Cycling Cramps

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).

eat more bananas

Could be an electrolyte problem, could also be a hydration problem or a positional and/or fitness issue.

I think it may be all of the above.

Might try the banana thing.

You did what now :expressionless:

first step: eat bananas, and get some endura or staminade or something similar. make sure it has magnesium in it. no magnesium, no potassium = cramps.

second step: if this doesn’t work, i see dr andrew garnham at alphington sports medicine (actually going to see him tonight for my dodgy knee). he’s very, very good.

Happy ending?

i wish! he’s a handsome man! and a doctor to boot!

Stop riding your girlfriend’s bike. :stuck_out_tongue:

once you are in the habit of doing more kms you will get less cramps as you get stronger/fitter

standard problem for people who are just starting to do longer rides

dont panic bro

  • eat lots of leafy greens
  • drink water before you ride
  • drink beer after
  • bananas.


my bike has no wheels at the moment… and I got cramps when i rode my own bike so SHIAADDAAAPPPP!!!

But I’m gonna eat more bananas (potassium) and cashews (magnesium) and spinach (both) and drink more ‘sports’ drinks with those two vitamins when we’re out on rides…

and have less beer and chips everytime we stop at a pub or drive through.

what do bananas do?

Eating bananas makes you apples

Seriously, bananas are high in potassium

  • taste good
  • be yellow
  • have nutrients
  • make chimps happy
  • provide a wide range of vitamins, minerals, and soluble carbohydrates.

I’ve said it before. A glass of Fruit Saline/Eno’s etc… with its bicarb soda… works wonders. As long as you’re not a race horse.

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 :stuck_out_tongue:

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 ;))

I’ve heard told that apples arent very good for you pre/mid-race, maybe due to their acidity or mineral content.

it seems to make sense that fruits high in acidity arent so good during exercise when you body is attempting to regulate acidity not break additional acids down.

Oh yeah, make sure you bike is set up properly.

A saddle too high and angled incorrectly will affect your riding and possibly lead to cramps.

always feel a bit APPLES when i eat a banana.

makes me think of a prison movie i saw once.

besides, they give me terrible wind.

but i don’t mind them in a smoothie.