Friday, April 10, 2015

Leg Cramp Prevention

I have terrible issues with leg cramps. When I started cycling daily, they only got worse and migrated to muscles I wasn't accustomed to getting cramping issues with.

Since my teenage years,  I got the 'normal' nighttime calf cramps on a regular basis. Bananas and keeping hydrated kept them to a minimum. I've not tried quinine or strange things like sleeping with a bar of soap.

hydration and potassium: good
 When I started cycling regularly, I started getting cramps in new muscles: the front of the calf (tibialis anterior) as well as the toes and top of the foot. Not much fun.

They weren't the worst though: I was getting horrific cramps in my inner thigh: the gracillis
I tried pickles and pickle juice, they helped a bit, but I was still getting cramps after a ride, sometimes all of the muscles cramping at once. Occasionally I'd get them in the middle of a ride.

 It is utterly excruciating pain.

Pickle juice works well.
When I started reading that magnesium helps with muscle cramps, I researched foods that have magnesium because tablet supplements don't agree with me (or many people for that matter: they're very distressing to one's digestive system). Coffee is high in magnesium, and I already drink a ton of that. Another food high in magnesium is a weed called 'dock'.
Sorry, my grocery store is always out of dock. Additionally, there were clams, purslane, swiss chard and many other green leafy weeds and such. I like green leafies, especially seaweed and kale, but I don't eat enough of them.

I found I'd had a liquid magnesium supplement already in my possession that I'd stopped taking after the first dose because it tasted so bad. It's processed water from Utah's Great Salt Lake. It's supposed to contain a myriad of minerals we don't absorb from foods very well, mainly magnesium.
I tried taking this liquid again, but this time I learned to chase it with a beverage like coffee or water to get rid of the awful taste.

Ionic magnesium liquid

So, after suffering much of the winter not riding and still having that constant feeling of a spasm about to take hold, it stopped when I started taking the liquid magnesium. I went on 20 and 40 mile rides and didn't spend the evening dealing with pain. Wow, this might be my magic wand.

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