cramping calves

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Raptor, Feb 14, 2003.

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  1. Raptor

    Raptor Guest

    My calves never used to cramp on me. Thighs yes, when I worked them brutally hard. Last few years my
    calves have started cramping without warning, but only during rides/workouts. Worse during Winter
    when I'm out of shape, but it still happens on long hard mid-season rides. Lately it's been
    triggered very much by high-rpm spin class intervals. If I crank the resistance way down and ride
    normal pace, I can usually maintain.

    This is cramping (silly pun) my workouts. I most want to improve my aerobic capacity right now but
    can't if the muscles refuse.

    What happens to muscles as we get older that might lead to this? And is it just a banana
    defficiency?

    --
    --
    Lynn Wallace http://www.xmission.com/~lawall "I'm not proud. We really haven't done everything we
    could to protect our customers. Our products just aren't engineered for security." --Microsoft VP in
    charge of Windows OS Development, Brian Valentine.
     
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  2. Raptor <[email protected]> wrote:

    : This is cramping (silly pun) my workouts. I most want to improve my aerobic capacity right now but
    : can't if the muscles refuse.

    : What happens to muscles as we get older that might lead to this? And is it just a banana
    : defficiency?

    I'm not making any claims for the final word on this - just my contribution. I've operated under the
    assumption that muscle cramping was related to a deficiency in magnesium and bananas are a ready
    source. I also carry the story in my head that cramping isn't fully understood either - as far as I
    can tell. I mean, I've always been able to get my toes to cramp simply by curling them downwards. It
    beats me why!

    I think in general, as we age, we have to be more careful and aware about things like stretching
    before and after exercise, nutrition, and taking appropriate intervals of rest between workouts. The
    same exercise principles apply to the young, it's just that we feel it when we don't get it right.

    Lately I've been getting calf cramping too - in bed while I sleep. I read it as a good sign to take
    a day or two rest from cycling and since I don't enjoy the drama of waking in excruciating pain,
    I'll take notice.

    Cheerz, Lynzz
     
  3. Hay Lynn,

    Lurkers first post - Hi all.

    I have found that for me, I have ended up needing more fluids and also added potassium, Zink,
    Calcium and Vitamins now days. I seem to not get cramps at all, even on hard workouts, if I have
    keep up on the fluids, food and lost vitamins and minerals. I even take a BIG multy vitamin and baby
    aspirin (avoid the big dosages as it can mask real problems) before and during long rides. On hot
    days I now also carry a bottle of Chicken broth for added salt along with sport drink in place of
    water. A banana every hour or so can't hurt either.<G>

    Dwight

    "Raptor" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > My calves never used to cramp on me. Thighs yes, when I worked them brutally hard. Last few years
    > my calves have started cramping without warning, but only during rides/workouts. Worse during
    > Winter when I'm out of shape, but it still happens on long hard mid-season rides. Lately it's been
    > triggered very much by high-rpm spin class intervals. If I crank the resistance way down and ride
    > normal pace, I can usually maintain.
    >
    > This is cramping (silly pun) my workouts. I most want to improve my aerobic capacity right now but
    > can't if the muscles refuse.
    >
    > What happens to muscles as we get older that might lead to this? And is it just a banana
    > defficiency?
    >
    > --
    > --
    > Lynn Wallace http://www.xmission.com/~lawall "I'm not proud. We really haven't done everything we
    > could to protect our customers. Our products just aren't engineered for security." --Microsoft VP
    > in charge of Windows OS Development, Brian Valentine.
     
  4. Raptor wrote:
    >
    > : This is cramping (silly pun) my workouts. I most want to improve my aerobic capacity right now
    > : but can't if the muscles refuse.
    >
    > : What happens to muscles as we get older that might lead to this? And is it just a banana
    > : defficiency?
    >
    Lindsay Rowlands wrote

    > I'm not making any claims for the final word on this - just my contribution. I've operated under
    > the assumption that muscle cramping was related to a deficiency in magnesium and bananas are a
    > ready source.

    I always thought the incidence of cramps could be reduced by eating more calcium. It seems to work
    for me. But it's probably an old wives' tale.
     
  5. Raptor

    Raptor Guest

    Theory on more cramping as we age: I've heard many times that we lose fast-twitch in favor of
    slow-twitch muscles. Since I keep asking my muscles to do fast-twitch activity, are the
    slow-twitchers objecting?

    --
    --
    Lynn Wallace http://www.xmission.com/~lawall "I'm not proud. We really haven't done everything we
    could to protect our customers. Our products just aren't engineered for security." --Microsoft VP in
    charge of Windows OS Development, Brian Valentine.
     
  6. Quinine water, (AKA Tonic, as in Gin and Tonic) is supposed to be helpful with this. I know several
    people who have a glass of Quinine water before bed to prevent cramps in the legs at night. HTH

    Ernie

    Raptor wrote:

    > My calves never used to cramp on me. Thighs yes, when I worked them brutally hard. Last few years
    > my calves have started cramping without warning, but only during rides/workouts.
     
  7. Tim McNamara

    Tim McNamara Guest

    Well, there is a medical problem known as claudication which causes pain the the legs on exertion-
    usually when walking.

    From http://familydoctor.org/handouts/008.html

    What is claudication?

    Claudication is pain in the calf or thigh muscle that occurs after you have walked a certain
    distance, such as a block or two. The pain stops after you rest for a while. Each time the pain
    occurs, it takes about the same amount of time for the pain to go away after you stop walking. If
    you notice pain in your legs after you walk a block or more, you may have claudication.

    What causes claudication?

    Claudication occurs because not enough blood is flowing to a muscle. The artery that normally
    supplies blood to the muscle gets narrow, and less blood can flow through the artery. When
    you're resting, enough blood flows to the muscle to meet the needs of the muscle. However, when
    you exercise (walk), the working muscle needs more blood and the narrowed artery may not let
    enough through.

    What causes the arteries to narrow?

    Atherosclerosis causes the arteries in the legs to become narrow. With atherosclerosis, fatty
    material builds up in the walls of the artery. This fatty material causes narrowing of the artery.
    Health conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol and cigarette smoking may
    cause you to have atherosclerosis.

    Who is at risk of getting claudication?

    Risk factors for claudication include high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, cigarette
    smoking and older age. Claudication is also more likely in people who already have atherosclerosis
    in other arteries in the body, such as the arteries in the heart or brain. People with claudication
    may have had a heart attack or stroke.

    How does my doctor know I have claudication?

    Your doctor will check the pulses in the arteries in your legs. He or she may use a stethoscope
    to listen to the sound of your blood going through your arteries. Your doctor may hear a noise in
    an artery, called a bruit, which may be a warning to your doctor that there is a narrow area in
    the artery.

    Are special tests helpful?

    Your doctor may order a test to check the blood flow in your leg. This test is often performed in a
    hospital lab.

    The test for checking the blood flow in your legs is called a Doppler study. With this test, blood
    pressure cuffs are wrapped around your arm and your leg on the same side. The kind of cuff put on
    your leg is the same kind of cuff that's wrapped around your arm when your blood pressure is
    measured. Four cuffs are wrapped around your leg--one at the upper thigh, one at the lower thigh,
    one at the upper calf and one at the ankle--to measure the blood pressure from the top of your leg
    to your ankle. A cuff is also wrapped around your upper arm to measure the blood pressure in your
    arm. The blood pressure in your arm is compared with the blood pressures in your leg. A drop in the
    blood pressure in your leg may mean narrowing of an artery.

    What other tests might be done?

    If surgery might help treat the symptoms of claudication, your doctor may recommend an
    arteriography. This is an x-ray taken after dye is put into an artery. The dye study may show
    narrowing in an artery and provides a "map" for the surgeon who will do the surgery.

    Can anything be done to treat the symptoms of claudication?

    Yes. There are 3 steps in treatment. First, change your lifestyle to reduce risk factors for
    claudication. If you smoke, it's very important to stop. It's also important to lower your
    cholesterol level and blood sugar level (if you have diabetes).

    An exercise program, such as walking or stair climbing, is also helpful. Begin exercising slowly and
    gradually increase the time you spend exercising. You may see improvement in your symptoms within 2
    months. To begin an exercise program, exercise each day for 30 to 60 minutes. If claudication (pain
    in your legs) occurs while you're exercising, stop and rest until the pain is gone, and then start
    to exercise again.

    Can medicine help claudication?

    Pentoxifylline (brand name: Trental) or cilostazol (brand name: Pletal) may help your claudication.
    Your doctor can tell you which one is right for you.
     
  8. David Storm

    David Storm Guest

    I've been cursed with bad cramps in quads, hamstrings and calves ever since I started long climbing
    rides, especially in summer months in 90-100 degree weather. I've never found a total cure, but I
    find they can be minimized by drinking lots of fluids during ride, popping mineral caps (Hammer)
    regularly during ride, and easing off a little when I feel a cramp coming (BUT not stop). Also I
    drink quinine water and V-8 the day before. You can see I try to cover all bases. Oh, yes and a
    banana at start of ride.

    "Raptor" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > My calves never used to cramp on me. Thighs yes, when I worked them brutally hard. Last few years
    > my calves have started cramping without warning, but only during rides/workouts. Worse during
    > Winter when I'm out of shape, but it still happens on long hard mid-season rides. Lately it's been
    > triggered very much by high-rpm spin class intervals. If I crank the resistance way down and ride
    > normal pace, I can usually maintain.
    >
    > This is cramping (silly pun) my workouts. I most want to improve my aerobic capacity right now but
    > can't if the muscles refuse.
    >
    > What happens to muscles as we get older that might lead to this? And is it just a banana
    > defficiency?
    >
    > --
    > --
    > Lynn Wallace http://www.xmission.com/~lawall "I'm not proud. We really haven't done everything we
    > could to protect our customers. Our products just aren't engineered for security." --Microsoft VP
    > in charge of Windows OS Development, Brian Valentine.
     
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