Morning T-men, I have a problem. Last night was like any other in the gym except at the end of my back workout I decided to do a little cardio. I was on the stepper for about 2 min. before my quads started to cramp up on me. I got of the stepper and as soon as I put weight on my legs they locked into a cramp and I had to drag my ass out of there totally embarrassed. I’ve never had any cramping problems before. I take a multi vit. and I’ve been taking creatine for about a month with hot tea. I work out 4 days a week. I have no back problems. I talked to one of the “trainers” and as soon as I mentioned creatine they went off on a tangent, telling me I’ve just increased my chances of getting cancer by 200% and that nothing good can come from creatine use. I tried to argue but it was futile. I guess I should see a doc and see if it’s a mineral deficiency but I thought I’d see if you guys have any ideas. Thanks T-dudes.

I guess no one’s had this problem before? Anyone know what mineral deficiency causes muscle cramping. ANY help would be appreciated guys.

Low potassium levels can cause muscle cramping. Eat a banana!

Yes, it’s likely your potassium levels. Besides bananas, milk and orange juice are high in potassium, as are most MRP’s. You might also look into one of the “light” table salts, which are partially or completely potassium chloride. Lastly, you can buy supplemental potassium for very cheap. I buy big bottles at Walmart, and I’ll swallow 6 tablets (99 mg each, which for some reason is the maximum allowed amount) when I can feel my muscles (usually quads) start twitching, or when I have an extremely salty meal. If this is a continuing problem, be sure to get potassium before you exercise.

Anectdotal reports of cramping when using creatine have been reported since its inception, having probably to do with over saturation of the muscle cell making it harder to use nutrients with in the muscle cell, or as charlie Francis surmised a fully saturated group of muscle cells have a harder time moving over one another and therefore cause cramping, I’ve never experienced this but I do get diarrehea during my loading phase if I over do it.

Chief, I’ve read that if you don’t take in enough water cramping can be a side effect.

YOu might have a magnesium deficiency or it could be due to taking creatine before a workout.

How much water do you drink? Try to get close to 1 gallon a day. I’ve never had cramping like that but it doesn’t sound fun!

Thanks guys
Yeh it was kind of scary. I must have looked like a fish out of water - rolling around on the floor trying to my legs to bend. I drink about 2-3 liters of water a day but I’ll try and increase that and I’ll try the potassium. I’m taking a break from creatine. Its just that I love how my legs swell up from creatine.

Big Chief - Spasms, tetany, etc., are triggered by overactivation of the cells or inability to relax, or both. The key mineral in contracture is the release of calcium. Relaxation occurs when calcium is taken back up. Both processes are energy dependent. Once a muscle cell is in a contracted state it dosen’t need any energy to keep it that way. But in a crisis such as yours, the muscle cell does not have any energy to relax and is trapped in a contracted state. There are several steps in the contraction/relaxation process where problems can result in a bundle of cramps. Electrolyte imbalance is certainly one. Our bodies were designed to put preservation of electrolytes in order of importance. If the sweat loss is not replaced the kidneys will conserve more sodium and bicarbonate resulting in more potassium, calcium, magnesium and chloride than normally so that sodium and bicarbonate can be conserved. Main losses of sodium, chloride as well as other ions occur through the sweat. If you correct the loss of fluid with water and sodium (Na) first, blood volume will be restored and stop further losses of potassium (K),calcium (Ca) and magnesium (Mg). If you stop working out at the stage where K/Ca/Mg loss from muscle causes cramping, the pain will ease and can still be quickly corrected by shifts of levels in the body and levels present in your diet.
Exercise normally results in metabolic acidosis and water intake is very important to prevent and restore imbalances.

I will assume one of your main objectives is optimum cell glucose, which is driven by K. If elevated levels of k/Ca/Mg are present in the blood it’s likely they are being used to try and replace the missing ion charges for Na losses. K/Na/Cl should be pretty consistent with each other. Lite Salt can also be used to replace Na with K and is much easier than a banana. Take Ca/Mg together if adding a supplement (has calming effect). Good luck.