A cyclist and long-distance runner, parent of one of the other swimmers on the team, swears by Sportlegs. I haven’t had a chance to give it a try but if my cramping problem comes back that’s the first thing I’m gonna go for.
    Also if you’re a big coffee drinker like I am. Although coffee contains magnesium it can deplete magnesium from your system.
    I dynamic stretch pre-ride or pre-trainer session and static stretch post ride or trainer session. But I have had a problem with those hammy’s cramping up while I’m in bed..........trying to sleep (knee)
     
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  4. Dos_Ruedas

    Dos_Ruedas Well-Known Member

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    I'm one of those with no rhyme no reason to the cramps. Occasionally, I get a slight warning. A little discomfort I'm my calf. However, this is just as often nothing more than figment of my imagination.

    Every few months, I'm awaken with extremely painful calf cramps. It's tied in a tight knot. I can do nothing. For days afterward, it causes me to limp.

    I'd love to know the secrets.

    By the way John, I'm a daily banana eater. One or two a day. That with other foods provides a lot of potassium.
     
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  5. John_V

    John_V Well-Known Member Tavern Member

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    I have a banana on a daily basis along with a potassium supplement. We have a farmer’s market near where I ride and I get them for 33¢ a pound, fresh from the boats.
     
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  6. RidesAlot

    RidesAlot Well-Known Member

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    I've always been taught that it is potassium related. You cannot eat enough bananas to make it count (from what I read...). I concur with John.
     
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  7. i12ride

    i12ride Spin Spin Spin Tavern Member

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    Yep, potassium and hydration......do it. I don't stretch or warm up as I should. First parts of my rides are generally my warm-up/stretch sessions. Usually only time I have ever had cramping during rides is from extreme heat and longer rides with water only. And not every time. Kinda randomly is my mystery. Catches me on occasion when I don't think it should be an issue. It usually happens most if I move wrong or stretch legs when sleeping and awake in pain from thigh or calf cramp.
     
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  8. John_V

    John_V Well-Known Member Tavern Member

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    At last year’s MS150, they had dill pickle trays on the tables. Couldn’t figure out why they had pickles on the snack table until I saw all the small cups of pickle juice. I guess they had to buy lots of pickles to have enough juice for all those riders.
     
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  9. RidesAlot

    RidesAlot Well-Known Member

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    That's what get's me about this.. if the juice is good, the pickles must do the same thing(?). I'll give it a test, though I don't cramp much.
     
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  10. cwtch

    cwtch Well-Known Member

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    Sprockles eats pickles on bike rides. I couldn't do it. I would puke. But I bet it works.
     
  11. RidesAlot

    RidesAlot Well-Known Member

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    Once again, I recommend Bread and Butter's, they come sliced length-wise and they taste like candy! I like food to be fun.
     
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  12. MilesR

    MilesR Mom's Taxi

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    Dried apricots are a good source of potassium.
     
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  13. fpl1

    fpl1 Well-Known Member Tavern Member

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    Interesting article. Someone had told me years ago about pickle juice working. I’m not a big cramper but I have used the juice numerous times on long hot charity rides. No cramps but don’t know if that’s the result of the juice or not.
     
  14. rushlake

    rushlake Member Tavern Member

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    https://www.teamtotal.com/juce
    They had a display of this stuff at the local ACE Hardware store. $3.99
    I think at that price I would just by a jar of pickles. IMG_0045.jpg
     
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  15. RidesAlot

    RidesAlot Well-Known Member

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    OK.. Official Guinea pig. I took three tea spoons of the juice while eating three bread and butter slices. I should see a difference when sleeping if it works. Will report in the morning.
     
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  16. Dos_Ruedas

    Dos_Ruedas Well-Known Member

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    I once rode a with a group. The leader began having leg cramps. We stopped at a convenience store where he purchased a jar of dill pickles, drank the juice, tossed the pickles and container in the bin and away we went at a very slow pace.

    15 min later, we were hammering again.

    Does anyone have first hand knowledge of this or something else working?
     
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  17. MilesR

    MilesR Mom's Taxi

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    I guess it hasn't been morning yet.:D
     
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  18. RidesAlot

    RidesAlot Well-Known Member

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    :) so busy lately and then nice weather so...

    I do note this: After the pickles I did not have any sleeping position change cramps. I noted that I almost felt one, but it was not painful.

    I forgot to include pickles for the next two days. First night (after strenuous workout) I had cramps when rolling over in bed. Second night, none, (non strenuous workout).

    Bread and Butter pickles are very good and I sure don't mind running more tests.
     
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  19. Dos_Ruedas

    Dos_Ruedas Well-Known Member

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    Let ME know when the beer and cheese testing begins!!
     
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