Most everyone in the world has experienced a muscle cramp, whether you’re an athlete or not. Sometimes cramps are annoying, like when you’re lying in bed and a charlie horse attacks your calf out of nowhere. At other times, cramps can be extremely detrimental.
Like when you’re about to start a race. Everyone else takes off, and you’re doubled in half over pain you can’t control.
Muscle Cramps have always been a seemingly uncontrollable pain for athletes.
According to research done by Dr. Rod MacKinnon, a Nobel Prize winning scientist, cramps may not be so uncontrollable anymore.
It used to be a common belief that cramps are caused by muscles that lack electrolytes, or muscles that are overworked and dehydrated. This would make sense for cramps that happen after a workout or race.
But what about the ones happening right before?
Or the cramps that happen while the muscles are completely at rest?
Humans are imperfect beings, and cramps are a result of us, as a species, not being evolved quite correctly. There isn’t any logical explanation as to why they happen.
Now, there might be a way to treat muscle cramps for good.
Dr. MacKinnon, whose hands and arms dangerously contracted while he was kayaking seven miles from shore in Massachusetts, has a theory though. “The primary origin of the cramp is the nerve, not the muscle,” he told the Wall Street Journal.
So in order to combat the cramps, it’s not the actual muscles we have to worry about. We have to go straight to the control center.
By eating spicy food.
Peppers, cinnamon, ginger, you name it.
Dr. MacKinnon conducted a series of scientific tests on both himself and random participants, and found the same answer across the board. The spicy foods worked.
It’s a remedy some student-athletes might have already heard to handle muscle cramps: drinking high-sodium pickle juice in order to replace electrolytes, or drinking beet and cherry juice so the antioxidants would fight off muscle tension.
Prone to muscle cramps? Try it out – and let us know if you feel the benefits.
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