PROBLEM: You’re well into a long ride in tough terrain, and suddenly you feel the telltale twinges of an oncoming cramp.
SOLUTION: Take two or three Tums.
No, this isn’t to settle your nervous stomach about the pain that’s just around the corner. Many riders find that Tums, or any antacid high in calcium, can prevent muscle twinges from turning into knots.
RBR Founder Ed Pavelka learned this fix on a 100-mile ride in the hills of Arizona’s high desert. On one climb he felt both calves starting to bundle up. He announced this to Fred and their riding partner that day, Dan, hoping they’d ease the pace for him.
Instead, Dan reached into his pocket on the descent and handed Ed two Tums. The rest of the ride was cramp-free — and just as fast.
Now Ed always packs a roll in his seat bag for long rides. The antacid benefits also can combat the indigestion that sometimes results after hours of eating while exerting.
Consider Tums an emergency fix. It’s better to thwart cramps from the start by being well trained and well hydrated. Every hour, drink 1-2 bottles of sports drink containing sodium and other electrolytes.
Tums doesn’t work for everyone, but we have an entire page of additional reader cramp remedies that might work for you if it doesn’t.