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Hi, been wondering if this is normal or is it possible I'm not eating right before/during rides.

I get a pretty decent cramp for a few minutes after stopping for a relatively brief period of time during longer rides. This can get pretty painful. I only get cramps at this time and not during long stretches on the road or on hills.

This might be pretty normal, but I'd like to stop it because it's both annoying and a big scary.
 

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Cramp cures

culdeus said:
I get a pretty decent cramp for a few minutes after stopping for a relatively brief period of time during longer rides. This can get pretty painful. I only get cramps at this time and not during long stretches on the road or on hills.
VeloNews, July 1, 2003, Monique Ryan. Cramp causes are a mystery but most likely are due to muscular exhaustion, low fuel, bio mechanical problems, fluid losses, and mineral deficiencies. Na losses per liter of sweat have been measured from 115 to 2300 mg. Studies on football players have shown that players who lost more Na were more likely to cramp (3 gm/hr vs 1 gm/hr). Drink 16-32 oz one hour before the ride, and then 8-16 oz 20-30 minutes before the ride. Add 1/2 tsp salt per large bottle for Na supplementation during a ride - that's 1200 mg of sodium.

Adventure Cyclist Sept/Oct. 2001 Muscle Cramps comments by Nancy Clark. 5 theories (none proven, as science does not know the cause of cramps, and cannot cause cramps predictably): 1) hydration, 2) lack of calcium (doubted by nutritionists), 3) lack of sodium, 4) lack of potassium (not likely since the body has so much) 5) lack of pickle juice (lots of ions). Note, musicians get hand cramps, even though they are not likely experiencing any of 1-5.

My own experience has been that electrolytes and hydration are the keys. Taking a TUMS or two at the break in a long ride seems to help in the home stretch. For long rides, I also add both table salt and salt substitute (potassium chloride) to my feed bag (fig bars) to insure adequate electrolyte intake. Keeping a high cadence is always helpful. Your check for hydration can be either weighing yourself as you leave and when you get back (retrospective), having to pee every 2 hours or so during the ride (concurrent), or keeping track of past rides and how much you drank and drinking more this time (prospective). It never hurts to down a glass of water just before you get on the bike.

www.roadbikerider.com/cramps.htm
 

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culdeus said:
Hi, been wondering if this is normal or is it possible I'm not eating right before/during rides.

I get a pretty decent cramp for a few minutes after stopping for a relatively brief period of time during longer rides. This can get pretty painful. I only get cramps at this time and not during long stretches on the road or on hills.

This might be pretty normal, but I'd like to stop it because it's both annoying and a big scary.
Conventional wisdom says that cramps are caused by a lack of hydration or a lack of potassium, or both. I find that drinking a full water bottle (standard bike bottle) + before a ride, and a full bottle every 15 miles reduces my tendency to cramp, and just seems to make the ride better.
 
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