How to Prevent Muscle Cramps

How to Prevent Muscle Cramps

Unexpected muscle cramps have long been the Achilles heel for athletes at every level. From Olympians to weak and warriors. ​If you have cramps cramping your system on the basketball court or on the tennis court, we may have some solutions for you.

But first thing, let’s see what, in fact, are these evil cramps?

What Cause the Constant Muscle Cramps

​​The anatomic site of origin of muscle cramps has been debated for many years. Many authors have argued for the central origin of the abnormal discharges in the anterior horn cell.

​In fact, it is well known that cramps result from spontaneous discharges of motor nerves, but the site of origin of these discharges and their physiological mechanism remain controversial. Cramps are normal phenomena that nearly everyone experiences occasionally.

​However, the exact reason to cause constant muscle cramps can not be established. ​There are many factors that cause cramps, such as hypothyroidism, pregnancy, and dehydration.

Nobel Prize winner Rod MacKinnon found that pungent and spicy tastes can hinder neurological misfires that cause muscle cramps. More about his found below.

Supplements to Prevent Muscle Cramps

What Is Charley Horse Cramp

​Charley Horse is just another name for cramps. And more specific for leg cramps. ​In Australia, it is also known as a corked thigh.

The Most Common Cramps

​The most common and painful cramps are:

  • Cramp in Hamstring – Researchers have described 2 theories concerning the etiology of exercise-associated muscle cramping  (EAMC): (1) muscle fatigue and (2) electrolyte deficit; [1]
  • Cramp in toe;
  • Cramp in the thigh;
  • Cramp in hand;
  • Cramp in the foot;
  • Cramp behind knee;
  • Abdominal muscle cramps;
  • Back muscle cramps;
  • Chest muscle cramp;
  • Cramp in the shin;
  • Leg cramps;
  • Neck muscle spasm;
  • Cramp in the calf.

What Is the Best Remedy for Treating Cramps

​As we mentioned above, the Nobel Prize winner Rod MacKinnon found that pungent and spicy tastes can hinder neurological misfires that cause muscle cramps.

I have extracted the script from a live video by Lee Hawkins (LH), a news editor on WSJ and his guest (G).

  • (LH):

Lots of people thought that these muscle cramps derive from dehydration, but we are finding out that that’s not the case.

That’s what we have always thought.

And then when I run my legs are starting to tighten up and then I stop to grab some electrolytes gel packs some water and that would help you know eating one of these gels, but the recent research is showing that it may not be the muscles that are causing muscles cramps.

So it is really the nerves, right? ​

Prevent Muscle Cramps

  • (G):

Right, so that’s been a word of researches that this is a misfiring of your nerving pulses, the nerves that should be input and output the system and the nerves send messages to your muscles to behave in a certain way and then when you get a cramp it is essentially sending a bad message there.

​It is not the muscles telling the nerve to feel a certain way, but it is a poorly formed message going from the nerve to the muscle.

  • (LH):

And there are millions of studies out there, and you have to be skeptical, but this caught the attention of the Nobel prize-winning scientist.

  • (G):

Rod MacKinnon was kayaking ten years ago where this new thinking on cramps has begun. Rod MacKinnon, who won a Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2003, was kayaking in 2006 and got this terrible cramps in his arms, and it was kind of dangerous.

​Eventually, he back to shore where he got thinking about what was the cause of these cramps? Why do we get them?

And because he didn’t quite accept the idea that it was just about dehydration and electrolytes because he was hydrated and he had electrolytes so in looking into this, he kind of hypnotized that there was a problem with the nerving pulses, there was a problem with the message being sent.

How to Prevent Muscle Cramps

​And he sort of start to play with the ideas of things that could have settled these impulses down. ​And one of the things that do that is the incredibly spicy pungent tasting liquids and foods. What they do is that they sort of mellow out your nervous system in a way.

So he would eat spicy food or spicy drinks and then try electrically stimulate a cramp which can be done and what he found that was much harder to do if you were eating this spicy food beforehand and then he is continuing to do studies on it and long behold it seems to be working.

  • (LH):

Is there a growing market around spicy products?

  • (G):

He himself is actually part of a company that launched this product called Hot Shot.

​Which are a little bottle which comes in 1.7 fluid and you drink it 15-30 min before an activity, and the theory is that it will sort of prevent you from mellow out your nervous system and will prevent the system from cramping up and there are others that have taken homemade remedies for a long time.

  • (LH):

Have you tried it?

  • (G):

I have tried it, and you know it does kinda work. It is really interesting.

And you know it is hard to tell as it is not the thing that you can take a placebo – you can take a sugar pill or water tablet because you can not fool yourself because you need to taste it, you have to shock your system with something that is really pungent.

​So there may be something like a medical action that you are having, but you know those reactions are real. ​If you have that reaction and it prevents you from cramping up, and you run faster, then I guess it works.

Supplements that Help Fighting Muscle Cramping

​There must be a new spicy way to treat muscle cramps, but the old gold is still helpful when trying to prevent cramping up your muscles.

Stay hydrated, drink enough water.

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