NFL Lineman Shares His Secret for Fighting Chronic Cramps

Chance Warmack, the All-American guard on Alabama’s national championship team and first-round draft pick for the Tennessee Titans, Chance Warmack - Combine croppedknew he was a heavy sweater ever since his family moved from Detroit to Atlanta and he started playing youth football.

“I was aware that I used to sweat a lot when I was younger, but it wasn’t to the point that I needed to add electrolytes in my system,” he says. “I began to see a change in my body because I was doing a lot more activity at the high school level.”

He first felt the pain of intense cramps during his sophomore year.  “It was really hot, and I began to start cramping for the first time,” Warmack recalls. “I didn’t know what was causing them, how I could prevent them, or why they were happening to me. I began to understand what to do to prevent the problem of cramping. Back then, I didn’t know what I needed to put in my body to avoid those things.

Pedialyte®, formulated for children who have lost nutrients, helped more than other products, so he would stock up before practice on a hot Georgia day. Pedialyte was my saving grace at the time, but even that sometimes it didn’t come through for me,” Warmack says. “I would have days when I would be close to full body cramps. My body was locking up on me and I didn’t know what to do.”

 

Fighting the Cramps

In his senior year in High School, his grandfather, a physician, recommended a concoction that helped enough for Warmack to win a scholarship to the University of Alabama, but trainers there balked at depending on the time-consuming mix.

“I put that solution down,” he says. “I was introduced to salt tablets at that time in my life. I was 17 years old. Alabama’s training camps are very hard. I would leave training camp practice soaked with sweat. Salt tablets can only do so much. My body was taking so much sodium, and I couldn’t store it all. I would have to take 50 tablets at a time every day.”

It was convenient, it was efficient, and it was easy to use. The Right Stuff literally helped me get through college.

Finally, in his junior year at Alabama, his Nutritionist introduced Warmack to The Right Stuff. He took six packets a day, 2-3 times as much as other teammates. “There was nobody on the team that sweated as much as me,” he explains. “It was convenient, it was efficient, and it was easy to use. The Right Stuff literally helped me get through college. I’ve done everything – salt tablets, pickle juice, mustard, Gatorade, you name it. The Right Stuff gave me the opportunity to play and not worry about cramping. I could focus on football, not how much sodium I had taken.”

Chance Warmack - Titans helmet onWhen he went to the NFL with the Tennessee Titans, he was the only one who was taking The Right Stuff. “Every trainer has the way they want you to hydrate,” says Warmack, who “pre-games” with The Right Stuff and has two in his system when he steps onto the field. “I didn’t want to change what I was doing because it works so well for me. When you know what works for you, you don’t want to change it, especially when you’ve got proof that it works.”

“They tell me when you sweat you lose a lot of minerals. You’re burning fuel. When you use The Right Stuff, it’s putting everything back. You feel like it’s a boost for you. I’m happy I was able to be introduced to it. It was a blessing in my life. I can be the best player I can be.”

How Does This Firefighter Thrive During Those High Heat Situations?

firefighterMinneapolis Fire Captain Paul Nemes joined the force over 20 years ago, looking for the life of service he had admired in a friend’s dad who was a firefighter.

“I wouldn’t trade it for anything,” he says. “It’s rewarding. It’s a second family. Being a captain or officer on a rig, you’re the first in on a building fire.  Whether single-family residence or apartment building, you have the most impact on the greatest number of folks.”

About five years ago, he noticed his weight gain was leaving his knees and hips sore after multiple daily firefighter trips to high-rises. He’s shed 55 pounds – weighing less now in full firefighter gear than he did without the gear before – and the joint problems went away.

“I changed my eating habits, eliminating a few things completely,” he says. “It was time to get exercising. I got into running pretty seriously. I ran my first marathon last year. My goal was to break four hours, which I did.”

The firefighter schedule also leaves free time for Nemes to run a side business as an excavator and landscaper, often spending long, hot days laying 100-150 retaining-wall blocks that weigh 120 pounds each. All three strenuous, sweaty activities – firefighting, running, and landscaping – often left Nemes dehydrated, fatigued, and cramped, no matter how much water or sports drinks he consumed. A friend on the firefighting force introduced him to The Right Stuff.

“I was looking for something to supplement what I was doing,” he says. “It works for me. I use it exclusively for training and the actual racing – marathon, half-marathon, 5K, whatever. I got involved with this product and I go through five or six bottles of water with The Right Stuff in it in the course of an 8-10 hour day laying block. It is night and day. I experienced less fatigue and no muscle cramping or soreness.

All three strenuous, sweaty activities – firefighting, running, and landscaping – often left Nemes dehydrated, fatigued, and cramped, no matter how much water or other drinks he consumed.

Nemes also uses The Right Stuff at his firefighter job on days with extreme heat or dew points, when suiting up can lead to excess sweating even without a fire to fight.

“We average somewhere between 10 to 14 runs a day,” he says. “Just putting that gear on with the ambient temperatures that high, you’re in a full sweat before you get out to the call. I’ll add The Right Stuff to my water. You still sweat, but you don’t have that fatigue factor as readily, and you don’t end up cramping up. You see it time and time again – these guys go to these fires on a hot day, a hot fire, they come out and they’re cramped up. They end up getting an IV to address their fluid loss. I don’t experience that.”

The International Firefighters Association and others are conducting research to gauge the effects of dehydration on firefighters’ absorption of smoke and other hazards in their work. Those results could mean The Right Stuff’s benefits are even more important, Nemes says.

“I use the product in the fire service, I use it for my training for my running, I use it during the races, and I use it on my days off for strenuous activity, such as the retaining-wall block laying,” he says. “It works for me. I’m sold on it.”

Diabetics Are Athletes Too! How Does This Dietitian Help With Their Nutrition?

Sally HaraWhen Sally Hara was pursuing a nutrition science education some 30 years ago, she transferred from Montana State – where the options were Home Economics, Botany, Zoology, and Chemistry – to the UC, Davis, where she earned undergraduate degrees in Nutrition Science and Exercise Physiology, then a master’s degree in Nutrition Science. That left her with a knowledge base of Physiology and Biochemistry that could rival that of many medical students, and a habit of thinking in terms of Metabolic Pathways and Endocrine pathways.

After she moved to Seattle, Hara completed a dietetic internship at the University of Washington, then proceeded to become a Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE) and Board Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics (CSSD), a combination that makes her a leading consultant for athletes with diabetes and the professionals who work with them. “Most Sports Dietitians don’t know what to do with diabetics and most diabetes educators don’t know what to do with athletes,” she says. She owns a private practice, ProActiveNutrition.net, and is an experienced public speaker.

About six years ago, Hara participated in a Juvenile Diabetes Research (JDRF) workshop, “Triabetes”, for Type 1 triathletes. About forty Type 1 athletes came, and subsequently the Sports and Diabetes Group Northwest was formed, which has grown to over 80 active members. She also started riding with the JDRF cycling group “They’re my colleagues, they’re my friends, they’re who I train with,” she says. says. “I learn as much from them as they do from me – probably more. These are people who are doing what they love in spite of diabetes and figuring out how to do it.”

Hara helps them figure it out. “If I’m working with a Type 1 athlete, I put on my Sports Dietitian hat first – ‘what do you need to improve your performance?’” she explains. “Then I put on my Diabetes Educator hat and say ‘how do we need to adjust your insulin to cover this diet and your training?’ I have to be more careful with the timing of carbohydrates, but the need is the same as for any other athlete. The blood sugar response to exercise differs for each athlete and each sport, so nutrition strategies must be individualized.

Although the cool Northwest temperatures leave athletes sweating less, Hara takes The Right Stuff to cycling events in hotter climates such as Arizona and packs the product in her bike bag for emergencies any time. She also promotes it with ride coaches.

This is your magic bullet,” she says. “If people start cramping, it can rescue them. It’s so successful. It’s really easy to carry with me.

“This is your magic bullet,” she says. “If people start cramping, it can rescue them. It’s so successful. It’s really easy to carry with me. Usually when I see athletes cramping and when I cramp myself it is after some kind of exertion, either sprints or some kind of hard push where you’ve been engaging those muscles and they are fatigued. I take a bottle of water and put The Right Stuff in it and have them drink it down. It resolves it.”

How Did This Olympic-Medal Winning Sprinter Get His Plans Back On Track For Gold in Rio?

Walter DixWalter Dix started running track when he was 6 or 7 years old, guided by his father, Washington, a middle school track coach and former sprinter. The Fort Lauderdale native set a Florida record in the 100-meter dash when he was in high school and won a scholarship to Florida State University, where he set a junior record in the 100-meter and won numerous NCAA championships as well as gold and silver at the Olympic Trials in 2008 – earning him one of the highest-value endorsement contracts with Nike in track and field. Dix won bronze medals in the 100-meter and 200-meter dash at the Beijing Summer Olympic Games in 2008.

Dix graduated from Florida State in 2008, with a social science degree concentrating in anthropology, and turned professional.

Dix won bronze medals in the 100-meter and 200-meter dash at the Beijing Summer Olympic Games in 2008.

He missed the 2009 World Championships because of a hamstring injury at the U.S. championships, but in 2010, he won the 100-meter and was runner-up in the 200-meter sprints at the USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships. The next year, he won silver medals in both races at the World Championships, but another injury at the 2012 Olympic trials kept him out of the London games.

Back on Track

After a year of recovery, Dix is back on track and aiming for the 2016 Olympics, with meets in the US, Jamaica, Cayman Islands, Puerto Rico and others. He hopes to qualify for the Continental Cup.

The Right Stuff, which he started using in 2010, will help.  “I was looking for something to help me stay hydrated, healthy, able to compete, keep my electrolyte levels up and keep me from dehydrating,” he says. “I was introduced to The Right Stuff by my friends and my brother. I started using it 30 minutes before my races. I felt a dramatic improvement in my hydration. Ever since then, I’ve been using it to keep hydrated.”

The focus on nutrition came when he turned pro, Dix says, especially after the 2009 injury.

“In college, you have class and study hall, most of us are just out there competing,” he says. “In 2008, I was a kid. When I became a professional, that’s when I really started to focus on diet and nutrition.

When I became a professional, that’s when I really started to focus on diet and nutrition.

I talked to doctors about nutrition, keeping healthy, keeping my body and legs hydrated. Dehydration is the problem.

Dix figures The Right Stuff® electrolyte drink additive will give him a boost for the comeback.

“This is the year when I really got a chance to use it,” he says. “I began using it and started to see a dramatic improvement. I’m not getting as tired or dehydrated. On my first meet, I felt the same impact of not being so tired after running and not getting “dry muscles”. I can feel my muscles loosen up and not be as tight as they used to be.

The Right Stuff is a prelude to every meet and often part of the training regimen that Dix has intensified this year. “In the past, when I have gotten hurt, I wasn’t able to work as hard in training,” he says. “I am now maximizing my fitness so I can compete and be more aerobically fit. I train two hours a day, five days a week.”

Dix, who is training at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, hopes to enter a graduate program in health administration and work as a college track coach or sports administrator eventually – after achieving his personal goals in the field. “I’m trying to win a gold medal at the Continental Cup and hopefully win the gold medal at the Olympic Games in 2016,” he says.