Carlos Alcaraz’s Secret Weapon Against Cramps Revealed at Roland-Garros

After his victory in the semi-final against Jannik Sinner, Carlos Alcaraz boasted of having “learned a lot” from his failure last year at the same stage of the competition against Novak Djokovic. The Spaniard drew tactical, physical, and mental lessons from the 2023 semi-final, but not only that. This year, he also thought of arming himself with an unknown antidote against cramps: pickle juice.

At a moment, the specter of the 2023 semi-final resurfaced. When Carlos Alcaraz was struck by cramps on Friday in the Roland-Garros semi-final against Jannik Sinner, the Spaniard thought he was about to relive the same ordeal as against Novak Djokovic the previous year when his entire body gave out.

But “Carlitos” has grown up. And he finally won this summit duel, even stepping up his game towards the end of the match after a mediocre start. A completely different reaction that is explained by the new maturity of the Murcian, by his better management of effort, but also by a small adjustment that has nothing to do with tennis: the addition, in his bag, of a little pickle juice, as a member of his team slipped to Relevo.

Pickle juice inhibits cramps

At the moment when the Spaniard was pulling ahead in the 5th set, his physical trainer Juanjo Moreno was seen handing a ball boy a small bottle of this strange antidote, to transfer it to the player. The goal: to relieve Alcaraz’s early cramps and prevent his muscles from giving out again. Indeed, according to a 2010 article published in the scientific journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, “pickle juice inhibits muscle cramps” if consumed during the effort, when they appear.

The pickle vinegar, since that is what it actually is, would have the ability to stop the nerve signals that urge tired muscles to contract. The physiological process is not exactly identified by science, but one thing is certain: it is useless to drink the famous liquid daily. “If you consume it before starting the effort, it is absolutely useless,” says Spanish nutritionist Amanda Sanchez to Relevo.

Our Eurosport consultant Arnaud Clément did not hide his surprise when he discovered the trick. “Never heard of it. I would have liked to know a remedy for cramps,” he joked. Nevertheless, the practice is spreading among athletes: several Real Madrid players consume pickle juice in the form of candy, reports the Spanish media, and Paula Badosa has already mentioned this miracle solution in the past. Pickle juice may have saved Carlos Alcaraz; too bad for the taste, which is frankly not appetizing.

Carlos Alcaraz is in the Wimbledon final.

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