how do you deal with cramp problems?

I’ve been having problems with cramp with some of my longer offroad rides. At around the 3 to 4 hour mark I find my legs start to cramp on the uphills.

Does any one know what causes cramp and how I can deal with it? I figure marathon runners must encounter similar problems. Can I prevent cramp completely?

If you do cramp up on a ride what is the best thing to do?

Training for the Karapoti classic!

My cramping experiences have been from distance bicycling. Constant hydration, fueling (I like cytomax in my bottles and a variety of “energy” bars), and pacing myself seem to minimize cramping, but of course you can also coast and stretch the cramp on a bike. Prevention is best because once a major cramp starts it is really hard to get rid of all of it.

The bike lists also mention potasium (pills or bananas) and electrolyt pills amongst other things.

See this thread:"Cramping+-+What+do+you+do+about+it%3F"&SearchPrefix=%40msgsubject&SortBy=MsgDate[a]

This is a great search engine for cycling in general:

Some of the cramps may be the lactic acid building up in your muscles.

Vitamin C is a good thing for prevention. Sometimes on endurance rides, if I plan on being out for hours, I put a mix of 1/2 water, 1/2 orange juice, and a few pinches of salt in my camelback. It doesn’t taste bad at all. The salt is to replace the salt you sweat out (I forget why replenishing that is good, I just read about it somewhere)

However, some cramps may just be due to overworking the muscles, and you need to take a breather, and stretch out for a few minutes…this works wonders on endurance rides

Although bananas have a large number of potassium in them, to get rid of a cramp you have to eat some ridiculus number like 25+.
The secret is pickle juice, plenty of pickle juice.
Water is good, but dont drink too much, or that will be the reason of your cramps.


how do you deal with cramp problems?

Sorry, Scott, but that’s a myth.

Actually, the opposite is true. If you stay well-hydrated, you’re less likely to get cramps.
Replacing electrolytes during/after endurance activity is important, too.
Sofa’s recipe sounds OK, or you could drink a 50/50 water/sports-drink mix.

Where’d you get that pickle juice idea?

Do you drink kosher dill, or sweet butter gerkins juice?
Right now the only thing I’ve got in the fridge is a jar of hot pickled cauliflower.
Oh, and half a jar of sauerkraut left over from New Year’s Eve.
Aside from the refreshing flavor, pickle juice sounds a bit high in the sodium department, and the vinegar might give ya heartburn. :astonished: ~~

You might be using the word ‘cramp’ to describe a variety of unrelated symptoms. However, ‘cramp’ in the usually accepted sense is caused by a build up of lactic acid in the muscles. What happens is the muscles produce this toxic waste quicker than the system can get rid of it, and quicker than the system can get new nutrients to the muscles.

So, to reduce the risk of cramp, don’t eat heavily before a ride Eating heavily diverts blood to the digestive system and away from the extremities), and don’t push yourself too hard during the ride. Keep the muscles warm. Take occasional breaks or, at least, vary the pace and effort of your riding. Take on board sufficient water and salts.

‘Salts’ is a very general term and doesn’t just mean sodium chloride/cooking salt. Some sort of balanced sports drink is probably best. I’ve heard that flat Irn Bru is a good substitute. Replace calories gradually by eating little and often.

Never try to ‘ride through’ a cramp as you could damage the cramped muscle. If you get cramp, get off the uni, extend the cramped leg as much as comfortably possible, get water and food down you and rest for a good few minutes. Then take it steady for a while.

Its a bad idea i once drank an extra large jar of kosher dills that was warm and began to vomit uncontrollably for near 20 minutes.

to start this off gerkin is actually spelt gherkin and sweet butter gherkins arent goodeither because gherkins are quite a bit stronger in flavor than pickles so i wouldnt drink any of that either. I reccomend thouroughly brushing with cheddar and bacon cheese wiz and then spooning down some tropical babyfood, and if you dont like it wash it down with a spam musubi(a spam sushi). i think ill go do that now.

p.s. spam lite is not a tasty low fat snack it is a dulled in flavor peice of poop only smoked and original are good so dont even try eating the 275 cal spam lite

Im not saying down a jar of pickle juice, just eat a pickle, and maybe a little juice. I dont do it because I dont like pickles, but I know it works because many of the guys on my soccer team do this before games, and sometimes practice, and they all say it works.

What I meant by the water was not leg cramps. It is mainly stomach cramps that I get when I drink too much water, but Im not sure if that is a true muscle cramp.

Also our coach descibed pills they used to give his soccer team that get rid of cramps, and pills that get rid of cottonmouth.

Re: how do you deal with cramp problems?

“Scott Stephens” <> wrote in
> What I meant by the water was not leg cramps. It is mainly stomach
> cramps that I get when I drink too much water, but Im not sure if that
> is a true muscle cramp.

The way I heard it is that ice cold water can gel the protective cover off
of the stomach lining and cause pain. I drink water without ice so that I
can drink more of it. We sweat a lot around here.


how do you deal with cramp problems?

Yes. Thank you, Catboy, and Touche’! :smiley:

Now, you can go back to work on “reccomend”, “thouroughly”, and “peice” (“I” before “E”, except after “C”). :wink:

Burn!! - Kelso