T Nation

Tonic Water for Cramps?


#1

Once, a doctor told my wife (also a doctor) that tonic water (also known as quinine water) is good for relieving some cramps.

I've tried it and it seems to work. Seems to me that the quinine is a bit of a muscle relaxant. I've drunk quinine water before a workout, and it has ruined the workout, because I can't contract my muscles as hard as usual.

Anybody else ever try quinine water for cramps?


#2

The concentration of quinine in tonic water is so low that I'd be surprised if there were any biological effect from it.

Besides everybody knows the only thing tonic water it good for it covering up gin.


#3

I have a cramping problem with endurance events such as hiking or bicycling. After about 3 hours of continual pedaling or climbing a mountain, my hams and especially quads just start knotting up!

It hurts like hell and I can't figure out what I'm not doing right. On every occasion it happened to me, I drank large amounts of gatorade and water. They have even happened to me when I was eating bananas as fuel during a long event.

I am guessing that it can only be attributed to two possble things.

Since I train heavy for legs, my rep range is never high enough to build the endurance qualities in my quads and therefore they cramp.

On almost every occasion, I was short on sleep (and used caffiene).

I know it's not a lack of warming up, because it almost always happens after 3 hours.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.


#4

I tried tonic water when playing soccer as a 17/18 year old - it seemed to work to an extent but didnt cure my terrible cramps, which forced me out of games after 60-70 minutes. However, cramps are not down to a lack of fitness, and in fact they are much more likely if you're muscular. The solution for me was simple - I discovered that my sweat was extremely salty (I tasted it!). I added a 1/2 teaspoon of salt (sodium) to my normal energy drink pre-match and at the interval and bingo....cramps cured. Try it.


#5

why not just take quinine tabs. cheap and easy.


#6

Age 64. For many years I have taken 4 250mg @day of magnesium & potassium in an asportate base and have had zero problems with cramping. I also take 3 1000mg of C.