Leg cramps and the LCHF Diet: Does a low carb diet prevent cramping?

Today we look at the relationship between leg cramps and LCHF diet. Some runners on the low carb high fat diet swear by it, others blame it. What is the latest thinking surrounding the LCHF diet and cramping as well as is there is anything you can do to avoid leg cramps.

If appears that people on the LCHF diet do seem to cramp a little more often, it is not really understood why. One of the world authorities on the subject, Jeff Volek, recommends that you need to eat more salt on this diet. This could potentially alleviate the increase in likelihood that you will cramp. But there are other risks involved if you start eating too much salt.
It is seen as one of many potential causes for cramp in runners. The first, and most common being dehydration. While over hydration is also of concern, more often than not, people don’t drink enough water. With a sudden increase in the temperature or activity level this could cause certain muscles to go into spasm.

Does salt have anything to do with leg cramps?

The second, and this is where salt comes into play, is an imbalance in your electrolyte levels. Most people will find these pretty stable, but ultra-distance runners will need to replenish them more often to keep their body topped up. Salt is a great way to maintain levels; while vitamins that contain calcium, magnesium and potassium are another option. Electrolyte levels dropping too low can cause cramp in runners.

The last cause of cramp is fatigue. Rest and recovery is vital to not only running, but general health. Get plenty of sleep to allow your body time to recover and not build up fatigue. It is also very important to warm up and cool down around running sessions, which includes stretching. Increased flexibility does help reduce cramping problems.

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