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”