Interesting article on cramping

A light bike doesn't replace good fitness.

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by Tapeworm

"Physiology is all just propaganda and lies... all waiting to be disproven by the next study."
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by Weenie

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by boysa

Thanks for the link. I've always found this a very interesting topic, and two things struck me:

1. I've had more cramps while swimming than during any other exercise. If it was electrolytes or heat, this would not be the case.
2. The concept that just a dab of salt on the tongue can help. We know it works with CHO, so why not with salt?
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by Rick

Last year I had quite a few problems with cramping that I had never had before. It was like I could actually feel the electrical impulses going nuts in my legs and causing every muscle to contract uncontrollably.

Of course I tried a lot of different things, but it seems like immediate intake of plain water worked the best. In fact, I have since been able to stop the cramps when I first feel them starting by just immediately backing off slightly and drinking as much plain water as I can hold.

It was as if they were caused not by lack of electrolytes, but overconcentration of electrolytes from simple dehydration.

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by fitty4

Thanx! There is several things in that article that are useful to me.

@Rick: I don't think you read the whole thing :smartass:

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by Rick

fitty4 wrote:@Rick: I don't think you read the whole thing :smartass:

I did read it and saw that they found no correlation.
I am just relating what I know has a correlation for me personnally.

What works for individuals may still be true even if it is swamped by statistics of groups.

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by ipdamages

I have found that incorporating more long rides into my training helped me avoid cramping. And of course keeping hydrated and replenishing calories spent riding.

While the article is more focused on running than cycling, I think there are several good ideas there.

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by jpanspac

Excellent article. It reflects my personal experience very well. I cramp seemingly at random when I run. It could be hot or cold out. I could be tired or fresh. It could happen almost immediately, or not until 4-5 miles into the run. My electrolytes are fine. I've tried drinking water and Gatorade beforehand. The only consistent thread I've found is that it happens more frequently (almost guaranteed, in fact) if I take too many days off between runs. I have to keep the runs spaced no more than 2-3 days apart to prevent cramping.
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by HillRPete

Good read, cheers Tape. (Although I never cramp, thankfully.) Interesting how the brain instantly regulates performance when it notices salt. I've read similar things in marathon running related forums/papers when carbs were sensed in the mouth, with depleted body stores.

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by kode54

thx for the link to the article. it actually puts a lot into perspective. "neurological governor" explains a lot for me. ramping up to harder workout always had some consequences, like acute cramping. slowly building up my base and increasing the workout over a sustained period of time helped put this behind me. yes, i bought into all the hype about electrolytes and absorption of fluids...which i still take, but less frequently.
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by Geoff

Thanks for the post. Everyone will cramp after a certain point. It is amazing that there is not better understanding of the science behind it.

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by Foo

I suffered serverely from cramps when I was racing 35yrs ago, to the point of having to be lifted up from the dinner table with cramps so bad that you could put your first joint of a finger into them. :shock:

I went to the Dr about it saying I think it must be salt lacking and he nearly ripped my head off. I was put on a course of calcium tablets and problem solved. Never had the problem again for quite some time after that. The cramps affected me on the bike as well, so it wasn't a circulation thing from sitting in one position. :idea:

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