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  1. #1
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    Major cramps on the trail.

    I was out riding FINS today with a couple others and had a good time, until about an hour into the ride. I suffered MAJOR cramps. Both thighs, calves, back and arms. It was a horrible experience. I was yelling in agony and some of the people in houses nearby were out looking at me to see if I got mauled by a mountain lion. I could barely walk. It took me a while but I finally made it back to where I could ride downhill back to my car. I'm recovering at home now but damn I'm sore.

    I rode yesterday morning for a few hours and then did some work on my car in the garage. I was sweating almost all day. I was drinking water and Powerade (along with a few beers at home). I guess it wasn't enough water.

    Anyone suffer major cramps like this? Any tips to avoid them again? Thanks for your input.

  2. #2
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    BTW, here's a little vid of a drop at the top. The little drop, not the big one. (yet)


  3. #3
    Swamp Thaang Groupie
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    Had a similar instance doing coast to coast, my thighs right above my knees started to cramp to were I could not walk or pedal. Stopped ate two cliff bars sipped water rested about 15 min. I was able to finish the ride. This was in March if i remember correctly, so much cooler out. Carb load, hydrate, and get good rest the night before a big ride. Now I eat small amounts of protein trough the ride. I always drink and bring lots of water. I hope that never happens again to either of us.

  4. #4
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    Get some salted food (sodium) and some dill pickle spears or mustard or vinegar (potassium) into you both before, during and after the rides. Stay off the beer if you've done extensive sweating, it's a diuretic. A couple of good sized 6" dill pickle spears, if you have them sealed in a ziplock, on a ride, will get rid of cramps in 60 to 90 seconds.
    "i'll brazilian when YOU do boy, right around the ol' rusty star. Actually, whole fruit bowl. Get on it!" NicoleB

  5. #5
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    Pick up some Hammer E-Caps or the Electrolite powder. I used to have major cramps every ride until I discovered these bueaties a few years ago. I very rarely cramp up anymore when I use this stuff.
    Why would I need more than one gear?
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  6. #6
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    +1 for the E-caps
    Sport Leggs Caplets work very well also.
    In this heat, Bebes Muchas Aquas, y tocas los pills.

    Or, as mentioned above, you could always smuggle pickles for the ride
    Hey Randy- do you know SwamThaang? He likes a good pickle during a ride ...he might even break out a jar of them
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  7. #7
    Shred...it's the new drug
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    stretching and electrolites are very important!!! do them...

  8. #8
    Not at the table,Carlos!
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    A glass of tonic water the night before your ride will help. Tonic water has Quinine in it. Quinine is know to help with leg cramps. It worked for me, back in my racing days.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by zukicidal
    I was out riding FINS today with a couple others and had a good time, until about an hour into the ride. I suffered MAJOR cramps. Both thighs, calves, back and arms. It was a horrible experience. I was yelling in agony and some of the people in houses nearby were out looking at me to see if I got mauled by a mountain lion. I could barely walk. It took me a while but I finally made it back to where I could ride downhill back to my car. I'm recovering at home now but damn I'm sore.

    I rode yesterday morning for a few hours and then did some work on my car in the garage. I was sweating almost all day. I was drinking water and Powerade (along with a few beers at home). I guess it wasn't enough water.

    Anyone suffer major cramps like this? Any tips to avoid them again? Thanks for your input.
    Low sodium tomato juice is high in potassium, which might help.

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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by latedropbob
    stretching and electrolites are very important!!! do them...
    "do electrolites"?
    How does one "do" an electrolyte?
    Pumpin & Pimpin

  11. #11
    "No Clue Crew"
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    Hammer enduralytes. I didn't take enough of them today and I paid for it in the movie theatre a couple hours later. BAD cramps in both legs. I pop 3-4 enduralytes every hour and I don't get them.
    Nice job on the little drop !

  12. #12
    Huffy Rider
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    Beef jerky during rides has always kept the cramps away.

  13. #13
    Elitest thrill junkie
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    Brawndo.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  14. #14
    Swamp Thaang Groupie
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem
    Brawndo.
    The Thirst Mutilator and cramps too....HAHAHA I even water my plants with it!

  15. #15
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    Thanks for the tips! My wife is a runner and she likes the Hammer HEED drink mix. I had some of that when I got home. I'll have to check out the E-caps. I like pickles but it might be a pita to bring them along. Maybe have some before/after. Maybe some of those salty gel blocks. Another rider told me about coconut milk. It's kinda bitter but there's a few different flavors. Supposed to be packed with potassium.

  16. #16
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    Just trying to share with you some cost effective methods, compared to all the other stuff. Dill Pickles really work, so do black olives, pickled in pure potassium nitrate.
    "i'll brazilian when YOU do boy, right around the ol' rusty star. Actually, whole fruit bowl. Get on it!" NicoleB

  17. #17
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    You need things like potassium rich foods. Bananas are high in potassium. Eat at least one a day. Yogurt, Broccoli, Asparagus all help, because they are high in calcium. Calcium is another often overlooked mineral that can cause cramping, when you're body isn't getting enough.
    Chocolate milk is cheap and has tons of electrolytes in it.

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  18. #18
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    I would recommend a product called Elete in the liquid form. Just add 1.5 tsp to 100oz of water in your pack for your ride. I used to get really bad cramps above the knees on longer rides and this stuff has worked really well. My problem is I can't remember to pop pills or eat regularly during my rides so this works really well since I don't have to think about it other than adding it to my hydration pack before the ride.

  19. #19
    Elitest thrill junkie
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ericmopar
    You need Calcium is another often overlooked mineral that can cause cramping, when you're body isn't getting enough.
    Could be a good point. People think they get calcium because they drink milk, yet only children can absorb calcium from milk.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  20. #20
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    While all of these suggestions are good, you really just need to concentrate on replenishing and refueling with an electrolyte replacement. Keep in mind tho that while you are working out, drinks containing protein and excessive (>8%) carbohydrates often interfere with the absorption of electrolytes. That doesnt mean you shouldnt eat, but rather eat to eat and drink to drink. There are so many products out there that it's just a matter of finding what's right for your body. I simply drink ALOT of G2. Heed works well to, the new powerade is better formulated as well. One more thing you made a classic mistake for replenishing during your workout, drinking more water. As you workout you lose electrolytes thru sweat and metabolic activity. Drinking water dilutes what you have left thus making your cramps worse. When someone gets an IV it's not simply water but a mixture of electrolytes. To alleviate any cramp, you have to stretch the muscle. To some thats counterintuitive, perhaps try contracting a your next cramp and see how it feels. I assure you, you will not like it. Also try applying direct pressure to the stretched muscle. The direct pressure is like a massage and should facilitate the muscle to relax. One last less realistic piece of advise would be to apply ice to the cramping muscle, but who carries ice with them on a ride. Perhaps make an ice burrito with a towel once you get home and leave it on up to 20'. Well that's my 2 cents. Hope it helps!

  21. #21
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    Cramps

    On the Whiskey 50 i had some very bad cramps at the top of the skull Valley climb. A Luna chick gave me some great advice "walk em off or they will get worse, nothing will help". Volume of riding and your condition causes cramps. Some times its hydration or salts. Most of the time cramps are your body telling you that you rode too far and or too hard.

  22. #22
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    You also should look at ALL the circumstances that lead up to this particular incident. Supplements are great, but they are just that. They supplement a proper regimen of nutrients, minerals and water.

    I would be interested to know how much water was consumed after riding the day before and while working on the car.

    Many doctors/studies in Arizona recommend that a moderately acitve person (does house/yard work, 60-120 minutes of exertion- which is any outside activity- a week) should be drinking a gallon of water/liquid per day. Sounds like you really did a lot more that one day.
    For those of us on here- we need to add a lot more water/nutrients. Figure a conservative average is 3 hours of riding/training a week at high levels for most of us. Since we are in shape (I use that term loosely for me right now!) also do other things that deplete our stores. Washing cars, taking the stairs, choosing to park further from the door at the store, lifting and carrying etc. Active people often look over these "other" activities that seem like daily and more importantly normal ones. A sedentary person rarely does yard work, will take the elevator/escalator, drive everywhere and use tools throughout the day to expend less energy that we don't use or adapt to. In short- we need more!

    Take me for instance. In my shop I walk briskly everywhere, I will not hesitate to lift/carry things. I park in the shade at the grocery store which usually means at the back at of the lot, I have a landscape service (at work too much) but still sweep my sidewalks, pick up dog poo and do other chores/repairs around the house. I am riding about 3-4 hours a week. I drink at least 1.5 gallons a day if not two or more. Don't drink alcohol- but I do drink coffee. If I have an afternoon cup I add the same amount of water to my total. On planned ride days I pre-eat foods that help prevent cramping and still provide energy- all of the foods listed by others (even pickles) are good ones. In the summer I do use electrolyte pills-just in case. Year round I use Hammer drinks like Heed and Perpetuem. I am a small guy and don't eat a ton at a sitting, so instead of recovery drinks post ride I prefer to eat whole foods to help with muscle repair. Drinks fill me up and I would rather have the food for nutrients (and it is cheaper). I still drink water when done.

    A good method to track hydration is this: First- set your desired amount of liquid you want to consume, have your diet in check (for performance, weight loss/gain or both) and know what you weigh on average without riding much. Weigh yourself upon waking. Weigh yourself again prior to riding if it has been all day since wake up. (If there is a deficit on this weigh- find out how much it is and know that you may need to add to your AM water intake.) After your ride- weigh again. I can lose two pounds on a 1.5 hour summer ride. Make sure your water or recovery drink replaces that weight (water is 1.042 oz per fluid oz) and plan on trying to replace that loss DURING your ride next time.

    Pretty in depth, but I scared myself with cramping pretty badly one time- and promised I would not let it happen again. It has only once, but that was when I was trying to race with a bout of Giardia!

    For those who forget to eat/drink on the bike (raising my hand) I use a watch with countdown alarms that go off and remind me. I used to be really bad and wrote a note on duct tape on the top tube reminding me too! Eat well all the time- a poorly fueled body uses water and calories poorly and will require more calories/water when trying to ride at yoru top level. If you want to use salt tabs I would consult with a trainer, dietician or your doctor. Salt tabs are really only needed by certain types of people- like heavy perspirers (not a word) or those who leave salt traces all over themselves and anyone/thing nearby. Proper diets and good energy drinks should have all the salt the average athlete needs. Hope this helps- lots of good advice in this thread.
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  23. #23
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    http://www.midol.com/

    That should take care of you.
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  24. #24
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    This is all great advice! I'm sure I didn't drink enough fluids the day before, and I should have gotten more sleep too. Summer is tough since it's hard to get to bed early on the weekend so I can get up early to ride in the cooler temps.

    Fry's doesn't have Brawndo, I'll have to check Safeway.

    I'm feeling better but I'm really sore. I hope to ride again this weekend.

  25. #25
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    Are you kidding me?!

    Quote Originally Posted by mtboz
    On the Whiskey 50 i had some very bad cramps at the top of the skull Valley climb. A Luna chick gave me some great advice "walk em off or they will get worse, nothing will help". Volume of riding and your condition causes cramps. Some times its hydration or salts. Most of the time cramps are your body telling you that you rode too far and or too hard.
    If you believe this your destine repeat your whiskey 50 cramping misfortune. To simply say "nothing will help" is absurd! Several people gave good advise of things you CAN do to prevent this from happening. Conditioning is only one aspect of an effective training program. If your gonna take the advise of some Luna girl on top of a mountain then good luck buddy.

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