Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Cramping and Salt

I have been having ongoing conversations regarding salt and cramp relief as it pertains to running.  And up until now, I did not care what the studies said, when I cramped I took a S-Cap AND IT WORKED!!!  Now I am trying get a better understanding of it.  Noakes states that salt acts as a kind of a placebo.  Which I understood as, the salt on your tongue triggers, something in your brain to turn off the cramping.  Hence, it seems to work instantaneously versus having it absorb in to your system that fast.  If I am running hard, like during a race, and I cramp, this is due to muscle fatigue, not lack of salt.  This is my body telling me that I should slow down?  HELL NO!!! It is a race, I will just take another S-Cap and it works.  With all that said, it is probably true.  I mean, I am still new to running and I have absolutely no concept or better put “self control” to pacing myself.  So I probably should be slowing down or better pacing myself, that is for sure.  For now, I will continue taking S-Caps until I don’t need them anymore.  So here is the question . . . Is taking S-Caps bad?  Well, I don’t really know, but I think as long as you do not exceed your limit of 2 per hour you will be fine.  Either way, I am working on improving my diet and my “Pace Self Control” and we will see what happens next. 

Listen to episode 18 of Talk Ultra around  00:51:55.  Prof Tim Noakes explains his ideas and was really interesting.

Schwellnus and Noakes put forth the new theory that abnormal spinal reflex activity is the real culprit behind muscle cramps.

And also Check this article out, “Muscle Cramps During Endurance Activities”.  It also helps explain and it is a quick read.


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