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Leg cramps

Old 06-12-11, 12:35 PM
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kenji666
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Leg cramps

I have been experiencing leg cramps, mostly my calves, but yesterday, I had the inside muscle on my upper leg, just above the knee, cramp up also. This does not happen on my shorter training rides, but almost always occurs on my long weekend century rides, about halfway into the ride. Yesterday was very hot (mid-90's), with no cloud or tree cover. What can I do to eliminate these painful cramps? I was going along at a pretty good pace, until this slowed me down.
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Old 06-12-11, 12:39 PM
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Could be hydration and electrolyte deficiencies.

I like bananas on a long ride for the potassium which I believe helps reduce cramping.
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Old 06-12-11, 02:06 PM
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Could be mileage your body is not yet used to
Could be hydration issues with the heat/humidity levels. Drink more.
If none of the above, try Hammer Nutrition Endurolytes, or salt tablets during the ride
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Old 06-12-11, 02:20 PM
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My leg cramps are from electrolyte deficiencies, I eat bananas and drink powerade. these have potassium in them.
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Old 06-12-11, 05:07 PM
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you could try some stretching before riding... a quick warm up maybe....
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Old 06-12-11, 05:22 PM
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I'm fairly flexible and do stretch before riding. Is it possible to drink too much electrolytes? I had one bottle of Gatorade and one with water the whole ride. I also ate a Gu and some Sport Beans at the rest stops, along with watermelon, fig newtons, cookies, and raisins. Had half a banana at the first stop.
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Old 06-12-11, 07:11 PM
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Originally Posted by kenji666 View Post
I'm fairly flexible and do stretch before riding. Is it possible to drink too much electrolytes? I had one bottle of Gatorade and one with water the whole ride. I also ate a Gu and some Sport Beans at the rest stops, along with watermelon, fig newtons, cookies, and raisins. Had half a banana at the first stop.
You drank only two bottles of liquid on a century? Mid-90's?
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Old 06-12-11, 07:24 PM
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Originally Posted by JanMM View Post
You drank only two bottles of liquid on a century? Mid-90's?
I meant to say that I refilled each bottle with Gatorade and water at each stop (every 20 miles).
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Old 06-12-11, 07:25 PM
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Originally Posted by kenji666 View Post
I have been experiencing leg cramps, mostly my calves, but yesterday, I had the inside muscle on my upper leg, just above the knee, cramp up also. This does not happen on my shorter training rides, but almost always occurs on my long weekend century rides, about halfway into the ride. Yesterday was very hot (mid-90's), with no cloud or tree cover. What can I do to eliminate these painful cramps? I was going along at a pretty good pace, until this slowed me down.
This topic has been addressed many times here on the forum so do a search.

Basicly, you need more potassium and liquids.
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Old 06-12-11, 07:35 PM
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Originally Posted by kenji666 View Post
I meant to say that I refilled each bottle with Gatorade and water at each stop (every 20 miles).
Sounds like a reasonable fluid intake - but perhaps not for a century on a hot day. I don't think you can overdose on the electrolytes in Gatorade.
Are you exceeding your fitness level on these long rides? Is this a problem every spring that goes away as you ride more?
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Old 06-12-11, 07:36 PM
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Originally Posted by kenji666 View Post
I'm fairly flexible and do stretch before riding. Is it possible to drink too much electrolytes? I had one bottle of Gatorade and one with water the whole ride.
Drink too much electrolytes? Do you know what electrolytes are? Electrolytes are sodium and potassium, and a handful of other minerals. Sometimes they are put into liquid, but higher concentrations of them are found in real food and, of course, pills.

You should be aiming to drink approx. one 750 ml bottle of water (and/or sports drink) every 1 to 1.5 hours. And make sure you're hydrated before you ride as well.

Make sure the food you eat contains the electrolytes or take electrolyte pills, especially on hot days. The more you drink, the more electrolytes you need to take.


And if you feel a cramp coming on, slow down a little bit and spin.
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Old 06-12-11, 08:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Hairy Hands View Post
Could be mileage your body is not yet used to
Could be hydration issues with the heat/humidity levels. Drink more.
If none of the above, try Hammer Nutrition Endurolytes, or salt tablets during the ride
+1
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