Nutrition Tip October 9 2010

Cramping?…There May Be Something to These Folk Remedies

The following tips are considered folk remedies, but I wanted to include them as they may be worth giving a shot.

Mustard:  For years coaches have given mustard to their athletes with leg cramps. Cramps are sometimes caused by a deficiency in acetylcholine, the neurotransmitter that stimulates your muscles to work. Mustard has acetic acid, which helps the body make more acetylcholine. Take a spoonful or two of mustard.

Pickle juice:  As with mustard, coaches have given pickle juice to their athletes with leg cramps. Pickle juice also has acetic acid, which helps the body make more acetylcholine. Take a few ounces of pickle juice….or try the pickle juice that some cycling stores carry.

Quinine/tonic water:  Drinking four to eight ounces of tonic water (make sure it has quinine in it) an hour before going to bed is a very effective remedy for most people. If it is too tart for you, add some lemon for flavoring. You should notice a difference within a few days, otherwise discontinue. OTC quinine was banned by the FDA because of health risks, but there is enough quinine in tonic water to help most people.