Leg Cramping - Potassium...?

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Joined: Sep 10
Posts: 6

Posted: 24 Sep 2010, 22:48
So I am determined to change! I guess we all are- but this time I am not letting the BS get in the way of advancement and my goals. I am trying to work through the pain- literally.

I have been working towards walking further and further each day and eventually- RUN!!! Can't wait. Here is the problem: Even when I stretch before- even when I do YOGA- I still get these intense charlie horses in my calves. Everyone says- eat a banana.

Yeah, I buy 12 bananas on Monday and my grandmother, whom I live with and has dementia- eats them by Tuesday morning. Seriously. She's not all there and I am just happy she isn't turning on the stove and burning down the house so I am not going to complain. BUT- I recently lost my job and can't afford a crate of bananas a week.

I haven't found any "Potassium" supplements- does anyone know of any other solutions?

Joined: Feb 10
Posts: 27

Posted: 24 Sep 2010, 22:55
Although bananas do have potassium, apricots (fresh) and avocados have more. I believe spinach is also high in potassium. I used to get leg cramps a lot, even though I was taking a potassium supplement along with a diuretic and my aunt suggested that I should take a calcium w/magnesium supplement as well. I started taking them and the leg cramps went away within a few days! So, you might see if that helps too.
Highest recorded weight = 368 lbs. Now I'm down to...

Joined: Apr 10
Posts: 274

Posted: 24 Sep 2010, 23:11
You wont find Potassium supplement, Its prescription only in its solo form. Messing with Potassium is SUPER dangerous, too much or too little and you can get incredibly ill. A question is how much water are you drinking? More likely then a potassium issue is a hydration issue, it's really tough to put yourself into hypo or hyperkalemia just from diet alone. I'd try drinking more water and like Ehead said calcium and magnesium loading first. Calcium is a mineral prohibitor and helps most of the minerals in our body get absorbed quicker.
God doesn't give us what we want, he gives us what we need. The rest is up to us.

"If you are seeking creative ideas, go out walking. Angels whisper to a man when he goes for a walk." ~Raymond Inmon

I started My journey on May 6, 2010 and this is what I've done so far:

Joined: Sep 10
Posts: 6

Posted: 24 Sep 2010, 23:18
I drink a ton of water and I take multi-vitamins, calcium citrate+D and I get about 100 g of protein a day (It really all I eat as per my doctor- for the next month at least!). I was aware of the dangers of messing with K levels- but I was hoping there was something out there that I could take that wasn't food based, as pretty much anything I bring in the house, my grandmother eats. It's a strange and difficult situation. I suppose all that is left- talk to the DR.

Joined: Feb 10
Posts: 166

Posted: 25 Sep 2010, 01:01
You CAN get elemental potassium supplements. I've been taking them for 5 yrs now due to major cramping w/ excessive water drinking. I also found that taking it in combination w/ magnesium & magnesium phosphate are very helpful (I also take a couple other supplements not related to this issue). In the end, the missing ion I needed to completely stop the cramps was sodium. I never used to add salt to my foods, wasn't big on chowin' down on the salty foods, so when I started drinking over 100oz of water/day I was rinsing it out of my system w/ the other electrolytes & not replacing it. So now I use sea salt on alot of what I eat. B/c I drink enough water, I don't have that whole, water retention issue that most people get w/ high sodium levels. I, of course, advise you to speak w/ a physician about this matter before taking any type of supplement. As for Rx potassium, that is something you REALLY have to be careful w/ & isn't something to be taken lightly.
~*There is nothing harder than life, but nothing greater than living.*~

Joined: Aug 10
Posts: 330

Posted: 25 Sep 2010, 07:07
Here is a great link to info on potassium with a list of foods high in the element, etc. I used to use this site to track before I switched to FS, still refer back to it for good info from time to time.



Here is my proof that I am getting it done one pound at a time, one step at a time!

Joined: Sep 10
Posts: 48

Posted: 25 Sep 2010, 10:01
It sounds like you're already getting enough potassium. As King already said, taking too much Potassium is very dangerous, that's why you must see a doctor before getting any medications that elevate potassium levels. So if you're eating food rich in potassium and still getting cramps, maybe it's something else.

I have the EXACT same problem. I've been trying to run for quite some time, and every time I do, I can't make it past 4 minutes due to HORRIBLE calf muscle pains. Maybe we're just pushing our bodies too fast.

I have started a workout program, and so far I haven't had any problems with the running. Before I run, I do this at least twice: http://www.coolrunning.com/engine/2/2_1/126.shtml
And I've been following this plan: http://www.coolrunning.com/engine/2/2_3/181.shtml

Maybe we just need to slowly build up our muscles and prepare them for running. Hope it helps Smile
Weight Lost: 24.4lbs

Joined: Sep 10
Posts: 259

Posted: 25 Sep 2010, 10:13
You know, I just read a on another forum (different site) that someone had the same problem - excessive cramping during excercise and even when sleeping. The person who responded is an expert in nutrition - and she recommended drinking clear broth - like from boullion cubes morning and night. This would be a great solution to the problem with the food being consumed by the family.... Hope that helps...
"Work as if it all depends on you. Pray as if it all depends on God" ~ Mark Twain

"You can make excuses or you can make progress; but you can't make both." ~ author unknown

"Personal growth occurs when the pain of staying the same outweighs the pain of change." ~ Evelyn

Joined: Mar 10
Posts: 200

Posted: 25 Sep 2010, 19:51
I always heard that cramps can indicate a lack of sodium. I know sodium is supposed to be Bad, but it's another of those things we need. If you're drinking lots of water and doing exercise, you may be flushing it all out. I have friends who are pro swimmers, and they keep a packet of chips handy in case they get nasty cramps.
I've never met a cheese I didn't like.

Joined: Sep 10
Posts: 259

Posted: 27 Sep 2010, 09:23
Great input ferlengheti - that is why I have read to drink the clear broth but not to buy the Low Sodium kind... to drink the regular. That must be the secret. Very Happy
"Work as if it all depends on you. Pray as if it all depends on God" ~ Mark Twain

"You can make excuses or you can make progress; but you can't make both." ~ author unknown

"Personal growth occurs when the pain of staying the same outweighs the pain of change." ~ Evelyn

Joined: Jul 10
Posts: 157

Posted: 28 Sep 2010, 09:20
You might want to try a shot of tonic water. Tonic water contains Quinine which is prescribed for leg cramping. I would give that a try.

Joined: Dec 09
Posts: 32

Posted: 03 Oct 2010, 17:22
Sodium and calcium are also related to leg cramping. I was a swimmer as well and our coach focused a lot on hydration. If we weren't hydrated we got foot cramps easily. Very few people are so hydrated that they dilute electrolytes but you can play with these electrolytes with your food and vitamins to see if these help. I would keep bananas on hand before basketball games as well.

Joined: Oct 10
Posts: 2

Posted: 03 Oct 2010, 20:32
change your salt to Morton's Lite salt it has potassium in it. I use about half a tsp a day unless i am on a water flush then i use one tsp.

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