Product Review: HOTSHOT

Courtesy of my IRUN4ULTRA ambassadorship, I was given two bottles of HOTSHOT to test for muscle cramping. The origin story of HOTSHOT is thrilling, but let’s get to what it is first.

According to the HOTSHOT site, it is “the proprietary formulation that controls your Neuro Muscular Performance (NMP) and stops muscle cramps where they really start. At the nerve.”

The ingredients are as follows:

Filtered Water, Organic Cane Sugar, Organic Gum Arabic, Organic Lime Juice Concentrate, Pectin, Sea Salt, Natural Flavor, Organic Stevia Extract, Organic Cinnamon, Organic Ginger, Organic Capsaicin

I like the fact that it’s a fairly small list of organic ingredients. I’m not sure why it has both cane sugar and stevia, because I sure didn’t taste sugar. But we’ll get to that in a second!

HOTSHOT’s origin story is unique to say the least. “After surviving life-threatening muscle cramps while deep-sea kayaking off the coast of Cape Cod, [Dr. Rod MacKinnon] discovered that existing cramp remedies—that target the muscle—didn’t work. Calling upon his Nobel Prize-winning expertise on ion channels, Rod reasoned that preventing and treating cramps began with focusing on the nerve, not the muscle.”

I wasn’t sure when to use HOTSHOT, because I typically don’t suffer from muscle cramps while running. Last night, however, I was hit with the most random hamstring cramps imaginable while doing the bridge pose from a free Amazon Prime yoga video. Holy mother of all-get-out, it was painful.

I immediately ran upstairs to grab my HOTSHOT to see if I could continue on with twenty more minutes of yoga cramp free.

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When I first opened the bottle, it almost looked like bubbles to me, and I was surprised to see that it was clear (although it’s hard to tell, since it’s in a black bottle). I’ve heard from other IRUN4ULTRA ambassadors that it tastes like cinnamon Red Hots hard candy, so I figured it had to be red in color. I took a whiff, and it definitely smelled hot.

I made sure to double check the directions before consuming, because they seem oddly specific to me: Drink a 1.7-ounce HOTSHOT 15–30 minutes before exercise to boost your Neuro Muscular Performance and prevent muscle cramps. For best results, avoid food or beverages that may coat your mouth—such as peanut butter, protein shakes or dairy—10 minutes before, and a few minutes after drinking HOTSHOT. A clean palate allows HOTSHOT to activate TRP channels in the sensory nerves in your mouth. Tastes even better cold.

I hadn’t had any dairy or food that would coat my mouth that night, so I figured it was a go. (I was doing this yoga video at 10 p.m., mind you.) Here goes nothin’ . . . !

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Here’s a picture of my reaction right after taking the shot.

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I’m not going to lie—it has quite the kick! It wasn’t quite as spicy as I thought it would be, but my tongue was definitely on fire for about thirty seconds or so. I didn’t take it chilled as recommended to dampen the bite/kick, but it really wasn’t nearly as bad as I had anticipated.

I continued on with twenty more minutes of yoga, and although I experienced one foot cramp while trying to do a ridiculous split, I didn’t experience any more hamstring cramps, which is praise worthy.

I took HOTSHOT at the first sign of cramping, while the directions say to take it 15–30 minutes before exercise if possible or at the first sign of cramps. I’m curious to see what happens when I take the second bottle before doing yoga this week.

All in all, I would definitely use HOTSHOT again, although I don’t think I need it in my running arsenal in regular rotation. If you experience muscle cramps frequently, I would say to definitely give it a shot (get it?!)!

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