You don’t have to be an athlete to suffer from muscle cramps, the sudden, involuntary spasms in your muscles. Causes of muscle cramps include dehydration, inadequate blood supply, nerve compression, and mineral deficiencies, like low calcium or potassium.
As you age, you begin to lose muscle mass, and the remaining muscle can be easily stressed, which leads to cramps. If you’ve ever experienced a muscle cramp you know how excruciating it can be. For a moment, you are left paralyzed, in pain, and almost helpless, feeling like you can’t do anything about it.
Well, a new study has revealed a secret to help you relieve muscle cramps.
Spicy Liquid Helps Relieve Muscle Cramps
If you like it hot, then good news, a recent study has found drinking a spicy liquid like wasabi or hot chilies may offer relief against muscle cramps. This fix was found to be more effective than eating a banana or consuming an energy drink.
Rod MacKinnon, the kayaker and Nobel Prize-winning scientist, said, “The primary origin of the cramp is the nerve, not the muscle.” This new understanding of muscle cramps led MacKinnon to uncover the solution.
MacKinnon began his research after severely cramping up ten years ago. The common causes of muscle cramps did not apply in that case, which led him and his colleague Dr. Bruce Bean to dig deeper – until they concluded that muscle cramps are sometimes due to misfire of the impulses in the nervous system. The researchers hypothesized that they could modify the nervous system by introducing a strong sensory input and by stimulating receptors in the mouth and esophagus – simply with the help of spicy foods.
Using himself as a lab rat, Dr. MacKinnon mixed together different spicy beverages while trying to induce cramps through electrical impulses. His theory proved right that it was far more difficult to produce muscle cramps when he drank the spicy concoction.
He then began testing his theory on others, and it was proven correct time and again.
So far Dr. MacKinnon, in collaboration with Flex Pharma Inc., has come out with a spicy beverage known as HotShot, which is a mix of ginger, cinnamon, and capsicum. The beverage isn’t refreshing, but it is a big help in preventing those painful spasms.
So, if you experience muscle cramps, it may be worth your while to get a bit spicy, don’t you think?