Thursday, August 18, 2011

Leg Cramp Conundrum

One of the less glamorous and more annoying parts of (my) pregnancy has been severe leg (and lately, foot) cramping. This lovely side effect usually comes on around 3-5am, and varies from a standard charlie horse in the calf to a full blown calf-shin-foot knot that is impossible to work out because if you stretch one side (calf) the shin muscle tightens (think where you get shin splints from running). It is excruciating and time consuming to deal with.

I'd had good luck keeping these torture nights at bay by drinking tons of gatorade. But, that's making me blow up like a balloon, which my healthcare providers (and I) don't especially care for. So last week I went cold turkey after calculating that I'd consumed 5,000 calories worth of gatorade in 2 WEEKS. Yes, that would explain my excessive weight gain the last couple of months. Ahem.

Buuuuttt... the cramping is back, and frankly, it pisses me off. What is it in gatorade that is keeping me from cramping up? The electrolytes, orange food dye? Just the fact that I can drink a lot more water if I have a little flavor in it? What is a good replacement, if it IS the electrolytes? Artificial sweeteners are out.

11 comments:

Liz August 18, 2011 at 8:52 AM  

My uncle gets severe leg cramps when he gets one he eats like a tablespoon of honey, he also says eating a lot of bananas helps!

c August 18, 2011 at 8:52 AM  

Bananas are amazing for keeping leg cramps/charlie horses away - the potassium in them is the key.

Wendy August 18, 2011 at 9:18 AM  

I had the same exact problem when pregnant with my twin boys and my husband's grandmother swore by sleeping with a bar of ivory soap. I thought yeah right, but it worked!

One Artist a Day August 18, 2011 at 5:37 PM  

I just went through multiple tubs of icyhot.

Bexie August 18, 2011 at 11:33 PM  

I have also heart bananas. What about water with a wedge of lemon, lime, or orange in it? My friend's mother puts various extracts in her water, but I haven't tried it myself.

Tamara August 19, 2011 at 1:59 AM  

bananas! also, my ob had me take b12 vitamins when i was pregnant to help my leg cramps.

Marie August 22, 2011 at 2:39 PM  

I got foot cramps a few times during my pregnancy and my midwife told me it was a lack of protein. So I upped my protein so that I was eating some with every meal and snack, and they went away.

And then when I was at tennis last week, one of the girls had a bad leg cramp, and she drank pickle juice! She told me it was the tennis director's secret and that it works every time. She also didn't need to drink a ton of it to get the needed electrolytes - just a few sips.

Sian

Erin August 22, 2011 at 9:43 PM  

My midwife said it was calcium and had me supplement my regular prenatal with additional calcium.

Bexie August 22, 2011 at 10:15 PM  

If it is just a matter of fluids for you, I noticed at the grocery store today that crystal light has a new line called "pure". It says no artificial sweeteners on the front, but admittedly I didn't have time to really look at the lable.

Electrolytes is just another word for salts, so that explains the pickle juice :)

Emily Kornelis August 23, 2011 at 11:49 PM  

Coconut water! I swear by it for running and hiking. It got rid of my horrible gut-wrenching stomachaches after long runs. More potassium than bananas, super hydrating and pretty low cal. Plus you don't need very much (8-12 ozs) to do the trick.

Bexie August 26, 2011 at 1:45 PM  

Ok, I swear this is the last time I post on this topic :). My DD loves coconut water and I noticed on the box today that it brags, "More electrolytes than popular sports drinks!"

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