You may find when you start a ketogenic way of eating that you get muscle cramps. These will typically be in your legs although not always, for example, mine always occur in my feet. As we all know, cramps can be very painful but the good news is you don’t have to suffer in silence. Everyone has likely had a cramp at least once in their lifetime and the first thing you do is try to stretch and massage the muscle and you should absolutely do that if you get them while doing keto. You may find applying a heating pad can sometimes offer relief as well. The goal is to avoid these or prevent them from happening in the first place though and lucky for all of us there are supplements you can take that will help you.
The main reason people get cramps on the ketogenic diet is due to the loss of electrolytes which include magnesium, potassium and sodium. Taking supplements can help keep these levels up and assist in avoiding various other side affects you might experience.
One of the most common ones to resolve cramping is magnesium. This can be hard on the digestive system so make sure you get a good quality one, typically without oxide (a cheap filler companies often use), if you have a sensitive digestive system. Magnesium glycinate is a good form to use as it’s easily absorbed by the body. Magnesium citrate is another popular form among keto dieters. If you have constipation as well this may be a good choice but if not then glycinate is probably the better option for you.
Many individuals also swear by potassium supplements to remedy cramps. You can buy pills or you can use something like No Salt, Nu Salt or Crème of Tartar and add them to food or make an electrolyte drink using them.
As for sodium, make sure you’re salting your food or adding it to your electrolyte drink. I recently learned that adding a small amount to your coffee tastes pretty good too….just not too much; I learned that the hard way.
In addition to electrolytes let’s not forget about a basic thing….water. Not getting enough can cause cramping when you’re not on a ketogenic diet and keto is no different. Make sure you are drinking plenty of water if you are experiencing issues.
Have you experienced cramping? Do you do something different that helps you? Let us know in the comments below.