Leg Cramps - What to do when you've tried everything?


(Jay Patten) #21

Let me guess? A 99 mg potassium pill? :thinking:

She needs more potassium.

Taking one potassium pill before bed won’t cut it. Especially if she is active during the day.

I’m telling you this because I have been in her exact situation.

If she is getting horrific leg cramps at night, its her body saying “hey, I really need MORE potassium.” Not just SOME potassium.

She can suck on salt all day long and still get leg cramps… if her potassium is low, and it is, she needs more.

(traci simpson) #22


(Elizabeth ) #23

My dad does this as well

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #24

@FatBomb is correct about potassium. The RDA is 3500-5000 mg per day. That’s a lot of potassium! For a good balance of electrolytes potassium should be slightly more than 2x sodium intake. Even without adding it, we generally get plenty of sodium from food. But not enough potassium for the optimal balance. This is not just a keto problem, hardly anyone gets enough potassium without supplementing. In Canada potassium supplements are limited to max 99mg, which is ridiculous. Get and use liberally NoSalt.

(Kirk Wolak) #25

Well, I have been suffering with leg cramps, and various cramps for a VERY Long time.

I recently heard on a podcast that a heavy dose of Vitamin K2 at night time can help.

OMG… It worked. I purposely did not take ANY electrolytes, after spending 8hrs working outside in FL, and No cramps. In fact, I have had no night time or morning cramps since taking Vitamin K2 at night. I am taking 2 of the gel caps from Life Extension (Super K with K2 Complex)…

I am AMAZED. I would be curious to know if anyone else can try this and chime in!

Vitamin K… Won’t go to bed without it! LOL

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #26

I’m going to reply to my own post here. I’ve been experimenting with my mix of sodium, potassium and magnesium. @PaulL has commented in other topics about sodium amounts so per his advice there I’ve been slowly upping the sodium in my electrolyte mix plus upping the daily dosage. I’m currently at:

  • 40gr potassium (NoSalt), 25gr sodium (Real Salt), and 5gr magnesium (Epsom Salt)
  • dosage: 7-8 grams per day

I started out only mixing my electrolytes in water but I’ve started adding it other food as well. I have found that if I drink 500ml of electrolyte water an hour or two before bed, I have no cramps. But if I miss that for some reason, I usually get not full blown cramps but what feels like one is starting to happen. I can stop it from happening whereas in the past I could not. So the electrolytes are helping, especially when I drink some before bed.

@CaptainKirk interesting your experience with vitamin K2. I’m going to try that. Thanks for reporting it!

(Kirk Wolak) #27

@amwassil I use NoSalt. I am putting it in my food a lot.

Dr. Fung WARNS people away from Potassium, so I feel it is worth mentioning. If you have Liver/Kidney problems, be careful (he treats people with advanced liver disease!)… Too much potassium too fast can affect your heart rate! You might want to slowly titrate what you take in (1/4 dose, and let someone know you are taking it, just in case). With all the warnings, I fear someone taking a large dose and going to bed. Over-relaxing the heart muscle or something… In their sleep.
(of course, it just means we wont see any posts from them… JOKING!)

That said, in the USA we have the same stupid 99mg capsules, and I can pound 20 of them, but I ramped up from 5…

For me, I am trying to make a KETO/Electrolyte Sausage, flavored with NoSalt, Salt, Magnesium!

The meat grinder/suasage maker just showed up!

(KCKO, KCFO) #28

We will need a full report on those ketoaid sausages. Don’t forget :slight_smile:

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #29

@CaptainKirk Thanks. I did not know specifically about Dr Fung’s warnings on potassium, although I’ve read other warnings. Seems a bit hyped to me, since the RDA for potassium is 3 1/2 - 5 grams. That would be like 7-10 grams of NoSalt per day! I’ve been using NoSalt (about 3-4 grams daily) on my food for a couple of years with zero issues. I initially based my electrolyte ratios on the minimum RDA numbers for each nutrient to be conservative. Since each of the target nutrients is only about half the totals of each of the salts I’m using, even with my current dosage I not hitting the RDAs yet, except magnesium. I also discovered that a couple grams of my electrolyte dry mix makes my morning coffee taste a lot more ‘coffee-ish’. Really brings out the full coffee flavour.

(Kirk Wolak) #30

I am going to try this… Potassium in my coffee… Mmmm…
I like sodium in it. This is interesting!


I usally use magnesium oil and take potassium when I get the leg cramps, however, recently I had been getting them regularly, the mag/pota was helping but dident seem to be getting rid…
A few weeks ago I started eating chicken livers (and turkey etc) once a week. About 1/2lb or so. Since then I havent had any more leg cramps whatsoever.
Not sure why, but as a n=1 , the addition of the liver seems to have sorted the issue.

(traci simpson) #32

I know Dr. Berry has a youtube about leg cramps.


I agree with @runswithdogs . It took me a while to get leg cramps under control. Switching from oral magnesium supplements (not well absorbed by the body) to oil applied topically changed the game for me. I hear that soaking in epsom salts works well too.


Very true, overdosing on potassium doesn’t take much and can be fatal. I also understand that it builds up in your system, so I only take it every few days in the form of No Salt.


This must differ greatly for individuals. I used to take 1/2 tsp of No Salt a day, which gave me heart palpitations, so I cut back.

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #36

Depends on exactly what 1/2 tsp is. Much as I dislike the metric system overall, weighing food in grams is the best method. Easy and accurate comparisons between different foodstuffs. For instance: 1/2 tsp of salt weighs a lot more than 1/2 tsp of powdered sucrose. How do you compare the nutrient values?


True, it’s inexact, but I’ve found that a quarter tsp every few days works well for me and I don’t have to get out the scale. There is no way I’m weighing everything I put in my mouth (or even most).

(Edith) #38

I take about 3/8 teaspoons of No Salt divided into three servings per day. That ups my potassium about 900 mg/ day. I’m certainly not going to overdose on that but it is enough to make a difference. My resting pulse rate goes up over time if I don’t take that extra bit of potassium.

(Linda) #39

I make up 1/2 gallon of this sugar free fruit punch and add two teaspoons of salt, and 1 teaspoon of Nosalt and have a glass and eat some pork rinds before going to bed every night. I also take a magnesium taurate capsule at the same time. This has entirely eliminated my night time cramps. I get the punch at Winco.

I actually broke a toe once leaping out of bed to do the leg cramp boogie when I jammed the poor toe into the bed frame. Don’t care to do that again.

(David Cooke) #40

Silly response from me:
We need air conditioning or fans all night to be able to sleep. I found out by chance that if I cover my legs with s light quilt, my leg cramps hardly cause a problem. Maybe worth a try?