Fitness Test: HOTSHOT

Fitness Test: HOTSHOT
 

What It Is

HOTSHOT is the only scientifically-proven formula on the market that helps prevent and treat muscle cramps. 

Drinking one 1.7oz shot 15-30 minutes before training can prevent muscle cramping and actually boost your neuromuscular performance by stimulating your nervous system, letting you push harder, train longer, and finish stronger. 

HOTSHOT was created by Rod MacKinnon, a Nobel Prize-winning neuroscientist and endurance athlete, after he was afflicted by life-threatening muscle cramps off the coast of Cape Cod. He realized current solutions—like, eat Potassium, give your body a proper warmup, stay hydrated—didn’t effectively prevent or treat cramps. 

Fast forward five years later, and MacKinnon has perfected a proprietary formulation of organic ingredients powerful enough to stop muscle cramps where they start.  

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How It Works

First, understand muscle cramps are caused by the nerve, not your muscles; and even the most seasoned, nutritionally sound athletes can suffer from them. Your muscles cramp up when motor neurons in your spinal cord start firing off spontaneously and repetitively.

HOTSHOT is made from a blend of ingredients that activate transient receptor potential channels (which sense things like heat, spice, menthol, etc.), which then stimulate ion channels in your mouth, esophagus, and stomach that influence and regulate nerve function. These signals send the message to calm hyper-excited neurons.

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How To Use It

Drink one HOTSHOT at the first sign of cramping (before or during exercise), or drink one after activity to prevent post-exercise cramping. To get the best results, avoid consuming foods and drinks that coat your mouth, like peanut butter, protein shakes, or milk 10 minutes before drinking HOTSHOT. Try refrigerating them; they taste better cold.

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First Impression

HOTSHOT definitely has the kick the bottle alludes to. It smells fruity, almost berry-like. And while it does taste sweet, the spices really kick your senses awake. (One tester didn’t mind; the other didn’t care for the taste—too spicy.) You get the same heat as if you were chewing Big Red gum; your face will feel a bit flush. Interestingly enough, both of our testers felt a jolt of energy after drinking HOTSHOT. Not sure if it was the sensory stimulation that woke up the mind and body, but it was a welcomed side effect. 

Tester 1 took HOTSHOT before swimming laps in a pool, which usually illicits foot and/or calf cramps. HOTSHOT kept muscles relaxed during the entirety of the session. During the second test; tester 1 took to the pool again; however, this time incorporated bodyweight exercises outside of the pool in between rounds of laps. Feet and leg muscles stayed relaxed until the second round of bodyweight exercise, specifically planks. HOTSHOT wasn’t able to prevent the toes from cramping after exaggerated flexion the (tucked under position toes are in during a plank). 

Tester 2 took HOTSHOT before boxing, the demands of which usually create calf cramps. While the taste was overpowering, the added energy during the workout was a surprising bonus. Plus, HOTSHOT kept calf muscles relaxed for the entire duration. Would like to see/try more flavors in the future; and take it again during a long endurance workout like a 25+ mile bike ride. 

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Overall Review

Both testers will use again in the future. While HOTSHOT didn’t prevent muscle cramps 100% of the time, the beverage is a great fallback if you want to mitigate your risk for cramping during a marathon, Ironman, triathlon, or open-water swim where your performance (and life) depends pretty heavily on the state of your muscles. The energy boost was a surprising bonus to boot.

6 pack $35; 12 pack $65, teamhotshot.com

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