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  • Calf cramps?

    I am getting cramps in my toes and calves at night and in the morning. Is this related to low carb? is it dangerous? what can i do to combat it?

  • #2
    Increase magnesium and potassium containing foods, and/or use supplements. Dark leafy greens, avocados, almonds, broccoli, banana (not low carb though)...and I take Mg supps before bed if I'm having calf cramps, also I take a packet of "Emergen-C" every day which has 200 mg potassium and other traces in it.
    I'm a quitter...but I'm back now.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Canarygirl View Post
      Increase magnesium and potassium containing foods, and/or use supplements. Dark leafy greens, avocados, almonds, broccoli, banana (not low carb though)...and I take Mg supps before bed if I'm having calf cramps, also I take a packet of "Emergen-C" every day which has 200 mg potassium and other traces in it.
      +1

      Primal/Paleo significantly reduced the leg/foot cramps my wife was getting, supplementing magnesium seems to have gotten rid of the rest.

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      • #4
        Right next to my subdivision is a field with lots of grass fed cattle and they have tons of calves running around in there. Man, I wish one of them was mine so I could get it slaughtered to stuff my freezer with plenty of nice and tasty beef! They're all running around in there and I don't think any of them look like they have cramps though and I'm certainly not going to combat any of them.
        (Woops, your title threw me off on a tangent)
        That doesn't sound like a low carb thing to me. Are you doing some kind of leg workout or have you just started sprinting or something?
        http://www.facebook.com/daemonized

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        • #5
          I was going to post about potassium too - wondering if the need to ensure more potassium is permanent with low carbing, or just a temporary adjustment period? I definitely have cramping issues when I eat low carb.

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          • #6
            Ha ha...I was unsure abou the singular form of the lower leg of the human...calve? calf? oh well! Mine hurt! No strange excersizes, and the cramping started in line with low carb. so i need a potassium and magnesium supplement?

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            • #7
              I have the same problem. When I'm lying in bed my right calf muscle starts to contract. I have to grab my toes and pull back to prevent it from becoming too painful. I'll try potassium too I guess.

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              • #8
                Happens to me too. Really painful and not fun to wake up to. I'm going to double check my multi vitamin's potassium content.
                Last edited by zdrive; 05-27-2010, 12:47 PM. Reason: double post

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                • #9
                  Leg cramps do have something to do with being low-carb. I can't remember exactly, so don't quote me, but it has to do with carbs causing the kidneys to retain fluids and certain minerals. When you go low carb, the kidneys are able to release that fluid but they release the extra minerals as well. The cramps are caused by a bit of mineral imbalance.

                  Lo Salt or Lite-Salt works too - they both contain potassium choloride along with sodium chloride. I quit getting leg cramps when I started using the Lo Salt and added more veg to my diet. I drink more water, now, too. That seems to help as well. I sleep all night, no leg/toe/foot cramps. Nice.

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                  • #10
                    Multi-vitamins in the US have very little potassium in them. Avocadoes are a good source, tomatoes are even better.

                    Good luck, I hope this helps!

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                    • #11
                      So glad this thread came up - I woke up to the most wicked calf cramp EVER! I hadn't had any since I was pregnant with my last kiddo - I'd forgotten how awful they were .

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                      • #12
                        I've noticed the same cramping with the low carb diet. I do eat almonds, leafy greens, tomatoes, etc, and still get them.

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                        • #13
                          I take potassium and it fixes it - not all the time, but definitely before a workout or yoga. Sometimes I swim with a Masters Swim Club, one night I forgot to take anything and started to get a calf cramp. I didn't want to leave the workout, so since we were doing pull (arms only), I just kept my feet flexed to stretch it out, which worked - but wow, not so good for momentum in the pool, it was like swimming dragging a couple of cans.

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                          • #14
                            I was able to find a magnesium supplement - but not mag.potassium. I live in italy and hte rules about supplements are different here. So, I foudn this one, that they reccomended because it has all 5 forms of magnesium in it. Mostly magnesium chelate....and then aspartate and some others. Is that okay? Does anyone have any info on magnesium? I got some bananas which I will incorporate into my diet - for more potassium. not too many though!!!

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                            • #15
                              How about some coconut water. It has electrolytes and potassium. That might do the trick for you.
                              "I know what my body needs and what it can handle. There's no better way to achieve my goal than what im doing now. If my regimen leads to my death, be it in six days or six months...I will die fullfiled. The outcome is irrelavent so long as i steer towards my fate. If death is to be my prize, i welcome it with open arms."

                              "A pound of meat a day keeps the doctor away"

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