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  1. #1
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    Cramping question not yet answered

    so i have found out there are two reasons for cramping.

    one is from not enough of water/salt/potassium


    the other is from exceeding your fitness level by too much. trying to ride 200 miles when you have only ridden 30 in the past.


    on the second one, can taking in more water/salt/potassium help to stop cramping? is that what the muscles are lacking at the fatigue moment of passing your fitness level?

  2. #2
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    have you considered the need for prehydrating, not just hydrating the day of? Also, Calcium and Magnesium levels can effect muscle contraction, again this would be something that needs to be addressed beforehand.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cleopatra999 View Post
    have you considered the need for prehydrating, not just hydrating the day of? Also, Calcium and Magnesium levels can effect muscle contraction, again this would be something that needs to be addressed beforehand.
    no such thing as "prehydrating". in fact you can reach a sodium imbalance if you over hydrate.

    yes, i am fully topped off on all levels and water in my system before a ride. i replace water/carbs/proteins/electrolytes....etc as i ride to the maximum that my body will absorb while riding.

    that is not what i am asking. when you cramp due to going beyond your physical level, does replacing water and all other elements help with reducing cramping?

  4. #4
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    Yellow mustard packets.
    There's something about those long grueling climbs that gets my front end all stiff... And I'm not talking about lockout...

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by kikoraa View Post
    Yellow mustard packets.
    ok maybe i am not making myself clear enough.

    i know what to take if i cramp due to "lack" of water or "elements".

    my question is does cramping due to going beyond your fitness level is the same as cramping from lack of water or salt/potassium?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ascarlarkinyar View Post
    my question is does cramping due to going beyond your fitness level is the same as cramping from lack of water or salt/potassium?
    NO, not the same. Overstressing muscles has nothing to do with hydration or salt/potassium issues.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hundun View Post
    NO, not the same. Overstressing muscles has nothing to do with hydration or salt/potassium issues.

    ok, great. now how do you remedy that cramp once you get there?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ascarlarkinyar View Post
    ok, great. now how do you remedy that cramp once you get there?
    Don't push yourself so hard. Listen to what your body is telling you. That prevents injuries.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by ascarlarkinyar View Post
    so i have found out there are two reasons for cramping.
    Quote Originally Posted by ascarlarkinyar View Post
    my question is does cramping due to going beyond your fitness level is the same as cramping from lack of water or salt/potassium?
    the reason they say there are two, is that there are two. if the two were the same, then there would only be one.

    Quote Originally Posted by ascarlarkinyar View Post
    no such thing as "prehydrating". in fact you can reach a sodium imbalance if you over hydrate.
    don't argue with people who are helping you. there's a pretty good chance that he knows a lot more about this than you do.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by ascarlarkinyar View Post
    ok, great. now how do you remedy that cramp once you get there?
    i think i had this happen this past winter on a longish (for me) group fat bike ride. we were out for about 5 hrs riding sled trails, with some substantial grunt climbs. a group ride with a bunch of guys all younger and fitter than me so pace was harder than my normal solo rides. A typical winter ride for me is maybe 1.5-2 hr usually solo with my dog, pretty easy pace, taking lots of pics.
    so on this ride for the last hr or so my legs started cramping pretty good ( i had drank at least 2 litres if not 3 gatorade on the ride which was more than most so dont think i was dehydrated) i found best thing i could do in this situation was just keep riding, albeit probably pretty slowly and with not much "snap". but whenever i stopped for any reason the cramping got really bad! not that i had any choice but to keep riding since it was the only way out lol. i seemed to work through it ok and was fine back at the trailhead loading bikes etc, then had a bit of cramping again while seated in the car and driving. not a lot one can do at that point. did the same group ride again a week or two later and no cramping, but i rode more my own pace early on instead of going too hard which i did on the previous ride.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill in Houston View Post

    don't argue with people who are helping you. there's a pretty good chance that he knows a lot more about this than you do.

    not arguing, it's scientific fact. carb loading and prehydrating is a myth. you can only load up right after a hard effort and top off the tank after that. regular meals are treated more as fat replacement and to a small degree fuel storage.


    i appreciate all the comments, but no one is addressing the question.

    yes they are two different reasons for cramping. but what can be done when you surpass your fitness level and cramp?

    i know how not to get there. don't need that kind of advice.

    if you have a slow metabolism, yes you can limp along and get around cramping. if you have a fast metabolism, once you cramp, there is not a lot you can do to get rid of them. more riding will just make it worse. walking makes them worse. sitting does nothing. the body after a long time will slowly stop it on it's own. that is why i am asking what to do once i start cramping form over exertion. drinking water and more electrolytes and recovery drink and pickle juice didn't make much of a difference.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by ascarlarkinyar View Post
    i appreciate all the comments, but no one is addressing the question.
    Your original question was:
    Quote Originally Posted by ascarlarkinyar View Post
    can taking in more water/salt/potassium help to stop cramping? is that what the muscles are lacking at the fatigue moment of passing your fitness level?
    which you reiterate here:
    Quote Originally Posted by ascarlarkinyar View Post
    my question is does cramping due to going beyond your fitness level is the same as cramping from lack of water or salt/potassium?
    Your question was answered here:
    Quote Originally Posted by Hundun View Post
    NO, not the same. Overstressing muscles has nothing to do with hydration or salt/potassium issues.
    In response to your next question:
    ok, great. now how do you remedy that cramp once you get there?
    Stretch the cramping muscles and/or stop what you are doing that caused the cramp in the first place. Haven't you seen runners stretch before and after a run? Same principle. Try stretching before a ride to see if that helps.

    When I get leg cramps I do these stretches; this is what works for me. Whatever muscles are cramping; I stretch them. I've always done this instinctively.
    Last edited by Hundun; 05-12-2012 at 06:54 AM.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by ascarlarkinyar View Post
    no such thing as "prehydrating". in fact you can reach a sodium imbalance if you over hydrate.

    yes, i am fully topped off on all levels and water in my system before a ride. i replace water/carbs/proteins/electrolytes....etc as i ride to the maximum that my body will absorb while riding.

    that is not what i am asking. when you cramp due to going beyond your physical level, does replacing water and all other elements help with reducing cramping?
    semantics....you are fully topped up before, great. Lots of people don't drink enough water on a regular basis and go into sustained exercise dehydrated, then expecting that they can guzzle water during and be able to perform.

    If you are replacing everything, are you basing it on the amount of sweat you release? ie. have you weighed yourself before and after exertion? If so, again great. If not, try this as you may not actually be getting enough if you are a heavy sweater.

    If you feel all of these things are calibrated properly then I agree we are talking muscle strain. Have you ever worked with a massage therapist? Or done yoga to lengthen some muscle tissue.

    Also again, don't discount trying some Cal/mag, it has worked wonders with some of my clients that complain of muscle cramping.

    PS. you do sound argumentative, I almost didn't bother responding again.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by cleopatra999 View Post
    semantics....you are fully topped up before, great. Lots of people don't drink enough water on a regular basis and go into sustained exercise dehydrated, then expecting that they can guzzle water during and be able to perform.

    If you are replacing everything, are you basing it on the amount of sweat you release? ie. have you weighed yourself before and after exertion? If so, again great. If not, try this as you may not actually be getting enough if you are a heavy sweater.

    If you feel all of these things are calibrated properly then I agree we are talking muscle strain. Have you ever worked with a massage therapist? Or done yoga to lengthen some muscle tissue.

    Also again, don't discount trying some Cal/mag, it has worked wonders with some of my clients that complain of muscle cramping.

    PS. you do sound argumentative, I almost didn't bother responding again.




    if you are not going to answer the question i don't any reason why your posting?

    you are still trying to peruse why i am cramping and not answering how to stop once i cramp. i know what to do and not to do about making the body cramp.


    again, yes, i am taking in the maximum amount of carbs/proteins/elements(including chromium, calcium and magnesium, it's in my mixed drink).

    i do weigh myself before and after almost every ride. when i get to 5-7lbs lighter i will start cramping due to dehydration. the body(my body) cannot absorb more than 290-330ml of water per hour. believe me i have tried. if i am sweating hard i will start to get low on body water. i have learned to wet myself with water bottles occasional helps slow this down.

    that is how i know i am cramping due to going beyond fitness level after the 5-6 hour. i have only lost 1-2lbs of water. no where near the danger zone.

    i do yoga 1-2 a week. stretch "after" i ride, not before(that is wrong and leads to injury). stretching when i am cramping helped like 5%, but honestly i was cramping so hard that i would try to stretch my leg and my arm would cramp. then i would stretch my arm and my back would cramp. only the muscles i was using riding would cramp up.

    i feel like stretching was the answer, but not too much if you are severely cramping. by the time i feel like i am "going" to cramp i have to stop riding cause it comes on very fast. if i keep riding it will be worse and last longer.


    this has only happened three times due to my fitness level and twice lately as i have not been riding and been trying to extend my longer rides too fast.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by ascarlarkinyar View Post
    due to going beyond fitness level after the 5-6 hour
    You're over doing it, pushing too hard.


    Quote Originally Posted by ascarlarkinyar View Post
    ....i was cramping so hard that i would try to stretch my leg and my arm would cramp. then i would stretch my arm and my back would cramp....
    Cramping going from one muscle group to the next is mineral related in my experience. I've had these cramping issues most of my life; I know the signs.

    Your issue is a combination of pushing too hard and sweating out minerals.

    From another thread:
    Hydration Tips
    Quote Originally Posted by Hundun View Post
    Keep it natural.

    I've had severe cramping issues all my life from moderately heavy sweating; so I had to learn how to deal with it quickly as a matter of survival. In severe cases my legs can lock, fingers draw up, rib muscles cramp and spasm affecting breathing.

    Potassium and salt must be replaced. Morton Lite Salt works for me; it's a high potassium, low sodium salt. I mix my own sports drink for rides: in a 2 quart pitcher I add a pint or so of fruit juice(ruby red grapefruit), 3/4 cup of sugar, 1 tsp Morton Salt Lite, fill the rest with water. I vary dif juices and strengths but keep the salt content @ 1/2 tsp/quart. Works for me.

    If I get really bad cramps when I haven't yet had any of the lite salt, I'll down a couple half teaspoons of the lite salt chasing it with a quart or more of beverage. I'll sometimes take 3/4 teaspoon chased by lots of fluid as prevention when I come in after doing heavy yardwork in the heat.

    Bananas are a great snack too - high carb and potassium.

    This is what works for me based on experience.
    Hope that helps. Good Luck

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by ascarlarkinyar View Post
    i know what to do and not to do about making the body cramp.
    Obviously not, otherwise this post wouldnt exist.

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