A cure for muscle cramps? Sugar and running

This article was originally posted by Ryan at the original HillRunner.com Blogs.

In this past week, I came across two articles I just have to share.

Cure for muscle cramps on the way?

Muscle cramps are probably one of the most annoying but least well known problems runners can face. We don’t really know what causes them. We thought it might be dehydration but that appears to not be a significant, if any, factor. Same for sodium and potassium. All three of those things might make a difference but, if they do, the difference isn’t significant. We thought it might be fatigue. While that seems to be a still leading candidate, it seems like it’s more than just that.

Well, there is a new idea out there.

I’ve noticed that some exercise physiologists I respect are pretty excited about this. It doesn’t appear to be another gimmick that someone is throwing out there just to make some money. This one may be serious and may be out in the near future. Definitely something to keep an eye on if you suffer from muscle cramps.

Sugar and running

Runners have an interesting relationship with sugar. We know that, in the form of refined grains or processed foods, it’s not good for our health when we’re not running.

What about when we are running, though? The truth is that the sugar itself isn’t bad. It’s bad when it hits the bloodstream at a time when we’re not going to immediately burn it.

So here’s a handy little guide on when sugar is good for us and when it’s not.

Maybe a more simple guide: Stick with whole foods while not running. Go ahead and use sugar while running long to supplement your fuel stores.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *