Leg cramps at night

(FRANK) #1

I get leg cramps at night in my sleep. Not garden variety, no, the sobs throw me out of bed and its “walk it off” time. Wondering if anyone else is experiencing this and what they are doing about it.


(Joey) #2

Many folks around here (myself included) have gotten significant relief, if not total elimination of muscle cramps, through supplementing magnesium as an additional electrolyte.

Based on research I did way back (4-5 yrs ago) I concluded that magnesium citrate was the best form.

500 mg/day of magnesium (i.e., of the Mg element itself, which is only a part of what magnesium citrate weighs) is added to my water bottle (along with NaCl).

Muscle cramps became extremely rare, if ever, for me from that point forward. :vulcan_salute:

(Robin) #3

100% agree with Joey! Take it nightly. Problem solved .


I heard about people where it was some other electrolyte, in my case, Magnesium always solved it. But I don’t need it on/near carnivore for some reason (or super rarely) while I had it a lot on vegetarian keto, it was pretty much ensured I get cramps when going into ketosis without taking Magnesium (I did a lot of on/off keto). I had super subtle cramps, a few seconds of pain and then only some discomfort (until I get my Mg, it helped very quickly) and it never woke me up (almost nothing can wake me up), I had it in the morning while being in bed. I can imagine that a more serious case isn’t solve with the occasional pill but if your electrolytes are in order all the time, it probably helps.

I never had cramps out of ketosis but I am glad I don’t need to take supplements even on keto, I dislike supplementing anything. I just need a proper amount of meat while being close on carnivore, lowish-meat carnivore (I had a time like that) wasn’t as effective.


I just call that a real cramp! What’s your daily magnesium intake look like?


I actually take Drs Best Chelated magnesium (lysinate glycinate) to be more bio available and have reduced laxative effect, and then also Magtein by Now which is Magnesium L-threonate. L-threanate is the least laxative inducing but also crosses blood brain barrier providing benefits to the brain. I have a lot less cramps nowadays.

However, I did have get severe foot cramping in the swimming pool yesterday after a workout. Lasted a while too. I wonder if an occasional dose of the magnesium citrate would help after all? :woman_shrugging:t3:

(FRANK) #7

I’m taking 400 mg mag citrate in the evening. Been taking that for over a year and a half. I’m wondering if I should take more because I’m a big guy 315+. I get plenty of salt (Redmond’s) and along with the magnesium I take a potassium citrate 99 mg.


I’d definitely take more, but not Citrate, Citrate is poorly absorbed and why it’s used as a Latitude more than anything. Glycinate is usually what’s used for cramps, or just go with a blend and take throughout the day. You can also use a Mageniusm cream on your legs at night, but I’d use that as an extra punch if anything.

Also, potassium can also have an effect on cramps, usually from an imbalance with Sodium, but magnesium as well. Like all electrolytes, most people are way off there, especially Keto’rs since it’s like being on a constant diuretic. My electrolyte supplement gives me 200mg Potassium, and I usually throw down 1/4 tsp NoSalt at night which is 600mg I believe. Finding the balance (for you) is trial and error.

(Joey) #9

Since you’re already taking Mg at some level while still cramping, it suggests you need to fiddle with proportions further - more won’t hurt inasmuch as it’ll serve as a laxative before it does any harm.

But the cramps you’ve described sound pretty miserable. Could there also be other contributing factors: overly heavy exercise of those affected muscles? Are you gently stretching out those muscle groups before going to sleep?

TBH, your weight may well have something to do with things, i.e., taxing those particular leg muscles, too. Staying on a carb-restricted WOE will help your body “right size” itself for what your bone structure/muscle type is naturally “made” for.

Wishing you the best :vulcan_salute:

(Jim Fife) #10

I assume your liver enzymes are OK? I had very similar cramping issues 6 yr ago, but I was entering end stage fatty liver disease (now fit as a fiddle, due to some other family’s tragedy, i.e., liver transplant).
But I started making Mg-bicarbonate, per Dr. William Lee (I don’t like his “style”, but I think his science is good). Adding "milk of Magnesia (laxative) to carbonated water makes Mg-bicarbonate. Tastes almost good (“minerally”), doesn’t give me the s*it$. I like it.

(Bacon is a many-splendoured thing) #11

Magnesium, and keeping salt intake up, which helps regulate magnesium.


I agree with the magnesium and most people seem to recommend that as a solution but for me 90% of the time my cramps are due to lack of salt. A third of a teaspoon in some water or a bit extra on my meals and problem solved. Some of my scuba students get calf cramps when Im teaching in hot countries and I recommend they take a bit of extra salt with their meals and it solves the problem 100% of the time.

(Robin) #13

Agree. I take both together right before bed, as my cramps used to happen while sleeping.

(FRANK) #14

I think you nailed it! 3/4 tsp salt before bed last night and NO CRAMPS!!!. It does make sense because I used to drink pickle juice and some yellow mustard before bed and it helped. Pickle juice I assume contains a lot of salt.

Going to give the salt another go tonight. Thanks @trukar!


Glad to be of help. Especially since its such an easy solution for such a painful problem. If only everything could be solved so easily. Hope it works again tonight.

(Alec) #16

Whenever I get cramps at night, I know I’ve underdone the salt the previous day. If in doubt add more salt.

(Bacon is a many-splendoured thing) #17

That makes a great deal of sense, since keeping salt intake in the healthy range keeps magnesium in balance, not to mention potassium and calcium.


Id forgotten about that, thanks for the reminder.