Some Advice for King James

2014 NBA Finals - Game One

Dear LeBron James,

Let me preface this by saying I have never been fan.  As a Celtics fan, I have had a dislike for you since your days in Cleveland.  This is not a knock on you – it is, in fact, in some ways, a sign of respect.  I will admit that you are arguably the best player on the planet right now, and if you win a third championship in a row, you will have cemented your place among the all-time greats.

Although I am rooting for Tim Duncan and the San Antonio Spurs in this Finals rematch, I would hate for them to win against less than the best; which brings me to today’s topic.

I know I’m a little late to “Crampgate”, and that the Heat have evened up the series behind a monster game by you, but the Heat should potentially be up 2-0 right now and I would tell you and all of Heat Nation that they should blame the athletic trainers of the team.

From what I understand, you suffered a leg cramp that forced you out of the game, and potentially cost you and your team a win.  Now, I’ve seen a lot of finger wagging by the media and sports personalities admonishing fans for making fun of you, saying, “you don’t know what it’s like to have a leg cramp,” “there’s no coming back from a muscle cramp”.


Listen, I’ve run 15 marathons, 2 ultramarathons (a 50 and 100 miler – the latter through ankle deep mud) and countless 5 and 10Ks.  I know leg cramps and they are horrible, no doubt.  Water, electrolytes, heat, ice, massage – none of those things will put you back on the road (or the court as the case may be) – but there is something that I have found that does stop cramps cold in their tracks and there is science behind it too.

Pickle juice.

Yes, pickle juice.

Pickle juice, and not deionized water, inhibits electrically induced muscle cramps in hypohydrated humans.  That right out of a study by North Dakota State University.  Scientists aren’t sure why it works, but it does, reducing the length of the cramp significantly.

As a runner, I have used pickle juice on many long runs, first as treatment, but then as prevention.  I am happy to say, I haven’t suffered leg cramps in years.

If you’re worried about the sodium, don’t.  Drinking small amounts (that’s all it takes) has been shown to have no ill effects on plasma and blood composition.

Your trainers should know this.  The Heat is a world class organization who can afford to hire the best of the best, but perhaps they are stuck in the past.  Whatever the reason, they obviously didn’t have pickle juice court side during game 1.

Do yourself, and the Heat, a favor and get yourself a small bottle of pickle juice.  It doesn’t matter which brand…my preference is Vlasic Kosher Dill.

I’m still rooting for the Spurs, but I don’t want them beating a hobbled King.