A favorite condiment stole the show during Saturday's season opener for the Oklahoma Sooners versus the UTEP Miners: Mustard.
The football players were ingesting mustard to help curb cramping on the field. Since the condiment was displayed on national television many turned to Twitter with questions about its effectiveness in helping athletes.
"If I'm doing a twenty mile run I am not reaching for the mustard," said Tim Dreiling. Dreiling is the co-owner of Fleet Feet Sports Tulsa, he is also a runner and completed the Tulsa Tough Century Ride.
He says he knows how devastating a cramp can be for an athlete while they are competing. "A cramp can pretty much shut you down if you are running a marathon," Dreiling said.
Dreiling said he is not a fan of using pickle juice or mustard to help ward off cramps. "I'm not in that camp," he said,
"I like pickles, but I'm not drinking pickle juice while exercising."
While mustard might be new to the football scene, Dreiling said runners have been using it for awhile.
“I’d say two or three years ago you started seeing endurance athletes, long distance runners and cyclists starting to take packets of mustard with them to prevent cramping,” said Dreiling.
Dr. Gavin Gardner at the Oklahoma State University Medical Center says that the purpose behind using mustard or a sports drink is to replenish minerals that the body is lacking during a cramp like sodium or potassium.
Dr. Gardner said that mustard does contain sodium but that alone is not the cure for cramping.
“I don’t think that mustard provides enough benefits over those things for ma medical professional to promote that as an alternative.” Dr. Gardner added, “I think the big thing here is electrolyte replacement and fluid replacement.”
Eating and hydrating properly before a game or race is vital to your health, said Dr. Gardner.
“Nothing certainly is a miracle, but stretching and fluid and electrolyte replacements are the way to go,” said Dr Gardner.