Hey guys.

I've been 100% Raw for 4 days now, and I'm developing a terrible problem with charliehorses. I mean, these things HURT. Every time I try to go raw, this happens, and the pain is so extreme and relentless that I can't sleep and I can't figure out what to do to get it to stop. Sometimes the pain stays in my calves for a few days--and I'm so cautious that if I move it a certain way, it will happen again.

What is this from and how can I fix this? I love being raw, and it's actually pretty easy for me at this point. Help!!!


  • Sometimes it's not enough potassium, I've also heard calcium (not enough of) can caution charloiehorses to. I had the same problems when I went completely raw for a few months. I used a remedy that you may not want to try- added back some salt in my diet. Salt isn't very popular around here, but it did the trick for me. (Not a ton, just some).

  • Eat BANANAS!!!!! I used to get really bad Charliehorses ALL the time until I started consistently eating bananas. I can't remember the last time I had one. I think it may be a potassium deficiency as well.....

  • grapefruit.fanaticgrapefruit.fanatic Raw Newbie

    Are you going to bed pretty hungry? This happens to me when I cut back on calories and haven't eaten enough for dinner. Like everyone said, potassium is good (mushrooms have tons of it too)- I would just add that you may want to eat it sometime in the evening.

  • camiheartsrawcamiheartsraw Raw Newbie

    Magnesium glycinate is a HUGE help! I have lupus and used to wake up in bed screaming because my muscles would cramp up so much they were like little balled fists crammed into my was disturbing and painful. I would take up to 300-600 mg of magnesium glycinate. It is important not to do this with other types of magnesium because you would poop your head off. Magnesium glycinate doesn't seem to have the intestinal impacts that magnesium carbonate or other have. My friend with rheumatoid arthritis also swears by magnesium glycinate and she would get such bad muscle spasms her toes would bend backwards (really gross and painful).

    Other vegan sources of magnesium...I think sesame is pretty high and sea vegetables... I haven't had as many problems since going vegan and eating a lot of sea vegetables, leafy greens, and seeds.

    Lack of potassium can cause cramping as well as dehydration - so bananas is good advice along with lots of water!

  • Hm, how weird. I eat about a bunch of bananas a day. But I notice that I don't drink as much water as I should. But how weird that every time I go raw again, this happens.

    Cami, thanks a lot for the magnesium glycinate advice! I'll definitely turn to that if the water and bananas thing don't help. You're right, when you wake up from charliehorses, it's very disturbing and painful.

    Thanks guys! I hope I improve soon!!

  • DEFINITELY drink enough water. It's important in general, but especially when you're first raw because of detox. It's soo important to keep yourself hydrated when you detox.

    This is probably why sisterbecky finds it helps to eat some salt, because of water retention. As much as a lot of people are against salt, I too, eat some sea salt-- I personally disagree with most people here, and I think salt in small doses is VERY beneficial. But it's all up to you, and every BODY is different.

    I doubt it's the potassium if you're eating a lot of bananas. Especially since you said you've only been raw 4 days... deficiencies don't just happen over night. But dehydration CAN happen quickly.

    And it all could just be a symptom of detox. You said this happens every time you go raw... how long do you usually stay raw for? Maybe it's something that will pass, after the detox process has leveled out a bit...

    Just some things to consider.

    Things I've learned since going raw two months ago:

    ~drink plenty of water (and also fresh juicy fruits can help keep you more hydrated, too, as well as keep your blood sugar levels up high enough-- I had tendencies of blacking out when standing up often when I wasn't eating enough natural sugars)

    ~get good rest. this is ALWAYS important of course, but it's especially important when you make such drastic changes with your body and are detoxing.

    ~VARIETY is key. for me at least. I know a lot of raws who eat a mostly fruit based diet, or eat a lot of mono-meals, etc. but for me it's all about getting as many colors and varieties in my diet as possible.

    Just as an example this is what a normal day of eating looks like for me:

    I start off my day with lots of water. (I also drink coffee which most people would shun, but I personally just find that I function better with it.)

    For my first meal of the day, I usually make a smoothie with fresh fruits... strawberries, pineapple, and banana is my favorite, but it varies. and I make them HUGE. with a glass of water on the side.

    Then a few hours later I usually have some absurdly large salad that consists of leafy greens, zucchini, sometimes broccoli, sometimes sprouts (mung beans, usually), carrots, mushrooms, tomatoes, lots of garlic, onion, etc. with some sort of light oil dressing and spices and a bit of sea salt. I eat this with like three tall glasses of water. Sometimes I will add nuts or seeds... whether it's cashews or grated sunflower seeds...

    or sometimes I make cashew alfredos, etc.

    Then I usually snack on more fruits throughout the day, like oranges, pineapples, berries, bananas, etc.

    I have a Larabar almost everyday to curb cravings and make me feel fuller and add some calories.

    I like to dip veggies in a cashew spread, etc.

    I graze all day long on things like this... keeps your body fueled and running.

    Maybe that's what's up... are you going very long in between meals?

    It could be a number of things... it's all trial and error. Don't give up! You'll figure it out if you pay close attention to your body.

    P.S. also, in addition to what others were saying about calories... pay attention to how many calories you take in daily (and also keep in mind your level of much of it you're burning off)--- trust me you can eat a LOT on a raw diet without acquiring a ton of calories, and the calories are all useful to your body so you don't gain weight from them. I know a lot of people go raw to maintain weight, they get worried about eating a lot and what not... I know I was worried about that... but I've learned that I can pretty much pig out and stay about the same and I still even lose a bit of weight every once and awhile. I lost about 13 pounds since I went raw (and I was already very thin) and I can tell you this much... I eat more and more and I have a b!tch of a time gaining any of that weight back. So if that's something that's a factor...seriously, just eat a lot, you will not gain weight.

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