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leg cramps

Old 04-28-21, 02:39 PM
  #26  
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While riding a 200k in northern New Mexico (Strava link) I've had both quads simultaneously spasm HARD during a big day of fast riding and a fair amount of climbing behind two other riders who were much stronger and much lighter than I, so I spent too much time putting out big efforts trying to not get dropped and didn't focus on my hydration like I knew I should have. Once it happened, I stopped and unclipped, but then I couldn't get off the bike since both legs were soooo locked up and in excruciating pain, that I had to let myself fall over onto the ground gracefully and I just laid there for 30 minutes watching my muscles writhe and twitch while the other riders went up Capulin Volcano without me (though they got rained out and couldn't make it to the top, which made me feel a little less bad about not attempting it). I learned a life lesson about hydration that day, that's for sure.
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Old 04-28-21, 02:39 PM
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If I do nothing other than stand on the cramping leg, the cramp will last about 75 seconds. If I drink pickle juice, eat mustard or whatever, it miraculously goes away after about a minute and a quarter.

I'm not going to link again to all of the literature that says cramps have nothing to do with electrolytes.
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Old 04-28-21, 02:39 PM
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Originally Posted by cjenrick View Post
use Morton Lite salt instead of regular salt.

Regular Salt: 590 grams of sodium per serving

Morton Lite: 290 grams of sodium 350 grams potassium.

and you can use it for DIY gatorade.
I wonder why they call it "Lite" salt, since Potassium has a higher atomic weight? Wouldn't that make it heavier, on a molar basis?
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Old 04-28-21, 02:50 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by genejockey View Post
I wonder why they call it "Lite" salt, since Potassium has a higher atomic weight? Wouldn't that make it heavier, on a molar basis?

And then there's the whole "tastes like crap" issue.
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Old 04-28-21, 02:58 PM
  #30  
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Camps are basically voodoo witchcraft anyway...which is why there's so many "cures" out there.

Some research, if you're so inclined.

Exercised-Associated Muscle Cramps = EAMC

Hydration likely not a factor:
Early studies, which did not directly measure hydration in workers and fireman experiencing cramps, treated study participants with fluids and electrolytes to manage muscle cramps. However, more recent studies, which have estimated measures of blood volume and plasma volume, do not support the hypothesis of a direct relationship between dehydration and EAMC.
Schwellnus, M.P., Derman, E.W., and Noakes, T.D. (1997). Aetology of skeletal muscle 'cramps' during exercise: A novel hypothesis. Journal of Sports Science, 15(3), 277-285.

https://www.unm.edu/~lkravitz/Extras7/CrampsFig1.gif

THE EFFECT OF 5% HYPOHYDRATION ON MUSCLE CRAMP THRESHOLD FREQUENCY (https://library.ndsu.edu/ir/bitstrea...=1&isAllowed=y)

More Hydration Research
Serum electrolyte concentrations and hydration status are not associated with exercise associated muscle cramping (EAMC) in distance runners (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1724901/)
"There are no clinically significant alterations in serum electrolyte concentrations and there is no alteration in hydration status in runners with EAMC participating in an ultra-distance race"

Review finds painfully few surefire treatments for muscle cramps (https://med.stanford.edu/news/all-ne...le-cramps.html)
"There is no solid formal evidence that either drinking water (tonic or otherwise) or stretching, two frequently cited non-drug approaches to reducing muscle cramps, effectively counters them. Still, neither method is likely to cause much harm if practiced in moderation. Other muscle-cramp treatments reviewed in this study include vitamin B complex, calcium-channel blocking agents often prescribed for hypertension, and anti-epileptic drugs. But the investigators concluded that more research is needed to assess the efficacy of these alternatives. “The relative lack of data on many of these compounds came as a surprise."

Banananananana's
“People are often told by their mates ‘you need to eat bananas because you need potassium’. “For starters, bananas don’t have tons of potassium in them. And even if they had, that’s probably not going to be the likely scenario, because being deficient in potassium is quite a serious condition. “Ironically, it may cause cramps; potassium is the counterbalancing electrolyte to sodium in fluid balance. But most people aren’t walking round with a severe potassium deficiency, if they were they’d be hospitalized.”

The scientific evidence of a neuromuscular theory is mounting (Giuriato, G., Pedrinolla, A., Schena, F., and Venturelli, M. (2018). Muscle cramps: a comparison of the two-leading hypothesis. Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology. 41: 89-95.). The research appears to show that in some incidences, fatigued muscle is unable to fully relax. This condition leads to the imbalance of excitatory signals in relation to inhibitory messages to the muscle. Thus, current research findings appear to suggest that the central origin theory is the primary mechanism responsible for the muscle cramp.

My wife has used pickle juice a few times to get over cramps, I've not found anything that works other than being in better "condition" seems to eliminate cramping in my case. The more hard efforts I've done "in training" the less cramping I experience when doing harder efforts outside.

Last edited by aplcr0331; 04-28-21 at 03:12 PM.
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Old 04-28-21, 06:52 PM
  #31  
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I’ve tried the Acupinch method for relieving cramps over the past 20 years........with 0% success. Maybe it’ll work for some of you.

acupinch
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Old 04-29-21, 07:49 AM
  #32  
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i know you think I was kidding about lavender oil but it really does relieve the cramp with in a minute,however I usually do stand up straight and use profanities so it might be a combination of all these suggested remedies seriously. I havn't tried pickle juice yet or mustard but I'll give it a go. And you are right I did ride over twice my normal ride that day but it was through the farm flats and my normal rides are in the hilly above the valley so it wasn't much more difficult. I'm really amazed how sympathetic everyone is, I really expected more laughter like my wife does! I usually have to scream SHUT UP!! to get her to stop haha!
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Old 04-29-21, 08:40 AM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by aplcr0331 View Post
Camps are basically voodoo witchcraft anyway...which is why there's so many "cures" out there.

Some research, if you're so inclined.

Exercised-Associated Muscle Cramps = EAMC

Hydration likely not a factor:
Early studies, which did not directly measure hydration in workers and fireman experiencing cramps, treated study participants with fluids and electrolytes to manage muscle cramps. However, more recent studies, which have estimated measures of blood volume and plasma volume, do not support the hypothesis of a direct relationship between dehydration and EAMC.
Schwellnus, M.P., Derman, E.W., and Noakes, T.D. (1997). Aetology of skeletal muscle 'cramps' during exercise: A novel hypothesis. Journal of Sports Science, 15(3), 277-285.

https://www.unm.edu/~lkravitz/Extras7/CrampsFig1.gif

THE EFFECT OF 5% HYPOHYDRATION ON MUSCLE CRAMP THRESHOLD FREQUENCY (https://library.ndsu.edu/ir/bitstrea...=1&isAllowed=y)

More Hydration Research
Serum electrolyte concentrations and hydration status are not associated with exercise associated muscle cramping (EAMC) in distance runners (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1724901/)
"There are no clinically significant alterations in serum electrolyte concentrations and there is no alteration in hydration status in runners with EAMC participating in an ultra-distance race"

Review finds painfully few surefire treatments for muscle cramps (https://med.stanford.edu/news/all-ne...le-cramps.html)
"There is no solid formal evidence that either drinking water (tonic or otherwise) or stretching, two frequently cited non-drug approaches to reducing muscle cramps, effectively counters them. Still, neither method is likely to cause much harm if practiced in moderation. Other muscle-cramp treatments reviewed in this study include vitamin B complex, calcium-channel blocking agents often prescribed for hypertension, and anti-epileptic drugs. But the investigators concluded that more research is needed to assess the efficacy of these alternatives. “The relative lack of data on many of these compounds came as a surprise."

Banananananana's
“People are often told by their mates ‘you need to eat bananas because you need potassium’. “For starters, bananas don’t have tons of potassium in them. And even if they had, that’s probably not going to be the likely scenario, because being deficient in potassium is quite a serious condition. “Ironically, it may cause cramps; potassium is the counterbalancing electrolyte to sodium in fluid balance. But most people aren’t walking round with a severe potassium deficiency, if they were they’d be hospitalized.”

The scientific evidence of a neuromuscular theory is mounting (Giuriato, G., Pedrinolla, A., Schena, F., and Venturelli, M. (2018). Muscle cramps: a comparison of the two-leading hypothesis. Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology. 41: 89-95.). The research appears to show that in some incidences, fatigued muscle is unable to fully relax. This condition leads to the imbalance of excitatory signals in relation to inhibitory messages to the muscle. Thus, current research findings appear to suggest that the central origin theory is the primary mechanism responsible for the muscle cramp.

My wife has used pickle juice a few times to get over cramps, I've not found anything that works other than being in better "condition" seems to eliminate cramping in my case. The more hard efforts I've done "in training" the less cramping I experience when doing harder efforts outside.

People can't even agree on lack of which electrolyte is supposed to be the cause (magnesium was a popular candidate on BF for a while), but the whole electrolyte thing doesn't make any sense. A cramp is usually a very localized phenomenon, generally only happening to only one muscle at a time, and for a very limited duration. Electrolyte deficiency is a very serious system-wide health issue--if it were causing cramps, why would it be one muscle at a time, and for such a limited duration?

The reason there's so many "remedies" is very simple. Generally, no matter what you do, the cramp is going to go away in a matter of seconds or minutes, so it's ripe territory for the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy.

I'm with you, I generally only get cramps when I'm ramping up my activity level.
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Old 04-29-21, 08:43 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by Mark Dominck View Post
i know you think I was kidding about lavender oil but it really does relieve the cramp with in a minute,however I usually do stand up straight and use profanities so it might be a combination of all these suggested remedies seriously. I havn't tried pickle juice yet or mustard but I'll give it a go. And you are right I did ride over twice my normal ride that day but it was through the farm flats and my normal rides are in the hilly above the valley so it wasn't much more difficult. I'm really amazed how sympathetic everyone is, I really expected more laughter like my wife does! I usually have to scream SHUT UP!! to get her to stop haha!

Laughing at someone who's having a cramp doesn't strike me as a good idea unless you want the stream of profanities to be aimed at you.
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Old 04-29-21, 08:54 AM
  #35  
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Cramps are 90% half mental. The other half is physical. I think it's clear that I usually have cramps when I exert myself too much or for too long. Heat makes things worse because it reduces muscular capacity. That's why cramps usually happen in the spring, before you train enough in the heat to build up your muscles to withstand it. The problem that leaves is how to get back to the finish once you start cramping? I have high blood pressure so salts are bad. Also, potassium is corrosive, so most electrolyte pills can cause gastric distress if you use too many. I found that just the act of taking one will immediately cause a cramp to go away in most cases, so I started just putting one in my mouth. And that works, until the casing explodes and you end up with a big mouth ulcer. So I spit them out once they start to feel soft. I thoughts about making something that I don't have to ingest or worry about exploding in my mouth, but haven't gotten around to experimenting yet.
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Old 04-29-21, 08:54 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by Mark Dominck View Post
i know you think I was kidding about lavender oil but it really does relieve the cramp with in a minute,however I usually do stand up straight and use profanities so it might be a combination of all these suggested remedies seriously. I havn't tried pickle juice yet or mustard but I'll give it a go. And you are right I did ride over twice my normal ride that day but it was through the farm flats and my normal rides are in the hilly above the valley so it wasn't much more difficult. I'm really amazed how sympathetic everyone is, I really expected more laughter like my wife does! I usually have to scream SHUT UP!! to get her to stop haha!
I scream "SHUT UP" to my wife all the time, she don't listen! Maybe if I applied lavender oil to her ears she "might" listen...nah, I'll just stick a pickle in my mouth and forget it.
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Old 04-29-21, 09:47 AM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by Mark Dominck View Post
...I'm really amazed how sympathetic everyone is, I really expected more laughter like my wife does! ...
Well, I'm too busy laughing at Riveting, laying on the side of the road for 30 minutes, watching the muscles twitch.

Originally Posted by Riveting View Post
While riding a 200k in northern New Mexico (Strava link) I've had both quads simultaneously spasm HARD during a big day of fast riding and a fair amount of climbing behind two other riders who were much stronger and much lighter than I, so I spent too much time putting out big efforts trying to not get dropped and didn't focus on my hydration like I knew I should have. Once it happened, I stopped and unclipped, but then I couldn't get off the bike since both legs were soooo locked up and in excruciating pain, that I had to let myself fall over onto the ground gracefully and I just laid there for 30 minutes watching my muscles writhe and twitch while the other riders went up Capulin Volcano without me (though they got rained out and couldn't make it to the top, which made me feel a little less bad about not attempting it). I learned a life lesson about hydration that day, that's for sure.
It's a sympathetic laugh, really. Just a great image of the helplessness you feel when a cramp hits like that.

First ride today in a long time. Gonna go drink some water, thanks.
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Old 04-29-21, 11:05 AM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
Laughing at someone who's having a cramp doesn't strike me as a good idea unless you want the stream of profanities to be aimed at you.
Yeah, but it's unlikely they'd be able to chase you down and hurt you physically, what with the leg cramp and all.
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Old 04-29-21, 12:43 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by genejockey View Post
Yeah, but it's unlikely they'd be able to chase you down and hurt you physically, what with the leg cramp and all.
Keep in mind that they'll remember it when it's your turn to have the cramp.
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Old 04-29-21, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
Cramps are 90% half mental. The other half is physical. I think it's clear that I usually have cramps when I exert myself too much or for too long. Heat makes things worse because it reduces muscular capacity. That's why cramps usually happen in the spring, before you train enough in the heat to build up your muscles to withstand it. The problem that leaves is how to get back to the finish once you start cramping? I have high blood pressure so salts are bad. Also, potassium is corrosive, so most electrolyte pills can cause gastric distress if you use too many. I found that just the act of taking one will immediately cause a cramp to go away in most cases, so I started just putting one in my mouth. And that works, until the casing explodes and you end up with a big mouth ulcer. So I spit them out once they start to feel soft. I thoughts about making something that I don't have to ingest or worry about exploding in my mouth, but haven't gotten around to experimenting yet.
Have you considered eating a Tic Tac instead of a pill?
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Old 04-29-21, 02:39 PM
  #41  
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Woke up at 5:30 this morning with a cramped calf muscle that was excrutiating. Felt like a solid lump in the calf.

Out of pure desperation I looked for pickles to try the pickle juice option - all I had was sauerkraut. Worked almost instantly much to my relief. The cramp was gone before I got back to bed

I'm guessing the magic is the vinegar: it's the common ingredient between pickle juice, sauerkraut juice and the mustard mentioned above.

Not sure if the magic is anything other than confusing the brain.

I don't even care - I'm just super happy that it worked, and worked so fast.
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Old 04-29-21, 02:50 PM
  #42  
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This works Good w two swigs
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Old 04-29-21, 03:23 PM
  #43  
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If you find cramps creeping up on you when you ride, there's a possibility that you lack potassium.
Eat more bananas, potatoes, sweet potatoes and mushrooms! Though, I personally tried applying coconut oil and it works.
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Old 04-29-21, 06:53 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by Hericann View Post
If you find cramps creeping up on you when you ride, there's a possibility that you lack potassium.
Eat more bananas, potatoes, sweet potatoes and mushrooms! Though, I personally tried applying coconut oil and it works.
For some unknown reason, bananas don't do a darn thing for me, not sure about potatoes, but mushrooms don't work either for me either. I find I cramp more when I try spinning at a higher 80 plus RPMs, figure that one out. When I pedal past the 80's and I feel a cramp coming on, which usually takes about an hour, then I slow the cadience down but shift into a harder gear to maintain my speed then the cramping will slowly go away, then go back to higher RPM in an easier gear and slowing it returns.
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Old 04-29-21, 07:13 PM
  #45  
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I've been so lazy in the last ...too long, i totally forgot about leg cramps!
You've got me quite worried now. i have not ridden in 12 years, and im lovin it so much i just did 12km.. only stopped cos it was getting late heh
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Old 04-29-21, 07:19 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by Mark Dominck View Post
my wife has me rub lavender oil on it and it works good. Almost instant relief
Never heard of using it on cramps, but lavender oil is great for burns. I was skeptical but it totally kills the pain. So I'll give it a shot.
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Old 04-30-21, 02:54 AM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by CAT7RDR View Post
Happens to us all when we're pushing hard.
That's why I only soft pedal now.
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Old 04-30-21, 03:00 AM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
This works Good w two swigs
This works better, IMO
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Old 04-30-21, 05:00 AM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by Hericann View Post
If you find cramps creeping up on you when you ride, there's a possibility that you lack potassium.
Eat more bananas, potatoes, sweet potatoes and mushrooms! Though, I personally tried applying coconut oil and it works.

If you lack potassium, you're going to be too sick to ride. This "connection" has been thoroughly debunked. Eating that stuff is fine, but I get a little up in arms about this because people start gobbling down pills and powders, and that really can be risky.
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Old 04-30-21, 05:58 AM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
How Does A Teaspoon of Mustard Cure Muscle Cramps? | The People's Pharmacy (peoplespharmacy.com)

Is there hope for leg cramp sufferers? - Harvard Health

The taste of mustard and pickle juice are believed to affect on the central nervous system, ultimately turning off overexcited neurons.
How 'bout pickle relish? That also comes in fast food packets, right?
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