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Training & Nutrition Learn how to develop a training schedule that's good for you. What should you eat and drink on your ride? Learn everything you need to know about training and nutrition here.

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Old 01-18-06, 09:22 AM   #1
ibrown
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How to ward away cramps??

I regularly get cramps- during a ride, after a ride, in the middle of the night... Mostly in my hamstrings and sometimes in my calves.

Beside just getting in better shape, how do I keep those nasty devils away?
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Old 01-18-06, 09:37 AM   #2
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Make sure that you are getting enough potassium in your diet. Discuss this with your doctor and he/she may suggest that you get a blood test to check your blood level potassium and if it is low may even suggest that you get a prescription potassium supplement such as Slow-K. Over-the-counter potassium supplements will have little effect since they contain such small amounts.
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Old 01-18-06, 10:02 AM   #3
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I agree with lillypad

I would also add foods that are high in potassium - bananas, dates, figs. My favorite shake that I make is 2 frozen bananas, some soy milk, and protein powder. This usually takes care of my muscle cramps

and check to make sure you are properly hydrated

and try scheduling a deep tissue massage

Sandy
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Old 01-18-06, 11:40 AM   #4
WarrenG
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Magnesium is equally important and it's fairly difficult to get even the RDA in most diets. Magnesium glycinate is an excellent source of magnesium-one that is well-absorbed and without gastrointestinal problems. "KAL" is one brand of it.
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Old 01-18-06, 12:01 PM   #5
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If you're cramping up on the rides, be sure you're replenishing your electrolytes that are sweated away... Stretch before and after the rides. Use easier gears, mash less, spin more.

Last edited by DannoXYZ; 01-18-06 at 04:00 PM.
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Old 01-18-06, 12:27 PM   #6
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Can't add any remedies to what has already been given. I can tell you one of the best tricks that I have ever learned about how to deal with a cramp once you get it.

I was playing in a soccer match one time and flopped down with a psychotic calf cramp. A physician who happened to do a lot of work with the Dallas Cowboys was one of parents. He walked up, pinched my nose tightly between his thumb and forefinger right across the nostrils (like you would if you wanted to pinch your nose closed before a feet first cliff dive) and said, "Now relax your body and breathe through your mouth." In a few seconds, the cramp gently released and didn't come back. There was also a whole lot less pain afterwards than I remembered from other ones.

This accupressure technique is especially good at night when you wake up with a cramp or better yet want to fight one off. Once you get the hang of it, you can do it without much fanfare and go right back to sleep.

I take some meds for an inner ear condition that causes me to cramp up at times. So I get a lot of practice. This technique works great. I have used it on the bike many times to get a muscle to settle down. There is a moutain bike club up towards Crested Butte who I showed it to when I found about half of them cramped up and sprawled just below the summit of a climb. They still think it's the most amazing thing that they have ever seen.
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Old 01-19-06, 12:48 PM   #7
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Thanks for all the ideas!! I'll try them all out.
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Old 01-23-06, 06:26 PM   #8
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Actually its a combination of all the above, but a huge instigator of cramping is lack of sodium. Next time you go to a fast food place, grab a few extra salt packets. When you start to cramp rip a pack of salt open and shake it into your mouth and chase it with a drink... or dump 1/4" teaspoon of salt (preferably Morton lite salt, its made with sodium and potassium) in your drink.

It will make a difference... it will give it a try.
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Old 01-23-06, 07:47 PM   #9
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Magnesium/calcium

I use the liquid form, absorbs better. Comes with vit D also.
Completly removed cramps i got at night in my calves. Also helps me sleep.

As a side note, using fitday.com for months, cal/mag were the 2 it showed i lacked the most also. That and zinc.

Dunno about sodium, with the amount of salt thats over put into all the food these days I cant see that i was lacking sodium.
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Old 01-23-06, 10:05 PM   #10
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When I used to ride a bit, I'd get them a lot especially at night. I started drinking more water and it really helped (although i had to pee at night, but atleast i wasnt writhing in pain). I think stretching is very underestimated in dealing w/ cramps.
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Old 01-24-06, 08:29 AM   #11
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After trying almost everything on the market I found a new product specifically designed for the heat which means it has a very high electrolyte content. It is designed by the former Medical Director of the Eastern Canadian Ironman and the Subaru Series Ironman events. It has a blend of 5 electrolytes to replenish you with the same rates and ratios that you are losing them at. At the same time it has no artificial ingredients and uses dextrose as the primary carb (this is what they use in oral hydration solutions in hospitals). Dextrose is the most efficient carb to prevent bonking, is the most efficient for facilitate electrolyte absorption, and is the easiest and quickest on your system to be processed. This product also is 35x lower in acid than Gatorade and has a natural lactic buffer (to reduce muscle burn). To top it off, the maker guarantees it (you will not cramp, bonk or get an upset stomach, or your money back)! www.eload.net I have now been using it for 3 years with phenominal results.
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