0

votes

Is 5g sodium and 4.5g potassium enough?? (hacking muscle cramps) . . .

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created June 01, 2012 at 8:28 PM

I've been having a problem with muscle cramps.

Yesterday, I switched to Morton's Half-Salt: (half sodium, half potassium).

My slight muscle cramps (calves & foot) in the morning escalated abruptly into terrible back spasm & neck muscles knotting (by 2pm).

At first, I thought maybe it was a reaction to the potassium salt, but upon further consideration, I think it was maybe insufficient sodium. By lunch that day, according to cronometer.com, I had potassium 2g (43%) and sodium 1.5g (95% ).

So today, I had V8, sweet potato, and went to McDonalds for a double cheese burger (no bread), and large salted fries. I was able to get my sodium up to 5g (340%) and potassium to 4.5g (97%)

Questions:

  1. is this a good ratio between potassium and sodium?

  2. how many days should I try and sustain this level of sodium & potassium before I conclude that's not the problem?

  3. is it possible that the knotted muscles in the back/neck are left-over and may take some time to resolve, even after the root problem is addressed?

Thanks, Mike

PS: I should mention that I also take a liquid calcium citrate & magnesium citrate supplement (and had been when the cramps suddenly and abruptly worse).

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on June 03, 2012
at 02:23 AM

indeed, trouble-shooting this has been really frustrating.

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on June 03, 2012
at 02:21 AM

Well today, I managed to get 7.5g potassium, and 4.5g sodium before I went out for dinner. However, it cost me 262g of carbs, and my ratio was 62% carbs, 22% fat and 16% protein. I need to focus more on veggie sources of potassium than the banana & oj smoothies. I actually was feeling pretty good, and hit the sauna, which I realized was counter-productive. However, I recovered much faster than usual after it, and think the increased potassium might be relevant.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on June 02, 2012
at 01:22 PM

Also, make sure you are hydrated!

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on June 02, 2012
at 01:21 PM

If you eat a reasonable amount of dairy, sounds like you may need to drop the calcium supplementation & keep the magnesium.

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on June 01, 2012
at 09:03 PM

Good point. I take a calcium citrate / magnesium citrate supplement as well. I'll edit my post.

Frontpage book

Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!

4 Answers

1
366c23d69eadce094a2b22299c58a424

(2988)

on June 02, 2012
at 12:43 PM

Muscle cramps are really hard to figure out. For many people, it's a lack of potassium and/or magnesium, but both made my cramps worse. Eventually I figured out it was too little calcium -- I had removed too many dairy sources from my diet while keeping my magnesium reasonably high. Solved by adding an ounce or two of cheese every day.

So, if nothing else works, you might want to eventually try taking in extra calcium w/o extra magnesium.

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on June 03, 2012
at 02:23 AM

indeed, trouble-shooting this has been really frustrating.

1
E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on June 02, 2012
at 10:04 AM

I was under the impression that HGs would typically have had many many times more potassium than sodium: about 15:1. (Yes, it's wikipedia, but that claim is itself referenced to http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2981409).

It certainly seems likely that they would often have had very little sodium- the fact that we crave and have historically craved sodium seems to me only to reinforce its traditional scarcity, not that we regularly had plentiful amounts of it- so I don't think you're likely to be suffering from sodium deficiency outside of particular situations like long term VLC or lots of sweating. 5g sodium, in particular, seems like a pretty high amount (as you show, several times the RDA).

Fwiw I often have muscle cramps but typically when I've not slept, had lots of caffeine or cocoa (of course these conditions often occur together). Taking loads of magnesium (which I always do) doesn't seem to have much effect. I have a suspicion that dehydration has a lot to do with it and my worst muscle cramps have always been when I've been dehydrated.

1
Cf416725f639ffd1bb90764792ce7b8a

(2799)

on June 01, 2012
at 09:01 PM

You need magnesium as well.

7fc82eebafd44badc73c520f44660150

(3275)

on June 01, 2012
at 09:03 PM

Good point. I take a calcium citrate / magnesium citrate supplement as well. I'll edit my post.

0
C3bc92e6b5eba45dc55f43ac3c70cc25

on June 02, 2012
at 02:50 AM

I 2nd magnesium supplements. Keep in mind however that There are other causes of muscle cramps beside electrolyte imbalance. Over use, imbalance of the antagonist joint/muscle, low glycogen etc ...

Answer Question


Get FREE instant access to our
Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!