Made my own Pickle Juice to alleviate cramping

Discussion in 'Health & Fitness' started by Bud, Aug 1, 2011.

  1. Bud

    Bud Bionic Poster

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    I used to get full body cramps. See some of my earlier posts in this thread.

    They'd start in my toes then work up all the way to my abs... fingers, forearms, etc. Not a pleasant experience.

    In the last month, not even a minor cramp.
     
    #51
  2. slice bh compliment

    slice bh compliment G.O.A.T.

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    Wow. So it's official. Pickle Juice works on cramping. Yes.
    I will get my wife on the once-a-month pickle juice protocol post haste!
     
    #52
  3. Dedans Penthouse

    Dedans Penthouse Hall of Fame

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    I combine the pickel juice with Midol Extended Relief for added insurance
     
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  4. slice bh compliment

    slice bh compliment G.O.A.T.

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    ^Oh yes^. Cheers to ... whatever the opposite of cramping is.
    Bird's the word.
     
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  5. Kaz00

    Kaz00 Semi-Pro

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    Interesting I usually drink buckets of water before and during a match. If I feel a cramp coming I'll get the bottle of mustard out and throw some on a granola bar and eat it. Pickle Juice I'll have to try that before a match couldn't imagine drinking something that strong during a match!
     
    #55
  6. slice bh compliment

    slice bh compliment G.O.A.T.

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    Granola bar with mustard. That's great. But what do you eat when you are not a pregnant woman?

    Kidding. That sounds like a sweet, crunchy pretzel.
     
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  7. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    I just leave the house or lock myself in my "man cave".
     
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  8. Bud

    Bud Bionic Poster

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    Errr. no. You take it every match when you feel a muscle twinge / cramp ;)

    I've also been taking it when I'm feeling fatigued, which I know is when my muscles will cramp with the slightest encouragement

    I ingest about an ounce or so every match/post match

    Mustard also works, apparently because of the vinegar

    Some people carry mustard packets with them rather than pickle juice
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2011
    #58
  9. Bud

    Bud Bionic Poster

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    Made Another Batch

    Using white vinegar, water and salt... It's not nearly as good as using apple cider vinegar, water, salt and some sugar :wink:

    I'll use the remaining white vinegar to make an eco-friendly cleaner :)
     
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  10. Sentinel

    Sentinel Talk Tennis Guru

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    In my book that's called an orgasm.
     
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  11. slice bh compliment

    slice bh compliment G.O.A.T.

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    I know, Bud. We were jus' joshin'.

    My mom's a tennis player, too. She's been making this purple cabbage/carrot salad for about 30 years. We all love it. She's so heavy-handed with the vinegar, mustard seeds, honey, salt and pepper that we joke it's basically pickled.

    Now thanks to this thread Bud, instead of seeing it as a side of raw veggies, I will see it as a sportsfood.
     
    #61
  12. Fugazi

    Fugazi Professional

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    What kind of pickles should I buy to get the pickle juice? The sweet variety or the regular?
     
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  13. Fugazi

    Fugazi Professional

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    One problem I have with these articles: they make it seem like not drinking at all can be a pretty good solution, and imply that cramping is only the result of low sodium. Now I'm pretty sure that not drinking will dehydrate you and lead to quick fatigue and eventually cramps...
     
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  14. Bud

    Bud Bionic Poster

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    Quick Update

    Either, depending on which you prefer. The kosher pickle juice (uses kosher salt) tastes the best, IMO.

    - - -

    I've been using PJ for 4+ months now and have not cramped up even one time, during or after playing. I currently play 10-12 hours (over 3-4 days) per week and use 2-3 ounces every session.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2011
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  15. Bud

    Bud Bionic Poster

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    Works Great!

    This stuff is like magic for any type of cramping (sports related or other).

    Sometimes, I'll awaken when my feet and legs start cramping. I'll go to the fridge and take a swig of pickle juice. Within a minute the cramping is completely gone.
     
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  16. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    Mustard packs too! They have saved me many times when I felt a twinge of a cramp coming.
     
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  17. Bud

    Bud Bionic Poster

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    ^^ Yes, vinegar is the key! :) It just amazes me how quickly it alleviates cramping.

    Sometimes, I go through periods where I'm just prone to cramping. Recently, I've been cramping right when I start playing (even during the warmup). There is no logical explanation for this, IMO as I'm not tired, dehydrated, etc. I take a swig of the pickle juice and it's gone. Then, I'll sip the pickle juice throughout the session and the cramps will stay away.

    This stuff has been a blessing for me.

    - - -

    BTW, where can you buy mustard packets? Restaurant supply store? I've looked for them in places like Walmart or the supermarket and can't seem to find any. I'll grab a handful the next time I see them at a restaurant.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2012
    #67
  18. Larrysümmers

    Larrysümmers Hall of Fame

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    im a freak, sometime i drink it just to drink it :oops:
     
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  19. Bud

    Bud Bionic Poster

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    Straight vinegar? :shock: :| or pickle juice??

    Straight vinegar burns like hell going down :grin:
     
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  20. volleygirl

    volleygirl Semi-Pro

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    Pickle juice works and isnt as disgusting as I think vinegar would be.
     
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  21. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    I go to my grocery store's deli and they have a whole bin of them so I just grab 20-25 and im set for months.
     
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  22. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    Sorry if my question is dumb.

    When you guys mention pickle juice, I'm thinking of pickle cucumber in a jar that you put on hotdog, burger and stuffs. Is that the pickle and juice you guys are talking about? That stuff seems pretty hard to drink!
     
    #72
  23. volleygirl

    volleygirl Semi-Pro

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    Yep thats it and if it prevents cramps, downing 5-8 ounces is worth it.
     
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  24. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    Hmm..no thanks.

    I seem to be able to manage my physical pretty well that I do not get cramps on court. :)
     
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  25. Bud

    Bud Bionic Poster

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    Some of us aren't as fortunate :)

    I only drink 2-3 oz. max, per session.
     
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  26. RobFL

    RobFL Rookie

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    Hey Bud, i tested this today. But i forgot the water and didn't boil it. Did an ounce of PJ with an ounce of apple cider vinegar and some splenda.
    Question is, i'm not going to have the patience to boil, do you think the mix will still be effective without boiling?
     
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  27. slice bh compliment

    slice bh compliment G.O.A.T.

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    I think that is relish.
    Pickle juice usually is the liquid left behind in a jar of whole pickles.
     
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  28. Bud

    Bud Bionic Poster

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    Did it work for you? The key is the vinegar. The reason for boiling is to dissolve the sugar and salt :)
     
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  29. Vlad_C

    Vlad_C Semi-Pro

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    As you probably already know, in a otherwise healthy person cramping is mainly caused by a potassium / sodium / calcium / magnesium deficiency, (rather than a vinegar deficiency).

    Vinegar is acid - drinking a lot of that will leave you with no teeth, stomach ulcers, and possibly more serious problems caused by an acidic blood ph.

    That said, I love some cold pickles on a hot summer day.

    Anyway, if you experience frequent cramps, you might want to check that with a doctor, there might be other, more serious, underlying health issues at work there.

    some more info on cramps:
    http://www.medicinenet.com/muscle_cramps/page2.htm
     
    #79
  30. Tennis_Hands

    Tennis_Hands Hall of Fame

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    You are a frightening man.

    Pickle juice is great, and what you are doing is essentially making your own fresh (pickle) juice. Sometimes, before I leave for the court, I make a salad with chopped broccoli and carrots, that I mix with some Sunflower oil, salt and A LOT of vinegar. After I am back it has been in the fridge for 3-4 hours already, so the vegetables are half marinated. It has very good effect.

    Magnezium tablets (magnezium rich drinks) plus a couple of bananas during practice should do the trick, if you are not into cooking your own salads or do not have pickle juice.
     
    #80
  31. slice bh compliment

    slice bh compliment G.O.A.T.

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    Pickle Juice...does it have electrolytes? Brawndo has electrolytes.
     
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  32. Bud

    Bud Bionic Poster

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    I'd suggest you read up on studies involving pickle juice and vinegar as they relate to cramping.

    It definitely has sodium ;)
     
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  33. Wuppy

    Wuppy Professional

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    Keep in mind that salty drinks don't "have" electrolytes, they ARE an electrolyte. An electrolyte is a substance (usually a solution) that is capable of transmitting electricity. Electricity flows through salt-water (among other things), so the entire thing is an electrolyte.
     
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  34. slice bh compliment

    slice bh compliment G.O.A.T.

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    Yeah, but Brawndo has what plants crave?
    It's got electrolytes?


    What are electrolytes?
    It's what plants crave. It's what in Brawndo.

    (I know. this was a reference to a movie called Idiocracy)
     
    #84
  35. Wuppy

    Wuppy Professional

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    Oh, didn't get the reference :(
     
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  36. Bud

    Bud Bionic Poster

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    Edited Recipe

    I desired a brine that tasted closer to true pickle juice, so I experimented a bit with the existing recipe of vinegar, water, salt and sugar.

    Here is the modified recipe


    In addition, I now buy baby pickling cucumbers and cut them into quarters (4 whole or 32 quarters). I insert these into the pickle juice and I no longer have to buy pickles :wink: The cucumbers mellow the brine mixture further, for those who find it too vinegar-heavy.

    ^^ Use quart-size Mason or Kerr seal-able glass containers if adding pickling cucumbers.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2013
    #86
  37. charliefedererer

    charliefedererer Legend

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    I'm resurrecting this thread.

    Bud took a lot of time to describe the great effect pickle juice had on reducing his cramping.

    Power Player apparently also has had great results preventing/relieving cramps with pickle juice.


    I would love to hear how many others saddled by cramps have tried it, and what their results were.
    (That is, even if it helps only a minority, it would still be a boon to them.
    But I also would like to know if it works in "most", or only "some".]
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2013
    #87
  38. charliefedererer

    charliefedererer Legend

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    I know for the vast majority of those who suffer from muscle cramps that HOW pickle juice would work is less of a concern that it DOES work.

    But for those who do wonder how pickle juice works:

    "Reflex inhibition of electrically induced muscle cramps in hypohydrated humans.

    Miller KC, Mack GW, Knight KL, Hopkins JT, Draper DO, Fields PJ, Hunter I.
    Source
    Department of Health, Nutrition, and Exercise Sciences, North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND 58108-6050, USA. Kevin.C.Miller@ndsu.edu

    Abstract
    INTRODUCTION:
    Anecdotal evidence suggests that ingesting small volumes of pickle juice relieves muscle cramps within 35 s of ingestion. No experimental evidence exists supporting the ingestion of pickle juice as a treatment for skeletal muscle cramps.

    METHODS:
    On two different days (1 wk apart), muscle cramps were induced in the flexor hallucis brevis (FHB) of hypohydrated male subjects (approximately 3% body weight loss and plasma osmolality approximately 295 mOsm x kg(-1) H2O) via percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation. Thirty minutes later, a second FHB muscle cramp was induced and was followed immediately by the ingestion of 1 mL x kg(-1) body weight of deionized water or pickle juice (73.9 +/- 2.8 mL).

    RESULTS:
    Cramp duration and FHB EMG activity during the cramp were quantified, as well as the change in plasma constituents. Cramp duration (water = 151.9 +/- 12.9 s and pickle juice = 153.2 +/- 23.7 s) and FHB EMG activity (water = 60% +/- 6% and pickle juice = 68% +/- 9% of maximum voluntary isometric contraction EMG activity) were similar during the initial cramp induction without fluid ingestion (P > 0.05). During FHB muscle cramp induction combined with fluid ingestion, FHB EMG activity was again similar (water = 55% +/- 9% and pickle juice = 66% +/- 9% of maximum voluntary isometric contraction EMG activity, P > 0.05). However, cramp duration was 49.1 +/- 14.6 s shorter after pickle juice ingestion than water (84.6 +/- 18.5 vs 133.7 +/- 15.9 s, respectively, P < 0.05). The ingestion of water or pickle juice had little impact on plasma composition 5 min after ingestion.

    CONCLUSIONS:
    Pickle juice, and not deionized water, inhibits electrically induced muscle cramps in hypohydrated humans. This effect could not be explained by rapid restoration of body fluids or electrolytes. We suspect that the rapid inhibition of the electrically induced cramps reflects a neurally mediated reflex that originates in the oropharyngeal region and acts to inhibit the firing of alpha motor neurons of the cramping muscle."
    = http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19997012
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2013
    #88
  39. charliefedererer

    charliefedererer Legend

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    I didn't realize that pickle juice was recommended by so many trainers:

    "Approximately 25% (92 of 370) of certified athletic trainers advocate drinking pickle juice, which is an acidic brine, to treat and prevent EAMCs [Exercise Associated Muscle Cramps].9"
    - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2742453/
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2013
    #89
  40. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    I used pickle juice and I also bring mustard packs to the courts.

    The Mustard packs I would use if I felt a cramp coming on.

    I have not had to use pickel juice or mustard in a long time (thankfully).

    Another thing I do is drink chicken broth. Not all the time. Maybe once a week. But it basically tastes like chicken soup and helps keep me hydrated.
     
    #90
  41. charliefedererer

    charliefedererer Legend

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    At least trying pickle juice for muscle cramping should not do any harm:

    "At these volumes [3 ounces], ingestion of pickle juice and CHO-e drink did not cause substantial changes in plasma electrolyte concentrations, plasma osmolality, or plasma volume in rested, euhydrated men. Concern that ingesting these volumes of pickle juice might exacerbate an athlete's risk of dehydration-induced hypertonicity may be unwarranted."
    - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2742453/



    (Notice the small volume - only 3 ounces - that seemed to relieve the cramp.
    Thus, there are not studies that I am aware of that speaks to the "safety" of large volumes of pickle juice.)
     
    #91
  42. charliefedererer

    charliefedererer Legend

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    Thanks for your update.

    There is another currently running thread Is Cramping Genetic http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=454316 that has brought to light that there is a subgroup of athletes who are "salty sweaters".

    While that designation may sound disgusting, at least among Florida State football players, 10-15% seem to have a much higher amount of sodium in their sweat and need more sodium replacement.

    Interestingly, their first line of prevention in these "salty sweaters" is to increase their use of salt in thier diet - just as you are using chicken broth.

    So maybe there are three novel strategies to use for those who cramp to consider:
    1. pickle juice to stop the acute cramp
    2. pickle juice to prevent cramps
    3. more sodium to prevent cramps


    After reading the below description, do you think you are a "salty sweater"?

    "IDENTIFYING SALTY SWEATERS
    How do you know if an athlete is a salty sweater? The most scientific test is to use absorbent patches to collect sweat and employ specialized analyses to determine exact electrolyte losses. This is the method used by researchers. However, for athletic departments, this isn’t very practical. Fortunately, simpler methods are available.

    At Florida State, we start by using our pre-participation physical exam. Since salty sweaters appear to get muscle cramps more easily, we use our questionnaire to identify athletes with a history of cramping. We also ask our athletes if they have noticed more salt loss themselves. Two simple questions can be sufficient to help identify athletes potentially at risk:

    How often have you experienced muscle cramps during practice or games?
    • Never
    • Sometimes
    • Frequently

    When you sweat, does your sweat often sting your eyes or taste salty?
    • Tastes Salty
    • Stings Eyes
    • Neither

    Visual assessment can also be helpful. We’re careful to check for salt stains on practice clothing and salt on athletes’ skin during practices. Lastly, we keep records of athletes who experience muscle cramps during practices and contests and note how often they get them. Players who commonly succumb to muscle cramps, especially during two-a-day workouts or intense competitions, are flagged as salty sweaters."
    - http://www.training-conditioning.com/2007/08/salt_in_their_sweat.html
     
    #92
  43. charliefedererer

    charliefedererer Legend

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    "I sweat like crazy..and its salty..totally sucks man. I used to cramp so badly in my calves that I thought I would not be able to play sports at an intense level again.

    Wish I could provide an answer, but all I have done is use electrolyte packs in my water and it helped.

    I also take magnesium before bed. I was taking 1000 mgs. some people say that is too much. I am not sure. I dropped it to 500 to be safe, but I feel like I lose a lot more electrolytes than most people.

    Knock on wood, but the cramping has gone away. I think it boils down to electrolyte management and improved fitness."- Power Player http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?p=7230216&posted=1#post7230216


    I see you have already answered in the other thread.

    Thanks for your reply and information that should be helpful to other tennis players plagued by cramping.
     
    #93
  44. beltsman

    beltsman Professional

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    This is a great thread. Bumping it. Last week I had an intense 3+ hour 3 setter (7-6; 5-7; 7-6) match in the blazing hot sun and was cramping terribly by the end and could barely drive home, and then cramped all night.

    I wish I had thought of pickle juice! So I bought a jar of pickles and I'm going to bring the juice with me to the court tomorrow for a rematch.

    I am definitely a salty sweater and have always had cramps throughout life. I do wonder, though, if the vinegar will do it just fine without all that sodium? Has anyone researched that yet?
     
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  45. Sentinel

    Sentinel Talk Tennis Guru

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    Does anyone else have early morning calf/lower leg cramps. I have these round the year. At the time of waking up. Either the calf muscle, or the outer side tendon that goes up from the ankle.

    I googled and found some discussions, so a lot of people do have this, but no clear solution.

    It immediately clears if I start walking. Trying to stretch it out does not help, it immediately comes back the moment i relax. I have to get up and plant the foot down.

    If I am to try the vinegar solution, at what time should i have this. After a workout, or keep it with me on bed-side? I'd like to prevent the cramp, not take a solution when it happens.
     
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  46. beltsman

    beltsman Professional

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    My calves are sometimes tight in the morning, but usually not cramping. I think a lot of it has to do with the shoes I wear for work - I find that when I stand/walk in them for a few hours, my calves get tight. I think I need to get some gel soles for better support. So maybe think about your everyday footwear too.
     
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  47. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    I posted here before, suffered from cramps a lot. Well taking S tabs helped me, but what has drastically shrunk the cramps from happening for me was working out my calves a lot more.

    Yes, I simply was not developing my calves or legs enough. To fix this, I do a lot of box jumps and jump ropes plus thrusters and power cleans (lifts that involve a bit of a jump to get the weight moving).

    Major results for me now. More than any electrolyte additive.
     
    #97
  48. President

    President Legend

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    Would squats and leg press fulfill that role?
     
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  49. comeback

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    i would get terrible cramps as you describe..Goggle "Morton's Toe" or "Morton's Foot" and see if your 2nd toe is longer than your 1st..If so, that's whats probably causing it
     
    #99
  50. beltsman

    beltsman Professional

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    How long have you been working them out, and how strenuously?
     

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