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Discussion: Solving Cramping Issues

Posted Discussion
June 11, 2014
779 posts
Solving Cramping Issues
Hi Guys,
It's interesting to see and read about cramping issues in the "kids" game, senior softball, and....the NBA. I am a certified endurance sports coach and work with hydration and nutritional issues with many athletes. This time of year as it gets hotter, the issue always comes out. I won't bore you with long scientific explanations as some of the issues are covered in other posts but the fact is cramping is a widespread and serious issue that accelerates as we age. Let me point out that in severe cases, the result can be organ damage, failure and even death. Nothing to mess around with. Lots of home remedies out there but here is something you can do to PREVENT them from happening. Those of you who are more profuse sweaters are more succeptable but anyone can fall prey in the summertime. With myself and my Ironman athletes we do sweat rate testing to find out how much fluid we need to take in before, during, and after exercise. Along those lines the first rule is to hydrate WELL beginning the day BEFORE you are going to play multiple games with some sports drink like Gatorade and of course water. Watch your caffeine intake as this can tend to dehydrate you....

During my first Ironman race I did everything according to plan. It turned out the weather that day was crazy hotter than normal with temperatures in the mid 90's. I did the 2.4 mile swim, 112 miles on the bike and set of on the marathon. 9 hours into the race on mile 12 of the marathon my system started to shut down and severe cramping set in. I could barely walk and when I tried running I got about 10 yards in and my whole body seized up. I beg and stumbling ahead doing anything I could to finish the race. I was walking with my head down when God looked down on me and....I found an electrolyte pill someone had dropped in a crack on the road. I took it and went on and eventually finished the marathon. I was immediately put in the med tent and they put two bags of IV fluid in me to stop the shaking and spasms. Not a fun day and I was an hour away from being put in the hospital as my vitals were not good. This experience led me to try numerous products and finally find one that works. So well so that most pros use it and pay for it. It's CHEAP at only $20 a bottle but I did over 70 races using it without ever having a cramp again. It's called Salt Stick and it was developed by a scientist who broke down human sweat in the lab and recreated it in capsule form. I have put out hundreds of bottles of it over the years and everyone who uses it reuses it. I thought I would share this as I have experienced these issues in severity first hand and seen literally hundreds of athletes on stretchers with IV fluids going in bringing them back from cramping. It's easy to prevent and something to keep in the bat bag. Glad to help out anyone needing help with this or other issues.
Alan Tanner
Team 1 Sports
June 12, 2014
Men's 70
449 posts
Alan, thank you for your very interesting post. I note that Salt Stick is exactly as you describe and it is probably perfect for people doing extended activities in oppressive heat.
I note that what you describe in your post is extreme heat prostration and electrolyte depletion. I believe this condition is highly special and your approach makes total sense for it.
I believe however that the "pickle juice" post may have been dealing with a different issue. Many suffer from cramps at night or cramps which just appear during the day. These are idiopathic but real. For this type of cramp the pickle juice, vinegar or mustard does provide immediate relief.
If my memory is right, I recall reading that in marathons more runners are in life threatening condition because of drinking too much water than from being underhydrated. I believe this is caused by
too little sodium because of over hydrating. Your input on how to balance hydration properly may be of interest here. Thank you.
June 12, 2014
779 posts
Actually, I have used this for night cramps and restless leg syndrome due to excessive exercise. While long term exercise certainly contributes to the situation, exercise periods for as little as one hour with burst type explosive efforts can cause the same results. The whole idea here is to do as much BEFORE you step on the field to PREVENT this from happening. Salt Stick coupled with sound nutrition and hydration strategies severely limits the chance of cramping issues. If you become acutely cramped, the pickle juice remedy will work a bit quicker as it's more easily transferred throughout the body and it's systems. Remember this....your digestive tract is the first thing that your body shuts down while under undo stress especially from heat. This can cause bloating and gastric distress. Be careful and hydrate properly before you begin exercise. HJ, YOU BROUGHT UP A CONDITION KNOWN AS hyponatremia which is directly correlated with excessive consumption of water which leads to sodium depletion in the body. Very dangerous scenario. Answer for that? Mix in some sports drink like Gatorade with your other fluid intake not just water and DONT over hydrate. The bottom line is....learn your body and do what's necessary with supplements and hydration BEFORE it becomes a problem
Alan Tanner
Team 1 Sports
June 13, 2014
Men's 60
907 posts
Alan, Interesting post. I attended a memorial yesterday of a friend who went on a mountain bike ride last week-end in Utah and was found the next day beside her bike. Evidently, she was dehydrated or over exposed to the heat and passed last Sunday. It was a shocker to all of us who knew this tough as nails woman.

How do we find out more about Salt Stick? Is there a website to read more? I've recently experienced some cramps in foot and leg for the first time in my life.
Ed Andrews
June 13, 2014
Men's 65
4459 posts
Interesting for myself as well.

June 13, 2014
779 posts
It's on my website and you can go to salt for in depth analysis.
Team 1 Sports
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