I’m prone to getting cramps on rides. It’s always on the calves.
Any tips on what kind of training I could do on my calves so they don’t fatigue as much?
I can sometimes feel the cramp coming on before it gets to the point when my muscles seize… is there something I could do at this point to try and prevent the actual onset of the pain, ie would stretching help it or do i just need get some electrolytes into me?
Could be an electrolyte problem, could also be a hydration problem or a positional and/or fitness issue. Probably wouldn’t hurt to see a sports med. If you’re on the North side of melb ask xbrendanx who he goes to.
This is not advice, but I was prescribed a magnesium supplement for cramping. Works for me, especially if I’m riding/racing more/harder, and in summer. Chelated magnesium powders seem to work better for me than supermarket supplements, but they are more expensive (I buy Bioceuticals Ultra Muscle-Eze from the local osteo).
cramps are generally due to a buildup of lactic acid and muscle fatigue
having low potassium will cut down on your ability to produce action potentials. tbh I wouldve thought that cramps wouldnt be due to low potassium - do a google search on action potentials, this is a major player for K (and salt/Na)
insufficient muscle mass - need to get fitter
insufficient blood flow (clearance of lactic acid) - unlikely unless you have atherosclerotic veins/arteries, or other circulatory disorders
insufficient energy supply - your muscles burn sugars (carbs are broken down into sugars too fyi)
high blood pressure - associated with low BV and high ECF osmolarity - means you have too many ions in your blood, and not enough water to make it dilute
low blood volume - as previous
high ECF osmolarity (not enough water in your blood to dilute ions) - more water or isotonic intake
banana’s do have lots of energy, and are not just high in potassium, also a lot of sugar and protein (protein is broken down into carbs, then into sugar)
I wouldve said that most fruit would be good for you though, generally speaking
there’s a study that is trying to prove that having sucrose and fructose gives you energy quicker because they are absorbed via different pathways. I am not sure if this is relevant though
You really have a poor diet to be potassium deficient, if you eat fruit and meat I’d be surprised to hear that you are potassium deficient.
also your body (specifically kidneys) are rather good at reabsorption of potassium (although if your intake of potassium is super low, it’s not like you can polish a turd ;))