Pretty bad leg pain during water fasting

(Ashley) #1

Hello ,

I am water fasting for 3 days . I measured my ketones and it was 5.1 last night ( measured by blood strips)

Today my hunger is gone but I fantasize about food here and there.

Anyways my question will be anyone experienced leg pain . Not very severe but pretty uncomfortable. I took a epsom salt bath but didn’t relieve the pain that much.

Along with my legs my hip aches periodically. This morning both legs were in pain but my left leg seems to be doing better now. I also drink lotsa water to kind of flush out toxins.
I would like to hear anyone experienced pain like this . Does it ease out?

Thank you


If you’re drinking lots of water but not keeping up electrolytes then you will get cramps.

(Ashley) #3

It doesn’t feel like cramps but more like pain you get after very intense spinning class or running .

(Robert C) #4

Is it mostly feet/ankles/calves?

(Ashley) #5

It’s my entire leg , not that pain in feet. Also my hips are aching periodically.intense location will be below my knee

(Carl Keller) #7

How much sodium are you getting a day? If it’s not close to 2 teaspoons (8 grams) , spread out over your day, I would try increasing it to see if that settles your legs down. I’m assuming the pain is in your muscles. If it’s not in your muscles, you might want to get it checked out.

(Robert C) #8

It could be detox effects (not a doctor but I have heard it affects the feet more - it did for me). Have you thought of ADF (3.5 days of fasting per week) to even out the toxin load released from fat?

(Ashley) #9

I’m not really successful with intermittent fasting. I keep getting knocked out of Ketosis . Maybe too much protein . I have to tough it out for 10 days . That will bring me to my optimal weight. More importantly than weight loss repair my body . I have some immune issues and hormonal issues . This is my first time making into a third day . I feel pretty good except this pain. I heard body repairs and you feel pain and it makes sense. I just didn’t imagine it will be this intense

(Ashley) #10

None actually . I’m doing water only fast. Doesn’t salt effect ketogenic state ?

(Carl Keller) #11

Salt is an important mineral and it’s importance increases when we lower carbohydrates. When we are eating low carb, we are expelling sodium at greater rates and low sodium can lead to a lot of different problems:

  • weakness .
  • fatigue or low energy.
  • headache .
  • nausea .
  • vomiting .
  • muscle cramps or spasms .
  • confusion .
  • irritability .

I will add that Jason Fung says that adding salt in fasts less than 2 days is not really necessary. But if you are showing a symptom of low sodium, like the ones above, it can’t hurt to try increasing it.


I think your issue is keto adaptation in general (not fasting related).

A baby or young child can be something like 40 times more efficient than an adult at burning ketones. But after a few decades of carb abuse, our cells become very rusty at burning fat.

As we become keto adapted we get better and better but that takes at least 4 to 6 weeks, or months if not a year or so if you’re talking about high performance athletes.

So yes my legs ache at the thought of exercise. But the situation is getting better. I mowed the lawn recently, a 1 hour work out, I was surprised, it felt like nothing. On carbs it felt like a marathon.

Hang in there. Just stay nail the basics, under 20g carbs, plenty of water and sodium…


Are you usually a coffee drinker? And are you having coffe on the fast?

(Ashley) #14

Big fan of Jason Fung . I’ll definitely will add sodium to the fasts . Thank you for the info

(Ashley) #15

It got pretty bad. I had to break it but I’m going to fast again on Monday and try to stay in Ketosis . This time adding sodium . It’s nice to know other people are fasting and trying ketogenic way. I’m usually good cutting out carbs but sugar seems to biggest challenge . I cut out coffee that I was drinking every morning for years . I can probably cut out sugar too.


Caffeine withdrawal causes serious leg cramps in some people (I’m one of them - I couldn’t believe the pain I was in for a few days)

(Renata Suzi) #17

I normally fast for 48h and feel fine but have done longer a couple times (4.5 days and 3 days) and both times felt severe leg pain. I’m assumed you are a female. I have had those pains before during my periods so I assumed that it was hormonal. I guess that there is a debate if the cold feeling during the fast is related to the body burning fat or thyroid. I would guess that for me, that is related to thyroid and hormones. Since I got cold and the shakes every evening (not hands and feet, the whole body), leg pain and my milk supply declined considerably (I’m breastfeeding) however, I couldn’t find much info out there. Now, when I fast I stop when the leg pains start. Massage helps me a little and distraction, especially sleeping.

(Bob M) #18

I am male and also get cold during fasting. On my last 4.5 day fast, I got lower leg cramps at night. That’s the first time that’s happened in a long time. I drink black coffee and green tea and water. It might be salt (ran out of pickle juice two days into the fast, though I did take in salt) or magnesium or potassium or any of those.