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Will we see any pros eating mustard in Ibiza? It actually might be a way to avoid cramps

Why bring salt tablets when a bottle of yellow mustard does the trick?

Photo by: QMJHL via Twitter

It’s playoff time in the world of pro hockey. While lots of attention has been paid to the hard hitting and spectacular plays, a video of Zachary L’Heureux from the Halifax Mooseheads guzzling mustard on the bench during a Quebec Major Junior Hockey League game on Wednesday has gone viral.

Turns out L’Heureux has been eating mustard during games for a number of years as a way to avoid leg cramps, he said during a post-game interview.

“Anything I can to avoid them,” he said. “I think it works, it’s the best remedy.”

Believe it or not there might actually be some validity to this approach. In a story posted on the Harvard Health Publishing site, mustard or pickle juice is listed as an “unproven remedy” that “may be worth a try.”

“Swallowing a teaspoon of mustard or an ounce of pickle juice before bedtime also has enthusiastic advocates,” the story continued. “In fact, the pickle juice preventive has become a staple among athletes who want to avoid being sidelined by cramps.”

While there’s no scientific evidence to back up the effects of mustard for reducing cramps, there isn’t much risk associated with trying it. The ingredients have anti-inflammatory properties and the salt might help replenish stores lost while sweating. The same goes for pickle juice.

According to a story posted on si.com in 2019, “It’s not clear why pickle juice relieves cramps. Like traditional sports drinks, it contains high concentrations of sodium, which athletes lose when they sweat, and potassium, an electrolyte. But studies have suggested pickle juice actually provokes a neurological reflex that prevents muscles from cramping.”

So, are we going to see any of the pros taking a container of mustard in their Bento box in Ibiza tomorrow? Based on the face L’Heureux made after his swig during the game on Wednesday, probably not.

Photo: QMJHL via Twitter