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Gotta love science by marketing... but really, these guys think they have it.

Review: HotShot resets your nerve-to-muscle communication to prevent cramps - Bikerumor

So it starts with where cramps come from. Dehydration? No. Over use? No. Muscles? No. Nerves. Sounds simple enough. Nerves do the signalling and controlling and such of muscles, and a cramp is when a nerve is basically freaking out making muscles then freak out.

Pickle juice. Mustard. Cyclists and runners know and use this stuff for cramping but why? Answer is the vinegar. The ascetic acid in the vinegar to be precise. So skip all of the sodium and junk, just drink a bit of vinegar right?

Well another company, the one that's claiming to have figured this all out, has a new product out and it's not vinegar based. They claim to have isolated out the "TRP channels" that connect nerves directly to the mouth, throat and stomach. They can "stimulate" these channels with their fancy ingredients to get the nerves to calm the f down. The ascetic acid I guess just does the same thing.

They sell their magic juice that has no listed ingredients 1.7 ounces at a time. HotShot. Well if you're reading this or the link in full I'll tell you their active ingredients: cinnamon, ginger and capsicum, mixed together they'll total .52 grams, so not much. Maybe make a batch for yourself that's a few grams total, then mix and divide.



So anyway, forget about the pickle juice or mustard or hotshot for a bit, this is pretty big news right? They figured out cramps? All we have to do is carry a tiny mix of cinnamon, ginger and capsicum with us? Or rest stops can just hand out tiny little shots of vinegar? That's pretty big news I would think. As far as I know cramps are seen as a mystery.
 

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I think the "it's not about hydration" thing has been around about as along as the "don't worry about peddling circles anymore" revelation. As I remember (and how I understood it) the newer thinking is that it is more about the electrical signals firing - and misfiring - causing the cramps. But, the misfiring was definitely a product of fatigue or "overuse".

If that magic potion is going to act as the muscle's distributor (young guys - that's what used to control the firing of cylinders in car engines)... then who wouldn't give it a shot.
 

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I have been Beta testing this for about 6 months and will say it absolutely worked for me. I am in no way associated with them in fact they are now charging me retail for the product, luckily I still have a few bottles left from the last Beta box they sent me. I don't know if it will work for everybody but it helped me and a friend of mine that I gave a couple of bottles to.

Here is the story:

Honestly I was a little skeptical at first but I had gotten to the point I was willing to try almost anything. I've been an amateur athlete for 30+ years, mostly running cross country and track but I also played Lacrosse and I had never really had muscle cramping. I also always seemed to perform better in the heat, takes me a long time to warm up. Last summer however while on the Chris King Gourmet Century, (which I had done the previous 2 years without issues), I started getting major cramping in both calf muscles about half way through to the point that I couldn't stand on the pedals. I attributed the cramping to the higher than usual temperatures, granted not extreme but I saw 110 deg on my bike computer just before lunch. But other than that I didn't give it much thought.

I took it easy for a couple of weeks as I had a triathlon coming up and wanted to be ready. I was feeling good and as soon as I tried to push the pace on either the bike or the run I would start to cramp again and this time the temps were closer to the normal 80 deg mark. Fast forward about a month to my third triathlon of the season which is now the middle of September so the temps are in the 70's and the cramping was the worst yet.

I went to the Doctor as never having this issue in the past I was clueless other than to drink more Electrolyte drinks which wasn't helping. The doctor ran blood test to check my Electrolyte levels, which was in the "normal" range, borderline but normal. The doctor told me I had been over training and to take at least a month off of physical activity, which I did, (you know how hard that is). But it didn't help, as soon as I started training again the cramps came back.

This was right about the time an article for #It's the Nerve, (which is what the code name for Hotshot was), came out. After visiting their web site I sent them an email asking if they would let me know when it was going to be available for purchase. They quickly responded to my email, (with in a few hours) wanting to know "My Story", essentially what I wrote above. I was then asked if I would be willing to try it and let them know of my results and this was before the official start of the beta period. I had a box of 16 bottles show up a few days later and an email with the directions on how to use it. I will tell you that first batch tasted bad, the batches during the beta test were much better and are much better cold. But after using it with my first few workouts I started to get better and able to push harder. Now I don't use it unless I am doing a very intense workout or if I end up pushing harder than planned I will drink a bottle after the workout.

Sorry for the long post, but I thought I should share my first hand experience with this. I can answer questions about my experience with Hotshot but don't know anything about the science besides what on their web site. Again I am now a paying customer and have no affiliation with them.

SS-
 

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dG said:
I did try it and it works, and it works *really* well. It won’t make you faster or make it hurt less; but you can make BIG efforts in the heat and not cramp. I am speaking from the perspective of a roadie, can’t vouch for others. The only drawback is it sits terribly in the stomach – but the discomfort goes away in about 10-15mins. But those 10mins are very uncomfortable. The thing is spicy and if you’re feeling queasy due to heat discomfort you might vomit. Bottom line: take it after a few hours, don’t over-exhert in those 10mins (say, skip your turn on a fast paceline and save the hill attack for 5km down the road), and you’ll be ok. But it does work if you can stomach it.
The above is in the comments of the link in the OP. I think it's quite important information. Some people cannot tolerate spicy stuff, especially while being super hot and sweaty already.


So maybe we should just carry small amounts of vinegar with us instead. It doesn't take that much, it's dirt cheap, and I'm sure you could use apple cider or whatever other kind of vinegar if desired. Seems so much easier.
 

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Drink enough water and take in some electrolytes. The summers here are hot and humid. I weigh myself before and after a ride to know how much sweat loss I've had. Today was 41 miles and I came home 3 pounds lighter even though I emptied two 28oz bottles. During a ride, I really never cramp but I do when I get home and do my stretching.

I don't think there's a fix all for cramping because everyone is different in how they handle hydration and how much they sweat out. I've used pickle juice several times here in NE Texas and it works well. I spent the majority of my adult life in the PNW and it doesn't get that hot so I didn't have the same issues.
 

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so just eat Indian food before each ride then. delish
Or a banana.

My experience is like bigbill's. Cramping, for me and we're all different, was pretty much a matter of nutrient deficiencies in the electrolytes that spark the nerves.

How about SportLegs? If it'll retard the burn, it also seems pretty good at retarding the cramps. I've never cramped since using it a few years ago. Without it, used to cramp in hot weather at the top of climbs or at the end of the ride, or yeah, taking a shower later.
 

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I have been Beta testing this for about 6 months and will say it absolutely worked for me. I am in no way associated with them in fact they are now charging me retail for the product, luckily I still have a few bottles left from the last Beta box they sent me. I don't know if it will work for everybody but it helped me and a friend of mine that I gave a couple of bottles to.

Here is the story:

Honestly I was a little skeptical at first but I had gotten to the point I was willing to try almost anything. I've been an amateur athlete for 30+ years, mostly running cross country and track but I also played Lacrosse and I had never really had muscle cramping. I also always seemed to perform better in the heat, takes me a long time to warm up. Last summer however while on the Chris King Gourmet Century, (which I had done the previous 2 years without issues), I started getting major cramping in both calf muscles about half way through to the point that I couldn't stand on the pedals. I attributed the cramping to the higher than usual temperatures, granted not extreme but I saw 110 deg on my bike computer just before lunch. But other than that I didn't give it much thought.

I took it easy for a couple of weeks as I had a triathlon coming up and wanted to be ready. I was feeling good and as soon as I tried to push the pace on either the bike or the run I would start to cramp again and this time the temps were closer to the normal 80 deg mark. Fast forward about a month to my third triathlon of the season which is now the middle of September so the temps are in the 70's and the cramping was the worst yet.

I went to the Doctor as never having this issue in the past I was clueless other than to drink more Electrolyte drinks which wasn't helping. The doctor ran blood test to check my Electrolyte levels, which was in the "normal" range, borderline but normal. The doctor told me I had been over training and to take at least a month off of physical activity, which I did, (you know how hard that is). But it didn't help, as soon as I started training again the cramps came back.

This was right about the time an article for #It's the Nerve, (which is what the code name for Hotshot was), came out. After visiting their web site I sent them an email asking if they would let me know when it was going to be available for purchase. They quickly responded to my email, (with in a few hours) wanting to know "My Story", essentially what I wrote above. I was then asked if I would be willing to try it and let them know of my results and this was before the official start of the beta period. I had a box of 16 bottles show up a few days later and an email with the directions on how to use it. I will tell you that first batch tasted bad, the batches during the beta test were much better and are much better cold. But after using it with my first few workouts I started to get better and able to push harder. Now I don't use it unless I am doing a very intense workout or if I end up pushing harder than planned I will drink a bottle after the workout.

Sorry for the long post, but I thought I should share my first hand experience with this. I can answer questions about my experience with Hotshot but don't know anything about the science besides what on their web site. Again I am now a paying customer and have no affiliation with them.

SS-
Not denying your results by any means, but were there changes to your training as you used the product? Changes in temperature, distances, intensities? Your diet? You say:

"But after using it with my first few workouts I started to get better and able to push harder. Now I don't use it unless I am doing a very intense workout or if I end up pushing harder than planned I will drink a bottle after the workout."

This is confounding? You say the product doesn't stop cramping it CURES it? Meaning, using doesn't only inhibit cramping because something or some combination of things is fixing the cramping problem, but instead, that combination of things is curing the cramping problem altogether, like an antibiotic cures a bacterial infection as opposed to how an NSAID relieves pain. Damn. That's some serious medicine.

Now, let's think... Do we know the root causes of cramping? Can we address something if we don't know what causes it? If we don't understand causation how can we imply cessation is the result of an intervening variable?
 

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Hey, we're doing the Paradise / Packwood / Skate Creek loop Sunday and the forecast is for 97 degrees in Packwood. We'll still have a couple thousand feet and maybe 20 miles left to do when we get there.

Don't be saying that it doesn't get hot in the PNW!
Drink enough water and take in some electrolytes. The summers here are hot and humid. I weigh myself before and after a ride to know how much sweat loss I've had. Today was 41 miles and I came home 3 pounds lighter even though I emptied two 28oz bottles. During a ride, I really never cramp but I do when I get home and do my stretching.

I don't think there's a fix all for cramping because everyone is different in how they handle hydration and how much they sweat out. I've used pickle juice several times here in NE Texas and it works well. I spent the majority of my adult life in the PNW and it doesn't get that hot so I didn't have the same issues.
 

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Not denying your results by any means, but were there changes to your training as you used the product? Changes in temperature, distances, intensities? Your diet? You say:

"But after using it with my first few workouts I started to get better and able to push harder. Now I don't use it unless I am doing a very intense workout or if I end up pushing harder than planned I will drink a bottle after the workout."

This is confounding? You say the product doesn't stop cramping it CURES it? Meaning, using doesn't only inhibit cramping because something or some combination of things is fixing the cramping problem, but instead, that combination of things is curing the cramping problem altogether, like an antibiotic cures a bacterial infection as opposed to how an NSAID relieves pain. Damn. That's some serious medicine.

Now, let's think... Do we know the root causes of cramping? Can we address something if we don't know what causes it? If we don't understand causation how can we imply cessation is the result of an intervening variable?
Well maybe the cramping is a result of undertrained muscles unable to metabolize electrolytes at high intensities, and they cramp up. Then after they get in shape, they no longer need compensation provided by the chemical enhancement. The necessary chemicals will be adequately provided by healthy food and drink.
 

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Not denying your results by any means, but were there changes to your training as you used the product? Changes in temperature, distances, intensities? Your diet? You say:

"But after using it with my first few workouts I started to get better and able to push harder. Now I don't use it unless I am doing a very intense workout or if I end up pushing harder than planned I will drink a bottle after the workout."

This is confounding? You say the product doesn't stop cramping it CURES it? Meaning, using doesn't only inhibit cramping because something or some combination of things is fixing the cramping problem, but instead, that combination of things is curing the cramping problem altogether, like an antibiotic cures a bacterial infection as opposed to how an NSAID relieves pain. Damn. That's some serious medicine.

Now, let's think... Do we know the root causes of cramping? Can we address something if we don't know what causes it? If we don't understand causation how can we imply cessation is the result of an intervening variable?
The only change in my workouts was to go back to what I was doing before the cramping.

Before I started using it I was drinking multiple electrolyte drinks a day as well as adding salt to my diet, (I usually eat a lower sodium diet because of my wife's needs) and none of this was helping. That is why I reached out to #It'stheNerve and I started noticing an improvement shortly after drinking it. Was it all in my head, maybe, all I know is it helped me get back to the levels I was before. I am not claiming that it will cure cramping or work for every body but I never had cramping in the past so it did help me get back to where I was before. I am also not saying it wasn't the combination of everything I was doing but before taking it I wasn't noticing any improvement.

I am also a firm believer there is no-one cure for everybody, not just with cramping but everything medical, there are just to many variables in the human body. I also believe there isn't one cause for cramping so isn't going to be one solution. I never had a cramping problem before so for me it was almost cure. I still get twitching in my calf's after an intense workout, (which is what happening before when I would get cramps) but they haven't cramped in months. Yes I haven't been exposed to the same heat as when they first started but before they went away it didn't matter what the temp was I was getting them in all temps. I do have a Half Ironman planned for the middle of July in an area that gets hot in the summer, so I am trying to save the few bottles I have left.

The main ingredient in Hotshot is capsaicin extract so would eating chili peppers do the same thing, maybe it does seam to "cure" a lot of things. Again it worked for me, will it work for everybody, I don't know.

SS-
 

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I am a cramper and I think some people are just prone to cramping.

I can be in great shape with a perfect diet and cramp during a ride or I can be in poor shape with a bad diet and cramp during a ride. I have been like this my entire life and I have been very athletic my entire life.

It doesn't seem to be an electrolyte issue, a muscular fatigue issue or anything else that I can put my finger on and some days are way worse than ever.

There are times where I can do a hard 60 mile ride with no issue what so ever and then the next time I may cramp at 20 miles. This can occur at time when I am well rested so it isn't an over-training issue either.

Vinegar seems to be the only thing that pulls me out of cramps and lets me continue rides once the cramps start. Heck, I will try this stuff, I will try anything.

If you are not a cramper, you don't understand this. My wife has never had a cramp in her life. She can be in shape or out of shape and go do a long, hard ride and never cramp. She just is either faster or slower depending on her shape.
 

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I am a cramper and I think some people are just prone to cramping.

I can be in great shape with a perfect diet and cramp during a ride or I can be in poor shape with a bad diet and cramp during a ride. I have been like this my entire life and I have been very athletic my entire life.

It doesn't seem to be an electrolyte issue, a muscular fatigue issue or anything else that I can put my finger on and some days are way worse than ever.

There are times where I can do a hard 60 mile ride with no issue what so ever and then the next time I may cramp at 20 miles. This can occur at time when I am well rested so it isn't an over-training issue either.

Vinegar seems to be the only thing that pulls me out of cramps and lets me continue rides once the cramps start. Heck, I will try this stuff, I will try anything.

If you are not a cramper, you don't understand this. My wife has never had a cramp in her life. She can be in shape or out of shape and go do a long, hard ride and never cramp. She just is either faster or slower depending on her shape.
This.
Lots of my teammates have problems w/ cramping, and they tend to have better diets than I do. (Maybe they need to drink more beer?)
I do get them occasionally, but not often enough that I can identify the triggers.

From the description of how it sits in the stomach, I think I'd rather carry mustard packets or drink pickle juice.
 

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This.
Lots of my teammates have problems w/ cramping, and they tend to have better diets than I do. (Maybe they need to drink more beer?)
I do get them occasionally, but not often enough that I can identify the triggers.

From the description of how it sits in the stomach, I think I'd rather carry mustard packets or drink pickle juice.
Mustard??? No way, it's an emetic. If anyone strumbles across this thread in the future, do not use mustard for anything. If you are committed to faux solutions, go with pickle juice or beets or whatever, just stay away from mustard.
 

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Mustard??? No way, it's an emetic. If anyone strumbles across this thread in the future, do not use mustard for anything. If you are committed to faux solutions, go with pickle juice or beets or whatever, just stay away from mustard.
You act like this is out of left field- the OP mentioned mustard, I wasn't the one who first brought it up. I don't cramp much, so I'm not "committed" to anything, thankfully. For many of my friends/teammates, they seem to think anything w/ vinegar in it works- which would include both mustard and pickle juice, I believe.
Regardless, I do have some pickle juice on occasion... and mustard w/ my pretzels, of course.
 

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I think I need to give this stuff a try. Last August was the first time I ever had any cramping and it happened 3 miles into the hardest Spartan Super course they have on the schedual (9 miles in Virginia). I had to sit for 20 minutes until my calf calmed down and was able to shake it off for the rest of the course. In September of last year I ran a trail half marathon and tried the mustard packs. With 5 miles to go I started cramping but the mustard packs staved it off for 3 miles. For the last two I had to walk and the mustard packs just didn't help.

Now early into my road cycling journey I was having major calf cramping problems earlier this year. I made it up to 30 miles and was trying to increase that. Suddenly cramping issues started and I could only make it 15 miles before my calf muscles would lock up. There was nothing wrong with my diet. More sodium and potassium didn't help.

I stopped by a Vitamin Shoppe and an employee that runs marathons suggested magnesium. The first ride after taking more magnesium the cramping was gone for 25 miles. It's slowly gotten better and I'm up to 60 miles now at a slow pace. I still can't push 100% on high wattage intervals without cramping up and climbs on long rides can be a problem. I can however recover after a cramp now. I wonder if Hotshot is what I need to end the cramping.

I don't even use the magnesium anymore and it doesn't seem to make a difference with or without it. In a way that "cured" my cramping. It was the only change that I made in the process. I'm wondering if its just a matter of getting more of certain ingredients that your body needs as it develops which become unnessisary later.
 

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I have never been a 'cramper' aside from the very rare occasion when I'd stretch and trigger one in a calf or hamstring.

I have never had a cramp of any kind during any activity, including running track and cross country in high school, road and track (bike) racing for a few years in the 80s, and 20 years in the military with various physical activities associated with that...

Lately though, I have had fairly consistent cramping in my right hamstring when stretching at night before bed (especially if I rode that day).

I think this is in part due to some sciatica symptoms I occasionally get on the right side (glute/hammy/calf/foot). I never get any cramps on the left side at all. I suppose this association with the sciatica/pinched nerve in my back could support the contention that cramps are (or can be?) caused by neurological problems and not chemical or physical stresses associated with activity?
 

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I'm wondering if its just a matter of getting more of certain ingredients that your body needs as it develops which become unnessisary later.
You need sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium. As to how much of each, it varies per individual but the important thing is not to be deficient in any one of those.
 

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You act like this is out of left field- the OP mentioned mustard, I wasn't the one who first brought it up. I don't cramp much, so I'm not "committed" to anything, thankfully. For many of my friends/teammates, they seem to think anything w/ vinegar in it works- which would include both mustard and pickle juice, I believe.
Regardless, I do have some pickle juice on occasion... and mustard w/ my pretzels, of course.
I could swear straight mustard is used to make you throw up! It acts like ipecac. I guess if you are doing it it's not making you heave... Maybe the packets have very little actual mustard in what's in them? I'd stay away given the emetic properties, but again, if it's helping people...
 
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