Cramping after riding

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gtext
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Cramping after riding

Postby gtext » Fri Mar 16, 2018 10:15 am

Not a long distance rider compared to many here 50 to 60 km the normal max but many rides a bit shorter than this.
Usually get out at least three times a week time and weather permitting. In my late 60s no big climbs involved.
Thigh cramping is the problem post riding and never during a ride. For example a ride finishing mid afternoon over the next 6 to 8 hours doing something like getting up out of the chair or something else will trigger an extremely painful thigh muscle cramp.
The next day everything is fine again until the next ride.
Improved it slightly by drinking more as I knew I wasn't drinking enough but only plain water. Not eating on the rides should I ?
Should I be using a supplement in the water if so what ? Should I be taking something post ride to help ? If so what ?

Interested in hearing any suggestions on what to try or do. Maybe others have had the same problem and found a solution. Asked my doctor but he wasn't any help. Not sure who to turn to so I thought I'd ask here.

Thanks in advance for any comments.

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g-boaf
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Re: Cramping after riding

Postby g-boaf » Fri Mar 16, 2018 11:29 am

Try rolling out the muscles that threaten to cramp with a foam roller after the ride, that might avoid it happening.

You can also try using some sort of electrolyte powder in your water, or even the tablets that dissolve in water, those are simple and work well.

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silentC
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Re: Cramping after riding

Postby silentC » Fri Mar 16, 2018 11:46 am

I get this occasionally. All I can tell you is that I only get it when I've not been doing much riding and I then go do a hard-ish one. Of late I have been very lazy and only riding about 60-80km a week. So I get them every so often, like you when standing up from a chair or walking down stairs. When I was doing 250km plus per week I never got cramps after riding. Got them a couple of times whilst riding though!
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g-boaf
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Re: Cramping after riding

Postby g-boaf » Fri Mar 16, 2018 12:17 pm

I do a stack of kilometres normally, ~400km a week usually. I only ever get the cramps if I really push myself absolutely flat out on a long ride, and it will always be the adductor that cramps up without exception. Damn well kills too when it does, but it never prevents me from riding the next day. I can usually massage out the cramp and get it to release.

Only stretching out/rolling out the muscles will prevent it. I have to do it pretty much immediately after I've finished.

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Re: Cramping after riding

Postby eeksll » Fri Mar 16, 2018 12:55 pm

g-boaf wrote:I do a stack of kilometres normally, ~400km a week usually. I only ever get the cramps if I really push myself absolutely flat out on a long ride, and it will always be the adductor that cramps up without exception. Damn well kills too when it does, but it never prevents me from riding the next day. I can usually massage out the cramp and get it to release.

Only stretching out/rolling out the muscles will prevent it. I have to do it pretty much immediately after I've finished.


ditto, a harder effort than normal will usually produce this response in me as well. By harder I mean intensity, doing longer rides out of the blue don't tend to result in cramps for me.

both adductors cramping while in the pool after the ride ... :shock:

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silentC
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Re: Cramping after riding

Postby silentC » Fri Mar 16, 2018 1:07 pm

Yes I am familiar with that pain!

But I usually get them in the quads. That lump just above your knee on the inside of the thigh.
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cyclotaur
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Re: Cramping after riding

Postby cyclotaur » Fri Mar 16, 2018 1:55 pm

Plain old Staminade at half the rate recommended in first small bidon. (500ml) - Then just water.

That should do for 50-60kms. Available at the supermarket.
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Dodgy-Knee
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Re: Cramping after riding

Postby Dodgy-Knee » Fri Mar 16, 2018 6:10 pm

gtext wrote:Thigh cramping is the problem post riding and never during a ride. For example a ride finishing mid afternoon over the next 6 to 8 hours doing something like getting up out of the chair or something else will trigger an extremely painful thigh muscle cramp.


I also cramp in my legs and feet VERY badly after any form of hard physical activity that makes me sweat a lot ... not just bike riding. It got so bad that, like you, I could simply get up out of a chair and end up a contorted mess on the floor... kicking the doona off at night would be enough to cramp my legs in seconds flat...

Some of your cramping may be because your muscles are getting used to an increased riding workload but I'd bet my last dollar that you're cramping because your levels of magnesium are too low.... drinking only water won't solve the problem as it only replaces the water and not any electrolytes. Powders such as Gatorade etc. will have some key electrolytes added and will generally replace sodium and potassium (lost via sweating) but you will need to specifically replace the magnesium after you ride.... 50 - 60km is a fair distance.

You can buy magnesium powder from any chemist eg Chemist Warehouse... I bought some Nature's Own Mega Magnesium powder + CoQ10 from them and it is excellent... it's not super-cheap... I think i paid $20/180g but there were other brands way more expensive (they're all a variation on a theme) ... there are some reports that a combination of magnesium and calcium (generally contained in the same powder) work better... my partner sourced some stuff called HydroCal from Healthwest (www.healthwest.com.au) that she takes for her fibromyalgia and I'll give that a go once my magnesium powder runs out but so far, so good.

If I'm heading out on a 100Km+ ride or if it's really hot and humid, I'll have a glass before I leave and after I return... so far, no more cramps... I have a 130km+ ride coming up in a couple of weeks and may take a water bottle with me for during the ride (I did this ride last year before I started taking magnesium and cramped up really badly... both quads and hamstrings at the same time which BLOODY HURT!!!)

Hope this helps.

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silentC
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Re: Cramping after riding

Postby silentC » Fri Mar 16, 2018 6:42 pm

Glad to hear that works for you. Unfortunately the evidence is not yet there, other than anecdotal, that magnesium does anything to prevent leg cramps. In fact a recent study that I read about found no difference between magnesium and a placebo, although the sample size was a little small, only 88. So probably more research required there. Supplemental magnesium interferes with some medications so worth running that past your doctor if you're taking anything.
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silentC
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Re: Cramping after riding

Postby silentC » Fri Mar 16, 2018 6:49 pm

Here is a fairly succinct article on exercise-related cramps: https://www.sportsdietitians.com.au/sda ... -exercise/

Personally I think it is most likely diet or dehydration-related in my case anyway. My glycogen stores are very low at the moment and I can feel it every time I ride.
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gtext
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Re: Cramping after riding

Postby gtext » Fri Mar 16, 2018 8:49 pm

Dodgy-Knee wrote:
gtext wrote:Thigh cramping is the problem post riding and never during a ride. For example a ride finishing mid afternoon over the next 6 to 8 hours doing something like getting up out of the chair or something else will trigger an extremely painful thigh muscle cramp.


I also cramp in my legs and feet VERY badly after any form of hard physical activity that makes me sweat a lot ... not just bike riding. It got so bad that, like you, I could simply get up out of a chair and end up a contorted mess on the floor... kicking the doona off at night would be enough to cramp my legs in seconds flat...

Some of your cramping may be because your muscles are getting used to an increased riding workload but I'd bet my last dollar that you're cramping because your levels of magnesium are too low.... drinking only water won't solve the problem as it only replaces the water and not any electrolytes. Powders such as Gatorade etc. will have some key electrolytes added and will generally replace sodium and potassium (lost via sweating) but you will need to specifically replace the magnesium after you ride.... 50 - 60km is a fair distance.

You can buy magnesium powder from any chemist eg Chemist Warehouse... I bought some Nature's Own Mega Magnesium powder + CoQ10 from them and it is excellent... it's not super-cheap... I think i paid $20/180g but there were other brands way more expensive (they're all a variation on a theme) ... there are some reports that a combination of magnesium and calcium (generally contained in the same powder) work better... my partner sourced some stuff called HydroCal from Healthwest (http://www.healthwest.com.au) that she takes for her fibromyalgia and I'll give that a go once my magnesium powder runs out but so far, so good.

If I'm heading out on a 100Km+ ride or if it's really hot and humid, I'll have a glass before I leave and after I return... so far, no more cramps... I have a 130km+ ride coming up in a couple of weeks and may take a water bottle with me for during the ride (I did this ride last year before I started taking magnesium and cramped up really badly... both quads and hamstrings at the same time which BLOODY HURT!!!)

Hope this helps.


Thanks Dodgy-Knees for you comments and information. Magnesium was something I had thought about and you've helped with heaps more than I knew. Encouraging how it's helped you.

Today instead of the roadie I took out the hybrid (Giant Roam) on a mix of dirt and sealed totalling 55km. What I did differently was drink heaps of water. So far no cramps. So that may be one cause as I was only drinking previously when thirsty. I'll probably try the roadie next week drinking more and see what happens.
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Re: Cramping after riding

Postby gtext » Fri Mar 16, 2018 9:02 pm

cyclotaur wrote:Plain old Staminade at half the rate recommended in first small bidon. (500ml) - Then just water.

That should do for 50-60kms. Available at the supermarket.


Thanks for that suggestion. Worth a try and easy.
Took out the Giant Roam instead on a mix of dirt and sealed over 55km. No cramps so far. What I did differently was drink heaps. More than twice the amount of water I normally drink. I'll try the roadie next week with Staminade and drinking more instead of waiting until thirsty.

gtext
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Re: Cramping after riding

Postby gtext » Fri Mar 16, 2018 9:16 pm

silentC wrote:Here is a fairly succinct article on exercise-related cramps: https://www.sportsdietitians.com.au/sda ... -exercise/

Personally I think it is most likely diet or dehydration-related in my case anyway. My glycogen stores are very low at the moment and I can feel it every time I ride.


Thanks for link. Interesting article.
Ran 55km on the Giant Roam instead of the roadie on a mix of dirt and sealed. Pretty hard run. So far no cramps.
Drank heaps of water much more than normal. So I'm thinking hydration may be the problem. I'll try the roadie next week doing the same.

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Re: Cramping after riding

Postby gtext » Fri Mar 16, 2018 9:18 pm

Thanks everyone for your comments and suggestions.

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Re: Cramping after riding

Postby Philistine » Sat Mar 17, 2018 11:00 am

Dodgy-Knee wrote: ... there are some reports that a combination of magnesium and calcium (generally contained in the same powder) work better...


I started to develop night cramps in my calves a couple of years ago, and I found that magnesium supplements kept them in check. My advice is to read the small print on the label before you spend your money. Many so-called magnesium supplements are simply magnesium oxide, which I used to purchase for industrial use for about $400 per tonne (how much money are these people making?), and which is next to useless as a supplement as your body only absorbs a tiny proportion of it. You need the magnesium to be bound up with an organic radicle - look for magnesium citrate, magnesium chelate, or similar.

At one point I found a magnesium / calcium supplement in Costco of all places. The magnesium was the right kind, the price was right, and I reasoned that the calcium could not do me any harm and might even do me some good. Wrong! A couple of months later I was carted off to hospital in an ambulance suffering from kidney stones, which my doctor said was almost certainly caused by the calcium in the supplement.

gtext
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Re: Cramping after riding

Postby gtext » Sat Mar 17, 2018 1:24 pm

Philistine wrote:
Dodgy-Knee wrote: ... there are some reports that a combination of magnesium and calcium (generally contained in the same powder) work better...


I started to develop night cramps in my calves a couple of years ago, and I found that magnesium supplements kept them in check. My advice is to read the small print on the label before you spend your money. Many so-called magnesium supplements are simply magnesium oxide, which I used to purchase for industrial use for about $400 per tonne (how much money are these people making?), and which is next to useless as a supplement as your body only absorbs a tiny proportion of it. You need the magnesium to be bound up with an organic radicle - look for magnesium citrate, magnesium chelate, or similar.

At one point I found a magnesium / calcium supplement in Costco of all places. The magnesium was the right kind, the price was right, and I reasoned that the calcium could not do me any harm and might even do me some good. Wrong! A couple of months later I was carted off to hospital in an ambulance suffering from kidney stones, which my doctor said was almost certainly caused by the calcium in the supplement.


Ouch. Don't want to go down that path.

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Re: Cramping after riding

Postby Ivanerrol » Sat Mar 24, 2018 11:54 pm

Magnesium Chelate is more recommended - it's absorbed into the blood stream better than Magnesium citrus types - at least that's what my doctor has recommended.
Secondly bananas - for the potassium.
Sports drinks are usually full of sugar.

if you are getting persistent cramps get your doctor to order you a blood test specifying kidney function.
Specifically on the potassium/magnesium absorption levels.
A recent MRI on my kidneys for an unrelated problem showed up scarring on my kidneys due to some ancient infection or problem. This scarring causes the kidney to pass required nutrients straight through to the urine - particularly potassium and magnesium.
Side affects.....cramps.
Citrus is now off the diet, cranberry tablets and juice on, plus extra servings of foods and supplements which provide the required vitamins which are being preventing from wholly entering the blood stream by the scarring on the kidneys.
Durianrider might be onto something with his 30 bananas a day.
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Re: Cramping after riding

Postby Aussiebullet » Sun Mar 25, 2018 7:12 am

Not sure why people keep recommending Bananas only for potassium since all fruit and vegetable contain large amounts of potassium.
It varies a bit for different varieties of the same plant but a few examples are:

Dates 100g ~700mg potassium
Potatoes 100g ~550mg potassium
Bananas 100g ~360mg potassium

Nothing wrong with bananas but nothing special about them either.

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Re: Cramping after riding

Postby cyclotaur » Sun Mar 25, 2018 10:51 am

Aussiebullet wrote:Not sure why people keep recommending Bananas only for potassium since all fruit and vegetable contain large amounts of potassium.
It varies a bit for different varieties of the same plant but a few examples are:

Dates 100g ~700mg potassium
Potatoes 100g ~550mg potassium
Bananas 100g ~360mg potassium

Nothing wrong with bananas but nothing special about them either.

They are conveniently packaged to take along on a bike ride though. :wink:
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Re: Cramping after riding

Postby Zippy7 » Sun Mar 25, 2018 6:00 pm

cyclotaur wrote:
Aussiebullet wrote:Not sure why people keep recommending Bananas only for potassium since all fruit and vegetable contain large amounts of potassium.
It varies a bit for different varieties of the same plant but a few examples are:

Dates 100g ~700mg potassium
Potatoes 100g ~550mg potassium
Bananas 100g ~360mg potassium

Nothing wrong with bananas but nothing special about them either.

They are conveniently packaged to take along on a bike ride though. :wink:


+1 for bringing a banana or 2 on the ride.
Not sure I'd bring a spud on the ride :)
I'd also add that I'd easily eat 100g of bananas, but would hesitate to eat 100g of dates... Maybe 2 or 3?

But point taken about other foods containing potassium.

I will sometimes get night cramps - I did try magnesium, and that did appear to help, but so does varying your diet too.
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Re: Cramping after riding

Postby BugsBunny » Mon Mar 26, 2018 2:01 pm

Few things that might help.

Are your bid shorts new and/or too small. The tightness around the thigh might be something to look into.

Vitamin deficiency. I'm no medical expert, but I take Vitamin B12 before and after a ride as apparently its important for cardio type exercises. I'm not clear on the science behind it, but I take them anyway.

Stretching before and after and regularly. I practice yoga, and there is a pose call downward facing dog (google it). Its a great stretch for cyclists as it gives a "whole body" stretch starting at your ankles, the hamstrings, the lower back, upper shoulders and arms. Start out slow and if you get dizzy, ease off.

Start out your ride VERY gently until you're getting a few beads of sweat. Then get off the bike and stretch your legs/hamstrings - then continue. Remember to do the same post ride.

Steam sauna. If you don't have high blood pressure, then a steam sauna I find a good way to let the muscles/tendons recover.

Bike fit. It could be this. An incorrect bike fit can cause all sorts of problems. So if you are in your 60s and want to continue riding for many years to come, then a good bike fit may help.

Hope you sort it all out!

Bugs

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Re: Cramping after riding

Postby Baalzamon » Tue Mar 27, 2018 11:31 pm

Aussiebullet wrote:Not sure why people keep recommending Bananas only for potassium since all fruit and vegetable contain large amounts of potassium.
It varies a bit for different varieties of the same plant but a few examples are:

Dates 100g ~700mg potassium
Potatoes 100g ~550mg potassium
Bananas 100g ~360mg potassium

Nothing wrong with bananas but nothing special about them either.

And a few more

Avocadoes 100g ~ 507mg potassium
Spinach cooked 100g ~ 466mg potassium
Mushrooms cooked 100g ~356mg potassium
Broccoli cooked 100g ~ 293mg
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Re: Cramping after riding

Postby djw47 » Wed Mar 28, 2018 2:28 pm

Make sure you rehydrate after your ride, if it's hot. I'll always smash a Berocca (or the Aldi equivalent) in a large glass of water immediately after my ride to replenish the salts that have been lost through sweat and that seems to solve the problem before it happens (it happens regularly a few hours after a ride if I don't take the Berocca).
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Patt0
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Re: Cramping after riding

Postby Patt0 » Wed Mar 28, 2018 3:17 pm

My cramps slowly got less as I got fitter. Stopped like I flicked a switch when I stopped adding salt to my food.
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foo on patrol
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Re: Cramping after riding

Postby foo on patrol » Thu Mar 29, 2018 2:39 pm

Patt0 wrote:My cramps slowly got less as I got fitter. Stopped like I flicked a switch when I stopped adding salt to my food.


Never made any difference to me, as to how fit I was. :cry: I needed a script for magnesium tablets. :wink:

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