I know it has been talked about on the podcast several times, I believe Chad had put many of the pieces together but wasn’t completely sure on the exact science of cramping.
According to Ben Greenfield in his latest podcast cramping is rarely caused by mineral dependencies or dehydration (which we already knew), but that it is actually caused by a protective mechanism called an “alpha motor neuron reflex”. Basically your body is cramping to protect it from tearing or ripping a muscle.
He states the way to reverse the cramp is by tasting something incredibly salty or incredibly spicy. We sort of knew this already but the mechanism is all neural based as there is not enough time for the body to absorb whatever you are taking. The taste alone causes a “motor neuron reflex” which cause the cramp to release in about 20 seconds.
Podcast can be found here: https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/podcast/mind-pump-4/
Discussion on cramping starts at about 2:15.