Exercise! - Noctural Leg Cramps

View Full Version : Noctural Leg Cramps

05-10-2012, 11:37 AM
So I've been pretty dedicated to my exercise routine for the past 6 weeks. And about a week ago, for the first time in my life, I woke up from a leg cramp. I took it easy for a couple days, and then it happened again last night.

I've looked up the causes, and I don't think that it's being caused by any of the main causes (dehydration, calcium, magnesium or potassium deficiencies). My reasoning for believing this is because I drink way more water than I did before trying to lose weight, and eat a LOT healthier, and never had any issues before.

I don't think I'm over training, but I am doing 3 days a week of a 30 minute bowflex routine, and 3 days of 30 minutes on the elliptical. On the days I do the bowflex, I also do 15 minutes on the elliptical. I have been stretching before hand, and none of it was an issue for the first month of my workout.

Should I decrease my workouts, or just ignore it and hope my body adjusts, and they stop happening? Or should I start taking a multivitamin just in case? Or talk to my doctor about it? I really don't want to cut down on exercise, as I don't want to lose momentum, but it's not a very pleasant way to wake up.

Anyone else have this happen to them after starting a workout routine? Did you adapt, and did the leg cramps go away?

05-10-2012, 11:59 AM
I wouldn't dismiss the potassium idea. I eat a banana every day for the potassium. No banana + leg cramps. Banana - cramps. The banana has no magical qualities other than the potassium.

05-11-2012, 09:47 AM
I don't think it's your workouts so keep up the great work... Doesn't sound like you're overtraining...

Taking a multi is a good idea...

Sometimes drinking too much water depletes your electrolytes.

Here is a good article : Can Drinking Too Much Water Cause Low Potassium? (http://www.livestrong.com/article/537905-can-drinking-too-much-water-cause-low-potassium/)

Definitely go see your doctor if it doesn't get better, but I am sure it's just a matter of eating more foods higher in potassium like bananas, apricots, most fresh vegetables, fruits, and meats are all potassium rich foods.

05-13-2012, 06:32 PM
I drink heaps, but I get the cramps if I don't have Magnesium. I would try investigating the potassium or the magnesium.

05-13-2012, 07:07 PM
I have tried taking potassium tablets, I get major painful leg cramps about once every month or so. They can be in the calf, or the shin, or a toe...once in a while in the thigh. They are bad enough to get me leaping out of bed in a shot and hobbling around the bedroom and I challenge anyone to use more offensive language that comes spouting from me :devil: I've been a consistent exerciser for years.

I don't have anything useful to share, just empathy!

Only Me
05-13-2012, 07:13 PM
I wouldn't dismiss the potassium idea. I eat a banana every day for the potassium. No banana + leg cramps. Banana - cramps. The banana has no magical qualities other than the potassium.

Yep. My dh gets leg cramps when he increases his running mileage without making sure to eat 1-2 bananas per day.

05-13-2012, 10:23 PM
This has been a lifelong issue for me, starting at age 11 so I have been all levels of fitness, fatness, diet over the years and while I still don't have total handle on it I have been able to decrease the frequency and severity by avoiding eating anything in the evening that would break down to sugar while I was laying down. First I cut out sweets, then alchohol, then carbs.

I've tried increasing potassium, calcium, magnesium, more water, less water, more exercise, less exercise. Haven't found the magic answer yet to eliminate entirely, but I'd say the sugar solution helped 80%

I agree with Vermont Mom that the cursing and crying/moaning/screaming that goes on during these episodes is horrible.

05-13-2012, 10:40 PM
I have been stretching before hand

Are you stretching AFTER your workouts? If I skip that step, I get achy, crampy muscles.

Also, make sure your pre-workout routine is dynamic stretching (http://www.runnersworld.com/article/0,7120,s6-241-287--13442-0,00.html).

05-14-2012, 02:41 AM
I had to stop drinking green tea. And I can't drink iced tea from the fast food joints.
Both give me severe leg cramps.

If I don't drink whole milk I will get leg cramps.
Bananas help also, but I must drink a couple of large glasses of whole milk every day.