Interestingly, very little actual clinical research has been done on Exercise Associated Muscle Cramping (EAMC) and the studies that have been done show mixed and inconclusive results so most prevention methods are based on trial and error.
If you are prone to EAMC there are 4 steps you can take to help prevent or delay
- Maintain Hydration
- Maintain Electrolytes
- Fuel up with Carbs
BE PREPARED FOR A GRUELING WORKOUT
We have found one of the best methods to prevent EAMC is to drink a mixture of one liter of water combined with electrolytes and carbs, one hour before exercise. This will ensure your training starts with proper electrolyte balance, glycogen stores and hydration. NutraBio created SuperCarb specifically for this purpose, to be used as your electrolyte and carb source, all in one. SuperCarb is made from cyclic dextrin and is a super complex carb with low osmolarity so it clears the gut quickly, avoiding cramps and gastric discomfort during training. It won’t spike insulin but will convert to glucose at a slow rate giving you consistent energy.
Salt is made up of approximately 38% sodium, which is the key electrolyte that is lost during exercise. The SuperCarb already has an electrolyte blend but if you are prone to EAMC then adding salt will help. Add 30 grams of SuperCarb and 3 grams of salt to 1 liter of water.
TIME TO SWEAT
During exercise drink 1.5 liters of the water/salt/SuperCarb mixture per hour to maintain hydration, electrolyte balance and glycogen stores. Use the following ratio: 30-45 grams of SuperCarb, 3-6 grams salt to 1 liter of water. Start with 3 grams of salt and increase if cramping persists. Adjust the carbs based on energy requirements.
MONITOR YOUR RESULTS
Monitor your body weight before and after exercise to ensure that you do not lose more than 2% of body weight from pre to post workout, adjusting your amount of water intake to achieve this. Make sure to weigh yourself naked as clothing holds a lot of sweat which will throw off the numbers. If you are not prone to excessive EAMC, the SuperCarb water mixture will be sufficient and the salt does not need to be added since there is a moderate electrolyte blend already in the SuperCarb.
BY MARK GLAZIER
FOUNDER OF NUTRABIO
To learn more about SuperCarb and it’s ingredients, please see here.