Charlie Horse Leg Cramps. Ouch!

One of the possible side effects of being on a low carb diet is that you can develop charlie horse leg cramps. And I am one of those people who gets them if I’m not careful to make sure I get enough electrolytes.

Charlie Horses are NOT fun!

Charlie Horse Leg Cramps! Ouch!I have been woken up from a deep sleep with this severe pain in my calf.

Charlie Horse Leg Cramps! Ouch!

I have to jump out of bed and walk it off, just to have it come back a couple hours later. It seems like as soon as I start to fall back to sleep, I get another one.

I tried walking it off, and massaging with lotion but nothing seemed to work. So I started doing some research as to the cause of charlie horses and a low carb diet.

I have been able to figure out what my body is missing and how to nurture it so I no longer get these extremely painful muscle cramps in my legs.

What I learned was that often when people are on a low carb diet they end up missing some important electrolytes and minerals. So in a way, a charlie horse was a wake-up call to me letting me know that something was wrong.

We lose a lot of sodium in our urine while on a low carb diet. So it is very important to make sure you are getting enough sodium in your diet. I recommend adding some sea salt to your diet. It really makes a difference.

Benefits Himalayan Salt on a Low Carb Diet

I take a good multivitamin daily but it just doesn’t give me enough of the minerals that need so I needed to add a few.

Magnesium and Calcium are both important. But to get them with your food you would need to eat a lot of green vegetables. Even though I eat a lot of greens, I find I still need to add a magnesium tablet as well as calcium. I take these with water at bedtime.

I was researching online and learned from Dr. Eric Berg that it is important to take these together because calcium by itself can actually make the cramps worse. Fortunately, I’ve been taking mine together but I’m glad I know that I don’t ever want to stop doing that. I certainly don’t want to get any more charlie horses.

I also added a potassium supplement because it helps my body absorb the calcium. But also I learned that potassium plays a huge role in helping muscles to relax. And since I have a job where I’m on my feet all day long, I thought it would be good to add it to my other vitamins.

My husband finds that it is easier to simply add electrolytes to his water. All you need to do is add a scoop of the electrolyte powder to your water. The Keto K1000 is sugar free and will not knock you out of ketosis or break a fast. So this is a great option. This brand has 3 flavors including raspberry, orange or watermelon.

I also drink a glass of warm lemon water mixed with a bit of Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar and cranberry juice. This helps make my body a bit more acidic. And this helps me to absorb the minerals easier.

As a result of taking these minerals, I am sleeping through the night just like a baby. And sleep is very important when it comes to weight loss and health. I am now charlie horse free and hope to stay that way.

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12 thoughts on “Charlie Horse Leg Cramps. Ouch!”

  1. Good information. After I finish my intense exercise routine, I also get a lot of cramps. It’s extremely painful. I notice that if I eat more food with fluids, the cramps usually come less often.

    Like you said, I probably need more electrolytes in order to get over that. I believe stretching is also very helpful as it helps promote blood circulation to the area. What do you think?

    1. Yes! Stretching really does make a huge difference. When I was having a cramp, I would simply pull my toes to stretch out my calf. This helps the cramp to ease up. But I bet stretching before bed time would help a person with leg cramps. Most of mine seemed to occure right around the time I would normally wake up.

  2. Hi there,

    Lovely, article that caught my attention while surfing the web. I get charlie horse cramps a lot and is particularly painful for me as I am semi-paralysed in the ankle. I have to really hold that calf muscle and hold tight or I just can’t walk for the next few days.

    Interesting to note that the minerals mentioned are the three minerals for regulating sodium levels and for lowering blood pressure could the two be related (high salt/sodium diet and muscle cramps?)

    1. That is a very interesting observation, Derek. I don’t know. For me, if anything, I would be getting to little salt. But the good news is since I added these extra minerals the cramps have stopped. Although at times I do feel my legs jump a bit (restless leg syndrome). But they don’t hurt. Thank goodness. Thanks for the comment.

  3. Hi Wendy, yep cramps are one of the classic symptoms of magnesium deficiency. And do you know that as your age increases, so too does your body’s requirement for magnesium. Did you have any other magnesium deficiency symptoms such as eye twitches?

    Magnesium is also effective in improving your sleep.
    I have been able to achieve much deeper REM sleep since recently commencing on magnesium supplements.
    Thanks for sharing, Kris

    1. No I haven’t had any other symptoms thank goodness. And luckily I sleep well. But I do take my supplement and since doing so I have been leg cramp free. (knock on wood). LOL!

  4. Ah now I understand that what I suffered a while ago is charlie horse leg cramps. I woke up feeling cramp in my calf too, I thought it was caused by wrong sleeping position. Recently I lack of green vegetables in my lunch and dinner menu, so I will make sure to add those more often. Just curious, is recurring charlie horse leg cramps a symptom to other disease? Thank you. 

    1. I am not a doctor so I can’t answer your question. I can give you my opinion on how I get rid of my leg cramps and charlie horses, I make sure I’m getting enough salt in my diet and I make sure I’m getting enough magnesium and potassium in my diet. This is really, really important if you are following a ketogenic diet.

  5. This leg cramp is a bit controversial to me. Earlier before now, my big time impression was that, the cramp emerge as one aged. I was convinced otherwise when my sister complain about this recently. She is not a type that love exercise, I would have say, it emerged through that. I usually help her massage the leg with balm.Likewise me, I do have leg cramp when ever I do fitness. But the cramp do go in just four days maximum without rubbing.I understand quite well the important of these makes one have sound sleep. What is good for you might not be the same as mine. When I sleep too much, I discover I do add more weight.The review is interesting. All the information here are well understood. Nice review.

  6. This is great information thank you! I actually am turning 39 today, so it is good to start thinking about taking care of my body now, because I have had a Charlie horse before and it is no fun! I definitely do not eat enough greens (please don’t tell my wife!) so the calcium and magnesium pills are definitely something that I am going to pick up to smooth that process over. Thank you again for the help!

  7. Since am also a victim of Charlie horse leg cramps I have loved the information you have provided to us of how to get rid of them so am going to keep on doing as per the information procedures and thanks a lot for this information because you have saved many people’s lives

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