Coffee cramps

Coffee cramps

Post by Phil Lueb » Fri, 26 Feb 1993 02:13:44


I was not really a coffee drinker, but aquired the taste last year.  This year
I got a coffee maker for Christmas and I started drinking a couple of cups a
day in January for a few late night study sessions.  At that time I started
having major problems with my legs and feet cramping during practice,
especially pushing off turns.  Our trainer said I probably wasn't getting
enough liquids, but I hadn't changed my other drinking/eating habits any.  I
consumed large amounts of water, tried drinking Gatorade, and eating bananas.
Nothing seemed to change it.  Finally I decided to cut out coffee.  Except for
the damage already done to the muscles, the cramping problems disappeared.

Has anyone else experienced this?  Is there an explanation for it?  Perhaps it
was just coincidence.  Thanks for the input.

                                                -phil

P.S.  Sorry "E."  I don't want to get another piddley string started, but I
think this applies to competitive training.
--
MWMWMWMWMWMWMWMWMWMWMWMWMWMWMWMWMWMWMWMWMWMWMWMWMWMWMWMWMWMWMWMWMWMWMWMWMWMWMWMW
Phil Luebke, 4yr. letterwinner, captain, record-holder, MVS, team points leader
University of Northern Iowa Swimming and Diving Team
WMWMWMWMWMWMWMWMWMWMWMWMWMWMWMWMWMWMWMWMWMWMWMWMWMWMWMWMWMWMWMWMWMWMWMWMWMWMWMWM
(Just a little ego trip, now that my college career is over)

 
 
 

Coffee cramps

Post by Virginia Fergus » Fri, 26 Feb 1993 08:25:44


Quote:
>I was not really a coffee drinker, but aquired the taste last year.  This year
>I got a coffee maker for Christmas and I started drinking a couple of cups a
>day in January for a few late night study sessions.  At that time I started
>having major problems with my legs and feet cramping during practice,
>especially pushing off turns.  Our trainer said I probably wasn't getting
>enough liquids, but I hadn't changed my other drinking/eating habits any.  

Coffee dehydrates the body.  I recall reading somewhere that for every 8 oz of
coffee you drink, you lose 10 oz of water.  If you suddenly went from zero to
several cups of coffee per day, your body probably had trouble adjusting to the
fluid loss.

I've found that drinking grapefruit juice stops me from getting foot cramps
(never got leg cramps).

Ginny
(heavy coffee drinker)

 
 
 

Coffee cramps

Post by Synthia Petro » Fri, 26 Feb 1993 02:58:14

I don't know much about the effects of coffee on muscle cramps, but it sounds
like that's your problem if that's the only thing that's changed.  If you
decide you don't want to give up coffee, try taking Quinine pills.  They work
great for my Charlie Horse cramps.  You can find them over-the-counter near
the back ache pills or proably in a health food store.  I would take one
before bed and that seemed to do it.  I don't know what strength I used but if
it seems that one a day isn't helping, try two.  My guess is that you would
have to take quite a few before you could hurt yourself, they are available
over-the-counter after all.  Also, drink tonic water, it contains quinine.

Hope this helps.
-Synthia

 
 
 

Coffee cramps

Post by Pete Moo » Fri, 26 Feb 1993 11:58:22

Quote:

>I was not really a coffee drinker, but aquired the taste last year.  This year
>I got a coffee maker for Christmas and I started drinking a couple of cups a
>day in January for a few late night study sessions.  At that time I started
>having major problems with my legs and feet cramping during practice,
>especially pushing off turns.  Our trainer said I probably wasn't getting
>enough liquids, but I hadn't changed my other drinking/eating habits any.  I
>consumed large amounts of water, tried drinking Gatorade, and eating bananas.
>Nothing seemed to change it.  Finally I decided to cut out coffee.  Except for
>the damage already done to the muscles, the cramping problems disappeared.
>Has anyone else experienced this?  Is there an explanation for it?  Perhaps it
>was just coincidence.  Thanks for the input.

Like a true computer nerd, I drink a lot of coffee, about 4-6 cups a day,
previously 2 teaspoons of instant coffee per cup, but in recent months,
real coffee of about the same strength. I swim with a fairly vigorous
6-beat kick, even over long distances. I have never suffered from leg
cramps, at least, not since my early swimming days (when I drank a lot less
coffee!).  This of course doesn't prove that coffee is harmless, any more
than your experience proves that it causes cramps!

Even if coffee gives _you_ cramps, it's extremely unlikely that this
would result in permanent muscle damage, as you seem to be suggesting.
If you want to be sure, you could try coffee again (maybe try alternate
months on/off coffee) and see what happens (but stop if the cramps come
back, of course!)
--

 | The effort to understand the universe is one of the very few things |
 | that lifts human life above the level of farce, and gives it some   |  
 | of the grace of tragedy   -  Steven Weinberg                        |
 +---------------------------------------------------------------------+

 
 
 

Coffee cramps

Post by Willie L » Fri, 26 Feb 1993 23:23:38


   ... If you decide you don't want to give up coffee, try taking
   Quinine pills....

I'm curious.  Is this the same quinine as those used for fighthing
malaria?  If so I hear that they can degrade your hearing (I'm not
sure what dosage is needed to trigger that side effect).

Willie

 
 
 

Coffee cramps

Post by Synthia Petro » Sat, 27 Feb 1993 23:22:59


      ... If you decide you don't want to give up coffee, try taking
      Quinine pills....

   I'm curious.  Is this the same quinine as those used for fighthing
   malaria?  If so I hear that they can degrade your hearing (I'm not
   sure what dosage is needed to trigger that side effect).

Yup, it's the same.  I've never heard (hee hee) of this side effect.

-Synthia