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Muscle Cramps: Recent article about preventing them in WSJ

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  • #16
    Originally posted by JoeCedar
    If a bug or dirt falls in, it just dissolves.
    Exactly how "little" are you putting in? 🌶🌶🌶🌶🌶
    "...he went because he felt the call of the wilderness, a call ever irresistible to him in whose veins flows the blood of the explorer." Warren W. Hart

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    • #17
      JoeCedar I'm glad I never asked for a sip of your water!

      This article talks about prevention as a pre-exercise routine. Given how they hypothesize the mechanism of action, I don't see how ingesting their spicy drink can have long-term effects. (Maybe it can? Does anyone know if Thai are immune to cramps?)

      Anecdotally, I would regularly get foot cramps while sleeping after strenuous hikes. This was back when I considered Algonquin from the Loj to be a 'very hard' hike. After getting in better shape (and dropping 20 pounds) I stopped getting those cramps. I haven't otherwise modified my diet. (I *do* eat a lot of zucchini though. )
      ADK 46/46, 46/46W, Grid 206/552
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    • #18
      I am training for a marathon and have been getting the leg cramps post my long runs. I usually eat a banana before the run and one after and try to pre-hydrate. When we were hiking the longer hikes to finish our 46, we got so we drank Gatorade before the hike and when we started the ascents, especially when it was hot. I ate the Stinger Chews the last long run I did (15 miles on a 87 degree day with high humidity...dumb, I know) and suffered with both the cramps in the legs and a messed up stomach for days. Haven't tried pickle juice (or the ice pick idea)....yet.
      HPHikingmoo

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      • #19
        Originally posted by HPHikingMoo View Post
        I am training for a marathon and have been getting the leg cramps post my long runs. I usually eat a banana before the run and one after and try to pre-hydrate. When we were hiking the longer hikes to finish our 46, we got so we drank Gatorade before the hike and when we started the ascents, especially when it was hot. I ate the Stinger Chews the last long run I did (15 miles on a 87 degree day with high humidity...dumb, I know) and suffered with both the cramps in the legs and a messed up stomach for days. Haven't tried pickle juice (or the ice pick idea)....yet.

        Moo, I hope you'll buy and read 'Waterlogged'. After hearing about Neil and Joe reading it, I profoundly changed my view on water and especially Gatorade. You're in the exact demographic who are at the highest risk of hyponatremia. It's a tiny subset who experience this (although I know two people personally) but can be very dangerous.

        https://www.amazon.com/Waterlogged-S...ds=waterlogged

        ADK 46/46, 46/46W, Grid 206/552
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        • HPHikingMoo
          HPHikingMoo commented
          Editing a comment
          Thanks. I will check it out. I did actually experience what I believe to be hyponatremia when I did a 12 hour ultra race last year. It was a very scary experience and I was lucky to be in the company of very good friends who got me home after the race as I could never have driven.

        • autochromatica
          autochromatica commented
          Editing a comment
          Wow! That's three people I now know. The other two stories are pretty scary, a friend's wife was hospitalized for a few days. Like heat stroke, it can be deadly.

          People have been dying in marathons/triathlons from hyponatremia since the 'hydration'/Gatorade craze started in the 70s. Gatorade is just expensive sugar water. (If you like the taste of Gatorade and want to spend your money on it, great. But realize the only benefit is from the calories (sugar) and the water, the rest is pseudo-scientific babble.)

      • #20
        Potato chips for cramps?

        http://mlb.nbcsports.com/2016/07/17/...bcs&yptr=yahoo

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        • #21
          I started getting leg cramps about a year and a half ago and I think I finally found a way to prevent them. Well, it works for me anyway. I find that by force hydrating the day before my hike or run, leading up to about two hours before the activity I can usually avoid them for about 20 miles of hiking. Of course, if you have bladder issues or can't make it through the night without a bathroom break, this might not work for you.

          I also forgo packing light and fill my pack with real fruit full of real water when I hike in hot weather. If all else fails, there's always yellow mustard packets. Those have worked for me in the past too.
          “Getting to the top is optional. Getting down is mandatory.” - Ed Viesturs

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          • #22
            Never run into cramps myself, and that's with my skin tasting about as salty as seawater (yes, I lick my arms to recover the minerals). Two things I carry that help I think - pretzel rods loaded with salt, and/or tortilla chips, which have the advantage of being loaded with fat as well. Both can be eaten as crumbs.
            46er #9404
            Pics: https://www.flickr.com/photos/145945713@N02/
            http://www.athikerpictures.org/syste...jpg?1297641600
            https://smokebeard.wordpress.com/

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            • #23
              Originally posted by FlyFishingandBeer View Post
              I started getting leg cramps about a year and a half ago and I think I finally found a way to prevent them. Well, it works for me anyway. I find that by force hydrating the day before my hike or run, leading up to about two hours before the activity I can usually avoid them for about 20 miles of hiking. Of course, if you have bladder issues or can't make it through the night without a bathroom break, this might not work for you.

              I also forgo packing light and fill my pack with real fruit full of real water when I hike in hot weather. If all else fails, there's always yellow mustard packets. Those have worked for me in the past too.

              I swear, I am in no way affiliated with the author of this book and get zero commission for recommending it. Essentially, "force hydrating" doesn't do anything, and in some cases can be very bad. Drink when thirsty, that's all.

              (Note: I too carry grapes, cherries, oranges, and other watery fruit while hiking. So refreshing!)

              https://www.amazon.com/Waterlogged-S...ds=waterlogged
              ADK 46/46, 46/46W, Grid 206/552
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              • #24
                Originally posted by All Downhill From Here View Post
                Never run into cramps myself, and that's with my skin tasting about as salty as seawater (yes, I lick my arms to recover the minerals). Two things I carry that help I think - pretzel rods loaded with salt, and/or tortilla chips, which have the advantage of being loaded with fat as well. Both can be eaten as crumbs.

                You also might be surprised to read (from the book with which I am in no way affiliated): https://www.amazon.com/Waterlogged-S...ds=waterlogged

                In controlled trials, the people who drank the LEAST had the HIGHEST concentration of electrolytes in their blood. No need to lick your sweat. (PS: Yuck!)
                ADK 46/46, 46/46W, Grid 206/552
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                • All Downhill From Here
                  Editing a comment
                  QED - the less you drink and the more you sweat/pee/breathe, the higher the concentration of non-water things in your blood.

                  My point was that assuming you have enough water (not saying pound or chug it), eventually you run out of salt.

              • #25
                Yeah, but it's got electrolytes.

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                • #26
                  Originally posted by Trail Boss View Post
                  Yeah, but it's got electrolytes.
                  Oh my God, I'm using this. A lot.
                  ADK 46/46, 46/46W, Grid 206/552
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                  • #27
                    Fascinating stuff: A 70 kg human contains 40-45 liters of fluid.

                    ​It's located in our bodies like so:
                    1. Intracellular: 27 liters (in the cells)
                    2. Extracellular: 18 liters (outside the cells)
                    Extracellular's 18 liters is sub-divided like so:
                    1. Interstitial: 13 liters (in between the cells)
                    2. Plasma: 3.5 liters (blood plasma)
                    3. Lymph: 1.5 liters (lymphatic fluid)
                    "Salt" exists in our body as sodium (Na+) and chlorine (Cl-) ions and, if combined, comprise on average about 200 grams (7 ounces).

                    The recommended maximum daily intake of salt is a paltry 28 grams (< 1 ounce; ~ 2 tablespoons).


                    FWIW, the only salt I consume while hiking is whatever tiny amount may be lurking in a Clif Bar (120 mg) and dates (infinitesimally low but high in potassium) and PB&J sandwiches (PB = 70 mg/tablespoon). This is effectively a low-sodium diet and I don't suffer from muscles cramps. And I sweat profusely. My water intake rarely tops 3 liters.




                    Last edited by Trail Boss; 07-19-2016, 07:39 PM.
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                    • #28
                      I need to try this spice thing. Triathletes have been using mustard and pickle juice for years. I've heard of this kayaking guy last year, yet he didn't give the formula hinting it would be too easy to copy. Tim Noakes said (10 years ago) the best way to prevent cramps is to train for it, yet it was still not understood.
                      I have cramps in the upper part of my right hamstring only after 4h of hard racing in technical terrain. Then it can become generalized to my calves and hands if I'm using poles. It's not something I can really train for. I've had two races were I was in a podium position yet had to sit down and wait 5k before the finish line and repeat this every few feet, very frustrating after 40 miles :( It really feels like some nerves or receptors have gone dysfunctional, not lack of water or salt.
                      Glad to know some products are out there now: Hotshot, Crampsaway, Pickle Shot and Sriracha 2.0. Will have to try them.

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