Dealing with muscle cramps…no fun!

Some of you know I have been plagued with calf cramps quite consistently and I might add inconveniently, for some time.  I know I don’t have my nutrition dialed in well, nor do I stretch appropriately before and after…pause collective criticism…ok I get it.  But how do I solve the problem?

Researching and asking some questions I got plenty of advice…all good and sound I might add.  Because at this point I am willing to try anything short of bloodletting with leaches.  I received advice on using pickle juice before, after or during the races, ingesting mustard when cramps were evident.  Stretching was a common theme, “Do you do it, if not, why?”  Calf exercises were another suggestion to supplement my training.  I will say I have huge calves, not bragging, just a fact, and I have always found it hard to out work them.

Reading last night in, “The art and science of Low Carbohydrate Performance.” by Jeff S. Volek and Stephen D. Phinney, I came across an interesting blurb concerning magnesium.  I will share a bit of info here and maybe some of you might be able to comment on it.  I will paraphrase some of what was said.  Most doctors or coaches will tell you cramping has to do with 1) dehydration 2)not enough potassium, or 3)not enough calcium.  Only a few will attribute cramping to magnesium problem.

Magnesium calms muscles…heart, nerves, and the brain.  Low magnesium levels can cause these organs to get “twitchy”.  Stress on a twitchy muscle causes cramps. If a muscle cramps you stop using it, brain cramps you get a seizure, heart cramps you die.  The last two are rare but muscle cramps…well we know are painfully common.

Making frequent cramps stop is the first order of business.  Cramps are a prime indicator that there is MAG deficiency.

How do we stop them…the docs go on to say utilizing a 20 day regimen of a slow-release magnesium pill 3 times a day for 20 days is a prime way to start alleviating this issue.  They claim most people plagued with cramps see a reduction or elimination within two weeks.  They suggest repeating the routine one more time if cramps return at a later date then continue with a daily supplementation of 1 pill routinely to stave off the cramps indefinitely.

I don’t know if it works…but along with some other suggestions I am going to put it to the test and will report back with my results.

Thanks for reading and good luck

Jeffrey “Previously Fat Guy”




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