Calf Cramping

17 replies [Last post]
Anonymous's picture

"Here goes, I am in good shape 5' 11.5"" 200, Get to the gym 3x a week maybe 4x and have been biking since last June.
I have a problem that I can not seem to resolve and that is Calf cramping. I use a upright bike in the gym for about an hour after my workout and I do stretch my Ham, Quad and Calves after my warm up. I still get occasional cramps. Some days none. I bike 50 milesa nd No cramp.

Today I couldn't get to work by bike without gettting off and stretching, mind you I was off the bike for 6 days with a bad cold/flu. I am not dehydrated, but at one point I had my legs so cramped up it was crazy.

This is a problem on my Left side only. Any thoughts???


Anonymous's picture
fit (not verified)

Could be bike fit. Have it checked.

I always have knee pain on the gym bike, but on the real thing.

Anonymous's picture
Rob (not verified)

Ya know, I did think of it today and I will.
It still doesn't answer the cramping at the gym.



Anonymous's picture
fit (not verified)
Bike Fit

Fit - it would definitely explain the gym as well.

Anonymous's picture
ALAN RESNICK (not verified)
calf cramping

in your question regarding cramping: the answers eveyone gives may be helpful-I hope so-however I think to get more info would be important regarding: 1-When are you cramping-a)early in a ride or only after riding awhile. b) on hilly rides or all rides? c)do you remember hurting the effected side(maybe running for a bus) and you're re-micro tearing as you ride? good luck Alan

Anonymous's picture
Christian Edstrom (not verified)

" is a good resource.

My guess is it's electrolyte (im)balance; either potassium, calcium, or magnesium might be the culprit. For the first, drink V8 or eat a banana, for the second eat TUMS with Calcium (tm), for the third try a low-dose magnesium supplement. Or be unscientific and try all three!

Some people swear by Endurolytes by E-Caps/Hammer Nutrition, but I can't get into all that stuff. I don't even believe in Gatorade.

- Christian"

Anonymous's picture
Mark Gelles (not verified)
I used to get leg cramps

Bad ones, last year I started using Endurolytes by E-Caps/Hammer Nutrition especially in hot conditions. Since using these little pills I almost never cramp & if I do get one it very mild. Unfortunately the pills have done nothing for my disposition...mark

Anonymous's picture
Rick Braun (not verified)

That's because your disposition does not need any improvement, Mark. Where does one get those E-Caps/Hammer Nutrition?

Anonymous's picture
annie (not verified)

try taking in more potassium. whether it be from bananas, spinach, whatever, even supplements. Ive also found that even though you think you may be drinking enough, you may not be.

Anonymous's picture
Evan Marks (not verified)
Cleats too far forward -> calf cramps

I was getting cramps in my right calf while riding with new shoes recently - switched back to my old shoes and the cramps went away. Side-by-side comparison showed that the cleat was too far forward on the right shoe, but the left shoe was ok.

Anonymous's picture
Scott (not verified)

The thing that makes me believe this is because of bike fit or cleat placement is that it is only on the left side. I have a similar problem - my left calf always feels strained after riding. My right leg is fine. If this were a potassium, magnesium, etc. problem, the cramps would be happening everywhere.

I know that my bike fits right, so my next check will be my cleat placement.

Anonymous's picture
papafrog (not verified)
You're not taking creatine, are you?

About a year and a half ago I started taking creatine and noticed I was getting bad cramping in my calfs. I did some research and found out that creatine is notorious for causing calf cramps. As soon as I stopped taking it the cramps went away.

Anonymous's picture
Rob (not verified)

Maybe its something in my energy bars.

I will try to up my pottasium. I have to check my multivitamin.
I have enough calcium, from milk and cheese daily.

I gotta check the fit also on my bike, something isn't right here.

Anonymous's picture
papafrog (not verified)
could also be your pedal stroke

Sometimes calf cramping can also be caused by your pedaling style. If you are always toe down, it causes more stress on your calfs. The toe down problem is common so concentrate on heels down to level out your stroke.

Anonymous's picture
Rob (not verified)

I think that is it, I presently use toe clips.
So is it my fit? Leg length? Bad angle?
Maybe I need to move back?

Hire someone to pedalfor me?


Anonymous's picture
Evan Marks (not verified)
Don't forget the magnesium

It's every bit as important as sodium, potassium, and calcium but more easily overlooked and more difficult to get with diet alone:

And check that the toeclips aren't too short, forcing your feet too far back on the pedals.

Anonymous's picture
Wayne Wright (not verified)
Cold Temps don't help either

I got my second calf cramp ever last week. It was on a day when I'd eaten two bananas, and I tend to drink plenty of water. Web hits generated by a Google search all suggested the same things people are suggesting here: hydration, calcium, potassium, with little in the way of proven cause and effect.

The one thing I remembered, is that both my cramps came on chilly, damp evenings. I always find it hard to get loose on colder days, and I think this can be a factor. Those 90 degree days can't get here soon enough!

Anonymous's picture
Neile Weissman (not verified)
It's hard to get enough Potassium into the body

The potassium gluconate supplements I found only gave 5% of the MDR requirement. Tomato juice, V-8 and orange juice are good sources.

I pour some potassium chloride (No-Salt) into my water bottle before a ride and keep a vial in my kit bag for cramping riders.


Salt substitutes

Salt substitutes (No Salt®, Salt Substitute®, Lite Salt®, and others) contain potassium chloride in place of sodium chloride. They are used by people on sodium-restricted diets. When used in moderation, they are a more healthful choice for many people compared with using regular table salt. However, people taking potassium chloride drug products should consult with their prescribing doctor before using salt substitutes1 or even eating large amounts of high-potassium foods (primarily fruit)

cycling trips