Muscle cramps due to low sodium?

On my second day of Soylent, I went for a bike ride. I did quite a bit of sweating and after the ride I experienced a crazy amount of muscle cramps in my legs and feet. I’ve been riding for a few years and this was by comparison to “normal” rides for me not very long or strenuous, yet I was cramped up like I had just done a century in 100 degree heat. I’m thinking that the low sodium levels in Soylent may have been the cause and am planning on supplementing this going forward. I don’t believe I normally get a lot of potassium, so I don’t believe the problem is there because I don’t normally cramp so easily. Also, even though my energy level was better than normal all day before the ride, within minutes in the saddle, I was dragging. This part is easily explained by lower calorie intake than normal and I think I can solve that part by simply drinking more.

Has anyone had similar experiences that were resolved through sodium supplements?

By day 2 I was having muscle cramps. Resolved by increasing Magnesium, Calcium, water, and D3 per Doctor Oz.


Yikes. I had a similar question in another thread. I compete in beach volleyball which is all day in the sun & sand. I sweat out 5 lbs minimum on a hot day & cramping is a concern on 90+ degree days with a regular diet. Would I have to heavily suppliment Soylent in those cases?? says:
“The human minimum requirement for sodium in the diet is about 500 mg per day”

From the label:
45% of daily intake for Sodium (3 x %15 for each serving)
350mg per serving = 350 x 3 = 1050mg (daily)
So this is twice the minimum requirement.
Should the 45% be changed to 100%?

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Thanks for posting the label. The U.S. Gov. RDI for my group is 1500 mg sodium per day. I don’t really know what they are basing 45 percent on. Good question.

Things like this is exactly why they need to have different formulations to suit different needs, IMO.

This is what gatorade is good at. :stuck_out_tongue:

This is a good thread - let’s do the science of electrolyte maintenance for intense physical activities, and come up with a diy recipe.

I’d look at potassium, magnesium, sodium, and phosphate as ingredients. Here’s a decent start on the research:

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The “human minimum requirement” of sodium may be 500mg per day, but that doesn’t mean the human will be comfortable or functioning optimally. “Human minimum requirement” in this case means something like “minimum daily sodium a human can consume over the long term and maintain a beating heart.”

I learned in a college nutrition course that one teaspoon of fat per day is the minimum amount of fat required by the human body for survival. I don’t think anyone who limits themselves to a teaspoon of fat per day is going to be comfortable or functioning optimally

50mg per day of vitamin C is enough to prevent scurvy, but most people will want to get more (and most people do get more) for optimum skin condition and healing.

Maybe it’s a problem with semantics. It’s natural to suppose that “minimum requirement” means “minimum to be healthy” but it generally means “minimum without breakdown.”

Maybe “optimal minimum daily” or something would be a more clear term.

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@rob - One of the reasons why I’m gingerly going into a keto diy is because I do and love crossfit but metcons kill ketoers. I suspect Soylent would put me in a similar position.

Did you not have endurance athletes among the beta testers? Maybe only weightlifters?

Help!! I just had a similar experience and it’s threatening to derail my 2 weeks on all-soylent experiment. Nausea, sudden lack of energy, dizziness, terrible cramps even in places I’ve never had cramps before (am I the first person ever to have a throat cramp?). All this on a VERY leisurely 10 mile ride.

I tweeted @soylent and they suggested adding a gram of salt. Does this seem about right? How much is a gram?

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Currently I’m adding 3.31g of non-iodized salt (kosher salt) to every pitcher of Soylent I make. That’s about 3/4 tsp.

Necromancing the thread because it’s the top result in Google this morning. I think I understand the reasoning for having less sodium when using Soylent as a supplement to a typical diet. Most food has too much salt in it to begin with.

However I was caught totally unawares by this. I was awakened this morning with the most horrible, brutal cramps in both legs the likes of which I’ve never had before. Serious, serious pain. It was an hour before I was able to comfortably walk, and stayed home from work because I wasn’t sure I could drive (operate the peddles) safely. I’ve never had nocturnal cramps before.

I’ve been using Soylent for a while, but mostly as a meal replacement when I need it. The last two days were the first multi-day stretch where I consumed only Soylent, so I’m pretty sure this is the cause. Some notification by Soylent that a bottle is not exactly equal to 1/5 of a standard intake for a day, as advertised, would have been nice and saved me a very painful morning.


I saw this thread as I was scrolling down the feed.

Note to the Soylent crew: People can add more sodium if they aren’t getting enough. Part of why I drink two bottles a day is that I have to maintain low (really more “moderate” just not compared to the actual diets of people nowadays) sodium due to Meniere’s disease. Soylent fits nicely in my diet but if sodium goes much higher compared to calories it will not.

I see that this thread is just people discussing whether they should supplement sodium and / or potassium, though. Good luck to you all. :slight_smile:

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But what if people wont know the muscle cramps are because of low sodium, if they get muscle cramps? It might not occur to them to add salt.