Supplement Advice

rklein71 Posts: 112 Member
edited November 2017 in Social Groups
I started LCHF way of eating a couple of weeks ago and so far things have been going quite well. My husband and I also joined the gym, mainly focusing on cardio to start off. I am only walking 3.0-3.5 mph and my leg cramps are terrible! By the time I am done walking for 30 minutes, I am quite uncomfortable. I have read quite a few articles about needing magnesium, potassium and sodium supplements if you are eating low carb and exercising. I would appreciate your input on whether it's necessary and, if so, how much of each and how often. I don't want to give up on walking (loving it!), but also can't be in pain every night from walking. Thanks in advance! :smile:


  • abigailhe
    abigailhe Posts: 28 Member
    I've been eating dill pickle chips everyday and they seem to help. And lots of water!
  • anglyn1
    anglyn1 Posts: 1,803 Member
    I find that if you get enough sodium the rest will balance naturally. A lot of people still supplement magnesium but you need the right type for best absorption. Glycinate maybe? I'm sure someone better informed will chime in. Also the salt substitutes contain potassium and might be a good way to get more. You can get too much potassium to bad effect though so I'm always a little wary of how much I get from non-food sources.

    Again I'm sure the supplementers will chime in with better advice but for myself I just focus on lots of sodium.
  • Xerogs
    Xerogs Posts: 328 Member
    Magnesium helped with my leg cramps at night but I still get workout leg cramps from time to time. It might be from over exertion or you might need to stretch out before you hit the cardio, sometimes that helps. Over time I think the cramps should go away until you hit that point of over exertion but once there you can dial it back a little until your muscles adapt. I also try to alternate cardio intensity so it gives your muscles time to heal and the same goes for lifting. I try to walk early everyday and jog/walk every other day in the evening.

    I would try stretching though, for some its a necessity while others can get away without it.
  • RAC56
    RAC56 Posts: 433 Member
    edited November 2017
    I had a lot of leg cramps that even magnesium didn't help with until I started taking in enough sodium. If you get repeat posts mentioning more sodium, believe them. :) Yummy pickle juice, olives, bacon, beef bouillon cubes, etc are your sodium friends.

    Remember, water acts like a magnet in your body drawing the sodium out so make sure you're getting at least between 3,000 and 5,000mg of sodium daily.
  • Sunny_Bunny_
    Sunny_Bunny_ Posts: 7,140 Member
    Dose 1000mg sodium 30 minutes before exercise and again for every hour hour of exercise you do.
  • kpk54
    kpk54 Posts: 4,474 Member
    When I ate low carb for weight loss, I exercised and never supplemented anything. I was, in fact, on a low sodium diet. (1500 mg or less daily).

    Later when I decided to eat keto levels of low carb it was necessary for me to increase my sodium intake and also take magnesium supplements (100 mg) to eliminate night leg cramps.

    You indicated LCHF in your post but not keto so I presented both scenarios as they applied to me. Low carb may not require supplementation. Keto low carb often does.
  • ladipoet
    ladipoet Posts: 4,180 Member
    Although, I currently supplement Magnesium and Vitamin K (Potassium) among other things, for me it seems to be a Potassium issue (I think it's genetic based on other things I've observed and/or learned about both my mom, who is T2D and my sister, who doesn't eat low carb at all and yet still experiences mad leg/foot cramps like I did/do). I tried literally EVERYTHING over the course of a couple of years worth. I got enough salt. I supplemented calcium. I tried taking Natural Calm before bedtime. I tried Epsom salt baths. I tried magnesium oil. I even tried magnesium soap. NOTHING worked for me....until I started drinking one tube of Zipfizz (an electrolyte drink containing 950mg Potassium) every day in addition to what I was already doing...drinking 2 bouillon cubes and supplementing 600mg full spectrum Vitamin K twice daily, and Chelated Magnesium (Magnesium Glycinate) twice daily. The sodium content of the bouillon cubes = 3,800mg. I usually get at least 2000-3000mg of Potassium every day. Sometimes this is as high as 5000-6000mg for me though I am probably in all likelihood getting more since there are a lot of food entries in the MFP database that don't have the Potassium content listed.

    If I skip or accidentally forget to drink even one of the bouillon cubes, I feel it the next morning when I wake up. If I do that for 2-3 days, the calf/foot cramps return full force so I'm religious about potassium. I refuse to going back to being woken up by sever Charley horses in my calve/feet every morning. I went through a period like that that literally lasted for months on end. I was at my wits end. I even went to my doctor for help, tests, recommendations, etc. Dear doctor was no help at all. Figured this all out on my own just by paying attention and listening to my body. Hope this info helps.
  • ladipoet
    ladipoet Posts: 4,180 Member
    Always appreciate the learned advice from your mad research skills @KnitOrMiss! I do currently take Vitamin D3 (2000 i.u. twice daily - along with the full spectrum Vitamin K), and calcium though currently out of calcium though and could use some advice as to what kind and dosage amount to use where this is concerned - I don't think I've ever gotten this one right and I don't pay as much attention to it since I tend to get plenty just via the foods I eat too. I do currently take zinc orotate (50mg once daily in the morning). I believe that my daily electrolyte drink (Zipfizz) might contain Boron but I don't know how much right offhand. I'll have to check that at home but I'll let you know.
  • KnitOrMiss
    KnitOrMiss Posts: 10,104 Member
    edited November 2017
    @ladipoet - Most doctors, especially functional medicine doctors, don't recommend taking calcium, because it's really easy to over absorb. Most of us get more than enough calcium from eating real food - it's generally just that we don't absorb it well - or route it to where it is needed. Dr. Berg says that if you feel you must take a supplement, take it at night, 12 hours opposite from your D3/ that you don't over absorb it. I don't think he gave a recommendation, as he does not want his patients taking it...

    That being said, if you feel like you're not getting enough calcium in your dietary intake, you might look at adding more natural calcium rich foods - and/or focus on breaking down and properly absorbing what you do already intake... So maybe some sort of enzyme to make sure you're properly breaking it down and absorbing it...

    I'm guessing your D3 level is optimal. 2000 IU twice a day would not be enough for me to absorb the calcium. Also, since D3 is part of the circadian rhythm, it should be taken as close to first thing in the AM as possible, and then 12-2 pm for a second dose (if you need a second dose)... You're not taking it at night are you?

    You know that I have no gallbladder, but since I've gotten pretty level on my digestive enzymes, I've been able to improve my D3 levels from a 20 to just above 100 - which may be key now for me, if the preliminary x-ray reports I received were right for my back... I'm working on lowering my levels of D3 needs, but as we're entering the winter months, I'm taking more D3 again to combat SAD... I think the LOWEST my regular D3 supplements will be is probably 5000-10000 IU daily (with enough K2 to fully absorb it)...and double that during low sunlight months... I don't know, though, because when I had to drop it that low before (ran out of my supplement and had to make it stretch), I could really feel the hit...

    If you're still feeling low on calcium, it might be work increasing your D3 amount to match your K2 max absorption and see if you can soak up more of your natural calcium rather than supplemented, which may not even be usable or optimum forosmmmm

    And good on you taking zinc - that has been a game changer for me (though I readily admit that not everyone needs this...)... The Boron though was the biggest one lately aside from K2... :)
  • ladipoet
    ladipoet Posts: 4,180 Member
    @KnitOrMiss I had a chance to check the info re Zipfizz. Unfortunately, it doesn't contain any boron. :(

    I do take vitamin D3 in the morning and the evening (morning for me is around noon ;) ). I'm a vampire so the sun and I are not friends!! I don't get much sunlight during the day because I burn so damned easily.

    I do actually feel as though I get plenty of calcium from the foods I eat so I was actually toying with the idea of NOT ordering any more calcium.

    I have no idea what amount of Vitamin D3 I should be taking in comparison to the Vitamin K for better absorption though. :/ I really like the idea of adjusting these two though to get better absorption of natural calcium from the foods I currently eat instead of supplementing calcium.

    Any ideas on how much boron I should start out with and/or recommendations re brands for boron?

    Oh, and if you want to text my cell directly re this discussion, please feel free to do so. Thanks again for all the input!! :)<3
  • KnitOrMiss
    KnitOrMiss Posts: 10,104 Member
    edited November 2017
    For D3/K2, it is up to 10,000 IU of D3 to 50 mcg of K2, M7 form. Taking more K2 is not a problem ever. You just want to keep at or below that amount of D3 to K2 so that none of the D3 goings on cluttering things up and loitering about!

    For the dose Dr. Berg himself takes, it is 40,000 IU D3 with 200 mcg K2/M7. He says if you do NOT take calcium, and you do take vitamin A 12 hours offset from your D3, this is a health sustaining dose and should not over do the D3/Calcium because it's all going where it should, and it can even in some cases dissolve buildup and/or bone spurs. You might want to do some additional research. When I was taking doses to bring my up out of my severe deficiency, I was doing the 40,000/200 combo for months.

    I, too, am called a vampire by my family. I have two shades - really pale and burnt. There is no in between. I don't fade to a nice tan, nothing... The sun gives me headaches, etc. So I completely feel your pain here...

    That being said, boron. 3 mg is a pretty standard dose. I prefer the Life Extension Brand, and when I do it on subscribe and save, it's less than $5 for 90 or 100 capsules...which is at 1-2 per day, so minimum a month and a half, usually closer to 3 months. I recently got the NOW Brand boron to compare. I don't like it as much, but I can't put my finger on quite why... Right now, I'm taking it twice a day, one of each brand until I use up the NOW brand... There was less than $1 cost between them.

    This was the article that got me started:

    Because it took me to this article:

    Also, on the K2, I personally prefer the Life Extension Brand Super K Plus. It has as you say, a full spectrum of K1 and 2 types of K2. I've taken two different brands, and with both, I felt crummy and felt the difference almost immediately, as well as my D3 levels dropped like a hot stone! So that one runs about $20-$25 for 90 pills. 1 pill is 200 mcg K2/M7, so you can take up to 40,000 IU D3 with it, if I remember correctly. The difference in taking D3 with the K2 was like drinking an energy drink - without the drop off after!!

    Overall, I think LE is my favorite supplement brand, followed by Doctor's Best and NOW... I love Jarrow for certain things, too - just now for their K2-M7!! LOL
  • TheDevastator
    TheDevastator Posts: 1,626 Member
    edited November 2017
    Hi KnitOrMiss, that's 40,000IUs of D3 and 200 mcg K2/M7 a day? I currently do 5000IUs of D3 and 45 mcg K2 a day. Do you have a video or article where Dr. Berg talks about this? Also thanks for reminding me to take boron and oysters(zinc). I've had HBP but I finally have it under control and can take more minerals again. Boron also raises testosterone in men, balances hormones, promotes healthy muscle mass, and strengthens bones. There's a warning not to take boron if you have kidney damage though.
  • KnitOrMiss
    KnitOrMiss Posts: 10,104 Member
    Thank you, @TheDevastator for the warning on Boron. I had not come across this anywhere before...

    For every, as always, please do your own research and talk to your medical team. Everything I share is based on my own research, medical advice I've received, or testing on myself...or reported results from other people testing on themselves.

    Unfortunately, I do not remember where he has that data. The recording he made was actually during a summit, I believe on Diabetes.

    Here's one he talks about doing those levels for blood pressure and such...

    The best info on this one starts a little after the 2 minute mark as to how much to take together...

    He actually wants you taking 100 MCG of K2 for every 10,000 IU of D3 (as loading dose at 4 pills each, so 400 mcg K2 and and 40,000 IU of D3 in the morning) or just 1 each (100/10,000 for maintenance)...

    Dr. Eric Berg and Dr. Chris Masterjohn, PhD are my two favorite functional medicine folks to help explain the medical and science of all this...

    Even with a Vitamin D3 level at 150 on a test, my internal medicine doctor was NOT CONCERNED because I'd just had a Calcium Score Test come back at a 0 (perfect score) and my DEXA test come back at nearly optimum levels (one area of concern - to me, not to anyone else reading my results because it was borderline not quite low).

    I lowered my levels at the request of my Endocrinologist, but I have to increase D3/K2 at this time of year because I simply don't absorb and process it well - and my levels will drop dramatically every year at this time...

    I hope this helps!
  • TheDevastator
    TheDevastator Posts: 1,626 Member
    I'm going to try 10,000 iu D3 and 100 mcg K2 for a week, see how I do, and possibly increase it. @KnitOrMiss That's great you have such a high D3 level, I'm guessing they haven't seen that much if at all before. I know that vitamins A and D have to be balanced for good health, so I guess I'm going to be increasing vitamin A foods as well.
  • GaleHawkins
    GaleHawkins Posts: 8,160 Member
    I do believe in Vit D3 and Vit K2's but I think it was learning about magnesium and getting that right along with D3 that has helped me the most but I do take a ton of other stuff.

    I did some reading on D3 mega dosage and got my level up to 155 ng last August just to see if I could. In my case I think it made me feel droopy but I do not know why? Since Aug 2017 I have been back to 5000 units daily with megadose of K2 MK 4 and 7. I need to retest soon.

    In my case I think Vit D levels of 90 may be a better range but I have not found any research on the short/long term needs/effects of high levels of Vit D. It was my goal to fully load any Vit D receptors and see what happened. I am interested in seeing if my Coronary Artery Calcium Score changes in either direction when I retest May 2018.

    I am seeing a tad bit of new movement in some joints immobilized by Ankylosing Spondylitis in the prior 40 years. Where my calcium gets deposited is a major concern at age 66.

    It seems any Vit D level of 50 ng or better may help prevent all causes of premature death. Moving the needle towards the 100 ng range may just be a personal preference but I have read stories of people with levels of 1000+ ng long term. Research on this and other supplements can be a black hole I find.
  • Sunny_Bunny_
    Sunny_Bunny_ Posts: 7,140 Member
    edited November 2017
    I came across this while reading about insulin autoantibodies just yesterday.
    You may already know about it but just in case I thought I’d share. Apparently this rare autoimmune condition is often associated with Ankylosis Spondylitis.
    Sorry if I just dropped a rabbit hole on you.
  • GaleHawkins
    GaleHawkins Posts: 8,160 Member
    @Sunny_Bunny_ thanks for posting this link and I just scanned it but am dead on my butt tonight. My AS pain continues to be managed after having been off of sugar and all forms of all grains for over three years now so I tend to over do it physically. Recently in the process of trying to relive the pass perhaps I bought a fairly nice 1966 Ford 3000 tractor. We have finished up our mowing for 2017 and today I rubbed out the sheet metal skin by hand and waxed it twice.

    Thankful to my WOE I can now do more stuff like this and still get up and go the next day. This winter I need to get back and update my ketolivewell dot com site since this busy summer went fast.

    Tonight's rabbit hole has been Myricetin and I will read more on it and do a work up with more info. A Dietary Molecule with Diverse Biological Activities
  • TheDevastator
    TheDevastator Posts: 1,626 Member
    I did try 10,000 IUs of D3 the last two days but I didn't feel great the second day so I'm going back to 5000 IUs. I think I have to work on getting constant vitamin A to help with the amount of vitamin D I'm taking. I'm also taking 100 mcg vitamin K2 since that is the smallest pill I have now.

    @GaleHawkins That's great you got your vitamin D levels up. I would be happy if I can just get out of the major incidence area that Chris Masterjohn talks about in some of his videos. I haven't tested my vitamin D level but I know it would still be low.
  • canadjineh
    canadjineh Posts: 5,396 Member
    I do 10,000 D3 every day and have for years, of course added K2 when I found out about it. Don't know my level, but I live in Canada - one of the worst places for MS and IBS - both linked to low D levels - so the more, the merrier. Always have had super bone density levels (at 53 I have the bones of a 20 y o), so something's going right.