Are you suffering from leg cramps on keto? Don’t worry. Everyone on a low-carb diet gets them during the “adoption phase.” Here’s how to cure them…
We wouldn’t wish leg cramps on our worst enemies. Waking up in the middle of the night with a nasty Charlie horse is painful, and getting back to sleep is almost impossible. It makes a lot of newcomers want to quit—DON’T.
Cramps and spasms result from dehydration and low electrolytes, which are common in the early stages of a low-carb diet.
Thankfully, curing keto leg cramps requires minor adjustments to your routine. If that doesn’t work, there are plenty of supplements that will get rid of them in no time (we cover our favorite at the end). Read on to learn:
- Why you’re getting cramps/spasms
- Why it’s totally normal and only temporary
- Natural ways to prevent them
- Which supplements do you to need to stop them
What’s Causing Leg Cramps While on Keto?
Muscle cramps while on keto come down to two causes: dehydration and low electrolytes.
In the early stages of the process (the “adoption phase”), your body has to learn how to metabolize fats instead of carbs.
This usually leads to dehydration (why learning to diet the right way is so important).
Here’s why and what you need to know about it:
Ketones and fat metabolism:
Your body prefers to convert carbs into glucose for energy. The standard diet is so high in carbs (shivers) that your body is primarily set in stubborn, carb-converting ways.
When you go keto, it is shocked into converting fat to glucose instead. Ketone bodies are a byproduct of burning fat for energy.
Glycogen and water storage:
Your body will desperately search for glycogen to convert it into glucose in the adoption phase. And glycogen is stored in water.
Did you ever wonder why keto is so good for weight loss? It’s because you are burning fat AND losing water weight.
But with all of that water being flushed out (frequent trips to the bathroom!), you can become dehydrated if you aren’t diligent.
Lack of potassium, sodium, magnesium, and calcium:
Aside from water, low electrolytes are the other primary cause of leg cramps in the low-carb lifestyle.
When you switch to a low-carb lifestyle, you often eliminate the best sources of these three minerals. This, in turn, can throw off your electrolyte balance.
How to Treat Keto Leg Cramps
Let’s divide the cures into two separate categories: natural and supplementation.
Drink More Water:
This is the most obvious (and effective!) cure for the keto diet and leg cramps issue. Drink as much water as you can per day within reason.
Recommendations vary from eight 8-ounce glasses per day to over 100 oz. Try to drink about half your body weight in ounces per day as a rule of thumb. Drink a lot of water.
Pro tip: Lemon and lime ice water tastes delicious AND is processed faster.
Increasing your sodium intake is another way to prevent cramps. Try sprinkling more natural salt on meat. It’s a great way to up your intake in a healthy way.
Pro tip: The best way, in our opinion, is to add a cup of broth to your breakfast. Fast. Healthy. Packed with good sodium.
Increase Carbs SLIGHTLY:
The whole point of a low-carb diet is to eliminate these nasty nutrients. But if you are suffering severe cramps, a little extra might help.
This, of course, will decrease the effectiveness of the process, though. Only whole grain carbs! Remember, this is the LAST RESORT.
Should You Do Some Supplementation?
Aside from your food, plenty of supplements can help get rid of those cramps for good.
Even certain ones are made especially for keto that provide energy, promote good health, and fight the underlying causes of spasms and cramps (we’ll cover our favorite at the end). Make sure to take adequate amounts of:
- Magnesium: 300-400 mg per day.
- Calcium: ~ 1,000 mg per day.
- Potassium: ~ 3,000 mg per day.
- Sodium: 3,000 – 5,000 mg per day.
Not all of your intake should come from supplements, though. Be sure to follow instructions carefully or consult a physician.
Supplements are a great way to fight back against unwanted side effects during the adoption phase, but keeping track of intake, purchasing all of the supplements, AND watching your diet (which should include a lot of healthy veggies and meat) is time-consuming and expensive.
We recommend you get it all in one place, so you don’t have to worry about it.
What’s the Best Brand Then?
We did a lot of research around the web, read reviews, and visited expert diet sites. The best supplement for keto diet leg cramps we discovered in our research was KetoVitals.
So, we bought the product and tried it for ourselves.
We found that it is specifically designed to combat the symptoms you face during the adoption phase: cramps, fatigue, etc.
It promotes a better mood, delivers better energy, and helps you fight back against the deficiencies causing your cramps.
Unlike getting extra nutrients from your meals, you get these vital nutrients with NO CARBS and NO CALORIES.
Instead of worrying about which foods to eat or how much of each supplement, you can take one capsule and not worry about it.
Take one with food (or two if you exercise heavily) each day. It will be a game-changer. Stop waking up at night clutching your calf in pain!