Author Topic: Cures for leg cramps  (Read 2435 times)

lifejoy

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Cures for leg cramps
« on: September 26, 2017, 01:20:57 AM »
I've had cramps in my calves throughout so much of my life! When I was young, the doctors would say they were "growing pains". Well, I don't think I've been doing mush growing for about fifteen years!

I had a baby almost two months ago. The leg cramps have been fierce lately. Tylenol works wonders but I'm breastfeeding so I'd like to try natural remedies. Things I'm trying:

- drinking water, prenatal vitamin, walking, Epsom salts bath (magnesium), tums (for the calcium), bananas (for potassium), magnesium drink, stretching, hearing pad.

I would love some new ideas or solutions. Thanks!

Edited to add more details:

- The cramps are always at night.
- Often concentrated in my calves.
- Not a sharp intense pain, more a dull throbbing achey pain.
- Feels like poor circulation or something.

- Possibly restless leg syndrome:  "The condition causes an uncomfortable, "itchy," "pins and needles," or "creepy crawly" feeling in the legs. The sensations are usually worse at rest, especially when lying or sitting."

- I will be going to my GP and requesting a blood test to determine if I am nuttier deficient

- I think the pains are worse or more noticeable now because I am awake a lot during the night (thanks to baby) whereas previously I might have just slept through the pain.

- Also, just tonight it has for the first time been experienced in my arms :(
Damn!

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Re: Cures for leg cramps
« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2017, 02:15:57 AM »
Maybe acupuncture? Sounds like you are doing a lot so far! Good luck!

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Re: Cures for leg cramps
« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2017, 02:28:30 AM »
When I was in my teens I would get cramps sometimes. If you are cramping doing a calf stretch should terminate the cramp. This worked for me every time. I haven't had cramps for years now. One thing I have changed in my adulthood is I do a lot of strenght training. I believe strengthening your calves might make them more resilient. I don't have research to back it up but people with CP (cerebral pasly) who are pretty much in a constant state of "cramping" (spasticity) can reduce spasticity by doing strenght training. Maybe try out some regular calf raises.

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Cures for leg cramps
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2017, 03:03:09 AM »
Maybe acupuncture? Sounds like you are doing a lot so far! Good luck!
Heyyyy cool! Something I haven't tried yet! Thanks for the idea :)

lifejoy

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Re: Cures for leg cramps
« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2017, 03:05:00 AM »
When I was in my teens I would get cramps sometimes. If you are cramping doing a calf stretch should terminate the cramp. This worked for me every time. I haven't had cramps for years now. One thing I have changed in my adulthood is I do a lot of strenght training. I believe strengthening your calves might make them more resilient. I don't have research to back it up but people with CP (cerebral pasly) who are pretty much in a constant state of "cramping" (spasticity) can reduce spasticity by doing strenght training. Maybe try out some regular calf raises.

Interesting.

In a perfect world I'd be doing regular yoga and weight training. With a new baby I'm happy if I manage to shower... so I'll see how soon I can test this theory. But I'm intrigued! Thanks for the ideas :)

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Re: Cures for leg cramps
« Reply #5 on: September 26, 2017, 03:35:14 AM »
"In children, restless leg syndrome is often misdiagnosed as "growing pains.""

Ok now I'm looking this up :)

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Re: Cures for leg cramps
« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2017, 03:47:51 AM »
When I was in my teens I would get cramps sometimes. If you are cramping doing a calf stretch should terminate the cramp. This worked for me every time. I haven't had cramps for years now. One thing I have changed in my adulthood is I do a lot of strenght training. I believe strengthening your calves might make them more resilient. I don't have research to back it up but people with CP (cerebral pasly) who are pretty much in a constant state of "cramping" (spasticity) can reduce spasticity by doing strenght training. Maybe try out some regular calf raises.

Interesting.

In a perfect world I'd be doing regular yoga and weight training. With a new baby I'm happy if I manage to shower... so I'll see how soon I can test this theory. But I'm intrigued! Thanks for the ideas :)

No excuses! You don't need a gym to do calf raises. You can easily do them at home. 3 sets of 20 repititions. Two times a week. You are going to do it for 6 weeks. Here is your exercise: http://www.fitnessandpower.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/calf-raise-sraircase.jpg

Report back in 6 weeks.

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Re: Cures for leg cramps
« Reply #7 on: September 26, 2017, 03:57:33 AM »
No advice on the leg cramps but this is the first I've heard of the baby so big Congratulations!
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Re: Cures for leg cramps
« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2017, 06:40:57 AM »
My doc told me to drink a glass of tonic water.  The quinine evidently has a preventative effect on leg cramps.  It works for me.

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Re: Cures for leg cramps
« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2017, 07:02:50 AM »
suggestions:
1) basic blood test. You can order these w/o doctor. example here:
https://labtestsonline.org/understanding/analytes/bmp/tab/test/ 
instead of shooting in the dark, this will actually tell you if you are low on anything.

2) I  betcha it's potassium. You mentioned bananas but you have to eat a lot of bananas to keep up with demand especially when breastfeeding. DW and I discovered a secret weapon for keeping cramps at bay: light salt+ water flavor, as attached. 'light' salt is about 50% potassium. Pour some in a glass of water, add a squirt of flavor, enjoy. Simple, cheap, effective.

supposedly, 98% of Americans are low on potassium
https://nutritionfacts.org/2013/05/23/98-of-american-diets-potassium-deficient/
we need a lot of it and it's relatively difficult to get.
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Re: Cures for leg cramps
« Reply #10 on: September 26, 2017, 07:05:03 AM »
Friends of mine that play tennis swear by mustard packets.

http://www.coreperformance.com/daily/nutrition/mustard-a-cure-for-cramps.html
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Re: Cures for leg cramps
« Reply #11 on: September 26, 2017, 07:11:12 AM »
You don't say if yours are day or night, but I had night time leg cramps for years, and also "twitchy" legs if I got very tired (especially late night drives). Labs normal. Believe it or not, a bar of Ivory soap under the bottom sheet near my feet helped greatly with the cramps (went from terribly painful, hop out of bed several nights a week to often milder maybe once a week). Weird. But cheap!

In my mid 50's, though, the twitching progressed into restless leg syndrome (that explains the wear on the bedsheets). Now I take a med for it and the cramps are rare, often relieved by putting my foot on the floor for a minute or so.



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Re: Cures for leg cramps
« Reply #12 on: September 26, 2017, 08:42:57 AM »
I'd recommend a trip to your PCP and full bloodwork.  You most likely have a shortage of some micronutrient.  Science FTW.
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Re: Cures for leg cramps
« Reply #13 on: September 26, 2017, 10:49:40 AM »
Get lite salt (half salt half potassium) and mix 1/4 tsp in a glass of water and chug it. Nothing else works for me but it is almost immediate relief. Bananas don't have enough potassium to stop leg cramps as they're happening. If you can't handle the flavor alone, out a squirt of Mio in there too.


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Re: Cures for leg cramps
« Reply #14 on: September 26, 2017, 11:25:03 AM »
I have had issues with leg cramps  . . . they seemed to strike at night, and would wake me up pretty regularly in my early 20s.  I was able to fix it by eating more foods high in potassium.  You don't need to drink glasses full of salt to fix the problem though.  Your basic white potato is a great source of the stuff, white mushrooms, a whole bunch of varieties of beans, avocados, salmon, dried apricots, beet greens/swiss chard/kale, etc.

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Re: Cures for leg cramps
« Reply #15 on: September 26, 2017, 06:21:28 PM »
I'm also prone to leg cramps.  The cramps are the most frequent when basketball season starts up and I'm getting back into shape.  They strike at night time while I am asleep, about 3-6 hours after I finish playing, and are often very severe.  So bad that if the house was on fire, I'm not sure I would be able to make it out.  I've tried drinking tons of water, the day before my games and the day of, along with cutting out coffee and pop the day before and the day off, and maybe had a minor improvement.  The only thing that works for me is Gatorade, I keep some beside the bed, and as soon as I feel the cramps coming on I take a shot or two, and it gives me relief in about 1-2 minutes. 
I'm going to give this mustard thing a shot for sure, I'll report back since basketball is starting right around the corner.

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Re: Cures for leg cramps
« Reply #16 on: September 26, 2017, 07:01:08 PM »
One thing that nobody has mentioned so far but really helped me is to push through the cramp.  If the cramp happened while pointing your toes and your muscle is stuck/spasming . . . use your hands to force your foot to complete the action.  This will minimize the tissue damage that happens from the stuck contracting muscle so it's not as sore the next day.

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Re: Cures for leg cramps
« Reply #17 on: September 27, 2017, 01:10:29 AM »
Have you tried eating nuts?  I used to get massive cramps when I was cutting weight, OJ and sunflower seeds got me through.  Lots of magnesium, potassium, and other minerals in there.

(edit) I've also read consuming too much sodium may put your electrolytes out of balance, so maybe unsalted or lightly salted nuts are better.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2017, 01:18:20 AM by Johnez »

lifejoy

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Re: Cures for leg cramps
« Reply #18 on: September 27, 2017, 02:38:08 AM »
When I was in my teens I would get cramps sometimes. If you are cramping doing a calf stretch should terminate the cramp. This worked for me every time. I haven't had cramps for years now. One thing I have changed in my adulthood is I do a lot of strenght training. I believe strengthening your calves might make them more resilient. I don't have research to back it up but people with CP (cerebral pasly) who are pretty much in a constant state of "cramping" (spasticity) can reduce spasticity by doing strenght training. Maybe try out some regular calf raises.

Interesting.

In a perfect world I'd be doing regular yoga and weight training. With a new baby I'm happy if I manage to shower... so I'll see how soon I can test this theory. But I'm intrigued! Thanks for the ideas :)

No excuses! You don't need a gym to do calf raises. You can easily do them at home. 3 sets of 20 repititions. Two times a week. You are going to do it for 6 weeks. Here is your exercise: http://www.fitnessandpower.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/calf-raise-sraircase.jpg

Report back in 6 weeks.

Hey cool! Thanks for the link - turns out I was confusing this exercise with one that takes place on a weight machine. I'm on it!

lifejoy

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Re: Cures for leg cramps
« Reply #19 on: September 27, 2017, 02:40:56 AM »
No advice on the leg cramps but this is the first I've heard of the baby so big Congratulations!

Thank you :) :) :)

lifejoy

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Re: Cures for leg cramps
« Reply #20 on: September 27, 2017, 02:44:47 AM »
My doc told me to drink a glass of tonic water.  The quinine evidently has a preventative effect on leg cramps.  It works for me.

I will try it! Thanks!

lifejoy

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Re: Cures for leg cramps
« Reply #21 on: September 27, 2017, 02:51:58 AM »
suggestions:
1) basic blood test. You can order these w/o doctor. example here:
https://labtestsonline.org/understanding/analytes/bmp/tab/test/ 
instead of shooting in the dark, this will actually tell you if you are low on anything.

2) I  betcha it's potassium. You mentioned bananas but you have to eat a lot of bananas to keep up with demand especially when breastfeeding. DW and I discovered a secret weapon for keeping cramps at bay: light salt+ water flavor, as attached. 'light' salt is about 50% potassium. Pour some in a glass of water, add a squirt of flavor, enjoy. Simple, cheap, effective.

supposedly, 98% of Americans are low on potassium
https://nutritionfacts.org/2013/05/23/98-of-american-diets-potassium-deficient/
we need a lot of it and it's relatively difficult to get.

1) I live in Canada so perhaps I will just visit my doc and ask for a blood test.

2) Wow, I am definitely not eating five bananas a day! Could be potassium.

The lite salt - not sure where to buy it in Canada. My initial search was unsuccessful but you're giving me ideas! Thank you :)

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Re: Cures for leg cramps
« Reply #22 on: September 27, 2017, 02:54:58 AM »

lifejoy

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Re: Cures for leg cramps
« Reply #23 on: September 27, 2017, 02:59:30 AM »
You don't say if yours are day or night, but I had night time leg cramps for years, and also "twitchy" legs if I got very tired (especially late night drives). Labs normal. Believe it or not, a bar of Ivory soap under the bottom sheet near my feet helped greatly with the cramps (went from terribly painful, hop out of bed several nights a week to often milder maybe once a week). Weird. But cheap!

In my mid 50's, though, the twitching progressed into restless leg syndrome (that explains the wear on the bedsheets). Now I take a med for it and the cramps are rare, often relieved by putting my foot on the floor for a minute or so.

Ok, that is even more strange than the mustard remedy! I'll try it and report back :)

My leg cramps are night ones.

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Re: Cures for leg cramps
« Reply #24 on: September 27, 2017, 03:00:22 AM »
I'd recommend a trip to your PCP and full bloodwork.  You most likely have a shortage of some micronutrient.  Science FTW.

I can't argue with that! Science always wins :)

Also it would be so amazing if this is something I could address with diet.

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Re: Cures for leg cramps
« Reply #25 on: September 27, 2017, 03:00:56 AM »
Get lite salt (half salt half potassium) and mix 1/4 tsp in a glass of water and chug it. Nothing else works for me but it is almost immediate relief. Bananas don't have enough potassium to stop leg cramps as they're happening. If you can't handle the flavor alone, out a squirt of Mio in there too.


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Where to buy lite salt? I live in Canada.

lifejoy

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Re: Cures for leg cramps
« Reply #26 on: September 27, 2017, 03:02:05 AM »
I have had issues with leg cramps  . . . they seemed to strike at night, and would wake me up pretty regularly in my early 20s.  I was able to fix it by eating more foods high in potassium.  You don't need to drink glasses full of salt to fix the problem though.  Your basic white potato is a great source of the stuff, white mushrooms, a whole bunch of varieties of beans, avocados, salmon, dried apricots, beet greens/swiss chard/kale, etc.

That is good, because I'm not sure where to buy lite salt!

I added these things to my daily diet. Fingers crossed!

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Re: Cures for leg cramps
« Reply #27 on: September 27, 2017, 03:08:46 AM »
I'm also prone to leg cramps.  The cramps are the most frequent when basketball season starts up and I'm getting back into shape.  They strike at night time while I am asleep, about 3-6 hours after I finish playing, and are often very severe.  So bad that if the house was on fire, I'm not sure I would be able to make it out.  I've tried drinking tons of water, the day before my games and the day of, along with cutting out coffee and pop the day before and the day off, and maybe had a minor improvement.  The only thing that works for me is Gatorade, I keep some beside the bed, and as soon as I feel the cramps coming on I take a shot or two, and it gives me relief in about 1-2 minutes. 
I'm going to give this mustard thing a shot for sure, I'll report back since basketball is starting right around the corner.

I hope the mustard helps! I will try Gatorade and see if I have any success :)

lifejoy

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Re: Cures for leg cramps
« Reply #28 on: September 27, 2017, 03:11:39 AM »
One thing that nobody has mentioned so far but really helped me is to push through the cramp.  If the cramp happened while pointing your toes and your muscle is stuck/spasming . . . use your hands to force your foot to complete the action.  This will minimize the tissue damage that happens from the stuck contracting muscle so it's not as sore the next day.

This made me realize I need to add to my original post a more detailed description. I have had sharp pain cramps in my legs and they are cured by flexing my toes up toward my knee.

But this post is more about a dull achey pain that is not excruciating but is very very annoying and mildly painful :/

Thanks though!

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Re: Cures for leg cramps
« Reply #29 on: September 27, 2017, 03:12:41 AM »
Have you tried eating nuts?  I used to get massive cramps when I was cutting weight, OJ and sunflower seeds got me through.  Lots of magnesium, potassium, and other minerals in there.

(edit) I've also read consuming too much sodium may put your electrolytes out of balance, so maybe unsalted or lightly salted nuts are better.

I eat raw, unsalted trail mix regularly.

But thanks for making sure I'd considered it!

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Re: Cures for leg cramps
« Reply #30 on: September 27, 2017, 06:52:04 AM »
Get lite salt (half salt half potassium) and mix 1/4 tsp in a glass of water and chug it. Nothing else works for me but it is almost immediate relief. Bananas don't have enough potassium to stop leg cramps as they're happening. If you can't handle the flavor alone, out a squirt of Mio in there too.


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Where to buy lite salt? I live in Canada.
For us it's in the spice aisle where you'd find salt. Generally only in small shaker sizes. Lite salt is 50/50 salt and potassium, salt substitute is all potassium. Either will work but be sure if you get the substitute that you use half and half with salt for the cramping. If you cant find it at the grocery store then I'd look at Amazon.

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Re: Cures for leg cramps
« Reply #31 on: September 27, 2017, 07:32:34 PM »
Canada's Amazon has multiple options, here's the link to Morton's:
https://www.amazon.ca/Morton-Lite-Salt-Sodium-Table/dp/B0005YM0UY/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1506562233&sr=8-5&keywords=lite+salt

Good info. I have problems with cramps in my feet/toes sometimes, I should give this stuff a try too.

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Re: Cures for leg cramps
« Reply #32 on: September 27, 2017, 10:37:49 PM »
This has been an ongoing issue for me, too.  What works best for me is a really hot bath before bed.  My mother swore by tonic water. She had them also.
For restless legs what works best for me is leg lifts and squats - enough that my legs are really tired, right before bed. 
And, of course, when you have an orgasm, if you have a habit of pointing your toes, try flexing them instead.

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Re: Cures for leg cramps
« Reply #33 on: September 27, 2017, 10:46:52 PM »
I have this and suffered from everything you described as a child as well. I currently get acupuncture and it does really help.
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Re: Cures for leg cramps
« Reply #34 on: September 29, 2017, 05:05:28 PM »
Make sure you get the right kind of magnesium. I've tried many kinds and I swear one brand made me feel worse- I like Douglas Labs brand. Also, I believe being low in iron can cause leg cramps and restless leg syndrome. Hopefully you are still taking some prenatal vitamins! Good Luck!

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Re: Cures for leg cramps
« Reply #35 on: October 05, 2017, 02:50:47 PM »
Make sure you get the right kind of magnesium. I've tried many kinds and I swear one brand made me feel worse- I like Douglas Labs brand. Also, I believe being low in iron can cause leg cramps and restless leg syndrome. Hopefully you are still taking some prenatal vitamins! Good Luck!
I never knew that about low iron. Interesting as I'm super anemic. I agree on getting a good quality magnesium too Douglas Labs has good stuff, I take some other their other supplements.
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Re: Cures for leg cramps
« Reply #36 on: October 05, 2017, 04:02:16 PM »

Here is a site you may find useful, it has a detailed breakdown of the nutrients in various foods so it may help you pinpoint a food that gets you what you need.
http://www.whfoods.com/foodstoc.php


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Re: Cures for leg cramps
« Reply #37 on: October 05, 2017, 07:05:34 PM »
There were some good ideas in this thread. My family has a history of this and drinking Gatorade before bed seems to be the solution, but "lite salt" might be better. Basically the cause is a combination of mineral deficiency and dehydration.

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Re: Cures for leg cramps
« Reply #38 on: October 06, 2017, 08:27:03 PM »
If you can't find Lite Salt at the grocery try looking for Nu Salt, which is closer to 100% potassium.  I'm not sure which magnesium you're taking but you want to be sure it's highly bioavailable.  Natural Calm is a good mag product and mixes well with Lite Salt for an all in one (there are flavors but unflavored is great!).  If you're on a low salt diet then try adding some sodium as well.  Mixing all these together is just a concentrated electrolyte solution which can help with cramps, also good to drink if you've been sweating a lot.


I agree with the earlier poster that it's best to get this stuff from foods like potatoes, etc., but practically speaking it's going to be easier to mix this up and chug it down than monitor the potassium levels in your food.

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Re: Cures for leg cramps
« Reply #39 on: October 08, 2017, 08:41:18 PM »
There were some good ideas in this thread. My family has a history of this and drinking Gatorade before bed seems to be the solution, but "lite salt" might be better. Basically the cause is a combination of mineral deficiency and dehydration.

Gatorade works! Not sure if it's causation or correlation but I had no leg cramps on Gatorade days :)

Thanks!

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Re: Cures for leg cramps
« Reply #40 on: October 08, 2017, 08:41:53 PM »
If you can't find Lite Salt at the grocery try looking for Nu Salt, which is closer to 100% potassium.  I'm not sure which magnesium you're taking but you want to be sure it's highly bioavailable.  Natural Calm is a good mag product and mixes well with Lite Salt for an all in one (there are flavors but unflavored is great!).  If you're on a low salt diet then try adding some sodium as well.  Mixing all these together is just a concentrated electrolyte solution which can help with cramps, also good to drink if you've been sweating a lot.


I agree with the earlier poster that it's best to get this stuff from foods like potatoes, etc., but practically speaking it's going to be easier to mix this up and chug it down than monitor the potassium levels in your food.

I wonder how that solution compares with gatorade?

koshtra

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Re: Cures for leg cramps
« Reply #41 on: October 08, 2017, 09:26:36 PM »
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19997012

Hey, it's science. Pickle juice.

lifejoy

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Re: Cures for leg cramps
« Reply #42 on: October 08, 2017, 10:48:36 PM »
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19997012

Hey, it's science. Pickle juice.

Haha what! What the what! That's so crazy and awesome. I will try eating pickles and see what happens. Perhaps I'll even swig a shot of the juice :S

Lis

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Re: Cures for leg cramps
« Reply #43 on: October 10, 2017, 01:34:05 PM »
Random thoughts -

- Did you possibly injure you calf/calves at some point, and didn't do anything about it? I pulled one calf muscle after a run on a treadmill, thought it was typical soreness (I had just started running and attempting to get into shape), and continued to run on it. The result was lots of pain, usually in the mornings when I first woke up and by 10ish at night, but there were times where I'd be walking down the hallway and it would feel like it was seizing up and I'd have to stop walking. A trip to the orthopedic surgeon and 14 weeks of physical therapy helped. (This was all because apparently I don't know how to run - when running, I land on the balls of my feet and not me heels, making impact super weird.)

- If rubbing it out helps (it did for my injury), I bought this roller to help massage my calves after a long day.

- Magnesium from epsom salt baths help, but I've been drinking Natural Calm and I swear it works wonders for so many things. Maybe ingesting it through liquid would be better than skin absorption? 

Radagast

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Re: Cures for leg cramps
« Reply #44 on: October 10, 2017, 09:38:37 PM »
There were some good ideas in this thread. My family has a history of this and drinking Gatorade before bed seems to be the solution, but "lite salt" might be better. Basically the cause is a combination of mineral deficiency and dehydration.

Gatorade works! Not sure if it's causation or correlation but I had no leg cramps on Gatorade days :)

Thanks!
We probably have a common ancestor in England a few hundred years ago ;)

lifejoy

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Cures for leg cramps
« Reply #45 on: October 14, 2017, 05:52:55 AM »
And today, Gatorade did not work :/

Back to the drawing board.

tralfamadorian

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Re: Cures for leg cramps
« Reply #46 on: October 14, 2017, 08:17:47 AM »
I've lived with someone with restless leg syndrome.  For him the best treatment/preventative was exercise in the evenings and a hot shower.

lifejoy

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Re: Cures for leg cramps
« Reply #47 on: October 14, 2017, 11:09:54 AM »
I've lived with someone with restless leg syndrome.  For him the best treatment/preventative was exercise in the evenings and a hot shower.
Cardio? Strength training? Stretching?

Thanks for sharing :)

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Re: Cures for leg cramps
« Reply #48 on: October 14, 2017, 11:26:59 AM »
If you can't find Lite Salt at the grocery try looking for Nu Salt, which is closer to 100% potassium.  I'm not sure which magnesium you're taking but you want to be sure it's highly bioavailable.  Natural Calm is a good mag product and mixes well with Lite Salt for an all in one (there are flavors but unflavored is great!).  If you're on a low salt diet then try adding some sodium as well.  Mixing all these together is just a concentrated electrolyte solution which can help with cramps, also good to drink if you've been sweating a lot.


I agree with the earlier poster that it's best to get this stuff from foods like potatoes, etc., but practically speaking it's going to be easier to mix this up and chug it down than monitor the potassium levels in your food.

I wonder how that solution compares with gatorade?


Gatorade has a lot of sugar and is a little low in actual electrolytes.  Mixing your own will be more effective and cheaper - try adding some lemon juice or a squirt of flavoring concentrate (like Mio etc.) if you need help getting it down.  My last suggestion is to keep a week worth of solution in a pitcher in the fridge.  Easy gets done!

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Re: Cures for leg cramps
« Reply #49 on: October 14, 2017, 11:55:34 AM »
- If rubbing it out helps (it did for my injury), I bought this roller to help massage my calves after a long day.

Thank you for this!  I just impulse-bought -- so non-Mustachian, I know -- the roller you recommended.  I have a standard foam roller, which works great for many muscles, but I have a hard time positioning or holding my body to use it effectively on others.