How to Prevent Leg Cramps on the Keto Diet

Ketogenic diet is known to lower blood sugar levels and it causes a drop in insulin level. Insulin is a hormone produced by your pancreas which regulates how much glucose enters cells. When there’s too little glucose entering cells, such as when you’re fasting or following a low carb diet, then the body produces less insulin to keep blood sugar levels stable. This leads to higher blood sugars and sometimes, ketones. Ketone bodies are used by the brain as energy. They’re not stored like carbohydrate in the liver but they do help with weight loss because they burn fat instead of muscle for fuel.

Leg cramping is one of the most common symptoms associated with ketosis. If you experience these symptoms, it means that your body isn’t producing enough insulin to maintain normal blood sugar levels. These high blood sugar levels can lead to keto-lysis, where the excess glucose goes into your bloodstream and is converted into ketones.

In order to prevent keto-leg cramps, you need to eat some carbohydrates before going to bed. A good way of doing this is by having a snack or meal during the day. You don’t want to have any type of food that will raise your blood sugar levels while you sleep. At the same time, you don’t want to go to bed hungry either. Having too much fat at night can also cause you to wake up in the middle of the night with leg cramps.

It’s also a good idea to keep your weight down. Carrying extra weight strains the muscles and promotes the likelihood of getting leg cramps.

As always you should take any type of health issue you’re having to a medical professional for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Sources & references used in this article:

How can we treat mitochondrial encephalomyopathies? Approaches to therapy by R Horvath, G Gorman, PF Chinnery – Neurotherapeutics, 2008 – Springer

Ketogenic diet guidelines for infants with refractory epilepsy by E van der Louw, D van den Hurk, E Neal… – european journal of …, 2016 – Elsevier

The Coconut Ketogenic Diet: Supercharge Your Metabolism, Revitalize Thyroid Function, and Lose Excess Weight by B Fife – 2017 – books.google.com

Keto Cycling: How to Optimize the Ketogenic Diet and Avoid Common Mistakes by B Fife – 2019 – books.google.com

Ketone Therapy: The Ketogenic Cleanse and Anti-Aging Diet by B Fife – 2017 – books.google.com

The ketogenic diet: uses in epilepsy and other neurologic illnesses by KW Barañano, AL Hartman – Current treatment options in neurology, 2008 – Springer

A low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet versus a low-fat diet to treat obesity and hyperlipidemia: a randomized, controlled trial by WS Yancy Jr, MK Olsen, JR Guyton… – Annals of internal …, 2004 – acpjournals.org