Healthy Living

Keto Diet Could Lead To Leg Cramps: Here’s How To Prevent It

Following the keto diet and found yourself suddenly experiencing a sudden, severe leg pain? You’re not alone. In fact, it can be quite common.

This is because while the diet itself is lauded by some for its supposed health benefits and weight loss aid (with some even saying it can help treat medical conditions), it also has a number of side effects – one of which is leg cramps.

Leg Cramps As A Side Effect

Often inconvenient if not outright painful, cramps are involuntary, localized muscle contractions that typically affect the calf muscle, although it can be felt in other parts of your leg as well, sometimes even hands or arms. And while most leg cramps are over after a few minutes, these painful contractions can lasts seconds to minutes and usually happen at nighttime.

On their own, the cause behind them isn’t quite clear, although there may be factors that make them more likely, such as insufficient blood flow, medical treatments, pregnancy, use of certain drugs and, of course, following the keto diet.

Electrolyte Loss

Per experts, one potential culprit behind these painful leg cramps is the loss of electrolytes, or an electrolyte imbalance.

Essential for some of our body’s critical functions (such as cell communication), electrolytes include calcium, potassium, magnesium, sodium, chloride and bicarbonates. Depleting your levels of these minerals would result in your nerve cells becoming more sensitive, which can then lead to pressure on nerve endings that in turn leads to, you guessed it, muscle spasms.

And one reason behind electrolyte imbalance is your body adapting to the keto diet since you may lose it due to urination in response to decreased levels of insulin and blood sugar.

So how do you prevent it? Here are some pointers:

  1. Consider an electrolyte supplement.
  2. Eat magnesium-rich foods.
  3. Eat potassium-rich foods.
  4. Consume enough salt.
  5. Drink plenty of water.
  6. Have exercise.
  7. Cut back or completely avoid alcohol.
  8. Always make sure you’re hydrated by drinking lots of water.

Remember that the best way to avoid it is by eating nutritious food, along with exercise.

Breathe, Stretch, Shake: What Causes Muscle Cramps And How To Stop Them Premature fatigue explains why muscle spasms are cramping your style. Youtube

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