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Question
Posted by: Sandy | 2005/12/05

Suffering from leg cramps eventhough I am very Fit eat lots of veggies and take magnesium

I have read one of the aticles on muscle cramps and most of the adice I already practice. I am extremely fit (run, cycle and canoe) traing up to 17 hours a week. I suffer from cramps mainly in my calves whenever I do an event that is 2 or more hours. I am vegetarian and eat a lot of vegetables, and follow the GI way of eating. I take magnesium supplements, have lots of milk & yoghurt, stretch when I have finished training but nothing seems to help the cramps. during the events I drink Staminade and I take cramp stop tablets every hour. I have been doing endurance events for 15 years and cramping has only become a problem in the last 2 years. What can I do to try and prevent it?

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you
Sandy Clark

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDietDoc

Dear Sandy
I must admit that I am also rather baffled that you should be developing cramps if you do all the things you have listed (in other words you probably don't have a mineral deficiency). The only things I can suggest are: a) make quite sure that you warm up probably and do as many stretching exercises as possible to get those calves mobile before and after an event b) try not to dilute your electrolytes (potassium, magnesium, sodium) too much by drinking excessive amounts of water during an event (does the Staminade contain carbohydrates and sodium? I am not acquainted with this product, but for maximum performance your drinks before, during and after exercise should contain carbs and sodium) c) ask your gp to test your blood levels of potassium, magnesium, sodium and iron (the latter may be the problem if you are vegetarian and an iron deficiency could also cause problems).
Good luck
DietDoc

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