Cycling cramps are when your muscles contract in a slow way. They can be quite painful. There are many factors to keep in mind to protect yourself from occurring.
Cramps while cycling are quite common, causing a lot of discomfort and pain. These inconveniences not only affect your muscles but also your mind as they force you to stop being active. Find out what to do to prevent them.
Why do cramps appear while cycling?
Here are some common causes of cramps when cycling. If we want to protect ourselves from them, it is very important to identify the factors that cause them.
Lack of minerals in the body
They can be the most common cause of muscle spasms while cycling. A drop in the amount of electrolytes in your body can cause your muscles to contract. Fortunately, a properly balanced diet can protect you from this.
By sweating, we lose minerals with sweat, and thus accelerate the dehydration process. The situation becomes even more difficult for cyclists practicing sports in high temperatures.
Therefore, drinking water also plays a key role in protecting against muscle cramps while cycling.
Cycling is a high-intensity sport and therefore requires a lot from the people who practice it. This type of exercise requires a lot of leg muscles. That is why it is so important to ensure that you never have to deal with muscle spasms while cycling.
The slow blood circulation causes the muscles to lose oxygen, which in turn causes the muscles to contract. This happens for a few seconds and it is difficult to reverse its effects. Giving your muscles time to rest is perhaps the best solution to this problem.
Stress and exhaustion
Cyclists usually experience pre-race anxiety and have to endure difficult physical preparation. That is why sleep is an extremely important factor in allowing the body to regenerate. Lack of sleep or poor quality sleep does not allow the muscles to rest properly.
Some cyclists may not pay too much attention to their posture, causing cramps when cycling. Additionally, cycling with poor posture can put stress on your legs, which increases your risk of muscle spasms.
What to do when you get cramps while riding a bike?
The first reaction to this possibility is to shake the leg and the muscle that has contracted. However, it requires that you stop cycling or at least slow down if this is not possible.
If you decide to slow down, remember that prolonged pressure on the affected muscle can cause serious injuries.
Another option is massaging a group of muscles to stimulate circulation. Then try to stretch your muscles to relax the area and improve its flexibility. Also, make sure you give your muscles a few hours of rest and discontinue exercising for a while.
Tips to help you protect yourself from muscle cramps
While it is impossible to predict when you will get a muscle cramp, you can reduce your risk of getting a muscle cramp. Here are some tips to help you reduce the likelihood of muscle cramps while cycling. They are simple and it is easy to follow them:
- A balanced diet: When your body has the right nutritional value, you can count on better physical performance. Foods that are high in potassium, magnesium, and sodium are key to avoiding cramps.
- Nuts and fish are your allies in this fight. The vitamins present in these foods play an important role in reducing the risk of cramps.
- Drinking plenty of water: It is extremely important to stay hydrated. However, for professional cyclists, specialists recommend topping up the water with isotonic drinks with a high mineral content.
- A proper warm-up before take-off is key to avoiding cramps while cycling. A 10-minute warm-up is enough to energize your muscles with physical activity.
- Increase the amount of potassium in your diet. Medical research confirms that a lack of magnesium in the body is the main cause of muscle cramps. Hence, doctors recommend taking magnesium supplements as they help your body absorb vitamins and other minerals.
Cramps when riding a bicycle are not only unpleasant but also dangerous. Therefore, you should know how to avoid them and how to treat them when they occur. Follow these simple tips and you will reduce the risk of an injury.