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  #1   ^
Old Fri, Jan-25-19, 16:38
Gypsybyrd's Avatar
Gypsybyrd Gypsybyrd is offline
I'm good enough!
Posts: 6,183
 
Plan: Atkins '72 It works best!
Stats: 281/257/180 Female 5'3"
BF:mini goal 250
Progress: 24%
Location: St. Pete, Florida
Default Why does eating salt nearly immediately relieve leg cramps?

I get serious leg cramps. I've found that eating salt relieves them almost immediately. Why? It's not like the salt is absorbed that quickly by the body. Or is it?
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  #2   ^
Old Fri, Jan-25-19, 21:12
deirdra's Avatar
deirdra deirdra is online now
Senior Member
Posts: 4,078
 
Plan: HF/vLC/GF,CF,SF
Stats: 197/136/150 Female 66 inches
BF:
Progress: 130%
Location: Alberta
Default

Salt gets absorbed by the intestines and if you are having just salt with a water chaser it will go straight through the stomach and be absorbed faster than if you add it to food.
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  #3   ^
Old Fri, Jan-25-19, 21:49
Gypsybyrd's Avatar
Gypsybyrd Gypsybyrd is offline
I'm good enough!
Posts: 6,183
 
Plan: Atkins '72 It works best!
Stats: 281/257/180 Female 5'3"
BF:mini goal 250
Progress: 24%
Location: St. Pete, Florida
Default

Thanks. No water chaser. Just salt. :-)
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  #4   ^
Old Fri, Jan-25-19, 22:41
Meme#1's Avatar
Meme#1 Meme#1 is online now
Posts: 12,220
 
Plan: Atkins DANDR
Stats: 210/188/160 Female 5'4"
BF:
Progress: 44%
Location: Texas
Default

Pickle juice will work too!
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  #5   ^
Old Fri, Jan-25-19, 23:28
Paul in KS's Avatar
Paul in KS Paul in KS is offline
Registered Member
Posts: 91
 
Plan: Keto
Stats: 250/215/180 Male 68
BF:
Progress: 50%
Location: Coffeyville
Default

Pickle juice. I rent furnished houses by the week to refinery contractors. Whenever they move out (2-10 weeks) there are always bottles of pickles sitting around all over the house and fridge, mostly empty. Sometimes it's pickles jalapenos.

These guys drink the juice religiously. Welders, pipefitters, boilermakers...scary looking guys with neck tats.
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  #6   ^
Old Fri, Jan-25-19, 23:34
LCer4Life's Avatar
LCer4Life LCer4Life is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 667
 
Plan: Atkins
Stats: 155/128/125 Female 63
BF:33.2/28.7%/24%
Progress: 90%
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by deirdra
Salt gets absorbed by the intestines and if you are having just salt with a water chaser it will go straight through the stomach and be absorbed faster than if you add it to food.


How much salt? Then just drink a glass of water??
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  #7   ^
Old Fri, Jan-25-19, 23:34
nawchem's Avatar
nawchem nawchem is offline
Registered Member
Posts: 8,701
 
Plan: No gluten, CAD
Stats: 196.0/158.5/149.0 Female 62
BF:36/29.0/27.3
Progress: 80%
Default

Maybe the sodium-potassium pump, more sodium facilitates more potassium getting into the cell.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M6_NCdV7YO8
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  #8   ^
Old Sat, Jan-26-19, 11:25
deirdra's Avatar
deirdra deirdra is online now
Senior Member
Posts: 4,078
 
Plan: HF/vLC/GF,CF,SF
Stats: 197/136/150 Female 66 inches
BF:
Progress: 130%
Location: Alberta
Default

1/8th to 1/4th of a tsp of table salt (or 50:50 sodium/potassium salt is my preference) in the palm of my hand works for me, which I follow with 4-8 oz of water. You can take more later if you need it. It also works with plantar fasciitis (cramps in foot arches), which I sometimes get in the middle of the night, typically after a day where I hiked a lot or let myself get dehydrated. The body seems to be screaming for both salt and water, and magnesium, which I take in pill form before bed.

Last edited by deirdra : Sat, Jan-26-19 at 11:32.
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  #9   ^
Old Sat, Jan-26-19, 11:46
Ms Arielle's Avatar
Ms Arielle Ms Arielle is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 13,619
 
Plan: atkins
Stats: 255/214/153 Female 5'8"
BF:
Progress: 40%
Location: Massachusetts
Default

Prevention is my motto, now that I know salt is the cause.

I do keep a bottle of lite salt near my bed at night as the early morning seems to be when the legs cramps strike. ANd oddly, the cramps have actually become worse over the years. That is WHEN the cramps strike, it isnt just in a foot or a calf like it used to be, it is along the inner thigh too. ANd instead of just the left leg, it is the left AND the right, though the right is less so than the left.

I am no longer afraid to EAT MY SALT. All meals are well salted now!!

1/4 tsp of lite salt at a time; potassium causes effects to the heart rhythm and eyes sight if too much is consumed at once, like 1/2-3/4 tsp of lite salt.
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  #10   ^
Old Sat, Jan-26-19, 13:54
Kristine's Avatar
Kristine Kristine is offline
Forum Moderator
Posts: 21,038
 
Plan: Primal
Stats: 171/155/155 Female 5'7"
BF:
Progress: 100%
Location: Southern Ontario, Canada
Default

I've always wondered this, too. It's almost always relieved within minutes of me taking the salt water. My concoction is salt + NoSalt in a shot glass of hot tap water, then a swig of pickle juice and/or apple cider vinegar... then a chaser of cold water, 'cause all that other stuff is gross. The pickle juice and vinegar may be folk remedies, but when your toes are curling themselves into shapes they shouldn't be able to at 2:00 am and you just want to get back to sleep, you'll try anything.

I think Nawchem is correct; especially when you're talking about middle-of-the-night cramps and your stomach is already empty. Anything you ingest will be absorbed pretty quickly. Imagine (or remember) consuming alcohol on an empty stomach. It might only take minutes to hit you.

I've thought of keeping some salt at the bedside, but I think getting up and walking off those cramps helps, too. Maybe because you're stimulating your circulation? My other rare last-ditch effort when the aforementioned doesn't work is to stand in the bath tub and run piping-hot water on my feet.

As for prevention, I try to be liberal with the salt and NoSalt, even though I'm not a big fan of salty foods. I also take calcium/magnesium with dinner. I was just taking magnesium, but I had a long spell during which I was still having night cramps, and it wasn't until I ran out of the Mg and started taking the Ca/Mg which I had bought by mistake that they went away. Calcium is an important electrolyte, too.

Just to add to Gypsybird's question, I also wonder why whichever muscles cramp. Why not all of them? Why only one or two, and why not the same ones all the time? I swear, I've never had the exact same combination of weird foot muscle cramps.

Last edited by Kristine : Sat, Jan-26-19 at 14:00.
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  #11   ^
Old Wed, Dec-18-19, 09:53
Benay's Avatar
Benay Benay is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 615
 
Plan: Atkins
Stats: 200/180/175 Female 5 feet 6 inches
BF:
Progress: 80%
Location: Prescott, Arizona, USA
Default

If I eat too many carbs, I immediately get hand cramps\
a couple of 99 mg Potassium stops it quickly.
Sometimes add Magnesium
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  #12   ^
Old Wed, Dec-18-19, 12:03
Ms Arielle's Avatar
Ms Arielle Ms Arielle is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 13,619
 
Plan: atkins
Stats: 255/214/153 Female 5'8"
BF:
Progress: 40%
Location: Massachusetts
Default

lol, ya, that happens to me too.
Major swings based on huge shifts in carb consumption. Either decrease or INCREASE.
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  #13   ^
Old Thu, Feb-20-20, 16:53
Nrracing Nrracing is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 695
 
Plan: Custom 22/2 Clean Fast
Stats: 290/266/210 Male 72.5
BF:
Progress: 30%
Location: Missouri
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul in KS
Pickle juice. I rent furnished houses by the week to refinery contractors. Whenever they move out (2-10 weeks) there are always bottles of pickles sitting around all over the house and fridge, mostly empty. Sometimes it's pickles jalapenos.

These guys drink the juice religiously. Welders, pipefitters, boilermakers...scary looking guys with neck tats.


I want to know more, cause I drink pickle juice twice a week now. even when I fast, I have like 6oz of pickle juice.
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  #14   ^
Old Fri, Feb-21-20, 10:09
WereBear's Avatar
WereBear WereBear is offline
Posts: 12,761
 
Plan: Epi-Paleo/IF
Stats: 220/123/150 Female 67
BF:
Progress: 139%
Location: USA
Default

I eat a lot of pickles and a lot of meat; and there's plenty for all my electrolytes, seemingly
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  #15   ^
Old Fri, Feb-21-20, 11:38
GRB5111's Avatar
GRB5111 GRB5111 is offline
Posts: 3,398
 
Plan: Ketogenic (LCHFKD)
Stats: 227/186/185 Male 6' 0"
BF:
Progress: 98%
Location: Herndon, VA
Default

Pickles are one of my favorite foods, and the juice never goes to waste. I, too, eat a combination of sodium chloride and potassium chloride (Nu-Salt) followed by a large glass of water before workouts, and it helps. In the warmer weather, I make an electrolyte drink by adding Calm magnesium (original flavor), sodium chloride, potassium chloride to water, mix and drink. Really a great way to maintain hydration, prevent muscle cramps, and avoid the marketed crap drinks with lots of sugars like Gatorade.
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