Keto Leg Cramps: 3 Easy Cures for Troublesome Muscles

​Keto Leg Cramps
How to Prevent Your Muscles From Spazzing

Leg cramps on keto diet

Are you suffering from leg cramps on keto? Don’t worry, just about everyone on a low-carb diet gets them during the “adoption phase.” Here’s how to cure them…..

We wouldn’t wish leg cramps on our worst enemies. Waking up in the middle of the night with a nasty Charlie horse is painful, and getting back to sleep after is almost impossible. It makes a lot of newcomers want to quit—DON’T.

Cramps and spasms are the results of dehydration and low electrolytes, which are common in the early stages of a low-carb diet. Thankfully, curing keto leg cramps a few minor adjustments to your routine.

If that doesn’t work, there are plenty of supplements that will get rid of them in no time (we cover our favorite at the end). Read on to learn:

  • ​Why you’re getting cramps/spasms
  • ​Why it’s totally normal and only temporary
  • ​Natural ways to prevent them
  • ​Which supplements you to need to stop them

​What's Causing Leg Cramps While on Keto?

muscle pains on lower limbs

Muscle cramps while on keto come down to two causes: dehydration and low electrolytes. 

In the early stages of the process (the “adoption phase”), your body has to learn how to metabolize fats instead of carbs.

This usually leads to dehydration (which is why learning to diet the right way is so important).

 Here’s why and what you need to know about it:

  • Ketones and fat metabolism: Your body prefers to convert carbs into glucose for energy. The standard diet is so high in carbs (shivers) that your body is primarily set in its stubborn, carb-converting ways. When you go keto, it is shocked into converting fat to glucose instead. Ketone bodies are a byproduct of burning fat for energy.
  • Glycogen and water storage: In the adoption phase, your body will desperately search for glycogen to convert it into glucose. And glycogen is stored with water. Did you ever wonder why keto is so good for weight loss? It’s because you are burning fat AND losing water weight. But with all of that water being flushed out (frequent trips to the bathroom!), you can become dehydrated if you aren’t diligent.
  • Lack of potassium, sodium, magnesium and calcium: Aside from water, low electrolytes are the other primary cause of leg cramps on the low-carb lifestyle. When you switch to the low-carb lifestyle, you often eliminate the best sources of these three minerals. This, in turn, can throw off your electrolyte balance.

​​​The causes are pretty straightforward, right? Lack of water and lack of potassium, sodium, and calcium. So, the cure(s) must be pretty straightforward too.

How to Treat Keto Leg Cramps:

Let’s divide the cures into two separate categories: natural and supplementation.

  • Drink More Water: This is the most obvious (and most effective!) cure for the keto diet and leg cramps issue. Drink as much water as you can per day within reason. Recommendations vary from eight 8-ounce glasses per day to over 100 oz. As a rule of thumb, try to drink about half your body weight in ounces per day. Drink a lot of water. Pro tip: Lemon and lime ice water tastes delicious AND is processed faster.
drinking water with a bottle of salt
  • ​More Salt: Increasing your sodium intake is another way to prevent cramps. Try sprinkling more natural salt on meat. It’s a great way to up your intake in a healthy way. Pro tip: The best way in our opinion is adding a cup of broth to your breakfast. Fast. Healthy. Packed with good sodium.
  • Increase Carbs SLIGHTLY: The whole point of a low-carb diet is to eliminate these nasty nutrients. But if you are suffering severe cramps, a little bit extra might help. This, of course, will decrease the effectiveness of the process, though. Only whole grain carbs! Remember, this is the LAST RESORT.

​Should You Do Some ​​​Supplementation?

Aside from your ​food, there are plenty of supplements that can help get rid of those cramps for good.

There are even certain ones made especially for keto that provide energy, promote good health, get you back in ketosis, and fight the underlying causes of spasms and cramps (we’ll cover our favorite at the end). Make sure to take adequate amounts of:

  • ​Magnesium: 300-400 mg per day.
  • ​Calcium: ~ 1,000 mg per day.
  • ​Potassium: ~ 3,000 mg per day.
  • ​Sodium: 3,000 - 5,000 mg per day.
a bunch of supplements on the table

Not all of your intake should come from supplements, though. Be sure to follow instructions carefully or consult a physician. Supplements are a great way to fight back against unwanted side effects (others here) during the adoption phase, but keeping track of intake, purchasing all of the supplements, AND watching your diet (which should include a lot of healthy veggies and meat) is time-consuming and expensive. That’s why we recommend you get it all in one place, so you don’t have to worry about it.

​What's ​the Best Brand Then?

We did a lot of research around the web, read reviews, and visited expert diet sites. In our research, the best supplement for keto diet leg cramps we ​discovered was KetoVitals. So, we bought the product and tried it for ourselves. 

The best thing we found about it was that it is specifically designed to combat the symptoms you face during the adoption phase: cramps, fatigue, etc. It promotes better mood, delivers better energy, and helps you fight back against the deficiencies that are causing your cramps. Unlike getting extra nutrients from your ​meals, you get all of these vital nutrients with NO CARBS and NO CALORIES. Instead of worrying about which foods to eat or how much of each supplement, you can take one capsule and not worry about it. 

Take one with food (or two if you exercise heavily) each day. It will be a game changer. Stop waking up at night clutching your calf in pain!