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Muscle Cramps(3 posts)

Muscle Crampsdanielm
Sep 3, 2002 9:45 AM
I desperately need help preventing muscle cramps during long rides. I've tried what seems to be just about everything, including drinking plenty of fluids, pre, during and post rides, usually Cytomax. I've taken salt tablets which have helped somewhat but I still struggle to keep my quads from cramping. Based on various other recommendations, I've also tried Anti-Fatigue capsules and Endurolytes by (E-Caps) but to no avail. I usually stretch for at least 30 minutes before my rides, have a healthy breakfast that include plenty of Potassium, but I can't seem to shake these stubborn cramps, which are usually the only thing keeping me from having a great ride. Any sound advice would be very welcome . I'm roughly 6ft 2 around 186 lbs -

Short answerKerry
Sep 3, 2002 5:26 PM
Adventure Cyclist Sept/Oct. 2001 Muscle Cramps comments by Nancy Clark

5 theories (none proven, as science does not know the cause of cramps, and cannot cause cramps predictably): 1) hydration, 2) lack of calcium (doubted by nutritionists), 3) lack of sodium, 4) lack of potassium (not likely since the body has so much) 5) lack of pickle juice (lots of ions). Note, musicians get hand cramps, even though they are not likely experiencing any of 1-5.

My own experience has been that sodium and hydration are the keys. While I've only done it three times, taking a TUMS at the break in a long ride seems to help in the home stretch. This assumes you keep a high cadence. You check for hydration can be either weighing yourself as you leave and when you get back (retrospective), having to pee every 2 hours or so during the ride (concurrent), or keeping track of past rides and how much you drank and drinking more this time (prospective). It never hurts to down a glass of water just before you get on the bike.
Magnesium works for me!jesse1
Sep 7, 2002 4:30 AM
I've tried the E-Caps solutions, lots & lots of Potasium and I still would get cramps. I heard of a Medical study being done on cramps that was directed towards a lack of magnesium, so I bought a bottle of Magnesium-Calcium tablets (at Sam's Club - pretty cheap)and pop one in the morning and one before an event.
Each tablet is like 33% of the daily recomended dosage.
I would always cramp during hard rides just after an hour or so, but since using magnesium, I haven't cramped since.