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%)
is this a good ratio between potassium and sodium?
how many days should I try and sustain this level of sodium & potassium before I conclude that's not the problem?
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?
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).
asked byCaveMan_Mike (3275)
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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.
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.