Looking for added muscle recovery and support? Introducing QuikPlus Muscle Matrix, a brand new product and part of the QuikPlus atom-sized mineral line.
I formulated this product for myself, to be perfectly honest! As you may know, I have a bunch of horses so I’m often doing hard labour for 4-6 hours at a stretch. GREAT for staying healthy and vibrant, but, I would often wake up with leg cramps – not so great.
This threw me into a ton of research, because magnesium alone didn’t work well enough for this level/intensity of muscle cramp. And it turns out there’s a fair amount of research showing that electrolytes or single minerals are not very effective with muscle cramps. There’s more research to support the theory that muscle cramps originate with over excited alpha motor neurons – the nerves that project from the spinal cord to skeletal muscle fibers.
When these motor neurons get hyperactive, they fire off commands for all the connected muscle cells to contract, resulting in a cramp. Fatigue (known to be a risk factor for muscle cramps and muscle twitches) also switches on alpha motor neuron activity to promote excessive muscle contraction. So how do we get these motor neurons to calm down? By activating TRP channels.
In order to make use of the TRP pathway, the supplement needs to be consumed like food so that it makes contact with the mouth/tongue, throat, and esophagus to interact with the receptors there. Aside from minerals like zinc, magnesium and calcium directly activating TRP channels, there are certain food substances that also do an excellent job.
Known TRPA1 and/or TRPV1 agonists:
- Capsaicin from red peppers
- Gingerol from ginger
- Allyl isothiocyanate from mustard, radish, horseradish, or wasabi
- Allicin from garlic
- Ajoene from garlic
- Pickle juice and olive juice
- Cinnamaldehyde from cinnamon
- Mustard oil
I’ll get a little more technical in a bit, but the cool part I want to share with you is how I solved my own muscle cramp problem!
After researching the minerals involved, I formulated Muscle Matrix in atom-sized (nano) form – so by swishing around the mouth and swallowing, the formula is interacting with all the TRP receptors in the mouth, tongue, and esophagus and is absorbed through the mucosal tissue. Many days, this was enough. But on particularly intense labour days (muscle fatigue), I combined Muscle Matrix with Ginger Chews! Because – see the list above – the gingerol in ginger is a powerful TRPA1/TRPV1 agonist and it actually tastes good!
If you can handle chewing a piece of fresh ginger – go for it! Just remember to hold the juice in your mouth and swish it around, swallow a bit at a time to really stimulate all those TRP receptors. You can have Muscle Matrix in your mouth at the same time, or before/after, whichever feels good to you. Candied ginger also works equally well.
I made various attempts to have gingerol in the Muscle Matrix formula, but let me tell you, there’s a reason ginger is used in every vegetable fermentation recipe! Nothing cultivates bacteria faster and there was just no way to seal it in a bottle (without using chemical preservatives) without it starting to ferment.
If you don’t often get muscle cramps, or they’re not severe, then you likely won’t need the ginger, and Muscle Matrix alone will do the job. But for severe, repetitive cramping, combine the two together and prepare to be amazed!
Muscle Matrix Minerals: Magnesium and potassium are two minerals that work in tandem to relax muscle tissue. Calcium and zinc work in synergy with magnesium and potassium to balance muscle contraction and relaxation.
Certain metal ions (like zinc and magnesium) directly activate TRP channels; I suspect that’s why they have been shown to help muscle cramps in some studies.
Calcium sensitizes and directly activates TRPA1. Calcium also appears to mediate the relationship between TRPA1 and TRPV1 when activated by an agonist (in this study, capsaicin). Also found in this study, calcium is the main ion conducted through TRPA1 and TRPV1 when they’re activated, and when calcium levels are lowered in the extracellular fluid, the effect of the agonist (capsaicin) on TRPA1 and TRPV1 is pretty much obliterated.
This may explain why calcium helps reduce muscle cramps, despite being a magnesium antagonist—proper levels are critical for these motor neurons to properly function, as well as for TRPA1 and TRPV1 agonists to successfully bind with TRPA1 and TRPV1 receptors and create a biological response. Magnesium can permeate TRPA1 (albeit to a lesser degree than calcium), and this may factor into magnesium’s benefit on muscle cramps.
I hope that helps you understand more of the theory behind the Muscle Matrix formulation. I can tell you that it works way better than just magnesium on its own. I used to bolt awake from a dead sleep with off-the-charts painful cramps from my foot all the way up my calf. Sometimes even my quads got involved. But if I take Muscle Matrix before bed, I sleep without any issues. On arduous labour days I also chew/swish a ginger chew or piece of candied ginger – even half a ginger chew is often all that’s needed.
Gentle on the bowel: Remember, QuikPlus Muscle Matrix atom-sized mineral blend does not require digestion as its nano size (less than 250 picometers) means it can be absorbed directly into your cells.