Athletes Cramping

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 09, 2010 1:57 AM GMT
    Im a track and field runner. notable supplements I ingest include caffeine creatine and "preworkout pep" stuff like NO-Xplode.

    I tend to cramp occasionally after workouts... mainly high intensity tempo( ie. 6x200m with 45 second break(infrequently leads to vomiting))

    I'll have my calves or my quads and occasionally my hamstrings or even my neck and forearms cramp... even had my abs cramp awfully doing ab workouts post running.

    I've read that electrolytes will help and that I should lay off the diuretics. I was even stupid enough to waste ten dollars on pedialyte. I read the ingredients after I bought it... sucralose food coloring and asulfame -k... for kids! really?!?

    I heard about salt pills as well.

    At any rate recovery from cramps is a bitch let alone the episode of having them


    any tips to help me out?

  • UStriathlete

    Posts: 320

    Nov 09, 2010 2:09 AM GMT
    drop the caffeine creatine.....

    just use a caffeine tablet (only for competition) and first endurance EFS electrolyte drink for workouts.

    electrolytes tablets by sport quests are very good, they will help as well.
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    Nov 09, 2010 2:12 AM GMT
    Use creatine during your off season, and Make sure you are drinking tons of water, i mean like tons,....thats why i dont do creatine any more, due to cramps, especially when i played college sports....I'd drop it if i were you....
  • neosyllogy

    Posts: 1714

    Nov 09, 2010 2:31 AM GMT
    track_boi said...pedialyte. I read the ingredients after I bought it... sucralose food coloring and asulfame -k... for kids! really?!?

    Seriously?! That is f'd up! icon_eek.gif Kids should not be given that kind of ... synthetic gumbo. (And I'm no "natural/organic is better" believer.)

    To main topic:
    My sports are pretty different than yours. But aside from just getting in better shape when I first started (which I don't think is an issue for you) just the regular cure of water and bananas seemed to help a lot. I don't recall gatorade type drinks helping much. But it's always hard to say, so many variables.
    I'll still get cramps on the rare occasion (usually calf), usually if I missed training for a bit due to work or the like.
    Also, creatine has been associated with cramping I assume you know. Not up to speed on the mechanism, but I think it's just due to associated dehydration.

    So yeah, watching your hydration (which the caffein and creatine may both be impacting) and maybe getting some potassium up ins would be first suggestions. Would talk to your coach of course.
  • wave173

    Posts: 45

    Nov 09, 2010 2:36 AM GMT
    I'd make sure youre getting plenty of water, but you also really want to focus on vitamins and minerals. Some of the minerals are your electrolytes, but Calcium is very important as well with cramps and overall muscle function. You might want to skip the creatine and caffeine and go for a multivitamin instead. Athletes have a much higher requirement for vitamins and minerals above recommended RDA's.
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    Nov 09, 2010 2:38 AM GMT
    I swear by thermolyte which is basically salt tablets with some other stuff in them. In ultras (way different than sprinting obviously), it has been a godsend. 1 every 30 min plus regular water. Have used them on races up to 12 hours long and it seems to avoid cramps. That and a lot of massage before the event. And fluids.

    For your style of race, I'd suggest 2-4 tabs 30-45 min before hand. Try it on some workouts and see what happens.

  • ArmsandLegs

    Posts: 125

    Nov 09, 2010 2:51 AM GMT
    From the info given, there are a few things that may be the culprit leading to your cramping episodes.
    - Excessive caffiene can be a diuretic (depending on how sensitive your body is to the chemical depends on what defines excessive.), causing you to become dehydrated. Dehydration leads to cramps.
    - Creatine in excess leads to dehydration. Usually anything more than 3-5g a day (while in the maintenance phase) is excessive.
    - You may just not be drinking enough water. Hypovolemia/dehydration is a frequent causee of cramping.
    - An imbalance in electrolytes (mainly Na and K, but also Ca) can lead to cramping. If you sweat alot and just rehydrate with water, you may be hyponaturemic/hypocalcemic/hypokalemic. Drinking a sports drink ( Gatorade/Powerade etc) before and during workouts should help if this is the case.
    - Overtraining can cause cramps if your muscles don't get enough rest and nutrition between training sessions. Cramping is a defense mechanism for muscles to prevent further injury.

    If you have the resources, have your diet plan reviewed by a sports nutritionist and be sure to include all supplements taken. Also speak to an Athletic Trainer/Therapist and be 100% honest with your workout regime and diet plan to see if there is some specific error in your plan.
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    Nov 09, 2010 3:50 AM GMT
    I would stay away from the caffeine. A lot of people would say you are cheating even taking a tablet before competition. If cramping is an issue look at three things 1) water intake 2) potassium intake 3) stretching and warm up routine.

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    Nov 09, 2010 4:21 AM GMT
    Ease up on the NO Xplode. The caffeine and creatine are the main sources for your cramping. You may also want to consider taking potassium pills. I only take them when I go on long runs.
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    Nov 09, 2010 4:35 AM GMT
    Potassium is a key nutrient in muscle development, plus it seems that you may not be breathing right either, not enough oxygen to your muscles will cause excessive Lactic acid (which is what causes cramps) Do you stretch? The NO is what is making you vomit. Also drink loads of water.
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    Nov 09, 2010 5:43 AM GMT
    Grimaldi01 saidPotassium is a key nutrient in muscle development, plus it seems that you may not be breathing right either, not enough oxygen to your muscles will cause excessive Lactic acid (which is what causes cramps) Do you stretch? The NO is what is making you vomit. Also drink loads of water.


    I concur with Grimaldi and others...Potassium is the key. On my long runs afterwards, I was getting a lot of lactic acid building up. My trainer suggested to always keep a banana handy or potassium supplement. Additionally, I asked him about No-Xplode and he said - No, you should not use No-Xplode for running, but rather for muscle strength building pre-workout...so far his suggestions have worked for me...on my long runs I carry a banana, and also when I am done and head to my car I have one waiting for me.
  • swimmermatt10...

    Posts: 281

    Nov 09, 2010 6:00 AM GMT
    I'm a swimmer so not exactly the same but still aerobic sports. If you want the cramping to go down, drink A LOT of water. Not just during your workout, or in between running sets, like all day long when you are at work or doing errands. Just keep a nalgene or something on you and fill it up. I drink about 3-4 nalgene's a day and i almost never get cramps anymore. Also, try to get some potassium into you daily intake, that helps a lot with lessening cramps.
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    Nov 09, 2010 6:01 AM GMT
    Grimaldi01 saidPotassium is a key nutrient in muscle development, plus it seems that you may not be breathing right either, not enough oxygen to your muscles will cause excessive Lactic acid (which is what causes cramps) Do you stretch? The NO is what is making you vomit. Also drink loads of water.


    I do agree with Grimaldi. I used to get cramps pretty often long ago when I never drank either good amount of water or had loss of potassium due too excessive sweating. I usually drink a re-hydrating drink after running now like low calorie gatorade or something. I stopped doing that for a month and got my first cramp in months last week while lifting weights, and it was hell. Couldn't stand at all for 15 mins and then my calves showed signs for next three days.
  • ja89

    Posts: 789

    Nov 09, 2010 8:12 AM GMT
    track_boi saidIm a track and field runner. notable supplements I ingest include caffeine creatine and "preworkout pep" stuff like NO-Xplode.

    I tend to cramp occasionally after workouts... mainly high intensity tempo( ie. 6x200m with 45 second break(infrequently leads to vomiting))

    I'll have my calves or my quads and occasionally my hamstrings or even my neck and forearms cramp... even had my abs cramp awfully doing ab workouts post running.

    I've read that electrolytes will help and that I should lay off the diuretics. I was even stupid enough to waste ten dollars on pedialyte. I read the ingredients after I bought it... sucralose food coloring and asulfame -k... for kids! really?!?

    I heard about salt pills as well.

    At any rate recovery from cramps is a bitch let alone the episode of having them


    any tips to help me out?



    I really hope to not sound like a degrading asshole when I say this, but if you're cramping and vomiting on 6x200's then you first need to become a bit more fit. That is also depending on what which event you're training for. I say drop all if the extra supplements and go natural. It sounds like you're cramping is coming from lack of water consumption as well as a lack of a proper diet. You should be following the nutrition pyramid. especially after a hard workout, you'll need th energy for the next day. Also, on weekends if you're drinking any I would suggest cutting that out for obvious reasons.

    Back to eating, you're gonna wanna have 3 meals and 3 healthy snacks (granola w/ yogurt, sundrid fruits...) this will help you get fit by dropping any unnessecary weight. Drink at least a gallon of water a day, TRUST ME you'll notice the difference. Save the gatorade fo after practices, its there to replenish what you've lost. If you haven't lost anything, then there isn't anything to replenish.

    Also, what might have you cramping up is the possible lack of flexibility. The more limber you are the easier it is for you to run and less likely to cramp up. This might mean you're gonna have to do some more stretching on your own.
    It helped me out while I hurdled.

    Once again I hope I haven't affended you in any way, I ten to show more of the tough love when explaining things. Also, if you do all of these things already then disregard this post.

    Hope I helped some.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 09, 2010 9:48 AM GMT
    Grimaldi01 saidPotassium is a key nutrient in muscle development, plus it seems that you may not be breathing right either, not enough oxygen to your muscles will cause excessive Lactic acid (which is what causes cramps) Do you stretch? The NO is what is making you vomit. Also drink loads of water.
    ^^^that...all of it^^^

    Alternatively, if fixing those things prove to be ineffective, see a chiropractor.
    A pinched nerve could cause all those symptoms as well.
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    Nov 09, 2010 3:52 PM GMT
    make sure you do a good warm down. I swam, so I can only speak from that. But your high intensity interval training is designed to build up a tolerance to lactic acid and increase your overall endurance. IT will take some time, but you have to properly prime your body to handle that added stress. Also, you should be following heavy build up days with lighter workouts the following days. A dip in a jacuzzi also helps after.
  • neosyllogy

    Posts: 1714

    Nov 09, 2010 4:01 PM GMT
    Grimaldi01 said Do you stretch?.

    Quick caveat. Do be sure not to do static stretching. If you're not familiar with why then I suggest a quick google search. This is considered a very poor idea these days, with some experiments specifically done in runners.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Nov 10, 2010 3:42 PM GMT
    Lay off the NO and see if that helps.

    It makes blood vessels dilate right? Now figure you only have so much blood in your system. If you do something like run and all of your muscle/skin vessels dilate simultaneously, there isn't enough blood left for your stomach & intestines. Whenever something is without blood, you get pain.

    I'm not saying for sure that's what's happening to you, but if I take a bunch of NO and go sprinting, I'll vomit every time. Doesn't matter if it's caffeinated or not.
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    Nov 10, 2010 3:53 PM GMT
    Stay away from expensive supplements, and just take stuff with high concentrations of electrolytes. usually can be got in a powder or Gel that is mixed with water. Mixing it with water is good because it gets oxygenates the muscles, prevent the cramping. Look out for electrolytes with Calcium and Potassium, there the ones that are most important.

    The Vomiting that come with the Anaerobic work is due to lack of fuel in the system. So bring along jellies and stuff with high sugar content, or glucose mixed up with water. To have in between intervals.


    The dude is a few posts above mentioned 1st endurance products. There electroyles are the best out there! and they got tonnes of Sciencey info about nutrition and stuff too.

    http://www.firstendurance.com/
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    Nov 10, 2010 4:11 PM GMT
    track_boi saidIm a track and field runner. notable supplements I ingest include caffeine creatine and "preworkout pep" stuff like NO-Xplode.

    I tend to cramp occasionally after workouts... mainly high intensity tempo( ie. 6x200m with 45 second break(infrequently leads to vomiting))

    I'll have my calves or my quads and occasionally my hamstrings or even my neck and forearms cramp... even had my abs cramp awfully doing ab workouts post running.

    I've read that electrolytes will help and that I should lay off the diuretics. I was even stupid enough to waste ten dollars on pedialyte. I read the ingredients after I bought it... sucralose food coloring and asulfame -k... for kids! really?!?

    I heard about salt pills as well.

    At any rate recovery from cramps is a bitch let alone the episode of having them


    any tips to help me out?



    Cramps usually happen from low sodium / dehydration. That's why sports drinks add sodium / salt. Sometimes, potassium is low, but, that's usually not the case. Usually, it's low salt.

    If you're using diuretics to stay dry / lower bp / look good, you need to make sure you have some salt and potassium in there, because you'll lose those faster. If you're using a potassium sparing diuretic, you should be careful not to consume to much potassium. Too much potassium can be very dangerous and seriously affect cardiac rhythm. Caffeine will dry you out some, while enhancing your performance, but, not like other stuff. You likely need more fluids.

    More water is probably what you need, with a smidge of salt. A few more carbs may not hurt, either. You'll still look and perform fine.
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    Nov 10, 2010 7:42 PM GMT
    Thanks alot for your time guys. Really helpful stuff here among somethings I didn't need to hear.

    Calcium seems interesting ill read into that

    I'm a sprinter btw, and theres 6 guys that run with me that occasionally cramp as well and infrequently puke... it happens when you able to ignore ur body and push harder

    @ja89... ive seen a "fit" guy run his only 300m of the day run 33.4 and vomit... you can puke if the intensity is high enough or if u can push urself hard enough

    I don't see a reason to stop using the noted supplements because they help me run faster, I'm looking for a solution to reduce the cramping. The problem is more than likely dietary and i was looking for something to add to the diet...


    by the looks of things i might supplement with calcium because with allot of muscle contractions ill need allot of calcium. as well as add more salt and water to the diet...

    more table salt on food i guess and i might look into "electrolyte" pills
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    Feb 19, 2011 9:07 PM GMT
    blood work came back normal and GP was like cant help ya?

    and to add to the situation, ill be lifting something with my wrists and my forearms or fingers will cramp up just without extensive working out.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 19, 2011 9:41 PM GMT
    I'm with Chuckystud here, in most cases it's lack of water and salt. But since it's a while since he posted that, I assume you already tried that? Another very likely cause could be lack of magnesium. Both ATP (energy) and magnesium are required to allow skeletal muscles to relax.