Discussions that mention potassium

Diet & Nutrition board

Quote from drummer1:
I have been really dieting since friday,I noyiced now that I am getting a "charley horse" in my right calf muscle when sleeping at night,its mild but it botheres me all day.What is wrong ?

I dont know if this is good or bad and its most likely water anyway Im not sure,

is it enough calories? etc

And well, thats it am I missing something? is potasium a problem?

my wife says it may be to little calories for a man of my size-I am 5'11 inches tall and weigh 210 I want to reach 175-180,

Hi drummer. :)

You're right about the water loss, most of your 8 lbs was water. You're eating a pretty low carb diet, especially if you used to eat a lot more bread / cereal / potatoes. You aren't just losing water, though, you're also losing salts and minerals. And while you're replacing the water by drinking more you're not replacing much of the other stuff.

Yes, potassium will help. But what's going to help with the night cramps is magnesium. A combination calcium / magnesium supplement will take care of them almost immediately. Usually they come together in a ratio of 2:1 (2x as much calcium as magnesium) because they work in tandem. The calcium helps with muscle contraction / relaxation, but it's the magnesium that allows the calcium (and many other minerals / salts) to work. RDI for calcium is between 1000-1500 mg a day based on age / sex; for magnesium its 400-600mg. You want to get a supplement that is either citrate or malate, and not carbonate (usually from oyster shells) as it is not as easily absorbed and can cause tummy troubles. It's best to take your dose over the course of the day (one pill with breakfast, one with lunch, one before bed) as your body can only use so much at once; the rest would be wasted. Having the one pill before bed takes care of night cramps and it helps you sleep like the dead - take it from a once insomniac!

I would side with your wife; it's not enough calories. It's not enough calories for me; and I'm a 5'6" woman. Is it dangerous? Over the long run it's not healthy, cutting calories too much never is. You miss out on nutrients and you lower your metabolism, you end up tired and hungry eventually.

A small caloric deficit with an increase in exercise is a better alternative, IMHO. Less of a restriction on fuel will equal less of a drop in metabolism, and an increase in activity will increase metabolism, a win/win situation.

Avoiding process foods (as you're doing), staying away from sugar and alcohol will go a long way to lowering cholesterol, in particular trigylcerides. Eating more fish, getting more cardio in and avoiding second hand smoke will also help by increasing HDL, the cholesterol that is protective of CVD (often called "good cholesterol"). You'll probably hear you should ditch the eggs, because they contain cholesterol, but you won't hear that from me ;) Eggs are not 'evil', they're actually pretty healthy. Eating cholesterol isn't going to send your blood lipid levels through the roof, your body makes all the cholesterol it needs, so if you don't eat it, your body makes it, and the stuff your body makes is the kind that becomes LDL (aka "bad cholesterol").

I think your diet looks good; it's just short on quantity. Try eating 5x a day - smaller more frequent meals will help boost metabolism, keep hunger at bay, and keep blood sugar stabilized.

Also, be sure you don't take those fibre supplements with any other supplements; they will effect absorption. You should wait approximately 90 minutes before and after taking a fibre supplement to take any other supplements or medications.


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P.S. It usually takes a good 12 weeks for dietary changes like the ones you're using to be reflected in blood panels, so don't be upset if you don't see much of a change on the 7th. If your Blood Pressure was elevated that should be better by then, though.