cramps

Discussion in 'Health Nutrition and Supplements' started by widgetr, Jul 19, 2010.

  1. widgetr

    widgetr New Member

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    for some reason this summer I have gotten cramps and I drink alot of water and gat...any suggestions...some one suggestions thanks
     
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  2. rparedes

    rparedes New Member

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    I never get cramps but 1 week ago i rode a 65 mile ride and got the worst upper leg cramps on the last couple of miles (very hot and humid day). it was so bad I had to stop and walk. Since then I've been reading a lot and it appears that it could be a combination of dehydration, lack of fitness, muscle tightness and, of course, muscle fatigue.
    Next time i will stretch well at rest stops and make sure i get plenty of sodium with my drinks.

    I don't know how far you're riding or how fit you are or what muscles are cramping or how much your liquid intake is, so it's hard to advice/comment in detail. On short rides (say... less than 30 miles) if you're cramping, even when well hydrated, it could be a bike fit issue or a fitness issue.
     
  3. Felt_Rider

    Felt_Rider Active Member

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  4. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    Interesting blogs mentioned above, but I'm not sure if I agree with it, not saying that I'm right and their not, just saying in my experience it doesn't fit.

    I think fatigue is part of the problem though as the blog site mentioned, along with lack of hydration. Also part of the problem is that if the seat is too high you can over extend your calf muscles and after repeated over extensions will cause the calf muscles to cramp up. An aspect that the blog site missed.

    Far one too many professional sports recognize the importance of electrolyte replacement to blow it off as entrenched myth.

    Personal experience; I never cramped until I moved to the desert area of California and had to ride in 90+ degree weather. I was doing all the right things and had been riding constantly for 15 years at least prior to that so I know it wasn't muscle fatigue. But why only the calf muscles and sometimes the thigh muscles? I don't know. I tried drinking more water, more Gatorade, eating bananas etc and nothing worked. It wasn't till I went to Action Sports in Bakersfield California (these folk fielded a couple of 4 person teams to race in the RAAM and the owner was one of the riders). The owner told me to start taking Stim-O-Stam; can't remember the dosages, but I started out taking several tabs then slowly reduced the dosage over a 3 week period to just a couple. The cramps went away. I knew others that had the same problems and when they took the same product, or others that were similar, their's too went away.

    So if the blog thinks their correct about this then why do people who experience cramping find relief when taking such products? I don't know anyone who never found relief from cramps after taking these type of products.

    I think some of the products are over priced, but Stim-O-Stam was the least expensive product I've ever found.

    The blog is interesting though and did touch on some key points, but I'm just not convinced their entirely correct.
     
  5. Felt_Rider

    Felt_Rider Active Member

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    The cool thing about web forums is that we get to share our opinions or thoughts, but I refrained from sharing my own thoughts and instead gave links written by two phd's and I am not totally sure I comprehend all that they wrote. I did not have time to go out and find other pubmed articles, but perhaps that would be a good place to start by doing a Google search for sport science documents.

    In haste I just posted links from a couple of guys that seem to study these things more deeply than me. There are other good studies stating that drinking too much water in heat may flush out electrolytes. So there do seem to be other valid views and even more so than these two issues.

    But the reason I did not write my own opinion is that there is belief based and evidence based. In this case I would not want to post my personal opinion because I have often suffered from cramps for what could be various reasons, but my individual experience does not make a good study.

    As a side note my belief of my experience with cramps have been more related to fatigue than electrolyte loss, but I can't say it is evidence based. It is just belief based and that will not make for positive results. Applying belief based remedies without evidence would be like treating a headache with cough syrup.

    Just a thought
     
  6. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    FWIW. Try CYTOMAX and/or other 'sports drinks' instead of Gatorade ...

    There may be no difference.
     
  7. serra

    serra New Member

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    I got a massive leg cramp about 30 minutes after a hard ride. For me, it was a combination of not enough water and electrolytes, as well as pushing myself too hard in the heat.
    Suggestion time! Take it a bit easier in the heat, bring pretzels or something else salty, and of course, as you said you did, drink lots of water.

    Felt_Rider: (I forgot to hit quote :eek:) I often value opinion and personal experience over studies and the like. Nothing beats first hand experience . The beauty of forums is that you can talk to real people, with real experience, rather than read some document anyone can find on Google.
     
  8. Felt_Rider

    Felt_Rider Active Member

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    Just to be clear I did not intend to come off as harsh against opinions. Froze stated his disagreement with the blog entries written by sport scientist, but there are other sport scientist that also disagree along with him concerning the blog links. As I stated I only linked a couple of the more common posted by two sport scientist.

    Typically behind a valid opinion rests evidence for the result. or something that effect :)
     
  9. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    And that's right, there is ample evidence that some...not all cramps are a result of deletion of electrolyte levels, this is why all high activity sports, people who work in hot environments, and people who are dehydrated need electrolytes. So I'm not sure how one blog can blow out an entire industry of sports etc that know electrolyte replacement works.

    So I didn't list any blogs or websites and that invalidates years and years of research and experience in the sporting industry. SO here's a few web sites to satisfy those that would rather believe one blog then masses of research.

    CYCLING PERFORMANCE TIPS -
    Solutions for cycling cramps
    Home Remedies for Leg Cramps, Muscle Cramps Diagnosis & Treatment
    Help with Running Cramps
    Read about muscle cramps (charley horse) causes, symptoms, and treatment on MedicineNet.com
    Muscle Cramps Causes, Cramping Prevention and Treatment Information by MedicineNet.com
    Muscle Spasms & Cramps: Nutritional causes, prevention, remedies & therapies

    I could go on and on and waste my time on something that is a tried and proven fact with hundreds of web sites but why bother, you either believe or not. If you really want to know then do your own research.

    Granted not all cramps are due to lack of electrolyte, there are other causes, but usually...though not all the time...when someone is complaining about cramps and their riding in 90+ degree weather, and they don't complain about at other times then probably they have low electrolyte levels. Even the web sites I gave suggested other situations that lead to cramping, so their not blind to cramping be caused by just low electrolyte levels. You need to follow simple guidelines, and instead of repeating them just read the sites.
     
  10. serra

    serra New Member

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    Hey I remembered to quote :p

    But yeah I got what you were saying, I wasn't intending to come of harsh about you coming off harsh against opinions, or something like that.

    Good point about opinions having evidence behind them.
     
  11. Felt_Rider

    Felt_Rider Active Member

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    On this topic I wanted to put down my observations, but as I posted earlier I restrained because when I wanted to write them down I had a hard time not starting my writing with "I believe." For me when I have trouble writing without using that phrase it may be best not to write, but to just add links to evidenced based articles.

    I like this phrase

    Link
    "If you haven't got good quality, unbiased proof that any of the components to getting results work, then you're depending on belief to carry you through. Don't get me wrong, belief is a strong force."

    The article is in the context of supplements, but the author is very focused on staying with the evidence.

    Now one has to be careful because there used to be a lot of studies on carb loading, but there are later studies that carb loading is not effective. The links I provided were from two phd's thinking that too much emphasis is put purely on electrolytes and not enough on fatigue. Electrolyte and hydration will always play an important role because it is part of the equation, but perhaps researchers are starting to look at fatigue playing a very important role and like carb loading the ship is turning on the ongoing saga of cramping.

    I have seen some other studies from other researchers as of late also stating that fatigue may be the more prevalent factor in cramps.
     
  12. cyberlegend1994

    cyberlegend1994 Moderator

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    Powerade Zero FTW. No sugar - sweetened with Splenda instead, sugar tends to inhibit re-hydration.
     
  13. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    I've never seen too much emphasis on either, so not sure what your talking about. All I've ever seen was a balance veiwpoint.
     
  14. bigwillie013

    bigwillie013 New Member

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    If I may give my n=1 experience on this topic:
    I suffered from cramps almost all of this year. I had gone from 10.000km per annum to approx 15.000 and that's when the issue started getting to me. It wasn't t to be put against heat or fatigue and also not the lack of fluid supllies as it happened at cold days as well and at times in races when I should not have been fatigued yet. After going to search some info from a pharmacy they proposed to use mineral tablets for my training rides.
    While I believed they were trying to sell that stuff regardless of the necessity I still gave it a try (doesn't cost the world with € 12 for a 3 weeks dose). Guess what - it worked. The severe cramping issue really went away. I had stuck with PowerBar energy drinks only for my rides and didn't care about minerals as I'm living a very healthy diet but obviously this diet did still not replenish my mineral tanks enough with all my hard and intense training. I had also tried the Salt Sticks with only little success.
    Since then my power in longer rides is more consistent and the feeling that I can indeed keep on pushing hard without the fear of cramps again is well outweighing the price of that stuff.
    As I don't think it's this specific make but minerals overall I won't post the name of the product so I won't come over as marketing something I might have interest in.

    As said, just my n=1 experience.
    Try it. If it works, fine. If not - go and try the next thing. Keep on doing that and in the end you'll find what it is for YOU!
     
  15. TKOS

    TKOS New Member

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    Don't forget that proper hydration requires drinking fluids all the time, not just during the rides. You must maintain proper hydration throughout the day. If you start dehydrated, you'll never get hydrated during the ride.

    I personally manage with Gatorade and water and a cliff bar on my rides. For me Gatorade is cheap and seems to work. Maybe you need something different.
     
  16. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    Do you drink water that has been filtered by a process called reverse osmosis?
     
  17. bigwillie013

    bigwillie013 New Member

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    Nope, just plain tap water, no filtering.
    And as far as I see it I simply reached a point with my increrased training load where my normal daily hydration and diet didn't provide enough nutrients/minerals anymore so I had to use supplements. And for sure I have to drink enough in the course of the day. This is part of my "healthy living" and something that my wife is especially after!
    As far as Gatorade is concerned: I don't even know what's in it. Never used it and never looked at the ingredients. Maybe this would help me as well.
     
  18. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    Gatorade has been used for years to replace electrolytes lost while sweating or by the flu, so it's good stuff, but for some reason the powdered gator is the best. Try the min tablets the pharmacy suggested on top of the Gator and see how your body responds.

    By the way, a full glass of Gatorade should be drank at full strength about 45 minutes before a ride, during the ride it should be diluted 50%, immediately after the ride (especially long rides) drink another full glass at full strength.
     
  19. death valley 69

    death valley 69 New Member

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    I used to get bad full leg cramp when playing aussie rules football, usually setting in at 3/4 time.Anyway,the club chiro got me to take cal/mag tablets and I never looked back! cheers.
     
  20. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    That's why I use to take Stim-O-Stam because I too got cramps when I moved to the desert area of California and found myself getting cramps while riding when it was hot. Stim-O-Stam worked great. Now that I no longer live in the desert I haven't had the need for the pills.
     
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