Muscle cramps are generally associated with, you know, exercise. A runner’s calf goes into an excruciating clench, a tennis star’s thigh becomes unusable right before the match. The thing is, muscle cramps don’t just happen when muscles are tired or overworked.
As a Nobel Prize-winning neuroscientist and a Harvard neurobiologist noticed, cramps happen while lying in bed, after stretching, and before a workout. But maybe the culprit is not the muscles, themselves. Maybe, a malfunction in the nervous system could trigger a cramp instead. So, according to The Wall Street Journal, the two began to study the neurological origins of muscular cramps.
The pair wanted to find a way to numb the nerves, and one way to do that was by ingesting “pungent tasting foods,” which stimulated receptors in the mouth and esophagus, overloading the nervous system and causing a numbing effect. In short, they found that spicy concoctions made their muscles less susceptible to cramps. The results became official last year.
So, instead of staying hydrated or eating bananas for potassium, a shot of spicy sports drink Hotshot—pun definitely intended—might work. The shot, the only one on the market made from cinnamon, ginger, and spicy pepper, keeps the nervous system running smoothly. That, or down a handful of habanero peppers.