I can get cramps and nothing to do with hydration. I do drink electrolytes while riding but still get cramps. Intense exercise can affect the nervous system and this can cause cramps. My brother, sister and father also suffer from cramps so looks like genetic condition. My brother uses little sachets of mustard to relieve his cramps. Gave a packet to my sister who had a cramp in hand and relieved it in about 30s. I did not have any mustard but use pickle juice. It works for me.
I 100% agree with this statement for the record. I dont think hydration is the main factor either.
Can you describe the feeling of DOMS or at least what you are calling DOMS? DOMS to me is extreme soreness such that moving your sore muscles hurts. If I had DOMS in my legs, I would say sitting down and standing up would be painful and you must do so gingerly. If I had DOMS in my arms, such as from doing arm curls for the first time in a while, It would be painful to extend my arm. When I’ve had DOMs from weight training, a workout would usually be out of the question until it went away. If it’s really just tired legs you have, then fitness and the “durability” of your fitness is possibly a factor. When I first started training, doing back to back workouts was always a concern because my form would be impacted to a greater degree from a prior hard workout.
Cramps, in my mind, also comes from lack of fitness. And I don’t mean you aren’t fit. Fitness is relative. I mean you are doing an activity above and beyond your current capability for an extended period of time. When I was first getting into road cycling with faster groups and we started going longer and harder than I had ever before, I would cramp. It can still happen to me, but I have to go much further than I would normally. I think that range probably decreases in the summer time do to the amount of temperature regulation your body is expending energy on. I’m not sure its directly related to hydration or electrolytes, but more related to pushing those muscles too far. And perhaps you also see this in the summer as rides tend to be faster and workouts tend to have more intensity.