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hydration, cramping, recovery and all that

Tips, tricks, workouts, injury advice.
 

Postby spiritualspatula » Fri Mar 26, 2010 11:27 am

Elete is relatively cheap per gallon, and I'm largely just looking at another option to try. I'm not actually asking for myself, however. I'm asking for my dad, who works long hours as a tradesman and doesn't really have time to stop and eat. He didn't used to get cramps like he does now, but the nature of his cramps are a combination of fatigue from older age and electrolyte depletion I believe. He's gotten better at staying hydrated lately, but I'm looking for other easy options beyond buying craploads of gatorade, which has only produced limited success.
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Postby Ze » Fri Mar 26, 2010 6:00 pm

i agree with the comments on muscle overuse as a cause. i start cycling and did my first multihour uphill slog, with the same hydration / electrolyte balance as what i would for the same intensity hike, but it was so much quad work that the last 30 minutes were absolutely brutal with cramping starting lightly but getting worse by the end. muscle conditioning definitely has a place in cramping
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Postby Big Benn » Mon Mar 29, 2010 8:37 pm

I am the King of sweating when exercising. Some bug that quite a few here know of by now, (you must be bored stiff me mentioning it again), that cannot be traced, gives me mild flue like symptoms, exhaustion and prodigious sweating when it hits. Great if that happens whilst I am on a mountain walking trip.

In hot summer weather in Europe I've had to drink at least 1 litre before setting out on a walk, that's close to 2 pints. Then take over 7 litres with me. Close to 13 pints. Most of which gets sweated out.

Returning from such a summer walk when the bug has hit me means I have to get up every couple of nights the following night. Not to pee, but to drink more.

I've just about given up summer walking in the mountains now because of the aggro of having to carry and drink so much.

Thankfully my favourite walking is in winter, but I still carry a minimum of 3 litres, (over 5 pints), and have to drink a further pint before I leave the trailhead. For walks that typically will see me on the trail for 8 -10 hours and do up to 3,500 feet of ascent in wintry conditions.

I drink Isotonic, and when the sugar starts to make me feel a bit sick I take water.

Cramps are a major problem because of the sweating. I had one fall this last winter descending an icy ridge when cramps attacked: the inner part of my upper thigh. Got my ice axe in so fast I hardly started to slide!

Bearing in mind where the cramp was, (that is usually where they start), I would have loved some dirndl wearing Bavarian Serving Wench to be there to rub it better. But you don't meet those lovely creatures in the Welsh mountains. So I take salt. Which works quickly. Every time, and so far without fail.

If I don't take more salt before getting back to my B&B the cramps will return. Not just my thighs, but also my fingers seize up. So if that happens when eating my evening meal I have to take salt before I can get back to holding a knife and fork.

For recovery I take a full rest day between every full days walk. Drink loads of mainly water, but also some Isotonic. And add lots of salt to my food.

Don't usually start peeing properly until a couple of days after I get home from a trip.
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Postby Bill Kerr » Mon Mar 29, 2010 9:28 pm

Bryan - one possible problem is excess yeast in your digestive system. Add carbs/sugars and water and you get a fermentation and then die off cycle which will make you feel sick have acid and gas and sweat a lot. I went through this and had to cut out carbs/sugars and especially no pop, no beer, no wine or juice for several weeks to kill down the yeast.
It has been several years now but now I only drink pasteurized beer and limit the sugars that I eat or drink. I sweat much less than I ever have, drink less water than before and recover faster. Half gatorade and half water is preferred for longer 8 to 16 hour days.
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Postby Nefsek » Mon Mar 29, 2010 9:34 pm

I have similar issues when in the mountains. A climb of Shasta turned into a sufferfest when both quads began severely cramping a quarter way up Casaval Ridge. I've noticed that eating well the night before and a good breakfast in the morning help a lot. Increase your water intake but not dramatically so, as other people have said, but increase your salt and magnesium intake as well.

I find it interesting that this issue replicated itself a few years ago when I tried Creatine for the first time. Apparently, Creatine produces an electrolyte imbalance in the lower extremities that caused me to severely cramp while running or doing step ups. This was remedied, like I said, by increasing salt and magnesium intake in conjunction with water intake.

Hope sharing my experiences with this same issue has helped.
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Postby Brad Marshall » Mon Mar 29, 2010 10:04 pm

Bryan Benn wrote:I had one fall this last winter descending an icy ridge when cramps attacked: the inner part of my upper thigh.

Bearing in mind where the cramp was, (that is usually where they start), I would have loved some dirndl wearing Bavarian Serving Wench to be there to rub it better. But you don't meet those lovely creatures in the Welsh mountains.


Bavarian Serving Wenches? Rubbing your inner part of your upper thigh? That wasn't a "cramp" Bryan! Now tell the truth, just what did you use to arrest your fall? :lol:
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Postby Augie Medina » Mon Mar 29, 2010 10:50 pm

1. I've gotten extremely painful thigh cramps that stopped me in my tracks. They've only come during running events lasting several hours (mountain ultras) and usually only start after several hours of downhill pounding--my hydration and electrolytes have been good so I know it was overuse/fatigue. I just walk until they're gone.

2. As for hydration, I usually drink too much when I'm hiking/mountaineering and have to stop to pee a lot. Like someone said previously, your body can absorb only so much water per hour and the rest just waters the flowers or stains the rock. You can't store up like a camel. Better indicator of adequate hydration is urine that looks like LEMONADE; if it looks like APPLE JUICE, you're dehydrated.

3. I wouldn't worry about extra electrolytes during your recovery periods-your normal meals should take care of that.
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Postby Maranna » Tue Mar 30, 2010 12:10 am

Fossana, how do you like the Hammer Endurolyetes Caps? Ironically, I got some of these as samples in the check in bag for a duathlon I did yesterday. Not very long, 5k/32K/5K, but I did note some minor hamstring/calf cramping trying to come on late in the bike. I might try them next race.

fossana wrote:I keep a stash of Hammer Nutrition Endurolytes electrolyte caps in my pack for long runs/rides. They're fairly mild (versus the Succeed ones).
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Postby Big Benn » Tue Mar 30, 2010 9:30 am

Brad Marshall wrote:
Bryan Benn wrote:I had one fall this last winter descending an icy ridge when cramps attacked: the inner part of my upper thigh.

Bearing in mind where the cramp was, (that is usually where they start), I would have loved some dirndl wearing Bavarian Serving Wench to be there to rub it better. But you don't meet those lovely creatures in the Welsh mountains.


Bavarian Serving Wenches? Rubbing your inner part of your upper thigh? That wasn't a "cramp" Bryan! Now tell the truth, just what did you use to arrest your fall? :lol:


:oops: You've guessed the truth!

More seriously now:-

Bill Kerr wrote:Bryan - one possible problem is excess yeast in your digestive system. Add carbs/sugars and water and you get a fermentation and then die off cycle which will make you feel sick have acid and gas and sweat a lot. I went through this and had to cut out carbs/sugars and especially no pop, no beer, no wine or juice for several weeks to kill down the yeast.
It has been several years now but now I only drink pasteurized beer and limit the sugars that I eat or drink. I sweat much less than I ever have, drink less water than before and recover faster. Half gatorade and half water is preferred for longer 8 to 16 hour days.


Well Bill. I've been researching excess body yeast, and there are number of similarities with the symptoms described for that, and the problem I have had for close to 30 years now!

I stopped drinking alcohol mid November last year to see if it had any effect. :cry: It didn't but I started to crave more for sugary things. Still not back on alcohol as not drinking it seems to have improved my performance in the mountains! :D

But I will change my diet a bit more now and I'll start on pro biotic yogurts right away, and on a pro-biotic supplement. And see what happens. If it is the solution I reckon I'll be on my way to the US off A to buy you a few beers, (pasteurized of course!).
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Postby Bill Kerr » Tue Mar 30, 2010 4:39 pm

Bryan wrote
But I will change my diet a bit more now and I'll start on pro biotic yogurts right away, and on a pro-biotic supplement. And see what happens. If it is the solution I reckon I'll be on my way to the US off A to buy you a few beers, (pasteurized of course!).


Eating healthier is always a good thing and I hope it helps. Try to eat mostly protein for breakfast, no high sugar items before noon and no sugary things without protein first.
Most days for breakfast, I have a high protein whey drink with low sugar fruit like blueberries and fish oil pills or eggs, yogurt, peanut butter/12 grain bagels, etc. The pro-biotic supplements like acidophalus(sp) pills are good.

This style of eating not only reduces yeast but it lowers your insulin sensitivity/spikes which helps with blood sugar regulation, weight reduction and avoids type 2 diabetes.

Hope this all helps and you can buy me a pasteurized beer anytime but you will have to come to Calgary, Canada to do it!
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Postby RayMondo » Tue Mar 30, 2010 11:47 pm

Bryan, you are doing well with what you have abstained from, but still fighting against the hill and stressing your body. I suggest the full detox. Ones system can carry around dead baggage inside (meaning over population of yeasts, as said above). Once totally got rid of by a proper detox, one begins with a totally functioning engine (liver function is improved, nutrition absorption, and calories become efficient). Go for a Detox International retreat and you should shed all those problems. The best ever money one can spend. You could get a whole new lease of life and feeling of well being that you've not had for 30 years. Also, we all have parasites in us, and this method is the best way to get them out. It's disconcerting to be sharing your dinner with something else. :shock:

Though for now it would be better to "stay away from whey". As they say. And additional probiotics can only do their job when all the unwanted yeasts are gone. Otherwise they are overpowered by the bad guys. Probiotics need prebiotics to live on - that means as much fresh food as one can eat. Especially mountains of salads. Yeasts love beer, pizza, breads, sugars. Food in a box just ain't good. One cannot overemphasise the importance of taking care of the good bugs. Alcohol and stress kill em off. Then you have affected immune system (of which the gut is a vital component). Arthritis and all the rest follows.

The detox means total food starvation for a week, though it is vitally important to get electrolytes and minerals, otherwise you get faint. The body can easily function for a week on these. I did it easily without hunger pangs because they are real pros. Without eliminating yeasts, any food one eats is merely adding fuel to the fire and it's a self-sustaining cycle of declining health. Got to do it buddy. And many more of us should.
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Postby dskoon » Wed Mar 31, 2010 6:12 pm

Byan, damn good advice there from Mondo. I've never "detoxed" to that level, but have gone on a few mini-fasts, (and am soon to fast again), and I think it's a very good thing to clean the body out periodically. Mondo and the excessive yeast advice from Mr. Kerr are spot-on, I'd say. Clean-out! Me too. . . Good reading, guys.
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Postby Big Benn » Wed Mar 31, 2010 6:30 pm

OK guys. I'll stay on the no alcohol regime I've been on for over 4 months now. :cry:

Was drinking ginger beer instead, but that is full of sugar and yeast. So it's now water or lime juice.

And I have increased fresh veg and fruit. Will keep going in that direction for while and see what happens!
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Postby MoapaPk » Wed Mar 31, 2010 6:45 pm

Amy Winehouse went through detox, and won a Grammy as a result.
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Postby dskoon » Wed Mar 31, 2010 7:02 pm

MoapaPk wrote:Amy Winehouse went through detox, and won a Grammy as a result.


Maybe you can hook-up with her, Bryan. She can show you the ol' in and outs of Detox. :wink:
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