Want the body of an athlete without sacrificing your love of salty fried snacks? You may just be in luck.
In a recent press conference after a win, Chicago Cubs pitcher Jason Hammel — who had been out for multiple weeks due to a hand cramp — credited none other than potato chips for alleviating his chronic ailment.
“For my cramps, if it’s a chronic thing, [my doctor] said, ‘potato chips,’ because they have a lot of potassium and obviously the sea salt helps retain water,” the baseball player said. “So I focused on that over the break and ate a lot of potato chips, and I think it turned out pretty well. Potato chips prescription—PCP—that’s what I’m going to try to go with.”
Unfortunate acronyms aside, what we’re understanding is that eating chips was not only ordered by his doctor, but that the home remedy was so effective that credits it for winning a professional baseball game.
While this news is enough to make us want to run to the couch, pop open a bag and watch a Law & Order marathon immediately, we felt it necessary to scour the Internet to test the validity of this treatment.
According to the Mayo Clinic website, “too little potassium, calcium or magnesium in your diet can contribute to cramps.” Since potatoes are high in potassium, even in their fried form, this checks out — provided that potassium deficiency is a cause of your cramps in the first place.
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With regard to the salt content, sodium has indeed often been used to prevent cramps among athletes (the LiveStrong website advocates drinking salt water to prevent them), though a 2012 BBC study showed that it actually had little effect — so that’s up in the air.
And, of course, there’s the high fat content and a litany of other things that make potato chips a decidedly unhealthy snack, but hey, if a professional baseball player can stay in shape and still eat all the chips he wants…pass the bag.