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What does pickle juice have to do with cramps?

For years, athletes have tried pickle juice or mustard packets to alleviate a muscle cramp (Schumacher, 2010). The rapidity at which cramps were relieved meant that it could not be related to digestion, absorption, and distribution of the electrolytes in the pickle juice or spicy mustard. Further research showed that pickle juice triggered nerves in the mouth that signaled the spinal cord neurons with the result of reducing motor neuron activity to the cramping muscle. A mouth-to-brain-to-muscle mechanism could be effective at preventing EAMCs, where the activation of Transient Receptor Potential or so-called TRP ion channels in the sensory nerves within the oral cavity sense could reduce the hyperactivity of the motor nerves that sustain a cramp.

Using the TRP receptors, a spicy or pungent food, like pickle juice or mustard, signal neurons in a complex cascade to lessen or halt a cramp.

Other substances that stimulate TRP channels are things like wasabi, mustard oil, cinnamon, garlic and other pungent spices and it’s thought that this is where the idea of using pickle juice to cure muscle cramps comes from.

There are still few studies (Miller, 2014; Murray, 2016; Craighead et all, 2016) and additional investigation is needed, but can be a starting point to treats cramps in a different and non traditional way.

If you have pain just try one of these ingredients and see if that s work for you or not!

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