Cramping while karting - Leg cramps

Ran a race was doing pretty good solid p3 holding position suddenly my thigh and calves started cramping on the straight while on the throttle i had a lap timer on my phone i tried pushing harder I found 2-3 tenths per lap but it got really bad I had to start coasting which caused me to finish 5th which is not bad im happy with the result compared to when I first started by I missed it out on podium any way i can stop this?

For me that kind of cramping is usually hydration related. Try using hydration supplements prior to and during the exercise so you don’t lose all the salts and minerals and get those muscle lock ups.

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makes sense because i was 1 kg over the weight ballast so I had to lose some water weight before the race so I thats the main cause

I’ll second hydration. I used to cramp a lot when i started racing but i started bringing gallon jugs of water to drink throughout race weekend which helped a ton.

You can also try adjusting your pedal/cable so that you dont have to press your foot down as far to get wide open throttle. I did that and it felt better on my calves

Exactly this. It’s important not to just drink water, at least 1:1 electrolytes drink:water. Over hydration is also a thing, ask me how I know :joy:

noted missed out on a podium for not drinking enough water :joy:

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It was super humid this weekend and the track was very physical so I was a sweaty mess most of the day. Lost 7 lbs over the course of the weekend, but I drank about 2 liters of Liquid IV infused water throughout each day + supplemental plain ice water to keep me cooled down and I never felt like I was dehydrated and I was peeing a few times a day, so even with that extreme sweating that combo still kept me healthy.

It’s interesting that it was your calves and not forearms. Usually those are the first to go as they do the most work. I’d look into leg position, as well as making sure you’re hydrated. It could be that ergonomically the angle you legs are at is not ideal. I seem to hold a lot of tension in my legs for some reason, so see if that’s something you might be doing too.

Last year I came across a sugar free gatorate powder that also has protein. Seemed to work well for me as I’m terrible at taking the time to eat on raceday. I bought 1gal jugs of water, added the powder an drank from it. A bonus is that it’s blue, so it looks like you’re drinking washer fluid.

This is what I bought at the time but looks like it’s only available in individual sachets now


Water alone will be worse. Only water will not add electrolytes etc that you are losing in the sweating.

You HAVE to use supplements.


I split sets, all sets tiebreaker, finals… Florida. (It was a regional equivalent type event, stars or maybe uspks sized).

Event sponsored by Gatorade so we had those big coolers full of it on the courts.

So, we drank it while playing this brutal match in brutal heat and humidity. It was 7 days in hell kind of crazy.

Turns out that 1980s Gatorade is full of sugar.

At around 9-9 in the third tiebreaker my calves and thighs both locked up mid point. I had to withdraw since I couldn’t stand anymore.

And that’s when I learned about hydration, sugar and electrolytes. ( Sugar = bad mostly).

To summarize: drink lots but not just water. You lose salt and potassium as you sweat. Keep it constantly replenished.

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i’ve had the lack of hydration induced forearm cramps. never anything in the legs. it’s weird, the times i’ve gotten the cramps in my forearms, because i was racing, it never seemed to hurt. i’d just shake my hand and arm out on a straight. it usually went away and never bothered me much, it was more of a “wow, that’s strange” type of thing.

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Does anyone have a guide on balancing output/input for electrolytes. Ie show you an make an estimate on loss and plan replacement?

Good question. My assumption is more is better because sweat. So I try to put a hydration packet in every bottle at track.

I’m gonna go with the arm stuff is because kart. Leg stuff because using legs mainly (tennis vs kart death grip on wheel).

When I first got back in, I was getting really bad calf cramps at one point and I thought maybe I was just old and out of shape. Then I saw a pic of me on the track and I was all bunched up in the kart for some reason. I moved my pedals away from me and my calf cramps went away, which now allows me to focus on everything else that hurts.

I do need to try some supplements though. When I get dehydrated now, my hands curl up and lock up. Freaked me out the first time it happened, I thought I caught the polio or something. I have to pound water and force my hands to open up, it’s weird but goes away.

Hehehe I find that one really amusing. Ol’ claw hand after the race. Still holding that wheel.

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I usually get the cramps in the calves when I’m sleeping. Wake up with Charlie horses :rofl:

Nanny cam footage of Chase dreaming about racing at Pitt:

While I haven’t gotten cramps from seating in a sim… seating position definitely matters.

I had a bad setup and having the seating position not right adds stress to parts of the body that it doesn’t like and creates issues.

So, while poor seating position requires exertion and water loss to create cramping, it can also create longer term nerve/joint problems. Think of tennis elbow, as a for example.


it was my forearms that started giving up but it wasnt much a problem compared to my legs and calves

those are the worst worse than having sleep paralysis