Tennis Identity

How to prevent cramping on court

After cramping stopped Milos Raonic’s run at the U.S. Open I took some time to see if I could find any new methods for preventing the occasional but debilitating problem. The videos below are tough-to-watch.

Milos Raonic 2016:

Jack Sock 2015:

Peng Shuai 2014:

Rafa Nadal 2011:

Scary to see these super fit athletes succumb to such incredible pain isn’t it?

There’s hope in a single new product I’ve just learned about.

HOTSHOT is an all natural drink that is scientifically designed to prevent painful cramping. It’s packaged as individual shots you down before you compete, if you get a cramp and for recovery.

First of all, what causes cramping?

“For many years, sports scientists have debated whether exercise-associated muscle cramps–EAMCs for short–are caused by factors such as dehydration and salt loss that directly affect muscle function or by other factors that influence the function of the nerves that control muscles. New research findings raise the possibility of a third theory, one that settles the debate by unifying the two camps under one banner: EAMCs are caused by hyperactive motor nerves.” says Dr. Bob Murray, PH.D., FACSM and Principal at Sports Science Insights and advisor to  HOTSHOT

We asked Dr. Murray about Raonic’s recent episode and this new formula designed to prevent cramps from even starting.

T.I.: Could Raonic’s cramping have been prevented with your product or are the conditions just too extreme out there on the hot, humid hard courts?

Dr. Murray: Everyone reacts to climatic and physical conditions differently – but the neuro muscular processes that cause exercise-induced muscle cramps appear to be the same with all athletes.

HOTSHOT was designed by a Nobel Prize-winning neuroscientist with these specific processes in mind: to calm the hyper-excited nerves that cause muscle cramps. As the only scientifically proven formula on the market today, it’s fair to say that HOTSHOT may prevent the muscle cramps that are common among tennis players.

T.I.:  How does it work?

Dr. Murray: Motor nerves control muscles, and when a nerve becomes destabilized, it fires repeatedly, causing a muscle cramp.

HOTSHOT’s proprietary blend of organic ingredients stimulates the TRP ion channels on nerves in the mouth, esophagus and stomach that send signals to the brain and spinal cord to inhibit hyperactive motor nerves, controlling Neuro Muscular Performance and preventing and treating muscle cramps. In other words, HOTSHOT is formulated to muscle cramps where they start, at the nerve.

The company instructs: To avoid cramps, down the spicy shot 20-30 minutes before you train or compete. If a cramp does strike, gulp another for quick relief.
The product is lactose and gluten free and NSF Certified for Sport, meaning it’s free of any banned substances.
A few more common but helpful tips that will help you to keep cramps at bay:
Train so that you are fresh for competition – With any sport, you’ve got to keep your goal in mind on training days. As competition day gets nearer, how you train for that goal changes. Make sure you don’t work your muscles so hard in the days leading up to competition that they’re drained half way through your first match. Taper your training leading up to competition. This will preserve energy stores, keep your muscles primed for optimum performance, and reduce the risk that training fatigue will contribute to cramping.
Eat well and hydrate – Make healthy and reasonable choices at the table that will help and not hinder on the court. If you know that sodium loss is an issue for you, compensate in the day leading up the competition. Don’t overdo or try any exotic dish at the last minute, but make sure you’ve taken in ample sodium for the sweaty day ahead. Keep a sports drink on hand instead of plain water, or add a salt tablet to your bottle to make sure you’re getting what you need.
Stretch – Athletes of all stripes are susceptible to muscle cramps. Your thigh suddenly writhing in spasms is not indication of your proficiency, so don’t try to muscle through it. Stretch the affected muscle, but don’t go too far. It is tempting as the pain eases to stretch a bit further—if a little helps, imagine what a lot can do, right? As with warmup and cool down stretches, overextending yourself is never a good idea.
Find HOTSHOT here.
Worth a shot right? 😉 Pun intended but seriously, cramps are no joke.

Sign up for our weekly email