Originally Posted by BeccaBex
Hi, I am new to the site and to low carbing but not new to the gym. I took two weeks off to get acclimated to the new diet (Atkins). I returned to the gym this week to discover that after about 30 minutes of strength training group, I was toast. By the end I could barely do anything with my legs. I know this is not about the two weeks off, this was a sad, sad site.
Is this normal? Why is this happening? Does this go away? And if so how long does this weakness last? Any insight is appreciated.
One of the typical problems with switching from a high-carb diet to a very low carb diet like Atkins Induction is that you experience massive water loss, which unfortunately also causes loss of electrolytes, such as potassium, magnesium, sodium and calcium. The loss of potassium and magnesium in particular are problematic as they are important for many different functions.
Most of our magnesium, for example, is found in our muscles (and most of the rest in our bones, if I remember rightly). What's more, our bodies need magnesium to make our cells' fuel source, ATP, so, if you are low in magnesium then your muscles will have too little magnesium and you will also have less energy than normal.
Atkins was well aware of this problem and specifically mentions in DANDR many times that it is of paramount importance to supplement with magnesium and potassium to offset the problems caused by the water loss.
Have you been supplementing with a mineral supplement as Atkins recommends?
If not, then you can do the following:
- eat more nuts and seeds (also recommended by Atkins if weight loss is too fast and weakness ensues)
- eat more carbs, especially ones containing potassium and magnesium (leafy greens, brown rice, legumes)
- find some good mineral water (Adobe Springs?)
- make some magnesium water
- get some Mg supplements, such as Mg chloride, Mg malate or Mg glycinate
These different methods should all help to get your Mg and Ka levels back up again.