T Nation

Cramping Issues, What Helps?

Alrighty, have a few players who no matter how much water they consume during week, and they said they also are chugging sports drinks, downing fruit, etc all week…somehow they manage to get severe cramps on gameday…we have some IV type drinks from the training staff (forget the name) and Gatorade packets of electrolytes (forget the name), but what could be causing these for the same players to chronically get them? What supplements, foods, drinks, etc might help? Its saddening to see the hardest working, displined players, have to sit out reps due to cramping on game day…


Looooonnngggg warmups at a low intensity helped me with cross country. Also, massage the area that usually cramps in the game, BEFORE THE GAME. Stretching helps, too. All three of these will improve bloodflow throughout the body.

Magnesium and is supposed to help with muscle cramps.

Are they simply deconditioned? I only ask because the only time I have ever experienced sever cramps is when I jump into training when I am out of shape from a long layoff.

Best of luck


Hi, thanks for input guys. They do plenty of warm ups and stretching(dynamic/static). They are not deconditioned…they are some of the most conditioned people on the team…sick sick athletes…I dont have their stats off hand but whether it is conditioning tests or maxing they are probably in the top tier percentile wise for their positions/size in D-IAA…which makes it all the more frustrating!

These arent the types who skip workouts or slack in anything…so it breaks my heart when they have to sit out a series or a few weeks ago sit out the remainder of the game!

Someone actually said to drink pickle juice! I have no clue really never had issues with cramps…pickle juice, bananas, magnesium? any other suggestions? or any of the techies on here know the science behind the cramping and what can be done to prevent it? diet changes during the week and game day? supplements?

Salt, potassium, and LOTS of water.

Potassium and the hydration being the most usual culprit. Good sources, Banana, cabbage, many nuts, I think avacado.

Phill’s most likely right - also look into calcium intake.

Are they taking any non-vitamin/mineral supps?


No supplements that I know of…I forget the name of the drink the training staff has, its some sort of drink meant for those who have severe diarreha or something…costs like $5 a drink…theyve been drinking those on gameday but by then I think its too late…

One of them I have on EAS Endurathon pre-practice and game. The other player has also lost 8 pounds this season, and he was probably 5% bodyfat to begin with…I think he isnt eating enough…hard to regulate or assess a college athletes diet especially at a school without a training table. So its up to them to be getting enough food throughout the day, and sadly I think many of them do the two big meals a day thing.

Neither of the athletes drink alcohol either, like I said they are the super work ethic type kids who live for football and do everything you ask of them, the kind of athletes coaches love!

Would loading up on gatorade or sports drinks a few days prior be of any help?

Pickle juice works well for cramping. I know it sounds funny, but it really does work.

Navy Football uses pickle juice. I had one of my guys go down hard with cramps hiking back from an endurance course run. The docs took him to the clinic and they had him drink pickle juice, which helped him almost immediately. The clinic here had buckets of the stuff always on hand.

Semper Fi

man thats same thing Ive heard about the pickle juice…I need to look at the contents to see whats in it…today I went into GNC really quick and all the electrolyte replacement drinks were just loads of sodium and potassium…i think we will try the pickle juice then this week…

thanks for all the input!!!

Some athletes who sweat alot lose more salt than others leading to cramps