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leg cramps

Any ideas how to help with leg cramps. I woke up alot last night because of them. I walk on the treadmill or ellipical daily and do weights M-W-F.

Wed. Aug 22, 8:14am

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cramps like you describe are usually caused by a need for potassium. below is a link to a list of potassium rich food sources. it's very important for proper body function to get enough potassium. i've had to have it given to me intraveneously and it burns like the dickens when it enters your veins. do not let it get that far!!! (my potassium levels dropped after a bout with severe diarhea and vomiting. if you have lost a lot of bodily fluids, you run the risk, too.)


Wednesday, August 22, 2007, 8:33 AM

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link to a great site about the topic of leg cramps and low electrolytes and the relationship between them.


Wednesday, August 22, 2007, 8:36 AM

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I have a birth defect in my knees that causes severe leg cramps - I eat a banana or two a day and it seems to help!

Oh, I've also discovered that if I work out, it seems to ease the leg cramps then if I don't work out. Have no idea why - just seems that way to me.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007, 8:49 AM

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I used to get those awful leg cramps at night and I'd have to leap out of bed from a sound sleep because standing up was the only thing that immediately eased the awful pain. I later developed plantar fasciitis and as part of my therapy I have to stretch my calf muscles a lot every day. Now I never get those leg cramps. So for me it was just a muscle issue and stretching has solved it. Good luck.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007, 12:01 PM

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Thank you all for your comments!! I will check those links out for sure!!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007, 9:57 PM

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Another idea - make SURE you cool down after what you do. Even if it's walking at a slow pace for 5 minutes, and then just do a few, cursery stretches (touch your toes, pull on your shoulders).

I used to run track, and noticed that the days that I hurtled after I ran, I didn't get charlie horses. The days I didn't have hurting practice...oh man. Ends up that hurtling was getting rid of all the lactic acid (acid that builds up in muscles during excersise and 'oxygen debt' in your body) in my calves, and thus getting rid of the cramps.

Hope they go away! :]

Wednesday, August 22, 2007, 10:03 PM

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you might also need a little extra magnesium- a lot of people don't get all they need from their diets.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007, 10:27 PM

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leg cramps

I have had terrible leg cramps too. I do all of the above: stretching, working out, eating pottassium based foods, but one of the biggies for me has been to drink water. If I drink my 8 glasses of water I just don't get the leg cramps like I used to. Ouch, they sure used to hurt and they used to happen primarily at night and wake me up out of a dead sleep. Good luck. roxie

Wednesday, August 22, 2007, 10:32 PM

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Coconut water is a great source of magnesium, potassium and calcium.

"Low levels of certain minerals known as electrolytes?magnesium, potassium, calcium and sodium?have long been linked to leg cramps. (Marathon runners sweating out the miles are particularly prone to this variety.) Certain drugs, such as diuretics have also been cited as a cause of leg cramps. Dialysis patients often complain of leg cramps, and pregnancy is also a factor.

To prevent cramping consider the regular use of supplements, especially calcium, magnesium, potassium and sodium (only if your sodium intake is low or if you sweat a lot). Stretching your calves regularly during the day and at night will help. You can often prevent night cramps by exhausting the stretch reflex before you go to bed by stretching your calf muscles with wall pushups and applying a heating pad for 10 minutes before going to bed. Keeping blankets loose at the foot of the bed will help prevent unnatural positioning of your feet and toes which can cause night time cramping."

This advice is part of something you should check out for leg cramps along with a visit to the doctors. I eat a banana before working out for potassium.

This is from the NIH on Magnesium:

What foods provide magnesium?
Green vegetables such as spinach are good sources of magnesium because the center of the chlorophyll molecule (which gives green vegetables their color) contains magnesium. Some legumes (beans and peas), nuts and seeds, and whole, unrefined grains are also good sources of magnesium [5]. Refined grains are generally low in magnesium [4-5]. When white flour is refined and processed, the magnesium-rich germ and bran are removed. Bread made from whole grain wheat flour provides more magnesium than bread made from white refined flour. Tap water can be a source of magnesium, but the amount varies according to the water supply. Water that naturally contains more minerals is described as "hard". "Hard" water contains more magnesium than "soft" water.

Eating a wide variety of legumes, nuts, whole grains, and vegetables will help you meet your daily dietary need for magnesium. Selected food sources of magnesium are listed in Table 1.

Table 1: Selected food sources of magnesium [5]
FOOD Milligrams (mg) %DV*
Halibut, cooked, 3 ounces 90 20
Almonds, dry roasted, 1 ounce 80 20
Cashews, dry roasted, 1 ounce 75 20
Soybeans, mature, cooked, ½ cup 75 20
Spinach, frozen, cooked, ½ cup 75 20
Nuts, mixed, dry roasted, 1 ounce 65 15
Cereal, shredded wheat, 2 rectangular biscuits 55 15
Oatmeal, instant, fortified, prepared w/ water, 1 cup 55 15
Potato, baked w/ skin, 1 medium 50 15
Peanuts, dry roasted, 1 ounce 50 15
Peanut butter, smooth, 2 Tablespoons 50 15
Wheat Bran, crude, 2 Tablespoons 45 10
Blackeyed Peas, cooked, ½ cup 45 10
Yogurt, plain, skim milk, 8 fluid ounces 45 10
Bran Flakes, ¾ cup 40 10
Vegetarian Baked Beans, ½ cup 40 10
Rice, brown, long-grained, cooked, ½ cup 40 10
Lentils, mature seeds, cooked, ½ cup 35 8
Avocado, California, ½ cup pureed 35 8
Kidney Beans, canned, ½ cup 35 8
Pinto Beans, cooked, ½ cup 35 8
Wheat Germ, crude, 2 Tablespoons 35 8
Chocolate milk, 1 cup 33 8
Banana, raw, 1 medium 30 8
Milk Chocolate candy bar, 1.5 ounce bar 28 8
Milk, reduced fat (2%) or fat free, 1 cup 27 8
Bread, whole wheat, commercially prepared, 1 slice 25 6
Raisins, seedless, ¼ cup packed 25 6
Whole Milk, 1 cup 24 6
Chocolate Pudding, 4 ounce ready-to-eat portion 24 6"

Wednesday, August 22, 2007, 10:51 PM

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wow thank you 10:51 I am going to work on adding more of those things as well as salt. I had totally taken salt out of my diet, I think I will put a little back :)

Thursday, August 23, 2007, 8:24 AM

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