How to Immediately Beat Arm Pump and Muscle Cramps
We all know riding a dirt bike is an incredibly physically demanding pursuit, whether it’s racing, freeriding at the track, or shredding the local trails with the crew. Coordination, balance, strength—it’s a full-body workout. And we have to be able to make split-second decisions, ones often loaded with consequences if we dump it. We pay so much attention to our bikes and gear but often ignore our bodies, especially when it comes to nutrition. How many of us have hit the track or the trail slightly hungover, with little more than an energy drink and Egg McMuffin in our gut? While that approach might get us by, we’ll frequently find our energy waning by hour two, arm pump will rear its ugly head, and our margin for error slims. Stacking it while everyone’s watching, or an expensive ambulance ride? They’re definite possibilities. Let’s talk about how the miracles of modern nutrition science—ones based on the real-life demands of supercross racing—can immediately help, even if your current diet regimen … sucks. We’ll focus on how you can noticeably improve your stamina and performance on the bike tomorrow, and the two products you can use.
The first thing we need to address is the simplest: hydration. When we’re out on the bike sweating buckets, we’re losing not just water, we’re losing electrolytes. Electrolytes are incredibly important to how our bodies work. They’re the minerals that help our nerves control our muscles. When we lose those minerals, our ability to get our bodies to do exactly what we want gets worse. That hamstring cramp on your fourth lap of the day? Oftentimes that’s caused by dehydration and electrolyte depletion. Most of us are already chronically dehydrated, and according to studies, a lot of us don’t consume enough electrolytes (including salt) in general. Water alone doesn’t replenish these crucial minerals, and that Bud Light sure won’t either. Gas station hydration drinks like Gatorade and LiquidIV can help in a pinch, but they’re usually lacking enough variety and quantity of different electrolytes to really address the needs of intense riding. It’s why Arma Sport made Hydr8, a moto-specific hydration mix with eight different quick-absorbing electrolytes totaling over 1500mg per serving. To put that in perspective, most other hydration products have far less than half that if they’re lucky. Hydr8 is our go-to before, during, and after riding. There’s a noticeable difference when it comes to preventing muscle cramps, improving our focus, and our soreness after a ride is markedly better when we’ve been properly hydrating.
Next, let’s get nerdy and talk about supporting our muscles at a molecular level—or, in not-so-nerdy terms, preventing the scourge of dirt bike riders everywhere: The DREADED ARM PUMP. Yes, there are exercises you can do to help prevent it, and there is an element of bike tuning that will assist, but there’s a secret weapon in the world of nutrition that most folks don’t know about: Beta Alanine. Long story short, the stuff gives you superpowers. How? By boosting your VO2 capacity immediately. This gives your muscles far greater endurance, and can help make arm pump a thing of the past, especially with regular usage as it builds up in the body. Much like with hydration, there are a few nutrition products out there that supply Beta Alanine, but usually it’s in small doses—too small to make a noticeable difference but enough to make marketing claims. Once more, Arma’s got a solution: Blitz. It’s their moto superpower mix, packed with 1500mg of Beta Alanine per scoop, along with a ton of other ingredients at high dosage to help with muscle endurance like BCAAs, glutamine, and Cluster Dextrin. We’ve taken to pounding a scoop or two mixed into a water bottle before we hop on our bikes, and usually again at the two-hour mark as the effects begin to wear off. It’s even great for non-moto activities where our muscles are getting strained, like in the gym or out mountain biking. It really is a supplement that helps you push further for longer when you first use it.
Want to give Arma’s Supercross-proven Hydr8 and Blitz a try? For the next month, Arma Sport is offering a special 30% discount to Racer X readers on both products. Just use code RXBLITZ23 at checkout on www.armasport.com to snag the deal.