It’s one thing to stretch and rub a leg cramping while walking or playing golf, but it is a moment of agony to wake up in the middle of the night with three toes cramped tight, turned under and sideways while the left calf is pulsating knots of pain up and down the leg. Screaming, grabbing, and yanking myself out of bed to stand and push the pain away, as tears ofsurprise and near anger flowed down my cheeks, is one way to handle the moment. Actually, I didn’t stop to think of a better way.
Options in the past for recovering from summer’s heat, and the perspiration my body exudes when exercising have been to drink “Smart Styx” replenishment supplements, 60-100 oz of water daily, eat a banana, or drink a nice cool beer in a frosted mug with salt on the rim, and continue to take daily doses of calcium, potassium, and magnesium pills.
I mentioned my agonizing leg cramps to my physical therapist, Natoshia, Therapy in Motion. Immediately, like a chorus to a song Natoshia and another therapist chimed in “You need to drink pickle juice!” They looked at each other and laughed. She continued, “You need to drink pickle juice or eat a dill pickle everyday, and eat a banana before you play golf or go for long walks.”
“I’ve never heard of pickle juice as a cure,” I retorted and then laughed, “Unless it was to drink with Crown Royal shots after you’ve lost a golf match.”
Naturally, that line was a stopper. They listened as I recalled the time Manon and I were beat early in a “Horse Race” at a golf tournament at Smoky Hills Golf Course in Hays, Ks. As spectators, the cart girl came by offering us drinks. Our friends who’d also lost suggested we try Crown Royal shots and dill pickle juice. I can assure you that I did not suffer leg cramps that weekend, nor did I suffer a hangover, but we sure laughed a lot.
But I digress.
Being a dutiful student, I bought a 6-pack of Pickle Juice at Academy Sports, and bananas at Braum’s, plus Ice Cream bars just because. I ate the banana before I drove in the driveway. That afternoon while relaxing on the patio, I discovered that I enjoyed the flavor of the nutritional bottle of pickle juice, loaded with sodium, vitamins, calcium, zinc, iron, and potassium. For those, like me, who can eat a healthy dose of salt consider sprinkling salt on bananas, grapefruit, and cucumbers instead of sugar.
Most recently, I rediscovered the old fashioned giant dill pickle that spurts juice everywhere when I take a bite. For a brief moment, I’m back at the Coleman Theatre on a Saturday afternoon with friends where I could buy a large dill pickle out of the jar for only a dime. Coleman Theatre
Did the pickle juice and banana help? Yes. So far no leg cramps in the last three weeks.
I’m not recommending this pickle juice/banana regime for everyone, because I have low blood pressure, perspire measurably, and can handle salt. I’ve always been a salt lover, while my husband can thrive on chocolate. If I eat ice cream I often follow up with a saltine cracker and smile.
In reflection, perhaps it is the salt of the earth that helps us to endure.