I've noticed a trend among the e-mails I have been receiving lately. It looks like people are trying to get back to the basics of their low-carb lifestyle and ask questions that most of us long-term low-carbers are already familiar with. That's okay because I realize there are a bunch of new people who are livin' la vida low-carb in 2007.
You'll never see me complain about answering one of these elementary low-carb questions because it means there are likely hundreds or even thousands more people who have the exact same question. So, in the interest of continuing the education about low-carb living, I'd like to share with you a short, but extremely good question about low-carb.
Here's the e-mail from my reader:
I love doing low-carb and it totally works for me, but I have a problem--horrible debilitating leg spasms. Have you every heard of this?
Have I ever HEARD of this? Oh yeah, I know ALL about the leg cramps you get when you first start livin' la vida low-carb. My wife Christine can testisfy the many nights I used to wake up at 2:00am screaming in pain from leg cramps. Holy cow, this is a very nasty side effect of going on a low-carb diet that I wish somebody had told me how to avoid beforehand.
Thankfully I taught myself what I needed to do to overcome these excruciating leg spasms that would sometimes cripple my legs for days. Yes, I STILL hopped on the treadmill and walked through the pain from these leg cramps because absolutely nothing was going to stop me from succeeding.
Despite these horrifying memories during my first year of livin' la vida low-carb, I have the answer that could help you and anyone else who is putting up with their own pain. Some have it more severe than others, but there is a simple remedy--POTASSIUM! As I wrote about in my book, proper supplementation is important throughout your low-carb weight loss and I list potassium as an essential ingredient for your low-carb diet.
I took about 300mg potassium and even found some almonds that were "salted" with potassium and are absolutely delicious. Atkins bars and shakes are also LOADED with healthy potassium levels, too. Read your labels and try to get more potassium in your diet. Beware of bananas, though, which have a ton a potassium, but are loaded with sugar at a grand total of 29g carbohydrates. EEEK!
For now, try to work through the pain in your legs. I've been there and it DOES pass...eventually. You and anyone else suffering from these cramps are gonna make it (I promise!). Hang in there!