Why do spicy foods prevent cramps?
When you eat something incredibly spicy or pungent, your neurons are too busy firing off to your mouth and esophagus to worry about sending faulty signals to your muscles. After a series of at-home tests where he induced muscle cramps with electricity, the masochistic Dr. MacKinnon consistently found the spicy drinks helped prevent said cramps. After testing the theory on others, he partnered up with a biotech company to make a specialized spicy concoction available to the masses.
The result is the HOTSHOT, an over-the-counter, drinkable supplement athletes can purchase online or in certain stores in Boston, Los Angeles, and Boulder. So far it looks like distance runners have been the quickest to embrace it; HOTSHOT says it has several US runners expected to compete at the Rio Olympics, along with Ironman champion Craig "Crowie" Alexander on board to use the shots.
You could also try to DIY it with your favorite hot sauce, but that's decidedly unscientific. At between $5 and $7 per shot, it seems pricey, but the mix of ginger, cinnamon, and capsicum could be enough to ward off potentially career-ruining cramps before a big game or event. Plus it probably doesn't taste much worse than a shot you'd buy at a bar for at least that much, and it's a hell of a lot better than having your Olympic dreams ruined.