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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Troutdale, OR
    Posts
    2,608

    muscle cramps but I think I'm getting enough potassium.

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    I been having really painful muscle cramps in my ham string, in my hand, in my foot and elsewhere. I think I'm getting enough salt and I try to eat banana, avocados and such for the potassium but its not helping with my muscle cramps. My massuse and chiro thought may be I'm not getting other minerals like calcium and magnesium, but I do eat dark greens LOT of it.

    Maybe its just not enough. They suggested that I take some mineral supplement "pills". Any suggestions to which one?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    6,476
    Is this all on just one side of your body? (You said 'hand' not 'hands,' etc.).

    Is it after exercise or any other time in particular?

    When you exercise, do you get adequate protein quickly afterwards?
    Last edited by Muirenn; 02-25-2015 at 09:54 AM.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,645
    When I get nighttime cramps it's almost always because I'm low on magnesium in relation to calcium. Cramps during exertion are more likely to be overuse (muscle imbalance) related, both IME and from what I've read. (Eyelid tics, I'll get sometimes from low magnesium and sometimes from stress/sleep deprivation.)

    I've always been a heavy sweater, but since I took up running, I just can't keep calcium, magnesium or sodium in my body without supplementing. I eat plenty of vegetables too, and I've had to increase my red meat quite a bit to get enough iron and zinc (from not eating any at all when I first started marathoning, to once or twice a week now), but when it comes to sodium and magnesium, pills and electrolyte tablets have been my friend.

    If you're taking a calcium supplement single now, the first thing I'd do is to add magnesium in an equal amount.

    I'm partial to Solaray brand, I take their calcium/magnesium 1:1 (can't find the product on their own site but it's easily available). Generally, capsules are going to be much more digestible than tablets, and citrates and chelates will be more bioavailable than oxides and salts - but you knew that.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Troutdale, OR
    Posts
    2,608
    Thank you. I'll check out the solaray. I think there is a vitamin shop near my place.

    It's just so frustrating to know that my muscle starts to spasm and to know that I'm going to be in lot of pain when it cramps up really hard. Ham string cramping is scary!! and really painful!!

    And it can happen on either hand, foot, leg, Sometimes its in the palm of my hand, middle and/or forefinger...

    I'll keep trying with mineral supplements till I find something that works. And yes I sweat profusely enough that I used to marvel at salt built up on my chinstrap.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,645
    I've been reading a lot lately that says that once a cramp starts, you can stop it by taking something very sour, like vinegar or pickle juice. They're not sure how it works, but the thinking is that the strong flavor somehow short-circuits the nerve signals causing the cramp.

    I haven't had a chance to try it yet (and I'm happy if I never have to!) but I swiped a couple of packets of mustard from the condiment counter at the movies a few weeks ago , that I've been carrying on my tougher runs, and I plan to bring some to my next marathon. Last time I tried carrying crystalline citric acid, but my packet sweated through before I had a chance to use it.

    Good luck - hope you find something that works.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    West MI
    Posts
    4,308
    Pickle juice is miraculous!!
    Kirsten
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