8

votes

Are muscle cramps "proof" that VLC is not healthy long-term?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created August 27, 2011 at 4:44 AM

I have been contemplating the question for a few months now, whether VLC is healthy for the long-term. There are many arguments to support both sides, and I am still not certain as to the answer. However, Travis' recent question regarding junk food and obesity here made me wonder: Is my body's response to VLC "proof" that while it may be effective for weight loss, it is not healthy for the long-term? I am referring to the fact that while on VLC, I get muscle cramps in my legs and feet on a daily basis. This appears to be a common problem with VLC as seen here. For me, no amount of supplementation (magnesium, potassium, multi-vitamin, etc.) relieves the cramping. The ONLY thing that relieves the cramping is an increase in carbohydrates. So regardless of the mechanism that is causing the cramping, whether it be because of the diuretic effect of VLC, or any number of other speculative causes, is the mere fact that I am cramping proof that VLC is not a healthy state of being for the long-term? All answers and ideas appreciated.

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on June 02, 2012
at 08:58 PM

Maybe you were just dehydrated, and the same qty of tap water would have had the same effect.

B14dc4aa1ddefbec3bc09550428ee493

(3909)

on August 28, 2011
at 04:53 AM

As far as whether people can do it long term, I think some would point to the people way up north like the Inuits who obviously do. I think the difference may be, however, that they eat the entire animal. Bones are high in minerals and probably would protect you from cramps. I haven't managed to make bone broth a regular part of my life yet so I do what is quick and convenient rather than suffer from cramps. I don't VCL is necessarily bad or unnatural. But you have to eat the way people used to eat.

6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on August 28, 2011
at 03:39 AM

Shari, I've also added some heavy cream and cheese, they only add a few carbs though.

6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on August 28, 2011
at 03:37 AM

Mari, I cannot stomach seafood, so sorry I won't be able to report back on that. I am much more likely to just keep a few more carbs in my diet to avoid the cramps.

6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on August 28, 2011
at 03:33 AM

Thanks Shari, I have added approx 1/2 sweet potato, a few pieces of dark 88% chocolate, and the other day I had some pizza crust made from almond flour.

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on August 28, 2011
at 02:35 AM

+1 and should be +500! The last paragraph should be framed and hung @ the PH "door." Interesting that in all the years since going LC in 99, I have only had very transient leg cramps twice, both during or right after a period of very rapid weight loss. I con't to take the supplements that have always worked for me and played, imho a HUGE part in the healing of multiple medical conditions. So, nearly 13 years out now, and still LC, I have alot of "experimental" data and radical loss maintained. Yours is a wise voice. Thank you.

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on August 28, 2011
at 01:45 AM

Annie can you narrow it down to particular foods that are helping? It's probably something in the food besides the carbs that is helping. Or that's my thought anyway. I've been known to be wrong though, lol.

Cab7e4ef73c5d7d7a77e1c3d7f5773a1

(7304)

on August 27, 2011
at 11:32 PM

Will you consider adding seafood, then reporting back? It'd be an interesting n=1.

6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on August 27, 2011
at 11:22 PM

Thanks Josh, I don't eat any of these extra delicacies that others do. Could be that I am not getting enough nutrients, but why does adding carbs help?

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on August 27, 2011
at 11:03 PM

Yes. I have a co-worker who's gotten leg cramps for 20 years, and he's nowhere close to LC. And I've had friends doing standard low-cal dieting complain of the cramps, too. I suspect in some people it's related to weight loss in general, and not necessarily a nutrient deficiency. It's easy and natural to blame every issue on food, when the cause may lie elsewhere, either entirely, or originally, with nutrient issues complicating things.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on August 27, 2011
at 09:20 PM

Good points, Melissa. I'm pretty hard-core about ZC (not for an ideal, just because it works for me), and even I tolerate and consume some dulse and root teas like ginger and licorice.

A727956fa3f943057c4edb08ad9e864e

(4183)

on August 27, 2011
at 07:53 PM

How many carbs would you average in winter Melissa? I can't go below 60g any more really.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on August 27, 2011
at 07:51 PM

I would note that there is still TONS we don't know about nutrition, which is why I think it's wise to study the dietary patterns of people like the Inuit.

6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on August 27, 2011
at 07:50 PM

Don, I didn't quite understand your comment. I am seeing though that it could be my own adaptation of VLC, without seafood and other things, could be the issue.

6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on August 27, 2011
at 07:48 PM

Mari-yes, this is what I am suggesting, however, after reading a few of the other posts I can see that other low-carbers might be eating some things, such as seafood, that I am not eating. So it could be that my own version of VLC is lacking in some nutrients.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on August 27, 2011
at 07:48 PM

FED, I have a variety of sea vegetables. I sometimes buy imported stuff, sometimes hand-harvested stuff from the coast, and I also use kelp as a seasoning. I would estimate my main source of sea vegetables is toasted laver, which I love.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on August 27, 2011
at 07:47 PM

Yes, it's possible the sweet potato contains the minerals your diet does not provide. You could try some root tea and see if that has a similar effect. It's also possible VLC increases the need for certain nutrients, the same way higher carb can increase the need for certain other nutrients. It's also possible the fibers in the sweet potato are feeding gut bacteria which are making something your body needs. You could also try inulin, but that bothers some people.

6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on August 27, 2011
at 07:46 PM

After reading Melissa's post, I seem to be lacking in quite a few things that other low-carbers might be eating.

6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on August 27, 2011
at 07:46 PM

This seems to be the consensus, thank you.

6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on August 27, 2011
at 07:44 PM

Thanks Melissa, I am not a seafood or raw meat or organ meat person, and I have not had any bone broth, so this could be part of the problem. Clearly, my VLC is not providing enough of something. But what is it about adding carbs that takes care of the problem? Just a little sweet potato, about 1/2 per day. It could be that the potato has something I need besides carbs.

6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on August 27, 2011
at 07:42 PM

Shari-I agree, it is my own VLC that could be causing the leg cramps. I definitely do not eat any type of seafood. I find it interesting though that merely increasing carbs takes care of the problem.

Medium avatar

(19479)

on August 27, 2011
at 07:36 PM

That regiment sounds pretty awesome. In what form are you consuming sea-vegetables? Do you have access to fresh or are they reconstituted, powdered, etc.?

98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

(24286)

on August 27, 2011
at 05:48 PM

I don't see your issues as any sort of indictment of VLC in general as clearly VLC is very healthy long term for many people. I would say that your muscle cramps would indicate that YOUR current version of VLC is not providing all your body needs at this point in time. I think you can still stay VLC, if you want to, but with some tweaks. The addition of seafood seems like a good place to start. Since you are done with weight loss it's probably time for you to start increasing your carbs anyway so if the carbs get rid of the cramps why not just go with it.

Cab7e4ef73c5d7d7a77e1c3d7f5773a1

(7304)

on August 27, 2011
at 03:59 PM

So you have to supplement to get an essential nutrient, or else suffer the ill effects. That to me suggests VLC is not optimal. I had a question on who was able to get enough potassium on VLC, and no one was able to.

6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on August 27, 2011
at 03:24 PM

I have been VLC for several months.

6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on August 27, 2011
at 03:23 PM

Thanks for the info Primal. What I am wondering is whether the mere fact that my body is not happy on VLC, is a sign for me that I should discontinue once weight loss is achevied.

6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on August 27, 2011
at 03:21 PM

Thanks Turkey. I am using a multi-vitamin and Edurolytes. I am not sure how much as I do not have the bottle with me, however, my point is that regardless of the reason, is this a sign that VLC is not healthy for me long-term?

6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on August 27, 2011
at 03:19 PM

This is the way I am leaning CarbSane. I have added in a few carbs and feel better for now. I understand that I might be one of the "lucky" ones, as some of us are not able to add carbs after VLC.

6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on August 27, 2011
at 03:18 PM

Thank you Meredith, yes, all answers and experience are helpful.

6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on August 27, 2011
at 03:17 PM

Hmmm, I do not eat seafood of any kind. Interesting.

6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on August 27, 2011
at 03:17 PM

Thank you Rose. I agree that VLC can often be the lesser of two "evils" and I am very grateful to have lost weight while doing it, since it was the ONLY thing that worked for me.

1f24d4895246892ef4ee4d79b7f9eeeb

(373)

on August 27, 2011
at 02:35 PM

Your last paragraph is the most sensible analysis I've read. Well done.

345c1755efe005edd162b770dc6fb821

(8767)

on August 27, 2011
at 02:15 PM

interesting! I just started getting leg and foot cramps, I've also recently stopped tracking my food (at goal weight and holding now) and maybe this is why! I'll start tracking just to see if this is the culprit!

11838116de44ae449df0563f09bd3d73

(655)

on August 27, 2011
at 02:00 PM

People alive and healthy after many years of VLC are better proof than your leg cramps. I personally wouldn't go long-term VLC without a good reason to not increase carbs. But not because I believe VLC is inherently unhealthy.

11838116de44ae449df0563f09bd3d73

(655)

on August 27, 2011
at 01:53 PM

Since magnesium supplementation (pill or food) is necessary in all diets, by your logic there can no longer be an optimal diet.

11838116de44ae449df0563f09bd3d73

(655)

on August 27, 2011
at 01:47 PM

Magnesium is an unnatural deficiency due to the mineral being farmed out of the soil and not replaced. If the deficiency is more easily supplemented on higher carb that doesn't say anything about the adequacy of VLC.

B4e1fa6a8cf43d2b69d97a99dfca262c

(10255)

on August 27, 2011
at 01:44 PM

i doubt any of our ancestors counted carbs; their diet was a function of eating whatever was edible that day. i bet Grok never turned his nose up at a fruit tree full of ripe fruit because he was low carbing. many people suffer no ill effects eating VLC year on end, but it can't possibly be optimal for everyone. in the end i don't believe we will ever be able to make definitive sweeping statements about what is best for everyone.

E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on August 27, 2011
at 12:39 PM

This doesn't address Annie's point that her muscles cramps didn't precede VLC but were caused by VLC and weren't solved by more magnesium. I'm tempted to say that mine aren't solved by magnesium/potassium supplementation either: sometimes I get some relief from them, other times none; it's impossible to discern whether I'm simply not taking enough, even if I exceed the RDA.

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11 Answers

best answer

10
9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on August 27, 2011
at 07:25 PM

When I am low-carb in the winter, I base my diet off the diets of indigenous people of the far north, like the Inuit, Koyukon, and, Yakut. I always make sure to eat

  1. At least 10% raw meat/fish
  2. Shellfish twice a week
  3. Sea vegetables at least twice a week
  4. Bone broths at least 4 times a week
  5. Herbal teas made from various roots, you can buy some trad Inuit teas here
  6. Fermented foods at least five time a week, a wide variety
  7. Organ meats at least once a week

This keeps cramps away for me. Notably I hated most seafood and forced myself to eat it, but it was worth it and now I like it. But low-carb is seasonal for me. I do know many people who eat this way year-round in the long-term and have had lots of success. Many of them were muscle-meaters that consulted with me and changed their diet because of my advice.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on August 27, 2011
at 09:20 PM

Good points, Melissa. I'm pretty hard-core about ZC (not for an ideal, just because it works for me), and even I tolerate and consume some dulse and root teas like ginger and licorice.

A727956fa3f943057c4edb08ad9e864e

(4183)

on August 27, 2011
at 07:53 PM

How many carbs would you average in winter Melissa? I can't go below 60g any more really.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on August 27, 2011
at 07:47 PM

Yes, it's possible the sweet potato contains the minerals your diet does not provide. You could try some root tea and see if that has a similar effect. It's also possible VLC increases the need for certain nutrients, the same way higher carb can increase the need for certain other nutrients. It's also possible the fibers in the sweet potato are feeding gut bacteria which are making something your body needs. You could also try inulin, but that bothers some people.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on August 27, 2011
at 07:48 PM

FED, I have a variety of sea vegetables. I sometimes buy imported stuff, sometimes hand-harvested stuff from the coast, and I also use kelp as a seasoning. I would estimate my main source of sea vegetables is toasted laver, which I love.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on August 27, 2011
at 07:51 PM

I would note that there is still TONS we don't know about nutrition, which is why I think it's wise to study the dietary patterns of people like the Inuit.

Medium avatar

(19479)

on August 27, 2011
at 07:36 PM

That regiment sounds pretty awesome. In what form are you consuming sea-vegetables? Do you have access to fresh or are they reconstituted, powdered, etc.?

6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on August 27, 2011
at 07:44 PM

Thanks Melissa, I am not a seafood or raw meat or organ meat person, and I have not had any bone broth, so this could be part of the problem. Clearly, my VLC is not providing enough of something. But what is it about adding carbs that takes care of the problem? Just a little sweet potato, about 1/2 per day. It could be that the potato has something I need besides carbs.

9
3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on August 27, 2011
at 02:11 PM

Annie, this is an interesting question. I had muscle cramps on VLC/ZC, although drinking a liter of San Pellegrino nearly every day seems to resolve the issue (is it the magnesium? sodium? potassium? green glass bottle? I dunno.) Also it seemed to be worse when I was in periods of weight loss, and to ease up when my weight stabilized.

But even when I was getting the cramps regularly, the way I looked at it was this: Before going VLC/ZC, not only was I was obese, I was taking anti-depressants and anti-seizure meds, I was suffering from terrible joint pain that was interfering with even short walks, I had to use an inhaler on a daily basis -- in short, I was extremely unhealthy.

I figured then, and still do now, that whatever was causing the cramps couldn't be nearly as bad for me as asthma, depression, obesity, and autoimmunity. Of course I continued searching for a solution (like you, mag supps didn't do it for me; but why San Pellegrino seems to I have no idea, as it's got even less mg than the pills). For me, though, increasing carb intake resulted in the return of all the symptoms I listed above. So I chose the cramps as the lesser of a dozen evils.

I know that there's a group of folks who've discovered that their bodies can now "handle" carbs after a period of VLC; so far that hasn't been the case for me. If it is for you, and you can raise your carb intake without seeing a return of body fat and whatever other issues you may have had, then that's the way to go, clearly.

And if not, of course, like everyone else, I recommend you eat nose-to-tail, eat seafood, make bone broths, and generally eat as broadly as you can within your carb limit.

Finally, there are no guarantees of the long-term safety of any diet, whether it be some version of "Paleo," low-carb, high-carb, 30-bananas-a-day, or whatever. The only diet we have completely solid large-group data for is the modern western industrial diet. Those of us who don't like those results and are therefore trying something different are all voyagers, gamblers and experimenters, hanging our future hopes on what amount to best guesses, derived from the slender evidence of the past and the ambiguous experiments of the mad scientists and their chemistry sets. We might know in fifty years or so which among us chose the most wisely.

Cbb1134f8e93067d1271c97bb2e15ef6

on August 28, 2011
at 02:35 AM

+1 and should be +500! The last paragraph should be framed and hung @ the PH "door." Interesting that in all the years since going LC in 99, I have only had very transient leg cramps twice, both during or right after a period of very rapid weight loss. I con't to take the supplements that have always worked for me and played, imho a HUGE part in the healing of multiple medical conditions. So, nearly 13 years out now, and still LC, I have alot of "experimental" data and radical loss maintained. Yours is a wise voice. Thank you.

6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on August 27, 2011
at 03:17 PM

Thank you Rose. I agree that VLC can often be the lesser of two "evils" and I am very grateful to have lost weight while doing it, since it was the ONLY thing that worked for me.

1f24d4895246892ef4ee4d79b7f9eeeb

(373)

on August 27, 2011
at 02:35 PM

Your last paragraph is the most sensible analysis I've read. Well done.

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on June 02, 2012
at 08:58 PM

Maybe you were just dehydrated, and the same qty of tap water would have had the same effect.

7
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on August 27, 2011
at 03:45 PM

Exactly, seafood is the answer. Land animals are depleted. I started eating scallops and my cramps from the all-meat diet disappeared. No such luck when I tried salt or spinach. Scallops are king, Aquatic Ape diet FTW.

6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on August 27, 2011
at 07:46 PM

This seems to be the consensus, thank you.

7
1da74185531d6d4c7182fb9ee417f97f

on August 27, 2011
at 01:39 PM

I never get muscle cramps but my husband does if he doesnt supplement. The big difference in our diets? I eat seafood and seaweed and he doesnt

6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on August 27, 2011
at 03:17 PM

Hmmm, I do not eat seafood of any kind. Interesting.

6
24df4e0d0e7ce98963d4641fae1a60e5

on August 27, 2011
at 01:33 PM

My take on this is the following: If your modern version of Paleo or VLC or whatever is causing something to be deficient -- e.g. K, Mg, whatever -- it doesn't seem the optimal diet for the long term. An optimal diet should provide micronutrients w/o supplementation. If we're going to use paleo scenarios as "proof" for a diet, we have to consider all of them, no? I don't think paralyzing leg cramps (as I've personally suffered) would offer paleo humans a survival benefit!

B4e1fa6a8cf43d2b69d97a99dfca262c

(10255)

on August 27, 2011
at 01:44 PM

i doubt any of our ancestors counted carbs; their diet was a function of eating whatever was edible that day. i bet Grok never turned his nose up at a fruit tree full of ripe fruit because he was low carbing. many people suffer no ill effects eating VLC year on end, but it can't possibly be optimal for everyone. in the end i don't believe we will ever be able to make definitive sweeping statements about what is best for everyone.

11838116de44ae449df0563f09bd3d73

(655)

on August 27, 2011
at 01:53 PM

Since magnesium supplementation (pill or food) is necessary in all diets, by your logic there can no longer be an optimal diet.

6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on August 27, 2011
at 03:19 PM

This is the way I am leaning CarbSane. I have added in a few carbs and feel better for now. I understand that I might be one of the "lucky" ones, as some of us are not able to add carbs after VLC.

4
B14dc4aa1ddefbec3bc09550428ee493

on August 27, 2011
at 12:28 PM

How much potassium are you supplementing? The 99 mg capsules are not going to cut it. I usually supplement with something like Nu-Salt when the cramps strike. One quarter teaspoon has 795 mg potassium so I take one quarter teaspoon at a time until I get relief from the cramps. Being low on the other electrolytes can also cause cramps, but my experience has consistently been that it's potassium you need on a VLC diet. YMMV of course.

6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on August 27, 2011
at 03:21 PM

Thanks Turkey. I am using a multi-vitamin and Edurolytes. I am not sure how much as I do not have the bottle with me, however, my point is that regardless of the reason, is this a sign that VLC is not healthy for me long-term?

6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on August 27, 2011
at 07:48 PM

Mari-yes, this is what I am suggesting, however, after reading a few of the other posts I can see that other low-carbers might be eating some things, such as seafood, that I am not eating. So it could be that my own version of VLC is lacking in some nutrients.

Cab7e4ef73c5d7d7a77e1c3d7f5773a1

(7304)

on August 27, 2011
at 03:59 PM

So you have to supplement to get an essential nutrient, or else suffer the ill effects. That to me suggests VLC is not optimal. I had a question on who was able to get enough potassium on VLC, and no one was able to.

Cab7e4ef73c5d7d7a77e1c3d7f5773a1

(7304)

on August 27, 2011
at 11:32 PM

Will you consider adding seafood, then reporting back? It'd be an interesting n=1.

B14dc4aa1ddefbec3bc09550428ee493

(3909)

on August 28, 2011
at 04:53 AM

As far as whether people can do it long term, I think some would point to the people way up north like the Inuits who obviously do. I think the difference may be, however, that they eat the entire animal. Bones are high in minerals and probably would protect you from cramps. I haven't managed to make bone broth a regular part of my life yet so I do what is quick and convenient rather than suffer from cramps. I don't VCL is necessarily bad or unnatural. But you have to eat the way people used to eat.

6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on August 28, 2011
at 03:37 AM

Mari, I cannot stomach seafood, so sorry I won't be able to report back on that. I am much more likely to just keep a few more carbs in my diet to avoid the cramps.

4
0e4e5882872d6a7c472ea51aec457e66

(1994)

on August 27, 2011
at 05:41 AM

How long have you been stricktly VLC? It takes up to 4 weeks of eating lesser then 30 g of CHO per day to get accustomed to VLC.

In our german LCHF forum muscle cramps do occur to some beginners, but in everyone who is strict for some time they are transitional.

I had them in my 2. week for some days and then they went away... I'm on VLC for 18 month now and have less then 20 g of CHO most of the time.

Do you get enough fat ~ 70% of your calories? Do you eat nose to tail? Do you include bone broth?

6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on August 27, 2011
at 03:24 PM

I have been VLC for several months.

3
0dbd7154d909b97fe774d1655754f195

(16131)

on August 27, 2011
at 01:36 PM

This is interesting to me because in my vlc days I developed full body aches. In the morning my feet and back hurt so much that I would have trouble taking those first few steps. I was totally fat adapted - 70% of calories came from it and I was doing this for about three years. (I should add that I coupled vlc with hiit style exercise and heavy lifting which may not be ideal).

My version of vlc was prolly very low mineral as I don't love eating veggies and fruit was out because of the sugar. For a few months now I have dropped the fat and added fruits - fruit at every meal in fact. No I have not gained weight and yes those aches are gone.

I don't know if this is helpful but this is my recent n=1 experience.

6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on August 27, 2011
at 03:18 PM

Thank you Meredith, yes, all answers and experience are helpful.

2
66974b2cb291799dcd661b7dec99a9e2

(11121)

on August 27, 2011
at 10:42 PM

4 years LC-VLC here, never got muscle cramps. I used to get night cramps when I was SAD, esp in the calfs, I figured out it seemed to be triggered by stress for me anyway.

I eat a lot of beef and home made bone broth daily. I eat raw hamburger weekly. Daily intake of fermented foods, home made kombucha, home made sauerkraut, some yogurt, shellfish once in a while. No caffeine, rarely drink tea, drink mineral water once in a while.

I do supplement erratically, but it seems that most supplements are not readily bio available so we may actually only absorb 50% of a given dose, or they are sold on combinations that are antagonistic such as magnesium/calcium combo these two can interfere with each other in absorption.

6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on August 27, 2011
at 11:22 PM

Thanks Josh, I don't eat any of these extra delicacies that others do. Could be that I am not getting enough nutrients, but why does adding carbs help?

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on August 27, 2011
at 11:03 PM

Yes. I have a co-worker who's gotten leg cramps for 20 years, and he's nowhere close to LC. And I've had friends doing standard low-cal dieting complain of the cramps, too. I suspect in some people it's related to weight loss in general, and not necessarily a nutrient deficiency. It's easy and natural to blame every issue on food, when the cause may lie elsewhere, either entirely, or originally, with nutrient issues complicating things.

2
0e9ddbd345ed53954d2c3eb4edc954c9

on August 27, 2011
at 10:46 AM

The following quote is from 'The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living' by Phinney & Vole:

Low carbohydrate diets don???t cause muscle cramps per se (meat and leafy greens are good sources of magnesium), but neither do they miraculously get better on low carb regimens unless the underlying problem is dealt with. This is just one more reason why leafy greens and home-made broths (good sources of magnesium) are desirable components of a healthy low carb diet.

So here???s the shortcut to ending most nocturnal or post-exercise muscle cramps. Take 3 slow-release magnesium tablets daily for 20 days. The proprietary brand-name product is ???Slow-Mag?????, but there are a number of equally effective generics at a fraction of the brand-name price (e.g., Mag-64?? or Mag-Delay??). Most people???s cramps cease within 2 weeks of starting ???Slow-Mag?????, but you should continue to take the full 20-day course (60 tabs per bottle at 3 per day lasts 20 days). If the cramps return, do it again, and then continue taking one tab per day. If the cramps return, take 2 tabs per day. Most people can be titrated to remain crampfree by this method. Why use a more expensive slow-release magnesium preparation like Slow-Mag??? Because magnesium oxide preparations like ???milk of magnesia??? cause diarrhea, passing through the small bowel before they can be effectively absorbed. WARNING: The only contraindication to oral magnesium supplements is severe renal failure (e.g., a GFR < 30). If you have any history of kidney problems or known loss of kidney function check with your doctor before taking Slow-Mag?? or its generic equivalents.

6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on August 27, 2011
at 03:23 PM

Thanks for the info Primal. What I am wondering is whether the mere fact that my body is not happy on VLC, is a sign for me that I should discontinue once weight loss is achevied.

11838116de44ae449df0563f09bd3d73

(655)

on August 27, 2011
at 01:47 PM

Magnesium is an unnatural deficiency due to the mineral being farmed out of the soil and not replaced. If the deficiency is more easily supplemented on higher carb that doesn't say anything about the adequacy of VLC.

E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on August 27, 2011
at 12:39 PM

This doesn't address Annie's point that her muscles cramps didn't precede VLC but were caused by VLC and weren't solved by more magnesium. I'm tempted to say that mine aren't solved by magnesium/potassium supplementation either: sometimes I get some relief from them, other times none; it's impossible to discern whether I'm simply not taking enough, even if I exceed the RDA.

6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on August 27, 2011
at 07:50 PM

Don, I didn't quite understand your comment. I am seeing though that it could be my own adaptation of VLC, without seafood and other things, could be the issue.

0
F1b82cc7e6d90384ad30007dd6c1b9e3

(1187)

on October 13, 2011
at 11:46 AM

Mg needs fat to be bio-available. Try a higher priced product if you are shopping generic. Too much magnesium causes diarrhea, so just cut back a bit when you begin to have runny stool. That will be the appropriate level for your body's needs. Also, being at normal weight, you can still have a heavy metal toxicity, a natural detox can help. And, misalignments in the pelvis, knees, feet can contribute also. Try chiropractic.

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