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Night time leg cramps


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On day 28 so I don't know why it's taken so long for me to post this, but I've been getting leg and foot cramps during the night since beginning Whole30. Not every single night, but enough for it to be disruptive. I believe I'm drinking enough water. I had over 100oz yesterday and they were still bad last night. I take a round tsp of Natural Calm at night, can't tolerate more than that digestively. Wondering if anyone has any thoughts or suggestions.

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I had terrible foot and calf cramps off and on for months and then they would go away for months. I'm not aware of meaningful changes in my diet that would explain it. I started doing yoga in June and stopped having cramps in June/July as best I can recall. I don't know if the yoga is helping or if it is just a coincidence.

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I have had calf cramps in the past when I worked out harder and sometimes if I drank alcohol. Upping my potassium helped some but what helped most was learning how to counter them. If you push you heel out and pull your toes back the cramp will stop. Try to do it immediately before it really sets in. If you wake up in a full cramp you may need to use your hand to pull your toes back, you can also ask your partner to do it for you I usually feel them coming even in my sleep and do this stretch automatically.

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I agree with Keriac73

Potassium deficiency commonly result in leg and foot cramps. People who restrict carbs, especially if you are active, can suffer from leg (calf and foot) cramps. I sometimes get them and when I do, I up my potassium intake by adding bananas (if you can add them without negative reactions) and potassium supplements. I take a pill but you can also buy "no salt" made of potassium that you can use in place of salt (I would have to check the label for Whole 30 compliance though).

After a lifetime of eating carbs, the body retains extra water. When carbs are reduced, the body releases extra water (why low carb diets cause a Peeing phase). This reduces salts including table salt and potassium. Potassium is essential for a number of body processes. Also, if you drink too much water (difficult to do) you can flush out salts (including potassium) through long term extra visits to the bathroom until the body gets used to increased water consumption.

From www.healthaliciousness.com, here is a top 10 list of natural sources of potassium (not all Whole 30 approved):

#1: Dried Herbs

parsley.jpg Long used for medicinal purposes, herbs are packed with nutrients and potassium is no exception. Dried Chervil contains the most potassium with 4.7g (135% DV) per 100g serving, or 95mg (3% DV) per tablespoon. It is followed by Dried Coriander (3% DV) per tbsp, Dried Parsley (2% DV), Dried Basil, Dried Dill, Dried Tarragon, Ground Turmeric, Saffron, and finally Dried Oregano with 50mg (1% DV).

#2: Avocados

avocado.JPG Avocados are great when made into guacamole or in a salad. 100 grams will provide 485mg of potassium or 14% of the DV. That is 1.1g (32% DV) in one cup pureed, and 975mg (28% DV) in a single avocado (201 grams).

#3: Paprika and Red Chili Powder

paprika.jpg Either paprika or red chili powder add a nice kick to any dish, and with all the potassium they provide you have good reason to start adding them. Paprika provides the most potassium with 2.3g (67% DV) per 100 gram serving, or 164mg (5% DV) per tablespoon. Chili powder will provide 1.9g (55% DV) per 100 gram serving or 153mg (4% DV) per tablespoon.

#4: Cocoa Powder and Chocolate

chocolate.jpg Dark chocolate is an excellent source of iron and zinc in addition to potassium. Pure cocoa powder without any fat, milk, or sugar, provides the most potassium with 1.5 grams (44% DV) in a 100g serving, or 1.3g (37% DV) per cup, and 76mg (2% DV) per tablespoon. Unsweetened baking chocolate provides 830mg (24% DV) per 100 gram serving or 241mg (7% DV) per square. Most sweetened milk chocolates will provide around 272mg (11% DV) per 100 gram serving, and 164mg (5% DV) per bar (1.5oz).

#5: Dried Apricots, Prunes, Zante Currants, and Raisins

apricot_dried.JPG Most common as a snack, dried apricots and prunes can also be chopped and served in a salad. A good source of fiber and many other vitamins, apricots provide 1.9g (53%DV) of potassium per 100g serving (about 20 dried apricots). Prunes provide 1g (30% DV) per 100g serving, or 1.4g (40% DV) per cup. Zante currants are really a type of grape and taste very similar to raisins. Zante currants provide 892mg (25% DV) of potassium per 100g serving, or 1.3g (37% DV) per cup. Raisins provide almost the same amount with 825mg (24% DV) per 100 gram serving, or 1.2g (24% DV) per cup.

#6: Pistachios and Other Nuts

pistachios.jpg Pistachios are a delicious snack, and a great addition to salads. 100 grams (~3/4cup) will provide 1g (30% DV) of potassium. Other nuts high in potassium include Beechnuts (29% DV per 100g), Ginko nuts (29% DV), Chestnuts (28% DV), Almonds (21% DV), Hazelnuts (19% DV), Cashews (18% DV), Pine nuts (17% DV), Coconuts (16% DV), and Walnuts (15% DV).

#7: Seeds (Pumpkin, Squash, Sunflower, and Flax)

squashseeds.JPG A popular food in the Middle East and East Asia pumpkin and squash seeds contain about 919mg (26% DV) of potassium per 100g serving, 588mg (17% DV) per cup. If you can't find these in your local supermarket you will surely find them in Middle Eastern or East Asian specialty stores. Alternatively, you can also save any pumpkin and squash seeds you have and roast them in your oven. The seeds are typically eaten by cracking the outer shell and eating the seed inside. Sunflower seeds are also a good source of potassium, providing 850mg (24% DV) per 100 gram serving, or 1.1g (31% DV) per cup. Flax seeds provide 813mg (23% DV) of potassium per 100 gram serving, or 1.4g (39% DV) per cup, and 81mg (2% DV) per tablespoon.

#8: Fish (Pompano, Salmon, Halibut, Tuna)

herring.jpg Fish has many health benefits and is a great source of potassium. Pompano provides the most with 636mg (18% DV) per 100 gram serving, or 540mg (15% DV) per fillet (3 ounces, 85 grams). It is followed by Salmon which provides 534mg (15% DV) per 3 ounce serving, Halibut, Yellow Fin Tuna, Lingcod, Mackerel, Anchovies, Herring, Cod, Snapper, Rockfish, Tilefish, Grouper, and finally Trout with 394mg (11% DV) in a 3 ounce serving. Cooking fish with dry heat is the best way to preserve the potassium content.

#9: Beans

white-bean.jpg White beans provide the most potassium with 561mg (16% DV) per 100 gram serving, 1g (29% DV) per cup cooked. White beans are followed by Adzuki Beans, Soy Beans, Lima Beans, Pinto Beans, Kidney Beans, Great Northern Beans, Navy Beans, Pigeon Peas, Cranberry (Roman) Beans, French Beans, Lentils, Split Peas, Black Beans, Hyancinth, and finally Yardlong Beans with 539mg (15% DV) per cup cooked.

#10: Dates (Medjool)

date.JPG Dates are great as a snack, as an addition to fruits salads, or even savory stews. Medjool dates provide 696mg (20% DV) per 100 gram serving, or 167mg (5% DV) in a single date.



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