A charley horse can ruin an otherwise sound swing. Ease your muscles with these proven remedies.
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By Jill Castle
Friday, August 05, 2016

You're cruising toward a record-low round when your calf cramps up. Follow these steps and you'll lock in on Old Man par instead of just locking up.

1. STRETCH

It's a proven way to relieve most muscle cramps, according to registered dietitian Jill Castle. Focus on the big muscles: calves, quads, hamstrings, hips and back.

2. DRINK

Castle advises slugging fluids before and during your round. If you overdo beverages that cause dehydration, like coffee, tea or booze, it'll be Down Goes Frazier!

3. WALK

Trained muscles are less likely to cramp than untrained ones. At the very least, walk (or jog) between rounds to build up muscle stamina.

4. ADD SALT

An electrolyte imbalance can make muscles contract, so Castle recommends keeping salty pretzels, crackers or nuts in your bag, to replenish the sodium lost through sweat. As for bananas, there's little evidence this so-called cramp cure relieves muscle stress.

5. GET PICKLED

Some athletes swear by a shot of pickle juice as a way to instantly reverse muscle cramps. According to Kevin Miller, a researcher and athletic trainer at North Dakota State University, this tart brine has the potential to correct muscle confusion and get them contracting on cue. The result? Fast relief for nasty cramps.

Jill Castle, MS, RDN is a registered dietitian, author and consultant based in New Canaan, Conn. Learn more at JillCastle.com.

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