I started mountain biking about 15 years ago. I have been road cycling for the past 2 years. I noticed long ago that I tend to cramp more than my peers. Mostly in my quads, but occasionally in my calfs, inner thighs and some times forarms and hands. Some of why I cramp is obvious. I cramp more when I was less fit. I cramp more when I am less well hydrated. I notice that, even a single cup of coffee can leed to cramps. Last weekend I was doing a century race and cramped so badly I crrashed and the cramping started at about mile 45. This is very strange b/c I routinely ride much longer and harder without crmaping at all.
1)how should i be hydrating before, during and after a ride?
2)is there something else i can do to lower my likelyhood of cramping?
3)does stretching help?
4)any good books on the topic?
5)any hydrating drinks, powders or supplments you would suggest?
6)anyone out there overcome cramps?
7)any other suggestions??
8)any foods i should avoid?
thanks for any info