Big problems with Cramps

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Big problems with Cramps

Postby whichway » Sun Nov 27, 2011 6:28 pm

OK
So yesterday I did my regular Saturday morning ride.
Stats – 106 km, 2400m climbing, 4.5 hours (I wish, more like 4.75 hours)
Stretch legs for about 10 minutes before a ride

Hydration as follows
Before ride - 800ml water with one scoop of Endura
0-1.5 hrs – 800ml water with two scoops of Endura
1.5-2.5 hrs – 800ml water with two scoops of Endura
2.5 hours – Have a break 2 salt tablets and 600ml Staminade, powerade or similar
2.5-3.5 hrs – 800ml water with two scoops of Endura
3.5-4.5 hrs – 2 salt tablets + 800ml water with two scoops of Endura

Cramped at 80kms, 3.5 hrs then again at 87 kms, 3.75 hours, then again at 95 kms at 4 hrs. Each time at the top of a hill

Got home and then two hours after I got home, couldn’t get off the lounge room floor because of cramps. Any leg muscle could cramp, not just one muscle group
I’ve done this ride heaps of times this year. Didn’t really cramp much during the Winter, but getting bad as it gets hotter
During the week I do one or two 50 km rides, mostly flat but with about 250m of climbing.

Any ideas? – (this is starting to get a bit scary)
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by BNA » Sun Nov 27, 2011 6:38 pm

BNA
 

Re: Big problems with Cramps

Postby Schmenz » Sun Nov 27, 2011 6:38 pm

endura is good stuff - my sister uses it- but i am not familiar with its contents. is there any magnesium in there? which electrolytes?

i think you are leaving your salt tabs a little late - id do one per hour (or a salt replacement)

magnesium is underrated. id be supplementing everyday and making sure there was some in what you have on your ride.

you may have reached low levels over winter from dietary intake and then the heat aggrivates it.

also - anytime you feel a little cramping niggle i would have some electrolyte / salt / gel with added salt etc.

pre and post large ride i also have magnesium if ive been getting twinges lately.

in the heat - 800 ml per hour may also be too little. id probably up it to a litre an hour - and make sure you drink at least every 15
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Re: Big problems with Cramps

Postby greyhoundtom » Sun Nov 27, 2011 6:43 pm

Electrolyte imbalance is not the only thing that will cause cramping, and going by your electrolyte and sodium intake it’s unlikely to be the cause.

The only thing you haven’t touched upon and that is nutrient intake during the ride, and if that is too low it will also aggravate cramping problems, as muscle tissue needs energy as well as the right electrolyte balance.

If your food intake is sufficient then IMO its time to have a blood test done to check the Red Blood Cell and the Haemoglobin count, as lack of oxygen to the muscle tissue will have the same effect.
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Re: Big problems with Cramps

Postby whichway » Sun Nov 27, 2011 9:45 pm

Endura has magnesium

I'll have some during the week.

I'll get a blood test - I had a slightly low blood count a few months ago.

Thanks
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Re: Big problems with Cramps

Postby winstonw » Mon Nov 28, 2011 2:58 am

It looks like you were getting enough volume of water but :

- the gold standard is to replace your sweat losses. You may be a heavier sweater or a larger guy or have higher body fat. Some people can lose 1.8 litres an hour during intense efforts in hot humid weather. The gold standard is to know your fluid losses under varying climate and exercise intensities. Google to find out how to measure this, and ensure inclusion of fluid losses as urine production.

- Endura Magnesium Rehydration powder per scoop has 62.5 mg sodium, 120mg potassium, 162.5mg magnesium, 42mg calcium per scoop.
You prepared it as 156mg sodium, 300mg potassium, 406mg magnesium, 102mg calcium per litre.

Sweat can have as much per litre as 1200mg sodium, 230mg potassium, 50mg magnesium, 30mg calcium.

Contrary to their marketing spin, Endura products are NOT designed to replace electrolyte losses via sweat. Their target market is a broader cross section of Australians, most of whom live in the temperate zones, not sub tropical; and who do not cycle as intensely for as long as you do.

Products that would be more suitable for you are eLoad, Shotz, Gatorade "endurance" formula. These have concentrations of electrolytes more in line with that lost in sweat.

Now, as some have suggested, cramps can also be caused by other than fluid loss. You didn't mention how many Calories you were taking per hour in addition to that in Endura. It is recommended for heavier intensity exercise you take enough to match carbohydrate oxidation rate (glycogen usage). This is 1g per kg of bodyweight. Your preparation provided 45g of CHO per litre. For rides over 3-4 hours, you should also be taking 0.1-0.2 g per kg bodyweight of protein.

These are the recommendations of the AIS and Sports Dietitians Australia; and are what is used for elite and professional athletes.

If you are getting a blood test, take special note of your iron levels.
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Re: Big problems with Cramps

Postby ni78ck » Mon Nov 28, 2011 6:56 am

if it makes you feel better, i cramped too yesterday at about the 100km mark of a 118km ride :roll:
had not cramped since last summer, maybe thats telling us something. :shock:
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Re: Big problems with Cramps

Postby whichway » Mon Nov 28, 2011 7:43 am

Great replies

With regard to protein - no energy gels seem to contain protein. How do I get this while riding?
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Re: Big problems with Cramps

Postby ni78ck » Mon Nov 28, 2011 7:55 am

whichway wrote:Great replies

With regard to protein - no energy gels seem to contain protein. How do I get this while riding?

protein bars!!
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Re: Big problems with Cramps

Postby doggatas » Mon Nov 28, 2011 11:35 am

I used to cramp a fair bit! Haven't cramped in 5 weeks now! I'm putting it down to the bike fit I had done 5 weeks ago! Mind you I wasn't cramping in the usual places! I got mine in the hamstrings! Ouch
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Re: Big problems with Cramps

Postby winstonw » Tue Nov 29, 2011 10:20 am

whichway wrote:With regard to protein - no energy gels seem to contain protein. How do I get this while riding?


If you want to experiment, whey protein isolate is ~90% protein by weight. You can add some to your electrolyte. The taste is not offensive.
0.1-0.2g / kg bodyweight / hour for an 80kg guy = ~10-20 grams / hr.

THere's heaps of home made protein bar recipes on the net. Most are primarily oats, honey, nuts, and fruit, and the main protein ingredient source - protein powder which is usually flavored whey protein.
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Re: Big problems with Cramps

Postby MDL » Mon Dec 05, 2011 10:51 pm

doggatas wrote:I used to cramp a fair bit! Haven't cramped in 5 weeks now! I'm putting it down to the bike fit I had done 5 weeks ago! Mind you I wasn't cramping in the usual places! I got mine in the hamstrings! Ouch



Did you cleat position change at all?

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Re: Big problems with Cramps

Postby cjrich » Sat Dec 10, 2011 6:51 am

Schmenz wrote:magnesium is underrated. id be supplementing everyday and making sure there was some in what you have on your ride.


This helped my cramp problems. I take Magnesium tablets daily, Cenovis or Herron brand from Priceline stores and most supermarkets and chemists have them.
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