Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,910 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,

I've been a suffering from show stopper leg cramsp for the past decade. This year I decided to actively try some 'potential' cures.

From my reading on the net, it is apparent that there is no one explaination for muscle cramping. The ones that come up the most include
-dehydration
-sodium imbalance
-other electrolyte imbalance
-muscle fatigue from inadequate training

I have been testing the Endurolute capsules from E-caps / Hammer Nutrition for several months. I live in SW Virginia which has pretty warm temperatures and some high humidity. I weigh 135 lbs and am male.

I'd take 2-3 tablets before a ride, and then 1-2 capsules ever hour. During mountain bike training rides of 2-3 hours, in a variety of temperatures I had NOT been able to make myself cramp. I was trying to do hard mtb rides, simulating a race. Non stop trying to push it. I had at least 4 of these types of rides under my belt and was hopeful that the caps would work in a race environment.

Of course for me, there is no way to simulate racing as well as to race.

Yesterday was the Massanutten Hoo Ha race. It was warm 80s I think. I warmed up for 1/2 hour and began the race. At 1:37 into it I got my first cramp, they came on and off another hour through the end of the race. I'd take 3 ecaps before the race, 2 at hour 1, 3 at hour 2
My speculation is that I was feeling very strong during the first part of the race and pushed some bigger gears than I should have. The course also required some bigger gear riding through technical rock gardens and had a bunch of steep grinders, which all place a lot of stress on the legs.

Usually I cramp on the inner thighs. This time I was cramping there was well as the front quads. We are talking total quad lockup, tears in eyes, teeth gritting, spin the easiest gear your can to get it to go away, or risk falling down into a curled up screaming ball on the ground.

So the Ecaps failed me. I SO much wanted them to be a magic bullet to end these cramps once and for all. I would have made it on the podium if not for the cramping

I do think that they have helped in prolonging when the cramping started. With the warm up I didn't cramp unti 2hrs into some very hard riding on a hot day. So that isn't too bad given the low quantity of training that I do.

Back to the drawing board. Some other things I'd like to try are tonic water which has quinine in it. I also saw this other magic bullet type of product called HCH cramp stop. You supposedly spray it under your tounge when you feel a cramp come on. Yeah I'm really crossing my fingers on that one. I'm waiting for this other spray on product that magically transports you to the podium!!

For reference, here is some info I'd been finding on the net
http://www.cptips.com/muspain.htm
http://www.roadbikerider.com/cramps.htm

My speculation is that it is mostly training related and that working harder will make me stronger and more resistant to cramping. Aww that means real work.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,395 Posts
Sorry to hear they didn't work for you.

I tried them for the first time last weekend @ the Wild100 in Slatyfork. I also ate and hydrated appropriately (something I usually never do well at). I was downing 2-3 per hour during the race and didn't have any cramps in 10+ hours. Not sure if it was the hydration or the eating or the endurolytes, but SOMETHING worked for me. I'll keep using them for my long hard rides.

Dave
 

·
i worship Mr T
Joined
·
5,543 Posts
bummer...

you might want to try Stim-o-stam - it's phosphate and is also useful in preventing cramps. in addition to using it during the race you can pre-load with it. i usually start loading 3-4 days before the race & take 3 tablets 3x/day. it seemed to help a little for me. i also get inner thigh cramps but it generally takes about 2 hrs before they start. also, like you i have never been able to simulate it during training. the cramps only happen during racing.

all that said, i used the stim-o-stam for my race this past weekend and still started to cramp toward the end of my last lap. however, i think the problem is more the result of being anemic and having poor O2 transfer to my muscles than a lack of phosphates/sodium/etc.

ashwinearl said:
I also saw this other magic bullet type of product called HCH cramp stop. You supposedly spray it under your tounge when you feel a cramp come on. Yeah I'm really crossing my fingers on that one. I'm waiting for this other spray on product that magically transports you to the podium!!.
let me know if you find out where to buy that podium spray!! :D

rt
 

·
On your left.
Joined
·
1,188 Posts
It's training

To mitigate cramping you must train on the road. MTB riding has too much recovery to train for muscle endurance.

Endurolytes help (I use them), but they are not a solution. You seem to be using them correctly, the only thing I can think of is if you were using a gel and sportsdrink during the race - doing both can lead to cramping - something to do with water being used to metabolise the carbs is not available to the muscles. Also, you should be sure to get enough sodium in your daily diet.

ashwinearl said:
Hi All,

I've been a suffering from show stopper leg cramsp for the past decade. This year I decided to actively try some 'potential' cures.

From my reading on the net, it is apparent that there is no one explaination for muscle cramping. The ones that come up the most include
-dehydration
-sodium imbalance
-other electrolyte imbalance
-muscle fatigue from inadequate training

I have been testing the Endurolute capsules from E-caps / Hammer Nutrition for several months. I live in SW Virginia which has pretty warm temperatures and some high humidity. I weigh 135 lbs and am male.

I'd take 2-3 tablets before a ride, and then 1-2 capsules ever hour. During mountain bike training rides of 2-3 hours, in a variety of temperatures I had NOT been able to make myself cramp. I was trying to do hard mtb rides, simulating a race. Non stop trying to push it. I had at least 4 of these types of rides under my belt and was hopeful that the caps would work in a race environment.

Of course for me, there is no way to simulate racing as well as to race.

Yesterday was the Massanutten Hoo Ha race. It was warm 80s I think. I warmed up for 1/2 hour and began the race. At 1:37 into it I got my first cramp, they came on and off another hour through the end of the race. I'd take 3 ecaps before the race, 2 at hour 1, 3 at hour 2
My speculation is that I was feeling very strong during the first part of the race and pushed some bigger gears than I should have. The course also required some bigger gear riding through technical rock gardens and had a bunch of steep grinders, which all place a lot of stress on the legs.

Usually I cramp on the inner thighs. This time I was cramping there was well as the front quads. We are talking total quad lockup, tears in eyes, teeth gritting, spin the easiest gear your can to get it to go away, or risk falling down into a curled up screaming ball on the ground.

So the Ecaps failed me. I SO much wanted them to be a magic bullet to end these cramps once and for all. I would have made it on the podium if not for the cramping

I do think that they have helped in prolonging when the cramping started. With the warm up I didn't cramp unti 2hrs into some very hard riding on a hot day. So that isn't too bad given the low quantity of training that I do.

Back to the drawing board. Some other things I'd like to try are tonic water which has quinine in it. I also saw this other magic bullet type of product called HCH cramp stop. You supposedly spray it under your tounge when you feel a cramp come on. Yeah I'm really crossing my fingers on that one. I'm waiting for this other spray on product that magically transports you to the podium!!

For reference, here is some info I'd been finding on the net
http://www.cptips.com/muspain.htm
http://www.roadbikerider.com/cramps.htm

My speculation is that it is mostly training related and that working harder will make me stronger and more resistant to cramping. Aww that means real work.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,910 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Motivated said:
, the only thing I can think of is if you were using a gel and sportsdrink during the race .
Ding! Ding! Ding! Give the man a prize. I was doing exactly that in this race.

I use a camelbak of water, a flask of Hammer gel and a small bottle of Accelerade. I've found that the gels keep me going into the 2hr range, but I wanted something with a little bit of protein to help me when an event goes over 2hrs and into the 2.5-3hr range.

I've tested the combonation before in training. However, I am concerned that I didn't drink enough water this past race, as my camel bak seemed awfully full at the end of the race, and I declined any water at the water stops, which would have forced me to drink more.

Thanks for the insight.
 

·
On your left.
Joined
·
1,188 Posts
I know, because I do it too.

5 units Hammergel in a flask, 1 bottle plain water, 1 bottle with 1 scoop cytomax + 1 scoop R4 + 3 endurolytes(i.e. pretty strong). I have trouble giving up either source of energy, but I'm going to try and give up the drink and go with 2x plain water. Hammergel rules and taking from a flask elliminates a big headache with the packets. I have tried to mix endurolytes with hamergel - makes it bitter, but works. I sometimes get a bit hungry mid race, but it goes away. I don't take water from aid stations anymore because I have to slow down to catch my breath to drink from a cup (and they usually put them right at the top of the climb)

You may want to try the egel or efuel products from crank sports. I've used the samples and was impressed. When I use up my supply of mixes I might switch over.

Anyway, all that said, when I consistently get 1x long road ride in per week I do much better toward the end of the race.

ashwinearl said:
Ding! Ding! Ding! Give the man a prize. I was doing exactly that in this race.

I use a camelbak of water, a flask of Hammer gel and a small bottle of Accelerade. I've found that the gels keep me going into the 2hr range, but I wanted something with a little bit of protein to help me when an event goes over 2hrs and into the 2.5-3hr range.

I've tested the combonation before in training. However, I am concerned that I didn't drink enough water this past race, as my camel bak seemed awfully full at the end of the race, and I declined any water at the water stops, which would have forced me to drink more.

Thanks for the insight.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
190 Posts
Electrolytes definitely matter, but I think we need more info to accurately offer advice. What does your training look like? Do you weight train? Are you flexible or stretch regularly? What does your diet look like?

I did a 100 mile race this weekend and had cramping for the first time in a long time, they were vicious too... although I didn't eat enough, I think it was the specificity of my training that did it to me...

One of the things I wrote down to change in my training next year was to do longer rides without quick rest breaks which will allow me to crank up my muscle endurance. I had a tendency this year to ride for awhile, take a quick rest, eat, etc... By doing this I was training my muscles that they needed a break even though we were on a long ride... Now I can see how it hurt me and will change that.

Occasional cramps would seem to be electrolyte related, but a decades worth of them makes me want to examine your training and look for places to make subtle changes. Just a thought, I could be way off...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
790 Posts
cramping/endurolytes

I endurance race and love epic rides in general. I have battled cramps for years and have found several things that help: 1. Endurolytes, go to the e-caps website and read up. These products really work but you have to use them just right. The dosage varies by individual and the conditions. You may need as few as 3 an hour or up to 6+ an hour if its hot. Also figure out how much sodium you are getting from other sources (sportsdrinks etc). Also if you eat healthy (avoiding processed foods) and you do not add salt to your foods your diet may generally lack enough sodium for the amount of training you do. I always thought that salt is bad for health, but an endurance athlete needs way more than an average person. I now salt my food and it helps. I genarally try to get 600 mg of sodium intake an hour during long rides. Sometimes I need even more. My training partner seems to need about half that amount. 2. Training, sometimes you must train like you race to figure this stuff out; or do training races. If you do not occasionally go long and hard in training your body will not be prepared for the race efforts. 3. Stretching and massage, make an effort to always stretch after hard training and pay special attention to the areas where you have cramping problems. If you can afford it a proffessional massage from someone who works with athletes once a week will help alot, I cannot afford it but i have learned to do at least my legs myself.
Nothing is a magic bullett, but I have pretty much conquered my cramping problems using all of the above tactics. Good luck
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,851 Posts
Something slightly different I've found seems to help reduce cramping is to use embrocation. It's not very scientific but I always feel that I can try harder at the end of a ride with less danger of cramping with embrocation on my legs.

That goes for hot weather as well as cold weather.

I've been using Nature's Kiss Activate cream which is supposed to be for warm weather and indoor use.

http://www.natureskiss.net/product.asp?P_ID=43

I'm sure I read somewhere that protein as BCAA's during exercise helps reduce cramping although it might just have been increases endurance and delays fatigue?

Either way an energy drink with BCAA's as well as electrolytes could be worth trying.:)
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top