Is Cramping Genetic

Discussion in 'Health & Fitness' started by hacker_101, Feb 10, 2013.

  1. movdqa

    movdqa Legend

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    I had cramps last week due to accidentally decreasing sodium intake (some foods that I normally eat weren't available) and increasing running outside considerably. So I had two packets of electrolytes (Whole Foods 365 brand) and increased my salt intake and cramps were gone. Sodium is the easiest, cheapest and fastest way to get rid of cramps but it might aggravate blood pressure levels. It is nice to have those electrolyte packets handy.
     
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  2. beltsman

    beltsman Professional

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    It's all about knowing your body and balancing, as you attest to.
     
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  3. wings56

    wings56 Professional

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    this is so true. at all stages/levels in my playing history, I have had a cramping issue. only in summer months (I'm in Texas), but a problem nonetheless.

    I've tried pedialyte, gatorade, coconut water, thermotabs, and Nuun.

    I've had the most luck with Nuun. If I drink at least 500 ml of water with a tablet of Nuun mixed in I will not cramp. In more extreme conditions, I will add some Lite salt (1/2 Sodium Chloride 1/2 Potassium Chloride) to the Nuun to help with added electrolyte loss.
     
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  4. movdqa

    movdqa Legend

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    I think that Nuun is a great product but it's a little too much like candy for me. It's pretty easy to go through a roll of those because they taste pretty good. Even when you only need a few.
     
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  5. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    What cramps for you? And how much do you exercise those muscles outside of tennis?
     
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  6. cgarbacz

    cgarbacz New User

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    40 Years orf Cramps

    May not work for everybody but my 40 years of cramps have been much relieved by electrolyte tablets. Try Trace Minerals Electrolyte Stamina (300 tablet jar). I do not walk onto the court in Mississippi in the summer w/o these tablets (Temp in the 90s and humidity often not far behind). Most often its singles that brings the cramps. If I don't have these I know the alternative is the hospital where they really won't know what to do quickly. I do not understand why this med is not known at the highest levels of tennis or by sports med types. You can be down on the court with cramps and take these pills and play another match. They work very quickly. To avoid the cramps outright just take tablets before and as you play. And in some cases after you play. Mine are always within reach. Obviously you should still be hydrating as much as possible. OK, problem solved - discussion over.
     
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  7. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    I take Salt Stick pills. I'd rather err on the side of cramping than raising my blood pressure, so I pretty much pop one in only when I feel a cramp coming on.
     
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  8. junbumkim

    junbumkim Professional

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    Where do you usually cramp?

    It can also be due to nerve / tension while you might not be aware, in which case hydration and eletrolytes won't make much difference.

    Also, 3 setter is a tough / grueling work out.
     
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  9. Mr.Lob

    Mr.Lob Hall of Fame

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    Brad Gilbert said if you're cramping, then you're not in good enough shape, and should train harder.
     
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  10. wings56

    wings56 Professional

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    It is always legs that cramp(ed) for me. I exercise them often outside of tennis. 1-2 days of sprints and 1-2 days of weights/plyometrics per week.
     
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  11. wings56

    wings56 Professional

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    This is actually where my problem would arise. I finally figured out it was nerve/tension that was causing my electrolyte loss and muscle fatigue to be so high.

    I have found ways to mitigate that a little bit, but the electrolyte replacement I wrote about earlier was able to relieve my cramping problem.
     
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  12. movdqa

    movdqa Legend

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    It's almost always my calves but on rare occasions it can be my abs on a particular rigorous abs workout session.
     
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  13. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    That may not do it. What fixed it for me was box jumps and jump rope. Lots of it. If it is the calves, this will really strengthen them, as I noticed I'd cramp when I made an explosive movement. Since you are doing that over and over with those 2 exercises, it makes a big difference.
     
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  14. wings56

    wings56 Professional

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    It was usually quads and hamstrings. I do box jumps on my plyo days, but not jump rope. Once I solved my mineral defficiency I haven't cramped since.
     
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  15. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    I got one in my abs driving away from a match last summer when I had a big sneeze.
     
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  16. movdqa

    movdqa Legend

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    Cramps can be dangerous if you're driving.

    I only get them after an abs workout and the solution is to lie down and stretch out in a straight line for a little while until it goes away.
     
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  17. beltsman

    beltsman Professional

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    Pro tennis players, including a prime Nadal, have cramped. It happens.
     
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  18. badkitty

    badkitty Rookie

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    Eat foods rich in potassium, magnesium, and calcium. These are the minerals that you nerves endings need to fire your muscles properly. If these minerals get out of balance in your body, then you nerves miss-fire your muscles causing cramps.

    I like to eat bananas, oranges, and drink a bit of magnesium citrate powder dissolved in a glass of water pre-match. During the match, I nibble on bananas. The electrolyte tablets work too and are convenient, but if you read the ingredients on the tablets there's actually very little minerals in them.

    Also, there's no substitute for being fit. If you are playing singles and run a lot, figure running about a mile a set. So if you all of the sudden you play 6-7 sets in a day, when you are used to only 2-3 sets, then it's like going out and trying to run 6-7 miles when you are only used to running 2-3 miles. Ain't gonna work.
     
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  19. movdqa

    movdqa Legend

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    I prefer some kind of supplement as it can take a fair amount of effort to get the foods with the right electrolytes and those foods can result in more calories than I want for the electrolyte benefit. Especially when I'm also trying to get other things like fiber.

    I find tennis more demanding than running but I don't have trouble running 7-10 miles. Running a mile uses up about 70-100 calories - steady-state aerobic work is less demanding than a HIIT tennis match unless you're doing a lot of standing around.
     
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  20. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    Yes but I agree with Brad Gilbert. He is correct for the most part, and I have experienced this personally. Reality is most people are not in good enough shape. Playing tennis and hitting the gym without a PT pushing you to the limit is not going to cut it.

    Now if you put yourself in a 5 set match in the summer against top players in the world, even the most fit body could still cramp. Especially a guy who runs as much as Nadal. But this is the top 1% in the world.
     
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  21. junbumkim

    junbumkim Professional

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    How do you mitigate nerve/ tension?
     
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  22. beltsman

    beltsman Professional

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    Sure but I'm just saying that it isn't always the answer. But obviously, you can always improve your fitness and it will always benefit you.

    But even great athletes will cramp without proper nutrition, etc
     
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  23. torpantennis

    torpantennis Legend

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    Most nothing but your length is primarily genetic. I used to have tons of cramps almost daily in my calves back in the day, when I wasn't eating as healthy as nowadays, was drinking less water and didn't do much of anything strenuous to build strength. Now I haven't had cramps in like last ten years! And guess what: Many of my relatives do have cramps. Claiming of stuff being genetic is just a lame excuse to allow yourself some unhealthy lifestyle. :evil:
     
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  24. jersey34tennis

    jersey34tennis Semi-Pro

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    i haven't had cramping issues on court even playing 9 or so hard hours in a day in the summer. i'm terrible with hydrations. i never figured it out but people have mentioned it before. it has to be genetic. although i have had a couple bad bathes of muscle spasms in the lower back and for the first time in my life i've woken up from calf and foot cramps after 13 or so hours on court
     
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