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Snooth User: skeeboy

Red wine causing leg cramps??

Original post by skeeboy, Mar 16, 2010.

Does anyone else get night-time leg/thigh/foot cramps after drinking red wine????  Here lately it's been brutal.  Any recommendations out there?  I'm not sure if whites would cause it also, I'm strictly a red guy lately.

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Reply by Beth Niles, Dec 22, 2011.

I can corroborate the red wine/leg cramp phenomenon but I don't know why either. I rarely imbibe anything other than wine and it happens if I consume more than a few glasses. Eating doesn't affect it either way. I get them whether I have eaten or not and it isn't everytime by any means. It starts in the feet and ascends into the calves. The only thing for it is to get up and walk it off. Or stop drinking wine.. hmm..

Reply by gardenchic, Jan 5, 2012.

your lacking potassium, get it into you,

Reply by Marilynch123, Jan 26, 2012.

I don't have leg cramps, but for some reason when I drink red wine I get back spasms.  This site has really been helpfull, I will try someone the sugestions and see what happens,  Thanks

Reply by Old Choctaw, Jan 26, 2012.

Gardenchic above is spot-on.  If you are cramping, it is almost assuredly a result of potassium deficiency.

Do you take blood pressure drugs?  They may well be postassium wasting.  One big culprit is Lasix (generic Furosemide).

Alcohol is itself a diuretic.  When one consumes too much wine, the result is increased urination and possible potassium loss.

There are also a number of medical conditions, some are quite serious, that give rise to cramping.

Talk to your doctor - see what he/she says.

Good luck to all.

Reply by napagirl68, Jan 29, 2012.

Wine, or any alcohol- even in moderation,  can disrupt your sleep.  Do these cramps come on quickly after ingestion?  or is it the next day?  Not sleeping can cause horrible muscle spasms...

Reply by catsnorchids, Jan 30, 2012.

I'm having the same problem, but it is NOT red-wine specific.  Beginning to think that alcohol itself is the culprit, and am going to try the potasium solution.  Tired of waking up 2-3 times per night, after having only 2 or 3 glasses of wine in a long evening!

Reply by carolkir, Jan 31, 2012.

Are any of you taking statin drugs? This sounds very much like my reaction to most statins.

Reply by givenyoung, Feb 1, 2012.

Drink at least one 8 oz. glass of water for every glass of wine.  Dink a glass just before going to bed.

Gravity holds water in the lower part of your body when you're upright during the day, and at night you lie down and the water redistrubutes, seeking the kidneys which remove the water.  You need water to flush toxins from your body.  Your cramps hsppen because your leg muscles need are seeking WATER

CORRECT TIMES TO DRINK WATER (no matter if you have alcohol on board):

2 glasses after waking activates internal organs

1 glass 30 minutes before a meal to aid digestion.

1 glass of water before a bath lowers blood pressure.

1 glass of water before bed avoids stroke or heart attack.

Dee in California

Reply by lmayer39, Mar 22, 2012.

Corraboration. Red Wine 2-3 glasses with dinner provokes awful night cramps as I fall asleep.Never have any symptoms at all during the rest of the night or daytime.  Docs have provided absurd diagnoses from RLS to wanting to prescribe meds for Parkinsons. I exerercise every day, hydrate with water and vitamin drinks, eat my bananas etc. ( except during my trial with eliminating the wine)  The only conclusive conclusion after a process of elimination is that the cramps cease when I stopped drinking red wine a week ago. Beer, 2-3 bottles is fine, no cramps. Anyone have any ideas as to what natural chemicals in red wine seem to cause this?

Reply by cconiglio, May 16, 2012.

I have herniated discs and slight spinal stenosis that can cause hamstring cramping when I sit too much - or if I sleep in the wrong position.  But I too have noticed a pattern of severe leg cramping (lower legs especially and feet) when I consume 1 or 2 glasses of red wine.  The cramps can be excruciating.

The banana at night helps most of the time - but fo really bad episode a small cup of quinine water (which can have potential side affects) has helped.  I stopped drinking wine for a month and experienced no night cramps.   Coincidence??  I think not.


Reply by nanatana, Jul 1, 2012.

I too am a leg cramp sufferer and I have been trying to isolate the cause. The thigh leg cramps are the worst! I believe that I am up in the middle of the night writing this because I had 2 glasses of Pinot Noir with dinner. Sulfites in wine might be the cause. I've heard so much about it being related to dehydration but I drink a ton of water. I've also been taking a magnesium supplement before bed. I also am allergic to sulfa antibiotics (rash) I wonder if there is any correlation. I love red wine but I can't take the leg cramps!

Reply by zufrieden, Jul 1, 2012.

This is an old thread, but the topic is of interest.  I do not get cramps.  Of course I am getting up there in age, but the problem seems to be caused by an allergic reaction to red wine if consumption exceeds 3-5 glasses in an evening.  I get warm feet rather than leg cramps.  Ring any bells?

Reply by paulo, Jul 25, 2012.

the acid in some red wines causes leg cramps.  I recommend Italian wines as the un-natural

additives are not usually used.    I suggest VALPOLICELLA BY FOLONARI (ANY YEAR)

No  teeth stains, no acid stomach, and leg with a clean finish and excelent or your colesteral.

I have 2 glasses each night.  My doctor is amazed. Cheers.

Reply by Erica Landin, Jul 27, 2012.

Magnesium and potassium imbalances often result in cramps and can be caused by alcohol consumption. If the re-hydration doesn't help, try magnesium/potassium tablets (and/or a banana). If this doesn't help either, are you sure they are cramps and not pains? The dehydration caused by alcohol consumption can result in bouts of gout pains if you have a build-up of crystals. Take a few days off wine and see what happens, try the things suggested in the thread, and otherwise (or either way!) talk to your doctor. My two cents, hope you get better! /Erica

Reply by Mojaveman, Sep 23, 2012.

I stumbled across this thread and would like to add my two cents worth.  About two years ago I began experiencing night cramps in my feet and legs.  Some nights they wake me up 6 or 7 times.  The pain can be excruciating, but the sleep deficit is what is taking its' toll.

My doc told me that these symptoms are usually from an electrolyte deficiency, but my labs show that all electrolytes are within the normal range.  I have tried bananas, sports drinks, salt, apple cider vinegar, tonic water - all to no avail.  A couple months ago I decided to eliminate red wine from my diet and see if that helps.  With mixed emotions I discovered that my night cramps disappear when I do not consume any red wine.  I went almost a month red-wine-free, and slept all night without night cramps.  Then one night we decided to enjoy a nice Silver Oak cab with grilled steaks.   That very night the dreaded night cramps came back with a vengeance.  My mixed emotions come from the relief that it seems that I have discovered the cause of the night cramps and can thus eliminate the cause - I am also greatly disappointed that the only way that I can again savor a magnificent bottle of red wine is doing so knowing that I will pay a heavy price for it that night.  BUMMER!

My love and appreciation for red wines began in the early 1980's.  It is only in the past two years that I have  discovered the side effects that destroy my sleep cycle whenever I drink reds.

For those on this thread that are experiencing the same side effects from drinking red wine, I propose that you join me in an experiment and report back your findings to this thread.  What  do you think it is in red wine that causes these night cramps?  Is it the sulfites?  lactic acid?  Are there any red wines that you have discovered that do NOT give you night cramps?  In the last two months, I drank two "fine" reds (a pinot noir, and a cabernet), and an inexpensive house red at an Italian restaurant.  All three times I paid the price later that night with the leg cramps.  I would be willing to experiment maybe once a month with a different red wine each time trying to find one that would allow me to go all night cramp-free after consuming a glass or two...  

I don't believe that any of my favorite reds are sulfite free.  Does anyone know of any outstanding reds that do not have sulfites?  If red wines contribute to your having night cramps, and you happen to find one that does NOT - please share it with those of us on this board that have had to forgo red wine to avoid night cramps.

Thanks in advance for any tips you might share!

Reply by Snoother 1165555, Dec 6, 2012.

I always get leg cramps after I drink red wine. It is a bummer because I do love a good red.

There is a definite pattern though over the past 7 years. No denying it.

I also noticed too, that if it's a better quality wine  and I eat plenty for dinner that  the cramps aren't as bad.

They can be quite pain full and disfigure my feet and legs for what seems like an eternity.

Walking around the bedroom tends to ease the cramps.

Gin and Tonic seems to do the trick though too.

(Or just Tonic.) 

Reply by Snoother 1174685, Jan 5, 2013.

This is all really interesting!  I too suffer with red wine consumption and have to be very careful about which ones I drink.  I not only get the leg and foot cramps but a cramp up the back of my neck into my head which causes a horrible migraine (not a hangover).  And like you all, I take good care of myself, have tried everything, and have experimented with the best of you.  Here is what I have found:  Most wines made in Italy do not cause this.  Wines made in Mexico do not cause this.  More expensive European wines are mostly ok.  Wines made in the United States DO cause all kinds of problems! I believe it is a reaction to specific sulphites or some additive they are putting into the wines here.  This reaction is becoming more and more common with many people I know.  I wish I was a chemist and could figure this out!

There are some brands that I do not go near at all.  I have also found one brand where the cab gives me a reaction but the merlot is ok. Upon looking at the label, it is an Italian wine, and says it contains sulphites, but there is something about it that is not so toxic to me.  If you are looking for a moderately priced wine, see what Ecco Domani Merlot does for you. 

Reply by napagirl68, Jan 7, 2013.

Well, some CA wines do affect me... not so much with cramps, but rather sinusitus,  headache, neck muscle aches.  I am finding at this point in my life, it is both quality and varietal based.   In general, Pinot Noir does not bother me at all.  Everything else is dependent:  Chards and Sauvs are sketchy...  some bother me, and some are ok in moderation.  I do way better with pinot noir than Chards/sauvs.   I agree, European wines are less likely to affect me.  Chilean are bad for me.  I am not sure why this is,and  it has gotten worse recently.

Reply by Wai Xin Chan, Jan 7, 2013.

Has anyone come across allergy on tannins?

Reply by Snoother 1266897, Mar 24, 2013.

Dr Paul London guy - hi room, interesting comments I must say, just lying in bed with muscle cramps after drinking red wine. These cramps really only started when I first started drinking red wine last year. I had never drank red wine before that. I have studied and counter studied ever since to confirm. I have also been a huge bread eater. Has anyone spotted the link yet? With myself I have stopped using so much salt lately, ie. Potassium may well be low however cramps are far worse with red wine. The link between the use of bread and wine is the yeast this also lead to to recent bouts of ME, severe fatigue. Yeast is different process of fermentation in red wine and yeast would no doubt react differently with red grapes and quantities of yeast varies. Yeast actually breaks down and gas is produced (gases cause bread to rise). Ok so the production of gas in the body and yeast breakdown at far different rates in red wine compared to white. Ok keep listening, massive research in us links yeast overload, like my one to pains in body both muscles and bones. Now yeast penetrates into the muscles and clings to bone joints as this yeast breaks down the gases are formed this leads muscle pain, spasms etc. Coupled with loss of salts.. Mmm does this open up your mind to it I wonder? Try cutting down bread, increasing salt & a detox massage with regular sauna visits.... Would be good to receive feed back.  I am not a specialist but there must be loads of areas of research linking to this on various subjects. Red wine for me does not pass through body as quick as white wine...

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