Atkins and foot/leg cramps

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Joined: Dec 10
Posts: 13

Posted: 07 Sep 2012, 07:47
with Atkins have any of you seen an increase in foot/leg cramps at night???...if you have, what have you done to combat them...I have been very successful in losing and keeping weight off, but occasionally suffer severe cramping as I sleep...I need ideas

Joined: Jul 12
Posts: 34

Posted: 07 Sep 2012, 08:24
Sounds like you need potassium supplements. I did the Bernstein Diet (low carb, low fat, VLCD) a few years ago, and had terrible cramps in my calves, until they upped my potassium supplement. After that, I didn't have any more problems.

Joined: Mar 12
Posts: 12

Posted: 07 Sep 2012, 08:44
Plenty of water, make sure you are getting the salt that you need and if that doesn't help, then add a potassium supplement - some potassium rich foods for low carbers are spinach, broccoli, avocados, tomatoes and almonds - I am usually able to keep the cramps at bay by eating plenty of the low-carb, high potassium foods.
Gail aka GIGI to my Grandbaby!

Joined: Aug 12
Posts: 2

Posted: 07 Sep 2012, 11:16
I was having severe cramps at night too. I started drinking a Powerade Zero, no calories and most have less than 1g carb per serving. It seemed to help me. I also make sure that I put salt on my eggs in the morning Smile

Joined: Sep 10
Posts: 259

Posted: 07 Sep 2012, 11:33
Coach, i can sympathize. When i started my journey I did lots of reading on the atkins site and the low carbers shared the best solution.... To prevent painful leg cramps simply drink broth (either chkn ir beef broth - full strength - not the reduced sodium kind). Just warm it up in a mug and drink it down. Once or twice daily as needed. I promise it will fix it. It helped me and any who I have recommended this to. Cudos on your awesome progress!
"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: Sep 12
Posts: 2

Posted: 10 Sep 2012, 19:47
YES I took melantonin last night and it kept them away, but it may be because you are not drinking enough and are becoming dehydrated. so lay off caffeine, up your fluids and take melantonin at night about 30 min before bed. If no improvement you probably need potassium.I am only speaking from experience, not a doctor

Joined: May 12
Posts: 62

Posted: 10 Sep 2012, 20:39
I'm not doing Atkins, but I did have some serious leg aches at night for awhile. My Mom said she got them when she drank caffeine. I stopped drinking cokes (unfortunately I'm back on them now), but once I ditched all the caffeine, the achy legs at night stopped.
Goal 1: 190-Reached 9/26/12
Goal 2: 170-Reached 7/18/13
Goal 3: 150
Goal 4: 130

Joined: Mar 10
Posts: 39

Posted: 11 Sep 2012, 13:33
I've been eating low carb since 2003. I used to take potassium and it seemed to help. However, most recently I've found that apple cider vinegar does the trick. I drink two teaspoons in a small glass of water in the morning and evening. It took away the leg cramps the very first day. If you try it, get the Braggs Organic ACV with the mother in it.

Joined: Sep 12
Posts: 15

Posted: 20 Sep 2012, 12:40
Call your doctor's office and they might have advice for you.Blood work might show low potassium, maybe a supplement?

Joined: Jul 12
Posts: 6

Posted: 20 Sep 2012, 12:47
Pickle juice worked for my leg cramps

Joined: Jan 12
Posts: 37

Posted: 25 Sep 2012, 16:26
Circulation is usually behind cramps, or restless leg syndrome, another form of this problem. Increase circulation. A hot bath in the tub helps a lot. Improve elimination. It can affect the nerves. It might be best not to exercise too vigorously just before bed, as the change from much activity to total rest can leave fluid in the muscles that needs to go to the kidneys. Herbs such as mint, capsicum, butcher's broom and hawthorn also increase circulation. Chamomile aids elimination. Sleepytime tea combines chamomile and spearmint tea to help ease sleep. Massage, of course. Heat--hot water is better than a blanket. You have to get into the tub.

Joined: Jul 11
Posts: 31

Posted: 25 Sep 2012, 16:45
I second the Powerade suggestion. I also found that soy milk, which has a good dose of potassium and magnesium, helped when I had this problem. There is a brand called Soy Slender, which is sugar free (sweetened artificially), that only has 1 net carb per 8 oz. It's yummy too!

Joined: May 11
Posts: 50

Posted: 25 Sep 2012, 19:16
Noticed that someone else is recommending pickle juice...I swear by it and people poo-pooed me until they saw the entire Alabama football team eating large dill pickles on the sideline...why? prevent and alleviate any leg cramping. Dill pickle juice is the just takes a couple of swigs and you will start to feel the cramps fade away almost instantly. Been doing this for about ten years. Of course, when you have a royal charlie horse...getting to the fridge is the worst part. Give it a try.

Joined: Jan 12
Posts: 1

Posted: 26 Sep 2012, 06:44
My Dad swears by pickle juice, but I have not been able to bring myself to drink it in the middle of the night when the leg cramps hit. I've recently found drinking coconut water a few times a week to be a huge help in stopping the leg cramps. Though it has about 10 carbs, I've not seen it have a negative impact on my weight loss, still loosing about 1.5 lbs a week. However, might check out the Powerade Zero, that sounds like a tastier option Smile

Joined: Jul 07
Posts: 529

Posted: 26 Sep 2012, 13:04
On a recent podcast, one of the doctors who co-wrote the newest Atkins book attributed all the "Atkins Flu" symptoms to low salt intake. Pickle juice is essentially salt and vinegar so I would guess that it's the salt that is helping everyone out with their legs.

And, as CorsetLady said, both Dr. Atkins and Drs. Eades recommend potassium supplements when on a low carb diet to deal with leg cramps.

"There's no doubt that the Atkins diet will lower your cholesterol, weight and blood pressure and get rid of your diabetes, but then what?" asked Dr. Robert Rosati, the cardiologist who runs The Rice Diet Program Clinic, granddaddy of Durham's diet centers.

I guess there's really no pleasing some people. Laughing (Source:

Joined: Jan 12
Posts: 37

Posted: 11 Oct 2012, 03:13
I tried eating a pickle a day for my restless leg syndrome and charley horse cramps. I don't know why it works, but it seems to. I'm glad I spotted this conversation!

Joined: Aug 12
Posts: 899

Posted: 11 Oct 2012, 03:31
My mother swears by yellow mustard to relieve leg cramps. It could be due to the vinegar that is in it, since pickles seem to help others, but she read somewhere that it's the turmeric in mustard that helps. Personally, I'd rather eat a pickle than to down mustard lol. Just my 2 cents Smile
"This one step - choosing a goal and sticking to it - changes everything." - Scott Reed

Joined: Aug 12
Posts: 4

Posted: 12 Oct 2012, 02:18
Could it be a lack of sodium in your diet?

Joined: Feb 13
Posts: 183

Posted: 27 Apr 2013, 08:55
I also heard and it works for me,Avocado! The broth and or avocados seem to have helped my leg/foot cramps,and charlie's.

Joined: Aug 10
Posts: 93

Posted: 27 Apr 2013, 18:26
If it is potassium, have your bloodwork checked so they can guide you into the right dosage for a supplement. I have potassium issues and it is dangerous to play around with potassium supplements without medical advice....too much or too little is harmful.
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