Athletes often use sports drinks and energy gels to refuel and prevent muscle cramps during strenuous activities. These costly and high sugar aids can easily be replaced by a simple fast food staple: mustard packets.
Muscle cramps are often caused by a deficiency in acetylcholine, the neurotransmitter that simulates the muscles during work. When consumed, mustard triggers the body to produce more acetylcholine, due to it’s high acetic acid content.
Turmeric, which gives mustard it’s rich yellow hue, is thought to have beneficial properties as well. Often touted as an anti-inflammatory and a natural arthritis aid, turmeric is thought to reduce muscle stiffness and joint swelling.
Vinegar, found in prepared mustard, is another home remedy which is effective in relieving muscle cramps. Just one packet of mustard contains the same amount of sodium as 8 oz. of Gatorade Endurance. The combination of vinegar, sodium and turmeric packs a big punch in supporting athlete’s quick nutritional needs.
If your artificially flavored sports gels and drinks aren’t cutting the mustard anymore, it might be time to try the real deal.
photo: Glasshouse Images