Sunday, January 20, 2013
Leg Cramps and Cycling
There is much that has been researched and written about muscle cramps or spasms over the years. The most commonly held belief is that muscle cramps or spasms are brought on during exercise as a result of dehydration. The main reason is this is that when you sweat you lose fluids which include electrolytes (salt, potassium, magnesium and calcium). These electrolytes are used to help the chemical firing of muscle fibres. When these nutrients in your body fall the incidence of muscle spasms increases. It is is a reasonable conclusion to then link electrolytes to cramps and why many sport drinks now include these nutrients; salt, potassium, magnesium and sometimes calcium to reduce the chance of muscle cramps or spasms while cycling.
Many hard-core riders consume a calcium supplement or a fortified over-the-counter anatacid to replace the calcium that is burned during exercise. If increasing your calcium intake doesn’t help with your cramping issues, you should try increasing the amount of magnesium and potassium that you ingest, as studies suggest that diminished levels of those nutrients may also lead to cramps.
Dr Martha Castro's Counter (SD: 10/28/11)