Suggestions for preventing cramps

Looking for suggestions to prevent hydrate and cramps. Seems like everytime i play my hamstrings tighten up, can't make it through a singles match without tweaking my hamstrings

Currently using - bananas + water to nuun tablets, coconut water (3:1 ratio) + pickle juice upon cramping

TIA
 

jwalk

New User
the best i can tell you is hydrate more than you think you need to. and if you are super sweaty like me saltstick capsules also help. but nothing can keep me from cramping if I play extended hours in the humidity. my genetics i guess.
 

cha cha

Professional
Not trying to offend you, but this seems to happen to a lot of people around me with the common denominator being catastrophic shape.
How is your condition?
 
Not trying to offend you, but this seems to happen to a lot of people around me with the common denominator being catastrophic shape.
How is your condition?
Thanks, I'm not offended. I'm in reasonable shape. I will note that I've suffered from heat exhaustion/stroke a few times in the past. Not sure if that makes me more susceptible for cramps
 

WYK

Hall of Fame
You need salts as well as liquids, VitD(I would test for it it if you cramp often), and magnesium.
You can get a lot of salts and mag from Bananas. The greener they are, the less of their carbs you can digest, so you can avoid some carbs by simply choosing a more green banana.
I often start the day with a banana for breakfast and some coffee. I often eat eggs. Eggs are great in every aspect If you exercise, and the cholesterol isn't an issue if you are not at risk.
I take 5K IU/125mcg vitD per day, and 10K after matches, but I always test very low for VitD in my blood. My body simply does not absorb it according to my blood tests. But, more to the point, your average person does not absorb it much, either. My doc suggest for your average person 2-3K/day every day.
If I do not have 10K after a match, I will occasionally cramp. I used to just deal with it until they became debilitating in work. I finally got tested and came up super low in VitD.
Now if I dose and thrown in a banana, I almost never cramp.
 

ServeBot

Rookie
Thanks, I'm not offended. I'm in reasonable shape. I will note that I've suffered from heat exhaustion/stroke a few times in the past. Not sure if that makes me more susceptible for cramps
What kind of conditions are we talking about? Like 72 Fahrenheit with a nice breeze or temperature in the high 80s with humidity in the 80s?
 

ServeBot

Rookie
Yeah, that's brutal. I live in the carribbean so I know those conditions in the summer. Wish I had more advice, I'm not even sure what to do. I freeze my gatorade and then put the bottles under my armpits. Maybe freeze a wet towel and use that over your head on change overs.
 

ServeBot

Rookie
Yeah, that's brutal. I live in the carribbean so I know those conditions in the summer. Wish I had more advice, I'm not even sure what to do. I freeze my gatorade and then put the bottles under my armpits. Maybe freeze a wet towel and use that over your head on change overs.
Chug water day before the match and the morning of. Eat a lot before hand too. Stay hydrated while playing.

Focus on stretching your hamstrings. Wake up drink water, stretch in the morning. Certainly couldn’t hurt!
 

am1899

Hall of Fame
For me a big revelation early on in my career was drinking lots of water the day before a match in the type of conditions you’re describing. I simply could not replace fast enough what I was losing on match day. So I had to give myself a head start. Never cramped again on court after i started doing that. (I recognize everyone is different, so YMMV).
 

Diablo XP

Rookie
1200mg of Magnesium Citrate every single night. Drip Drop before match. Drip Drop is an oral rehydration powder that works exceptionally well.
 

atatu

Legend
I was just talking to some guys about this last night and one of them mentioned taking some "Heat guard" tablets and how well they worked. I googled them but there really isn't much information on their website, so I'm just sticking with nuun for now.
 

mikeler

Moderator
I usually drop 3 Nuun tablets in 64 ounces of water. which lasts me for the duration of most matches. I'll take 2 salt sticks every 7 games or so. When I get low on energy, I eat a Gu which also has electrolytes. Then splurge on a salty meal after.
 

kayak4water

New User
I had a severe problem with cramps in my leg muscles when swimming laps. I suspected an electrolyte imbalance. After throwing everything at it and having nothing stick, I used a food diary app (MyFitnessPal) ; it tracked my sodium, calcium and potassium intake along with calories, carbs, proteins fats etc; it showed a serious potassium deficiency. I corrected by eating foods rich in potassium eg potatoes, greens etc. No more cramps.

Might it help you? Dunno.
 

beltsman

Legend
Looking for suggestions to prevent hydrate and cramps. Seems like everytime i play my hamstrings tighten up, can't make it through a singles match without tweaking my hamstrings

Currently using - bananas + water to nuun tablets, coconut water (3:1 ratio) + pickle juice upon cramping

TIA
I like Hammer ENDUROLYTES FIZZ more than nuun. Also make sure your nuuns don't have caffeine.

Do you stretch your hamstrings after you play?
 

ngoster

Rookie
Besides hydration and electrolyte tablets, promoting circulation with massage rollers helped me. I think it was beneficial to roll out the lactic acid.
 

Demented

Semi-Pro
I live in the swamp as well, it was 92 and 60% humidity today. I measured my sweat to determine how much I was actually losing vs what I thought it was. The result was that I was dumping 3 liters out every 1.5 hours while playing singles. It's easy to do this measurement, weigh yourself in the buff right before you leave then track how much liquid you ingest and food. Once you return home, weigh yourself again and see if you're above or below.

I started consuming 3 water bottles with some electrolyte pills and it still wasn't enough. So then I bought a TDS meter, got in my sauna and sweated out a 5ml measuring cup and tested my salt levels. I ended up at about 1200 mg per liter. 3x1200mg is a lot of salt to take but it seems to do the trick.
 

socallefty

Legend
Hydrate a lot starting the night before and keep drinking water and coconut water throughout the day before the match. Eat at least a couple of bananas 1-2 hours before the match. Take 2 Saltstick pills just before the match. Drink at least a gallon of water per 2 sets during the match along with a bottle of a Sports drink either separately or diluted into the water. Take 1 more Saltstick capsule after the match if you played more than 3 hours. Drink coconut water or pickle juice afterwards, eat a lot of nuts and 1 more banana within 1 hour after the match. Take a cold water shower (or ice bath if you prefer) to reduce your body's inflammation. Eat a balanced meal within 2 hours after the match. Don't drink alcohol starting from the previous evening before a match in humid conditions and likely don't drink it after the match either.

If your hamstrings are always the body part that is cramping, you need to do a strengthening/stretching routine for them too.
 

markwillplay

Hall of Fame
Theroworx is the best product anywhere for cramps that have already started. I have a bottle in my bag. Also, I have been to hospital with cramps and have tried it all. For me, and I believe for most, you MUST take in more sodium than you think. People lose sodium at different rates. Some don't lose as much as others. I mix water with salt. Not so much that it will make you sick, but salty. Pre/hydrate and take in food and salty drink.
 
Thou I rarely cramped I was always dripping mess once the temp reached 68F. I always drank 2 gallons of water the days before playing. The second gallon mixed with a quart of Gatorade. I also poured salt onto a glass of ice cubes and drinking the salty meltings. Reapplying the salt when the tartness dropped. I can't take salt tablets but the salted ice never bothered me. Match day drink a gallon of water over 5 to 6 hours before arriving at the courts. Then camel a quart right before taking the court. Change overs 16-20 oz. Post playing, I always stretched and drank 32 oz cut with 8oz of Gatorade. Then at least a pint of water every hour until your eyeballs float. On the weekends I played competitive social doubles 5-8 hours every weekend. I must have had a screw loose. In the winter showing up at dawn with a couple of Stanley Thermos of coffee and hot chocolate. Then in the summer we started at 5:30am. We had rollers and wheeled blowers for when it rained overnight. Ah, I miss those days of hearing our group leader telling people to put their money ($0.50) in the can.
 

optic yellow

New User
Yeah the salt intake is critical. They always say humans are 80% water or whatever but forget to make it clear they mean seawater.
 

puppybutts

Semi-Pro
Looking for suggestions to prevent hydrate and cramps. Seems like everytime i play my hamstrings tighten up, can't make it through a singles match without tweaking my hamstrings

Currently using - bananas + water to nuun tablets, coconut water (3:1 ratio) + pickle juice upon cramping

TIA
Make sure you're not overdoing it with the salt. Hydration starts the night before, you lose water during sleep and can take a bit for your body to get back up to speed. Cramping isn't always hydration related; roll out your muscles properly (but don't do deep stretches right before a match, you don't want elongated muscles for explosive movement), work on flexibility/range of motion.
 

puppybutts

Semi-Pro
You can get a lot of salts and mag from Bananas. The greener they are, the less of their carbs you can digest, so you can avoid some carbs by simply choosing a more green banana.
someone correct me if I'm wrong but I don't think you don't want green bananas during a match. sports drinks have sugar in them because you want those carbs for fuel....a green banana has less carbs because the sugars haven't been produced yet and it has more fibrous material....you don't want fiber during a match. green bananas are harder to digest and you want more quick-access nutrition.
 

WYK

Hall of Fame
someone correct me if I'm wrong but I don't think you don't want green bananas during a match. sports drinks have sugar in them because you want those carbs for fuel....a green banana has less carbs because the sugars haven't been produced yet and it has more fibrous material....you don't want fiber during a match. green bananas are harder to digest and you want more quick-access nutrition.
I offered it as an option for less carbs. If you want carbs, go yellow. Pretty straight forward.
 

optic yellow

New User
Make sure you're not overdoing it with the salt. Hydration starts the night before, you lose water during sleep and can take a bit for your body to get back up to speed. Cramping isn't always hydration related; roll out your muscles properly (but don't do deep stretches right before a match, you don't want elongated muscles for explosive movement), work on flexibility/range of motion.
I learned (or confirmed) so many useful things from this post, thank you. Can you elaborate on the "overdoing it with the salt" part - do you just mean making sure your quest for adequate salt intake does not result in consuming an unhealthy amount?

someone correct me if I'm wrong but I don't think you don't want green bananas during a match. sports drinks have sugar in them because you want those carbs for fuel....a green banana has less carbs because the sugars haven't been produced yet and it has more fibrous material....you don't want fiber during a match. green bananas are harder to digest and you want more quick-access nutrition.
I think you would say however you want those in the morning before the match. Fiber provides a solid base for the digestion of all nutrients, including the quick access ones you should consume while playing. Similar in concept to how you hydrate well ahead of time rather than struggling or overdoing it to catch up when the need becomes acute.
 
People have different salt needs and tolerances. My high need was due to the fact I worked a very physical outdoors job (95% in the sun), Sweat would just pour out of me to the point of sweat stopping (heat exhaustion). So you have to do a little experimentation and keep a log to find out your sweet spot.
 

chazz

Rookie
This might sound crazy but aside from the hydrating advice try rubbing your hamstrings with some sports creme before playing to keep them from tightening up.
 
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