Cramp - Any solutions?

Apr 25, 2009
For two years running in the same mountain sportive, I have had cramp - not just a little twinge either... Groin area, calves, quads, at one point one leg locked up completely as quadricep seized...

I've taken on plenty of fluids containing isotonic salts, minerals etc and isotonic gels every 20 mins during the effort. Any other advice would be welcome please!
Jun 9, 2009
Stretch well before the event. If possible, stop and take short stretch breaks periodically during the event.

Avoid caffeine and alcohol for a couple days before the event.

If you are taking isotonic gels, you may want to limit your fluid intake to pure water. It is possible to have osmolality of electrolytes be too high.

Be dynamic on the bike. Stand and pedal frequently for short periods if the terrain allows.

Have your fit evaluated by a reputable fit specialist.

Get adjusted by a good chiropractor a couple of days prior to the event.
Apr 25, 2009
Thanks for this guys, I am sure that the bikes a good fit having had a bike fit recently. I will try having no caffeine beforehand as last time I had 4 espresso's and a gel containing the equivalent amount of caffeine again...

I climbed the same mountain 6 weeks ago using gels (non caffeine) and water only & faired better.
If your riding that same bike regularly then to me it sounds like dehydration. Ditch the caffiene and high sodium diet and drink enough water that your urinating clear and at least 10 times a day and a few times a night. I do a lot of 24hr stuff, racing in cat 1 and epic bike tours in south east asia/australia and havent cramped since Ive been militant with my low sodium diet and consistent hydration.

I did a 24hr race on the weekend and it was warm for winter. Many elite riders got cramps early in the race despite taking salt pills. I asked one cramped up fella 'when was the last time you pizzed?' He said 'only once in the last 6 hours..' I said 'theres your answer'.

Give it a go.
Mar 10, 2009
Quinine, available in tonic water. Drink a full glass the night before your ride.
Mar 12, 2009
Here's some facts for you:
1) the cause of cramps has not, as yet, been conclusively proven.
2) consequently a cure to cramping has not yet been proven.

There are many anecdotal "cures" to cramping. Some work some of the time on some people.

Some of the "usual suspects" are:-
Electrolyte imbalance
Positional issues
Excessive caffine (that was my issue with repeated cramping)
Extreme hot/cold
Glycogen depletion
Magnesium/zinc/potassium deficiency

Best to try a few of the normal remedies and see what works. Before spending money on expensive pills and potions ensure that:- you are PROPERLY hydrated, you are correctly fitted to your bike, you've trained for the event accordingly and try trimming the caffeine/fizzy drinks several days beforehand.
Jul 18, 2010
Aren't cramps related to lack of potassium?

Wild intake of electrolytes could make it worse, really.
This is not professional advice but you could be better off eating bananas rather than drinking sodium non-stop?