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Old 03-16-2010, 05:24 PM   #1
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How to avoid getting charlie horses or leg cramps...

Since we have so many newbies just starting out I wanted to touch base on charlie horses... Because of diet changes leg cramps can be one of the biggest complaints.. Since dehydration and your potassium being low this can cause a charlie horse. Drinking water and eating foods with potassium can sometimes help to make them go away. Some take vitamins for this but that can take a few days to get into your system. One quick fix is to use lite salt. Morton Lite Salt is loaded with potassium.. If you are experiencing charlie horses take 1/4 teaspoon (350 mg of Potassium) mixed in a glass of water and down it. Then start using it on your food. It should help get rid of them... also.. some feel that taking magnesium helps keep them at bay as well.

Just a headsup for those that need to know.
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Old 03-16-2010, 06:30 PM   #2
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That's great advice, especially the water part. I used to get terrible leg cramps that responded really fast to plain water, but I had to drink a couple of glasses right down for it to work.

Be sure NOT to do the potassium thing without talking to your doctor if you are taking a diuretic.
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Old 03-16-2010, 06:32 PM   #3
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great advice! I wish I would have known that prior to 4 am this morning, when I woke up screaming from a HORRIBLE charlie horse in my right calf!! it still hurts....
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Old 03-16-2010, 06:53 PM   #4
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I use the lite salt and it works like a charm. If I forget I will get cramps and at 2am a 1/8 teaspoon on my tongue followed by a glass of water settles them down in minutes.
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Old 03-16-2010, 07:52 PM   #5
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A friend's doctor told him to eat a couple of spoonfuls of yellow mustard.

He says it worked for him.
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Old 03-16-2010, 07:53 PM   #6
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Since increasing my water to 3 liters a day, my charlie horses have pretty much become non-existent. I notice when I'm not drinking enough water I get them a lot.

Great advice!
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Old 03-16-2010, 08:06 PM   #7
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Occasionally I'll get an awful cramp in my shin, it knots up and pulls my toes back toward the shin...is this a charlie horse? I always thought charlie horses were calf-cramps.
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Old 03-16-2010, 08:13 PM   #8
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i get these things in the WEIRDEST places. like under my chin/mouth. my side, neck, ...weirdo
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Old 03-16-2010, 09:15 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheri View Post
Since we have so many newbies just starting out I One quick fix is to use lite salt. Morton Lite Salt is loaded with potassium.. If you are experiencing charlie horses take 1/4 teaspoon teaspoon (350 mg of Potassium) mixed in a glass of water and down it. Then start using it on your food. It should help get rid of them... also.. some feel that taking magnesium helps keep them at bay as well.

Just a headsup for those that need to know.
This is just one of the many, many things I have learned here. I was having cramps at night and did everything I thought I could do, more water, more vitamins and etc. Looked at the potassium pills but you would have to take any entire bottle to get RDA. Then read a post by our own Louie, where he mentioned the Morton's Lite Salt. Bought some that day and waalaa... cramps gone!
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Old 03-16-2010, 10:12 PM   #10
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I take a potassium supplement and drink tons (4ltr) of water daily and still occassionally get the horrid leg cramps at night. I mix 1/4 tsp of sea salt on a glass of water and it works great!
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Old 03-17-2010, 03:32 AM   #11
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Great post, Cheri! I just posted about this in another thread!

There were some nights I would have to get up 5 times because of leg cramping. And I have actually had bruises on my calf after some of the worst ones--very weird!

I've tried: ACV, potassium supplements, diet tonic water, magnesium/cal supplement, magnesium glycinate (which was recommended by a nutritionist to stop restless legs and cramps), stretching before bed, heating pads, etc.

The only thing that has seemed to really make a difference is No Salt! I bet Lite has the same effect!

Out Out Dam Cramps!
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Old 03-17-2010, 04:47 AM   #12
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Yes, indeed, magnesium works, too.
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Old 03-17-2010, 08:49 AM   #13
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Thanks for this post! I got a charlie horse in the middle of the night last week, and didn't have a clue why! I haven't had a charlie horse in forever! But it all makes since now! Thanks!
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Old 03-17-2010, 09:13 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blondie Baby View Post
I take a potassium supplement and drink tons (4ltr) of water daily and still occassionally get the horrid leg cramps at night. I mix 1/4 tsp of sea salt on a glass of water and it works great!
I recenlty learned from bloodsugar101 that actually drinking more water could be my problem.. the more water you drink the more you flush minerals out of your body.
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Old 03-17-2010, 09:45 AM   #15
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For me it was always a salt issue. When I started getting them I would just add more sea salt or Himalayan salt to my foods and they would go away.
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Old 03-17-2010, 05:22 PM   #16
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Avocados are a good source of dietary potassium for low-carbers.
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Old 03-19-2010, 02:41 AM   #17
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Avocados are a good source of dietary potassium for low-carbers.
Thanks for the info...didn't know this.
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Old 03-19-2010, 07:32 AM   #18
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Great info...

Would be a great idea to have a folder called tip of the day..
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Old 03-19-2010, 07:52 AM   #19
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This was my biggest problem when I first did induction. And it was really irritating

My solution: there is a french brand of natural mineral water (contrex), with huge amounts of calsium and magnesium (with respest to any other brand). I started drinking at least 2 litres daily nad the problem just gone. This time (I'm on induction again) I haven't faced the problem, but I still drink that water.
It worked for me!!!
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Old 03-19-2010, 08:35 AM   #20
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I had severe foot cramps and charlie horses (7-8 each night). It was awful. Potassium intake did not work. I did a lot of research and finally hit upon two things: dehydration and magnesium. I upped my water intake and started taking Bluebonnet Chelate Minerals (with the right amount of magnesium). In a few days the cramps stopped. I've been cramp free for months now.
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Old 03-19-2010, 09:30 AM   #21
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I use lite salt, magnesium gel,and drink smart water.
Also I take cacium,and minerals at night.
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Old 03-19-2010, 02:33 PM   #22
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I wish I had known those were related to LC a few years ago when I *really* suffered from them. I eventually bought the leg cramp meds that you put under your tongue for the bad cramps I couldn't walk off. I upped water intake, potassium and magnesium, but I can't really say which one was the right solution. I can honestly say that adding a potassium vitamin alone to my regimen did not help.

Thanks for mentioning it, Cheri.
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Old 03-19-2010, 04:26 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daisyHair View Post
I recenlty learned from bloodsugar101 that actually drinking more water could be my problem.. the more water you drink the more you flush minerals out of your body.
It would take a lot of water in a short amount of time to flush out your minerals so please don't be afraid to drink 8-12 glasses a day as directed by physicians. Most people with leg cramps are not getting enough water and/or potassium and magnesium. You can go by the color of your urine. Clear urine indicates that you are well hydrated, while yellow urine indicates that you need more water in your system.. but also realize that certain foods (and vitamins) can darken your urine also such as beets because it is a heavily pigmented food. Just remember to drink your water over time and not all at once. Water intoxication is very rare as most people don't drink a gallon or two of water in one sitting. One tip if you have trouble getting enough water in during the day is to try to drink 1/2 a glass of water every 1/2 hour or so.. by the end of the day you will get your water in.

And if you are still worried about too much water you can drink some lowcarb sports drinks to keep your electrolytes at healthy levels.
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Old 03-19-2010, 04:40 PM   #24
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Here is a water calculator that will help you figure out how much water you need to drink in a day.. it depends on a lot of variables.. weight, exercise, pregnant or breastfeeding.. altitude, your climate, If you drink alcoholic beverages, the weather and if you are ill (fever or diarrhea)..

Hydration Calculator
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Old 03-19-2010, 06:26 PM   #25
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I'll need to pick some of that up tomorrow...I notice it alot when I am walking, I get twinges in my right calf.
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Old 03-21-2010, 08:55 AM   #26
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yeah, i only got the cramps from drinking to much water myself
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Old 03-21-2010, 02:11 PM   #27
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I still think it's more often a lack of water and sodium than anything else. People should be careful taking too much potassium. The electrolyte balance is a delicate thing.
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Old 03-21-2010, 02:12 PM   #28
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I have also heard to add No Salt to your water...
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Old 03-22-2010, 04:12 AM   #29
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I take a CO Q 10 supplement every day. A friend told me that sometimes people that take a statin drug get leg/calf cramps. So this might be something to think about. It seems to work for me and the benefits are excellent.
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Old 03-24-2010, 04:42 PM   #30
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Avocados are a good source of dietary potassium for low-carbers.
I am happy to hear that. I just downed a banana because my doctor said I am low in potassium. I would much rather turn to avocados than bananas. I can't swallow pills so looking for natural ways to get extra potassium.
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