Cramp can be the bane of many an endurance athlete’s existence! As we continue to look to innovate by creating products that cater for an athlete’s every need; our latest addition is designed to help combat cramping! So without further ado, meet Cramp Assalt!
David Katz: It’s a great pleasure today to introduce a brand new product from 32Gi on our Sports Nutrition podcast, it’s called Cramp Assalt; it’s an electrolyte gel. On the podcast joining us is Mark Wolff to talk about this fantastic new market.
Of course Hydrate launched into the market in the last couple of months as well, and this is a fantastic product along that line, it will fall into the hydration camp. Mark, first of all just talk us through Cramp Assalt; what’s in it and how it came about?
An electrolyte gel to combat cramping
Mark Wolff: We’re very excited about Cramp Assalt, I think it’s a very unique gel, and it’s a first to market as far as an electrolyte gel goes. One of the things that 32Gi prides itself on is actually that we always look at the convenience of the delivery mechanism of anything that an athlete is going to take.
Unfortunately if you’re having a look at electrolyte products, they’re generally in the form of a liquid solution, so they’re tied down to a bottle or people are taking salt tablets or anti-cramp tablets etc. We thought that putting this into a gel format, a very small, easily convenient snap-gel pack; is a much easier way for people to consume it.
For runners specifically who battle with carrying products with them, especially carrying a water bottle for example, which is not the most convenient; this makes it so much more convenient to be able to deliver electrolytes while on the go.
DK: Mark, you talked about a release mechanism, what is in there? When it comes to cramping there’s no sure thing. Of course often under training, weather conditions, dehydration which this will aid, but there’s no guarantee. What are the markers within the product that are going to aid people with trying to offset the risk of cramping?
“Secret” release mechanism to combat cramping
MW: I think you nailed it spot on. Generally we find that most people cramp because they have under-trained or under-conditioned muscles, and that leads to over-stressing of the muscles and it can lead to cramping. However, dehydration for example can be a trigger of cramping. When somebody loses an excessive amount of fluid and as temperatures climb, sometimes we need more minerals to be able to increase that fluid absorption.
Cramp Assalt is designed with a nice amount of sodium in it and what’s nice about it is that it also has potassium and it has magnesium and calcium. All of these electrolytes help pull the fluid into the muscles nicely, and help delay that onset of muscle fatigue.
It definitely helps with hydration. Depending on what a person requires and what their swear rate is, you can take one an hour, you could take two an hour, you would obviously need to try this in training and make sure you understand how it works.
The first aspect of the gel is hydration aspect, making sure that somebody is able to stay hydrated by consuming the gel, and then taking liquids separate to that. The second aspect is, let’s say the cramps already triggered, we know that we can try and stop cramping, there’s a number of products worldwide which create a neuromuscular trigger.
How Capsicum helps with cramping
We know that pickle juice, for example, is quite popular, as well as things like capsicum annuum, which is supposed to trigger a neuromuscular response and try and stop the cramps. I don’t think pickle juice is very easy to give to any athlete and some can’t stand the taste. So we decided to put some capsicum annuum into this electrolyte gel to act as a potential cramp stopper.
DK: You talked about sodium, of course there’s sodium in it, it’s designed for cramping but to offset that you guys have given it a salted caramel flavour, that balances it. It’s not sweet at all, or not too sweet, but it also balances it from not being too salty.
MW: It’s not overly sweet, there’s a slight sweetness to it, the salted caramel obviously is quite a nice flavour. It has got a little bit of a kick from the capsicum annuum trigger, but it’s actually very pleasant to use. We’ve obviously tried and tested it and we are quite excited to get the feedback from customers.
Pairing Cramp Assalt with other products
DK: It’s not completely, if you look at the Hydrate tablet, it’s not carb free, there’s a little bit of carbohydrates in there; but in saying that, it’s not a pure carbohydrate gel. Using Cramp Assalt would work well with using the regular 32Gi gels in a race?
MW: 100% as there’s only 8g of carbs in this gel, so you’re talking about 32 calories in the form of carbohydrates. You could actually increase your carbohydrate intake by having this in between, a little bit of a top-up. For those runners or athletes that are more minimalistic fuelers, that don’t want to take in a lot of carbohydrates, it might be the perfect product to utilise during long training sessions.
DK: How would Cramp Assalt work with the rest of the 32Gi range? Of course you’ve got Endure, Hydrate, Recover, post-race. Is it something you use just during the race, could you use it to aid recovery if you’re doing multiple day racing? Where does it fit in? Can you use it with the other products at the same time?
MW: Personally I would take this as a backup in case I was feeling dehydrated and needed to pull some more fluid into my system, by adding in some minerals. When I run I do not run with a water bottle, so I would definitely carry some of these gels along with me on a running route. If I needed to consume, I definitely would.
If you already have Hydrate in a bottle, of course there would be no need for you to add a Cramp Assalt from an electrolyte perspective along with that. However, if you’re cramping and you want to have access to the capsicum annuum trigger, then I would suggest maybe you do take it along because it might be able to stop the cramps during exercise.
Cramp Assalt is for all endurance athletes
DK: For any endurance athlete, Mark touched on a good point there. Even if you’re not going to use it, to have that in your reservoir, in your reserves just in case, because it doesn’t matter what form of exercise you’re doing, if you go long, there’s a good chance that you could cramp.
Mark, lastly, I just wanted to ask you, of course it’s possibly an ideal product for runners, but in saying that, cyclists, triathletes, this is a universal product? Again, it’s about endurance and minimalising that risk which doesn’t apply just to runners, it applies across the board?
MW: For triathletes, absolutely because you have to remember, especially long distance triathlons, it’s a long day out. From the swim to the bike to the run, the temperatures are climbing. You’re definitely losing more fluid later on in the race, more towards the run and during the run, than you are earlier on. Generally in a triathlon the focus is actually more on the hydration side than the energy side.
The bike is more about getting those tanks topped up and making sure that you fuel properly and empowering your run; but on the run, you then generally tend to lose a lot more fluids than you do on the bike. Obviously because on the bike you’re also exposed to more wind and it does help cool the body down; but once you get onto the run, temperatures start to climb and you’re losing a lot more fluid. This will definitely help any triathlete.
As far as a cyclist goes, again, long cycling routes etc, many hours out there on the bike, as the temperatures pick up, you’re losing more fluids. Sometimes the cyclist doesn’t want to be tied down to a carbohydrate drink or to a flavoured drink.
In this case he could have a bottle of water and he could be using the Cramp Assalt completely separately. It would be able to provide him his electrolytes in order to be able to stay hydrated, and he would be able to consume water separately along with it.
DK: It sounds like a little lifesaver to me in a bag, and something that could become so vital with any ultra or in an endurance event. Mark Wolff, thank you, the product sounds amazing. If you haven’t tried it yet, it is on the market and for more information about it you can just log onto our website, 32gi.com.