or Connect
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Leg Cramps After Eating

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Anybody else have this problem? Just about the time I am really hitting my stride and completely in the groove I start getting hungry. I stop by the Diggity Dog stand at the base and grab a hot dog and Coke. Wolf the dog down and hit the lift. Two runs later my leg muscles start cramping and I lose all stamina. I I can make it through the next 2 hours things improve.

This happens every time I eat lunch and as a result I just don't eat anymore until I am done skiing.

My theory is that after eating blood is diverted to my sytomach and as a result my legs are robbed of oxygen. Am I totally off the mark here? Just curious if I am the only one afflicted by this.
post #2 of 10
who knows? maybe it's all the sodium in the hot dogs, messing with the sodium/potassium pump that drives muscles. try drinking more cranberry juice and eating more bananas (potassium sources).

when I read the title I thought you were going to say that eating and leg cramps are linked more directly, and I was thinking of something smartarse to say... too bad.
post #3 of 10
Try drinking water with the dog instead of the coke. The high concentration of sugar in the coke can draw fluids away from muscles as osmosis causes liquids to balance solution concentrations (sugar in your stomach). In bike racing days for long races I would sometimes drink coke or gatorade late in a long race but only at half concentration and after letting the coke go flat the night before to prevent this problem.

If you get at the coffee or coke early in the day both are diuretics and may be causing you to be slightly dehydrated at the start making lunch easier to push you over the edge.

Something healthier than the dog might help too but I'm betting the coke is the prime culprit.
post #4 of 10
I have heard that pineapple juice can help alleviate cramps, but you need to drink it before your activity. I haven't personally tried it, but more than one person independantly mentioned the idea to me.
post #5 of 10
I have a long history of having leg cramps from Bike Racing and skiing.

The others have it right.

1. Nix the coke and drink twice the water you think you need.

2. Nix the dog and get a bananna or an energy bar.

If you are using energy you need to replace it. The stuff you are eating is adding to your waist not replacing your energy.

If you need junk at lunch, stick with a cookie or Chocolate.
post #6 of 10
You're dehydrated from the morning of skiing, and the sudden influx of sodium and sugar water push you over the edge.

Listen to everyone else, especially skion. You really need to replace that water. Start the day hydrated and drink lots of water during lunch.
post #7 of 10
Clayton, You might be on the right track. But a big question is, does this only happen when you eat? what about stopping for the same amount of time and not eating?

.5 Some big words
A few things could be going on that are affecting you. It seems as though you've been skiing for a little while before this happens, which would allow a decent amount of lactic acid to build up. We all have a lactate threshold, for some its higher then others. That threshold is the breakpoint at which the body cannot deal with lactic acid as fast as its being produced. Usually its shown in a graph form with intensity on the horizontal axis and lactate on the vertical. I think your problem maybe stemming from a breaching of that lactate threshold...lets see how this might happen.

1. Increasing lactate concentration
~ As you're skiing your heart rate is higher, blood is moving at a higher rate and more lactic acid/other buyproducts are being removed. When you stop your heart rate will recover but your lactate production will still be occuring to replenish ATP (the energy molecule in your muscles) this is why "active cooldown" is recommended after working out.
~ The contraction of the muscles also act as a pump (aptly named "the muscle pump") This pump increases the amount of blood pushed back to the heart (venous return) which not only increases the volume of the next heart beat, but because the heart likes to be stretched it increases the force. (soldiers are taught to alternate flexing their calves so blood doesn't pool in their legs as they stand at attention... sometimes they pass out) So not only is your heart beating slower its not pushing as much blood as hard. These combine and you don't remove as much lactic acid

2. the straw that broke the camels back...or something like that
So you get on the lift and you head back up (all of these things are still happening, although lactate production is probably down and the body is starting to get an edge on the high level of lactic acid)

The next few runs are going to add lactic acid to the already high levels AND your stomach/gut has diverted some blood flow which means that your body has a hard time dealing with all this acid... eventually the threshold is surpassed leading to an excess amount of lactic acid leading to fatigue and cramping.

3. Eureka!
Look into sportlegs (www.sportlegs.com i think?) or "soda loading" (supplementation with sodium bicarbonate (baking soda)(ps, put in capsules, don't try to drink that stuff)) as one solution or try to walk around with the hotdog so that your muscles work at a lower intensity to clear that lactate and don't be in such a rush to get back on the hill.... on second thought just walk around, i always get back at it asap too.

Hope this helps, or at least makes sense...

4. Shameless Plug
ps. anyone looking to hire a recent exercise physiology grad? (i also have a interest in technical clothing research and design) I'm having a hard time paying for tickets and might resort to telemarking so that i can skin up for free...:
post #8 of 10
as a quick hydration add on.

If you are infact dehydrated, blood volume with decrease, causing a great effect with what i said above.

But are you really dehydrated? only your pee can tell us... dark yellow= bad, clear-er is better (generally) and excess vitamin B causes bright glowing yellow...interesting but no help.

The general trend in america has been to consume more and more water...more is alway better...right... ?

Yes, water is a great thing, but hyponatremia (low electrolyte balance) is very very bad. people are more apt to die without knowing it from from hyponatremia and over hydration then dehydration. its more prominent in back of the pack marathoners (all those water stations, all that time out there sweating off electrolytes..) and still low occurence but something to be aware of.

our diets usually have more then enough sodium (which is most lost through sweat) but sports drinks are the surest bet for activity over an hour and they encourage the user to drink more then plain ol water...thats a whole 'nother topic though.

So, I'm all for water (one of the millions of nalgene carrying college kids) I just urge people to be carful they aren't drinking too much
post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies guys. I needed someone to point out the obvious I guess. Next outing I am going to pack something healthy and strart using the Camelback again.

Thanks RJP for the more technical posting. Pretty interesting to know what might be going on internally. Where should I send the urine samples?
post #10 of 10
Coke contains caffeine - dehydrates you more rather than rehydrates...
You might want to think about why coke dissolves coins left in it too.... it is not simply sugar & caffeine & water.....
Why do you disperse omeprazole tablets in non-carbonated drinks for instance....

& I don't know about there - but here the hotdog skins (red) are full of nitrites.... without checking I can guess that they probably are not without an effect on the body either... I know that our health bodies here suggest limiting exposure to these types of meats to about twice a week (from memory) for good health....
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: General Skiing Discussion