Help please ! Having some growing pains on carnivore

(Gary Landau) #1

strong textI’m 10 days in and having a couple issues.

1.My leg muscles are sore and weak . It feels like I did a hard work out and i’m experiencing non stop twitching some cramping especially in the quads & calves.

  1. I have no problem falling a sleep but I now wake up at two or four in the morning and can’t fall back to sleep. Never had a problem before.

A little background - I’m a 62 year old male and still do 100 plus stops on my fed ex route in cental Florida (HEAT). Drinking a ton of water. I’m coming from a HIGH carb life style(bagels,pasta,ice cream every day ). 5-10 180 lbs.

Let me add that I always had weak legs but this is at another level.

(Bob M) #2

Salt and magnesium for the legs.


Supplement electrolytes, you’re flushing while also going through carb withdrawal.

(Alec) #4

What the chaps above said. Classic salt/electrolyte deficiency. If you are drinking lots of water, you need to eat lots of salt. Forget about the dumb stories about salt and disease, complete rubbish. I always add salt to my water post exercise.

Welcome to the forum, and you are doing it right with carnivore. I have been doing carnivore for 5 months now and I love it. Feeling fantastic!

(Bob M) #5

For me, I go through phases. In the winter, I didn’t take in as much salt (or magnesium). Now, I’ve been drinking pickle juice before and after my workouts. (Although it was cold enough this morning I wore long pants and a light jacket for my 5k jog.) If I get any cramps at all, even minor ones, I up the salt, and usually Mg too.

(Robin) #6

Salt and mag, like said above. Mag will help you sleep also. And for good measure, add some salt in your water.

(Gary Landau) #7

Thank you everyone for the input. I have been taking magnesium and I’m going to buy some elecrtrolyte supplements tonight and yes I will start adding salt.

(A fool and his bacon are soon parted) #8

Given that you’ve gone straight to carnivore from the standard American diet (SAD), be aware of a couple of things:

First, the adaptation to a carnivore diet is bad enough for someone who has already adapted to a keto diet, so you are in for a bit of a ride. This is completely normal, and will pass. But give carnivore eating a good six-month trial, before deciding it’s not for you. And remember the advice of many long-term carnivores: practically everything a beginner experiences can be solved by eating more meat. Don’t fast, don’t count calories, and eat three times a day. Give your body what it needs to heal.

Second, the kidneys excrete sodium more readily in the absence of insulin and glucose. This is normal, and all you have to do is to boost your salt intake a bit. Long-term carnivores usually find themselves dispensing with added salt, and you may too, eventually, but if it happens, it won’t be till much farther down the road. If you are getting enough salt, you may or may not need a magnesium supplement, but but don’t shy away from taking one, if the cramps continue after increasing the salt. Eventually, you will probably be able to dispense with it.

Third, with no carbohydrate in the picture, the skeletal muscles must reactivate certain metabolic pathways in order to use fatty acids as fuel. In the meantime, they will manage by metabolising ketone bodies. They really prefer fatty acids, however. This need for re-adaptation is the reason for the muscle weakness. Don’t overstress your muscles for right now, but you should gradually feel your strength and endurance returning over the next several weeks.

Fourth, as far as our sleep is concerned, we do not need to sleep a specified number of hours; we need to sleep long enough to waken refreshed and energetic. If you are wakening rested and refreshed, then you have no problem, except the one of figuring out what to do with the extra time. If, on the other hand you are not wakening refreshed and rested, then just try to cope for now; it will get better later on. Your body is making several major readjustments right now, so give it time to sort itself out.

(Allie) #9

Electrolytes needed. On keto more are needed and you’re flushing them out drinking loads of water, so even more than more needed.

I add a scoop of this to my water several times a day -

(Gary Landau) #10

Thanks Paul. Your thoughtful post is reliieving some of my anxiety. Yes I did jump in with 0 transition from S.A.D. to carnivore.

(Bob M) #11

I’m quoting myself, but what I find can bring on things like cramps is doing something “new”. So, we’re about to get a dog and are having fencing put in To enable the fencing to go into the “woods”, we cut down a bunch of small trees/bushes. That was using both snippers and a chainsaw. It went from being cold enough the night before so that we wore jackets to being brutally hot with relatively high humidity while we did this work In fact, it was so hot, I only did a few hours of work, then went inside.

The next day, it was still hot, but we went out, took all those bushes/trees and took them into the woods. We also cut more.

After that, I had some cramps. Were these due to lack of salt/Mg, the new stresses on my body, the heat,…? It’s hard to tell.

While I up my salt intake, and sometimes magnesium intake, I wonder if it really just the placing of a new stress on the body that causes cramps? It’s really unclear.

(KCKO, KCFO) #12

You will be losing magnesium and potassium due to low carb and lots of water. Make sure you get enough of both of those and the muscle stuff should clear up.

As for the sleeping, I found I just didn’t need as much sleep so when I awake early, I just do stuff I won’t usually have time to do, like chill out and watch the sunrise.