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I love bike!
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anyone got any tips for preventing leg cramping while out on the trails? I'm pretty much a weekend warrior (2-3 hour rides) and on occasion get to go on some longer mountain bike rides. Every time I'm out for more than maybe 4 hours or so of riding I start developing leg cramping which is almost unbearable at times. Almost got stuck at the top of one of the Elden trails one time and was afraid that I wasn't going to make it down :( . Anyways I try and get some gatorade or something in me pre-ride and often times bring some along but doesn't always seem to help. I feel like I'm in pretty good shape and it's a real bummer when cramping starts to come on cause a couple of times have had to cut rides short :madman: . Any suggestions or others with the same problem that have found a "cure".
 

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dsittman said:
Anyone got any tips for preventing leg cramping while out on the trails? I'm pretty much a weekend warrior (2-3 hour rides) and on occasion get to go on some longer mountain bike rides. Every time I'm out for more than maybe 4 hours or so of riding I start developing leg cramping which is almost unbearable at times. Almost got stuck at the top of one of the Elden trails one time and was afraid that I wasn't going to make it down :( . Anyways I try and get some gatorade or something in me pre-ride and often times bring some along but doesn't always seem to help. I feel like I'm in pretty good shape and it's a real bummer when cramping starts to come on cause a couple of times have had to cut rides short :madman: . Any suggestions or others with the same problem that have found a "cure".
I use Hammer Nutrition Endurolytes on rides longer rides. They are a little pricey, but they work for me.
 

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of course hydration is the biggest thing, but make sure you flood yourself with water a couple of days before you plan on riding. at least, drink two liters the day before a ride (is what i have been told by a doc) and then before your ride also.

if you are dehydrated and then drink right before a ride, you're just going to pee it all out cause your body needs to flush out all the junk.
 

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sonoranbiker
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I know some guys who swear by pickle juice as cramp prevention (I sh!t you not). Something to do with cramps being exacerbated by an acetocholine (neurotransmitter) deficiency. DO some research- there's info out there about it.

I personally just pre-hydrate aggressively, bring a bottle of electrolyte drink (Heed is my favorite), and in the case of really long rides those Hammer pills.
 

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parenting for gnarness
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being hydrated before a ride in general is a good start. I drink gatorade in my camelback for anything over a 4 hr ride - like a liter an hour

I've found some pills for amino acids L-lysine and another called Inosine (not actually an amino) aid in tissue repair and endurance, respectively. Hard to quantify, but when i was playing all-day tournaments i felt they helped. I'm sure any GNC-type place could hook you up with some type of endurance supplement - fwiw, every package always seemed to have different size pills\stregnth\dosage\price so I just bought one that was affordable and took them 1\day or so on my big athletic days.

Expo's for marathons or bike events are good places to get samples to see what might work for you - supplements can get pricey quick.
 

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zoll
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Try to stay hydrated throughout the week, in general your urine should be clear. Watch out for sports drinks (especially the bottled stuff from the store) as too much sugar can inhibit H2O absorbtion.
Bananas are good.
 

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jdub347 said:
I use Hammer Nutrition Endurolytes on rides longer rides. They are a little pricey, but they work for me.
+1 on the Hammer Endurolytes. I would cramp up bad on every ride over 40 miles. I have not cramped once since using the Endurolytes. I take the maximum dose of 6 pills per hour and make sure to take them each hour. I only use them on long rides.

I have also heard good things about Sports Legs.

While I agree staying hydrated and eating bananas and such are good things, these alone never did the job for me. Moreover, I don't like sport drinks of any kind.
 

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eat your porridge jordie
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I used to get pretty bad leg cramps, mostly when drinking only water. I started by eating pre ride bananas, helped a bit but still anything over 3-4 hours would get pretty bad. Now I drink with cold water always, have a bottle of ****enaid, take some Calcium-Magnesium-Phosphorus caps (basically same stuff as Sports Legs but cheaper), and haven't had any problems.
 

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SenorSlacker said:
Eat bananas through the week and hydrate before your ride. The potassium is supposed to prevent crapping. Plus the Hammer Nutrition during the ride.
And if you don't like bananas like some, potatoes have even more potassium that bananas (or at least that is what I think I read on a McDonald's nutrition sheet).

I will never, ever us Hammer products (for personal reasons).
 

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sonoranbiker said:
I know some guys who swear by pickle juice as cramp prevention (I sh!t you not). Something to do with cramps being exacerbated by an acetocholine (neurotransmitter) deficiency. DO some research- there's info out there about it.

I personally just pre-hydrate aggressively, bring a bottle of electrolyte drink (Heed is my favorite), and in the case of really long rides those Hammer pills.
I read about this in ESPN the Mag. It's apparently better than gatorade (or at least that is what they want you to believe).
http://www.bevnet.com/reviews/picklejuice/Product_3195.asp
 

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skinny-tire said:
I will never, ever us Hammer products (for personal reasons).
What is this? Freaking explain yourself here.

What if I just threw out there the following. It is patently unfair to make these kind of statements.

"I will never, ever stick a banana up my keister (for non-personal reasons)."
 

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jperson said:
Is there a cheap/convenient alternative to hammer endurolytes (ecaps)?
I have always sworn by this product, but havent' researched anything else.
I'm not sure how much the hammer ecaps are but I use a product called Electrolyte Stamina by Trace Minerals. About $30 for a bottle of 300.http://www.traceminerals.com/products/stamina.html

available at some health food stores (for sure at the one at NW corner of 32nd street & thunderbird)
 
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Hydration is key, but I've read in Running mag that not enough solid/gel food will also encourage muscle cramping. This last year I've eaten twice as much as usual and I have yet to cramp on a 3+ hour ride. Remember that it can take up to two hours for water to be fully absorbed into your body so drink 12oz at night before bed, 12 as soon as you get up and another 12 right before you start riding.
 

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I love bike!
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Great suggestions, I appreciate all the feedback :thumbsup: For those that use the endurolytes, better results with the capsules or the powder? Capsules seem to me like they would be a little more convenient. If you use the powder do you just mix it in the water in your hydration pack?
 

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dsittman said:
Great suggestions, I appreciate all the feedback :thumbsup: For those that use the endurolytes, better results with the capsules or the powder? Capsules seem to me like they would be a little more convenient. If you use the powder do you just mix it in the water in your hydration pack?
I refuse to mess with any poweders. Freaking pain to deal with.
 

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Meatpuppet
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flooding yourself with water seems like the logical option, but it actually depletes your body of the electrolytes you need. Your body can only absoeb so much water before urinating it out. Cytomax and Heed(Heed being better imo) is good for short rides 1-1 1/2 hrs, but especially in the summers here "You Need Endurolytes or comparable"
Hammer is a great company regardless of whatever ST has against em
 
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