Phys Ed: Can Pickle Juice Stop Muscle Cramps? – NYTimes.com


I’ve talked a number of times about the enduring mystery of muscle cramps. No real knowledge exists as to why they occur; only educated and uneducated guesses that have absolutely no research to rely on. Until now.

It’s been a highly accepted bit of exercise lore that pickle juice can reduce the duration of cramps, and I’ve suggested it to a number of clients and “spinners” over the years. Everyone assumes its the electrolytes, potassium and salt that helps, though I’ve repeatedly pointed out that the exercise science literature shows that perfectly hydrated people with excellent electrolyte profiles cramp with the same frequency as everyone else statistically.

Why it helps no one could say. Until now. Pickle juice has been specifically studied as to its efficacy in combatting cramps, and been found very effective. This, in and of itself, also gives compelling clues as to why muscles actually cramp, as well.

Of course, further studies need to be done. Read the interesting New York Times piece below.
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http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/06/09/phys-ed-can-pickle-juice-stop-muscle-cramps/

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2 thoughts on “Phys Ed: Can Pickle Juice Stop Muscle Cramps? – NYTimes.com

  1. I know this is a bit off topic, but after a tough workout I can feel the muscles starting to tighten up and I know the next day they will be stiff. Is there any way to reduce those effects? In other words, what is the best way to get muscles restored to optimal condition?

    1. The tightness and soreness is the inevitable result of a tough workout. All you can really do is make sure you consume high quality protein and a mix of simple and complex carbs so that your body can start the repairing process to make you stronger. Perhaps you should consume a whey protein smoothie immediately after a particularly hard workout, after all. It might reduce the severity of the soreness and speed up the recovery process in general. Branched Chain amino acid supplements might work as well.

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