"Oh shit!" ---some of the cyclists may get annoyed when getting the cramp in their legs during cycling. If you often get the cramp in legs and are looking for ways on how to prevent leg cramps, you may get disappointed. Because there is no single answer from medical or sports science world. Luckily, in spite of no solution to leg cramps, you can still focus on preventing it. Here are 5 tips on how to prevent leg cramps.
Before going to the point, I would like to share some causes of legs cramps while cycling with you.
Causes of Leg Cramps
* Electrolyte Imbalance and Dehydration
The most obvious reason for leg cramps when cycling is dehydration due to excessive sweating. Sweat takes away electrolyte, causing electrolyte imbalance.
Another reason for leg crapms in neuromuscular fatigue in that cyclists are mainly using legs to pedal. Specific muscle gets fatigued due to repetitive use. To avoid neuromuscular fatigue, try not to do:
×Hot and or humid environments
×Decreased supply of energy
Now, we are going to the point of how to prevent leg cramps when cycling.
How to Prevent Leg Cramps When Cycling
#Tip 1. Stretch
Before riding, do remember to do a few calf or hamstring stretches. Stretching can warm and lengthen the muscles. It can increase the range of movement of your muscles and make them work efficiency. But assure warm up before doing some stretching routines.
# Tip 2. Drink plenty of water and add electrolytes
In case of excessive sweating taking away water and electrolytes inside, drink plenty of water and add electrolytes before and during each ride. If you have a long ride or race, it ‘s the best to drink 13 to 20 ounces of cold water before riding and five to eight ounces every 10 to 15 minutes during the ride. As for electrolytes imbalance, you will lose a lot of fluid due to sweating. You can take in the adequate sports drink for long rides.
# Tip 3. Enough daily intake of potassium and calcium
Replenish a huge of daily calcium and potassium. Eat low-fat yogurt or milk. There are vegetables that are rich in calcium: bok choi, broccoli, and kale. Foods which are packed with potassium are: fish, avocado, meat, banana, and poultry.
# Tip 4. Wear snug clothing
Forbid wearing tight clothing around the thighs and calfs. Or else it may cause leg cramps. The reason why forbid tight clothing is that tight clothing stops good blood circulation especially on the working muscles. Comfortable but not tight clothing is the key.
Always keep your legs warm. It can also get cramp if the upper section of your thighs gets cold and damp during a long ride.
# Tip 5. Coffee Stops
Leg cramps will often happen just after you've stopped riding for a while and restart. After long-time riding, you need to stop and rest to relieve the fatigue of muscles. You can stop for coffee and cake (any excuse). Try to know what works best for you and to relax -- put your feet up? Warm up slowly? Stretch? Stop for 5 or 10 minutes? Do what helps you to avoid cramp when you get going again. As Dr. Gary Palmer explains, it is recommended to set goals for every ride.
In general, the 5 ways on how to prevent leg cramps are mentioned above. If you do it as what I suggest, you will not get the cramp in your leg. It is effective, I promise. But there are some exceptions. Anyways, if you want to get more information or tips on cycling, follow me:)