Cramping My Style

My word, do I get cramps!  I’m talking full contraction, writhing in pain cramps.  They happen during exercise and, even worse, while I’m sleeping.  The ones that hit my calves when I am asleep can be felt for 2-3 days after the incident.

I have tried just about everything under the sun.  I sweat a lot so I hydrate constantly, I use EFS for at least half of my water during exercise, I eat more bananas than a monkey, I eat a lot of dark greens (including at least 3 protein shakes a week made with Trader Joe’s Power to the Greens mix of kale, spinach, and one other green and coconut water).  I’ve even tried drinking pickle juice!  Some times I think that is enough and then I go through a mysterious “bad spell” where I cramp again at the drop of a hat.  It was so bad a few weeks ago that my HANDS cramped up during TRX and I could barely move my fingers for a few minutes (I swear it wasn’t me giving my trainer the finger during a hard move, it was the cramps!! 🙂 )

Obviously, I can’t go on like this.  I’ve talked to various doctors and sports nutrition people and they all go “huh, it’s a puzzle all right”.  Thanks, guys!

In my quest to figure this nonsense* out, I’ve added a magnesium supplement to my nighttime routine – in addition to everything I’m already doing.  Word of caution, magnesium can have unexpected digestive consequences so start out with a super low dose and gradually increase it.  I’m up to taking a teaspoon a night and, knock wood, I haven’t had any cramps in a week.  I’m also stretching A LOT – in between classes, after my runs, and before bed – and that might be helping as well.  I seriously hope I have finally found my answer to this mess*!

Are you a cramper?  How do you manage it? Have you found anything that works?

*I’m trying to swear less…

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