Solution for muscle cramps on long rides?
Muscle cramps on long rides has never been a serious problem for me. Up until the 100 mile ride I did in the heat last Saturday, I think I’ve only had to deal with muscle cramps a couple of times.
But my rides are getting longer, and it’s getting hotter outside. On last weekend’s century ride I was very careful to consume lots of water, electrolytes, (GU gels, Sport Beans, Roctane energy powder, etc.), Clif Bars, Sportlegs, mustard packets–basically I did everything I knew to stay hydrated, fueled and cramp-free.
All of that worked up until about mile 88 (check out my post-ride blog for the details if you want). Despite everything I did, I suffered from extreme muscle cramps late in the ride, and when I returned home I was down 5 pounds.
I noticed some of the riders were using salt tablets, and so I started doing some research. I found a product called Saltstick Caps, and could not believe how positive the reviews were. On Amazon there are currently 73 reviews, and the average rating for the product is 5 stars out of 5. I read the reviews on Amazon, and also quite a few more on other sites. The overwhelming consensus? This product is phenomenal.
So, what’s in Saltstick Caps? Each capsule contains 215 mg sodium, 63 mg potassium, 11 mg magnesium, 22 mg calcium and 100IU Vitamin D. The Vitamin D helps the body absorb the calcium. The capsules contain no sugar, fat, carbs or filler.
The recommended dose is one capsule per 30-60 minutes during activity. At less than 20 bucks for 100 capsules, this product is extremely light on the wallet.
I ordered a bottle of Saltstick Caps, and I’m anxious to give them a try. There is a handlebar dispenser available, but I passed on that. It only holds six capsules, and it doesn’t look particularly well-designed. One of the reviews I read suggested keeping the capsules in an empty Tic-Tac box, and I think that’s a great idea. I’m going to try that.
Another options is to open the capsules and pour the powder into an energy drink. Might try that, too.
If this product allows me to do long rides without having to fight through painful muscle cramps, it’s going to be worth its weight in gold to me! I’ll let everyone know what I think after I try them out.
Have any of you used this product? Have any thoughts, tips or tricks to share?