I started running five years ago to deal with high blood pressure, and I was limiting my sodium as part of that. Last year I turned 50, and I trained for my first half marathon and I fought hamstring and calf cramping the last three weeks of training. We have lots of hills where I live. That race ended with me stopping ten or more times during the last three to five miles to deal with leg cramping, and I finished the race with my toes all curled up and my ankles locked up. I blamed my cramping on a lack of electrolytes due to the limited sodium. Now, I'm increasing the sodium (and my blood pressure is fine) and paying more attention to my potassium levels (actually drinking sports drinks before longer runs) and I'm still cramping around the 7 mile mark. Thankfully I have three more months to train, but I sure want to get this cramping figured out. Anyone else deal with leg cramps, and find anything that works?
The quinine in tonic water is supposed to help with cramps. But there are apparently hazards to too much quinine, just like any other drug. Problems with electrolyte/fluid balance is a frequent cause of cramping, as you know. You should discuss this with your doctor to find out what part your BP meds play in this (assuming you're on meds) and whether tonic water is a good idea (drug interactions).
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