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  1. #1
    Yen
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    Tonic water w/quinine for cramping muscles after a long hard ride

    I have been working out a lot at the fitness center but have slacked off on long endurance rides due to other weekend obligations. My most recent long ride was the standard 40-mile ride with our group, but those rides have been fewer and further between. I haven't done any spin classes for at least a month.

    We are planning the upcoming trip back to GWS this summer with some of our group members who want (I think) to ride the entire distance to Apsen. I knew I needed to start training, and fast. So, I [very reluctantly] chose to participate yesterday in a group ride to the beach --- 68 miles round trip.

    Long story short..... I finished the ride in a state of total exhaustion -- completely drained. I was not bonking --- I ate and drank plenty, and the weather was cool most of the time. But when I finished, my body was sore from head-to-toe, and my quads were cramping. If I stopped moving, they seized up and almost forced me to continue stretching and moving. I dreaded the ride home in the truck.

    One of the riders recommended tonic water w/quinine for cramps. So, after packing the bikes and gear in the truck, we headed for the nearest market. We immediately began guzzling before we left the parking lot. Within about 10 minutes, I drank about 1-2 cups.

    Within 15 minutes, I noticed a BIG difference in the soreness and cramping in my legs. We stopped for dinner, and by the time we got home the cramping was gone. I still felt totally exhausted, and headed for the shower. I did a little stretching. I took NO aspirin, Advil, or any other OTC pill. I was ready for bed at 7:30 and slept like a baby all night. I experienced no cramping during the night.

    This morning, by body still feels exhausted, and a little sore just about everywhere (like after a good work-out). What hurts most are my sit bones!! (This ride is probably the last on the stock saddle.) But, amazingly, my quads are the least of my pain this morning. Due to my overall fatigue, and delayed heart rate recovery last night, I'll probably take the next few days off.

    A bottle of tonic water w/quinine is probably a good idea to keep in the fridge for post-ride recovery when you're legs are cramping. Or, take it in a cooler to drink (and share) immediately after the ride if you're away from home.

    I am embarrassed to say that this remedy was shared in a thread I started here 3 years ago, but I never tried it until someone mentioned it yesterday.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member BengeBoy's Avatar
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    Yen, let me be the first to say 2 things:

    1. Welcome back!

    2. Personally, I can't drink tonic water without a special flavoring called "gin."

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    HI, I bit and Goggled it and found that one of the waters still contain quinine while many donot contain enought to really effect anything.
    Water is a big Plus
    Quinine water may ease cramping and relax muscles.
    ((
    Quinine has been used for some years for the relief of leg cramps, a problem that affects many people while sleeping at night. In 2006, the Food and Drug Administration banned drugs that contain quinine, except for the anti-malaria drug qualaquin. Consumers still seeking relief for leg cramps can find quinine in several brands of tonic water, including Schweppes. The quinine helps relax leg muscles.


    Read more: Quinine in Tonic Water & Leg Pain | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/about_5410988_qu...#ixzz0s554myMu


    so you may be on to something should have bought some after my time trial whew that was real leg pain...
    Doug

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    Yen
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    Thank you, Benge.

    Whether or not the tonic water we bought contains enough of the quinine, I know that whatever I drank made a difference. I ate and drank plenty of plain water (1 bottle contained a little O.J.) during and immediately after the ride, and stretched plenty. But within minutes after drinking the tonic water w/quinine, the cramping was GONE. I wouldn't drink a lot of it, or often, but I'll keep it as a remedy for leg cramping after a really difficult ride. I'm a believer! (I'm also a believer in the placebo effect but I don't think that applies in this case.)
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    Senior Member NealH's Avatar
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    I've heard or read about Quinine but, never tried it. Advil works great for me after a hard ride. I'll stick with it.

  6. #6
    Animated Member ahsposo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BengeBoy View Post
    Yen, let me be the first to say 2 things:

    1. Welcome back!

    2. Personally, I can't drink tonic water without a special flavoring called "gin."
    Amen, brother. Cut me a wedge of lime...
    Quote Originally Posted by toddles View Post
    If I gotta look up words, it's not worth my time.

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    Just two words - Pickle juice!

    P.S. In a quick fix mustard works too.

  8. #8
    Yen
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    Heart_Rate: Another member mentioned pickle juice yesterday. May try that next time to avoid any potential risks of quinine. Thanks!
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    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    My doctor recommended tonic water because of quinine but I dislike the taste. A better option for me is an over the counter drug called Leg Cramps. It has quinine and works super.
    Ride your Ride!!

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    Road Nazi Hunter Donegal's Avatar
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    Cramping can be beat

    After a hard ride 50-100mi. I found that 2 beers, expedite leg recovery as well as prevent any cramping. Instead of limping around tomorrow, you will be walking around fine, not even stiff. I believe it's the folic acid. Read last year's Bicycling mags description of Beer, the next sports drink. I have made believers of many of my friends, try it, you';ll like it.
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    Banned. The Weak Link's Avatar
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    Wow. Just pulled up the data on quinine in our information, and it's scary. You can reference a very scary pdf at http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Drugs/D.../UCM192698.pdf.

    But whatever works. Benadryl 25 mg. at bedtime works just fine, although it might take you a moment or two longer to wake up in the morning.

    If you lived in Kentucky, you would take apple cider vinegar. Apple cider vinegar works for just about everything as I understand it. I might start taking it myself

  12. #12
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    Timely thread, I just spent the weekend with a dear friend, a rather well know vascular surgeon. He and I rode a hard 60 miles and when we got back to his home he started downing tonic water just for this reason. Now me - I can't down tonic water unless it is well laced with gin.
    "Of all the things I ever lost I miss my mind the most." Mark Twain
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  13. #13
    Senior Member sherbornpeddler's Avatar
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    quinine is bogus as it is too dilute. Tomaot juice, grapes and cider or cider vinegar. potssium isn't in useful amounts in bananas or a gin and tonic.
    Life is like riding a bicycle. In order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. ~Albert Einstein

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    Animated Member ahsposo's Avatar
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    There was a folk medicine book very popular in the 60s that touted the benefits of cider vinegar and honey. Probably a little something to it. I wonder if it has to do with the acid it brings. A lot of "preventatives" have a acid component. Grapefruit and cranberry come to mind.

    Quinine was originally derived from the bark of a Peruvian tree. I read the Aubrey/Maturin stories by Patrick O'Brian (the movie Master and Commander was inspired by this series) and the the most excellent physician Maturin would prescribe Jesuit's Bark (evidentially missionaries brought it back to the Old World) for any number of fevers. This led to a pun later in the series where the most able Captain noted that a Jesuit's Bark was worse than his bite...
    Quote Originally Posted by toddles View Post
    If I gotta look up words, it's not worth my time.

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    Animated Member ahsposo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sherbornpeddler View Post
    quinine is bogus as it is too dilute. Tomaot juice, grapes and cider or cider vinegar. potssium isn't in useful amounts in bananas or a gin and tonic.
    So what do you suggest?
    Quote Originally Posted by toddles View Post
    If I gotta look up words, it's not worth my time.

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    Animated Member ahsposo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclinfool View Post
    I can't down tonic water unless it is well laced with gin.
    I was inspired to run down to the Piggly Wiggly and buy some Canada Dry (contains quinine) Tonic Water and lace it with Tito's Vodka. A most excellent mix! I can tell you I have no cramps right now.
    Quote Originally Posted by toddles View Post
    If I gotta look up words, it's not worth my time.

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    Quinine therapeutic dose as a malarial treatment is two 324 mg tablets every 8 hrs for 7 days- about 1944 mg/day. The amount of quinine in tonic water is about 80 mg/l. So half a liter of tonic water is about 2 % of a malarial treatment dose. Quinine does have some side effects - one to be especially cautious of - it causes your pancreas to excrete insulin - so quinine may cause hypoglycemia - special caution if you are a diabetic or pregnant.
    I've used quinine for leg cramps, in addition I take a 100 mg potassium tablet; this combination helps me.
    Your results may vary. Potassium tablets are in the vitamin section of most larger grocery or drug stores.
    ride long & prosper

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    Ridin' South Cackalacky dahut's Avatar
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    I personally like tonic water, with or without gin. Im glad this came up.
    "Watch out for giants; they are boorish fools with tongues wagging, drunk upon their own words.
    They will try to teach you a lesson if given the chance, and you will stumble over their stinking feet."

  19. #19
    Senior Member CrankyFranky's Avatar
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    A slight aside, I know... but some time ago my opthamologist recommended tonic water to abolish an eye muscle tic. It did.
    I developed a taste for tonic water with a dash of OJ in it - tastes like bitter grapefruit.
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    Senior Member donheff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Weak Link View Post
    If you lived in Kentucky, you would take apple cider vinegar. Apple cider vinegar works for just about everything as I understand it. I might start taking it myself
    Yeah, I read about cider vinegar with "the mother" of vinegar in it. Supposed to cure everything under the sun. I read about it for problems with constant throat clearing from post nasal drip. Interestingly it seemed to work - probably a placebo effect but who cares? I'm not sure what "the mother" is -- some sort of natural enzymes I guess but it is supposedly important that you get the kind that has it.
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  21. #21
    Banned. The Weak Link's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by martianone View Post
    Quinine therapeutic dose as a malarial treatment is two 324 mg tablets every 8 hrs for 7 days- about 1944 mg/day. The amount of quinine in tonic water is about 80 mg/l. So half a liter of tonic water is about 2 % of a malarial treatment dose.
    Are the serious side-effects of quinine idiosyncratic or dose-related?

  22. #22
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donegal View Post
    After a hard ride 50-100mi. I found that 2 beers, expedite leg recovery as well as prevent any cramping. Instead of limping around tomorrow, you will be walking around fine, not even stiff. I believe it's the folic acid. Read last year's Bicycling mags description of Beer, the next sports drink. I have made believers of many of my friends, try it, you';ll like it.
    I like this idea best, even if it turns out to be bogus. Don and I did extensive research on this with Terrapin Rye Pale Ale a few years ago, but I can't remember what we concluded.
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  23. #23
    Banned. The Weak Link's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BluesDawg View Post
    I like this idea best, even if it turns out to be bogus. Don and I did extensive research on this with Terrapin Rye Pale Ale a few years ago, but I can't remember what we concluded.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yen View Post
    Heart_Rate: Another member mentioned pickle juice yesterday. May try that next time to avoid any potential risks of quinine. Thanks!
    Just be sure not to drink too much otherwise you'll start retaining water due to excessive sodium. Been there done that. A little swig does just fine!

  25. #25
    Senior Member sherbornpeddler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ahsposo View Post
    So what do you suggest?
    from the gov. web site http://www.health.gov/dietaryguideli...s/OAfruits.pdf:
    Sources of potassium
    Baked white or sweet potatoes, cooked greens (such as spinach), and winter (orange) squash,Bananas, plantains, many dried fruits, oranges and orange juice, cantaloupe, and honeydew melons, Cooked dry beans and soybeans Tomato products, Beet greens

    I just now finished 67 miles in 90F heat and drank a spicy V8, grapes and will drink a liter of water with apple cider and hiney. I'm not sure if this last drink helps but I like it.
    I gotta go stretch now!

    BTW, tonic water is useless. From a Harvard Medical web site: http://www.health.harvard.edu/fhg/up...ate0105a.shtml
    "The very small amount of quinine in tonic water (about 15 milligrams per 8 ounces) is low enough not to pose a danger, but probably too low to offer any benefit. "

    I am in agreement gin and tonic is nice but I believe all alcoholic beverages are counter productive in preventing cramps or aiding recovery.

    Life is like riding a bicycle. In order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. ~Albert Einstein

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