Capsaicin Prevents Muscle Cramps

Muscle cramps are caused by excessive firing of nerve cells in the spinal cord that control muscle contraction— according to studies presented at the annual meetings of the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Academy of Neurology by Nobel laureate Roderick MacKinnon. A study led by Jay Hoffman from the University of Central Florida in Orlando found that HMB might help prevent the effects of overtraining. Flooding the sensory nerves in the mouth, esophagus and stomach with a pungent liquid consisting of spice extracts prevents nervous system overload of muscles that can trigger cramps. Based on his research, a company called FLEXPharma developed HOTSHOT to tone down neural overreaction to training and prevent cramps. The product may also help people stricken with nocturnal cramping. While the concept is interesting, it hasn’t been tested in rigorous scientific studies. (The Wall Street Journal, July 12, 2016)

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