Why are my legs cramping in cold weather the day that I work them out?

Recently, after I workout my legs, usually pretty intense workouts that range from high intensity to low rep high weight, they will start to cramp if I am outside in cold weather. Yesterday was particularly bad after a particularly intense leg workout. I got home, stepped out of my car, the temperature was probably around 28F and my quads immediately cramped up. I had to practically crawl to my house and then sit on the floor until they warmed up. From past experience, if I stretch them out when this happens, my hamstrings will start to cramp and then it's just a vicious cycle of leg cramps. Also, I usually eat two bananas every day.

How can I prevent this from happeneing in the future?


So far, the general consensus seems to be drink more water. I should have stated in the question originally that that should not be the issue because I drink at least a gallon of water every day.

  • 1
    I've found that making sure I'm hydrated throughout the day helps prevent cramps. Jan 30, 2014 at 15:51
  • @DaveLiepmann Sorry, I should have included that in my question. I am always very hydrated. I drink at least a gallon of water a day. Jan 30, 2014 at 23:06
  • Drink lots of water
    – Madhura
    Jan 31, 2014 at 10:56

3 Answers 3


It is a matter of vasoconstriction of blood vessels. Usually your blood vessels constricts during cold and it reduces the blood flow.( Its actually the reverse of increased blood flow when using hot water bags in the inflammated or painful areas of your body). Its a normal mechanism in our body!

You may prevent this by warm clothes or leg bandages! It will be helpful.


I had cramps recently after spinning on bike trainer in cold basement. The problem was a hydration. I stopped using electrolytes, because I thought I'm not sweating as much as on warm weather and drank clean water alone. After I started using sport drinks again, problem disappeared.


I get similar kinds of cramps in my calves. I have a 2 part solution that's worked well for me:

  1. Eat a banana pre- or post-workout
  2. Buy a stick massager (below) and roll your muscles with it. It works best if the muscle is constricted while being massaged. This puts you at risk of cramping, and makes it extremely painful, but it does wonders for loosening up my muscles.

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