Gatorade? No. Water? No. A different sports drink? Of course not. One junior hockey player went to the condiment stand to get his in-game fix instead.
In the heat of a QMJHL playoff game, Halifax Mooseheads forward Zachary L’Heureux was seen taking a big swig of mustard right on the bench. Nothing else, just straight yellow mustard.
— QMJHL (@QMJHL) May 2, 2023
Once this clip went viral across the hockey world, the 19-year-old Nashville Predators prospect was crowned the “Mustard Tiger,” and we personally hope that if he ever makes it to the NHL, the moniker sticks.
After the game, L’Heureux explained why he opted for the tangy condiment.
“Been doing it for a number of years now, but I guess somebody got a good shot of it,” L’Heureux said in a video on the Mooseheads’ Twitter account. “It just helps with cramps. Just doing anything I can to not get those.
“I don’t think a lot of guys use it — not a lot of big fans of mustard on that bench. But I think it works, it’s the best remedy so I power through it.”
There might not be fans of mustard on Halifax’s bench, but there certainly have been some that use the home remedy in the NHL. Winnipeg Jets forward Mason Appleton has been seen gulping down some mustard straight from a packet before.
Good ol’ Marky Mustard. 🌭
(Seriously though, this is nasty. 🤢) pic.twitter.com/qXWvWTCKXI
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) September 27, 2019
It’s a little bit less dramatic than the swig that L’Heureux took, but just as notable.
And the best part about this? It’s backed by actual scientists and health professionals.
In a 2017 study published by Harvard Medical School, it was confirmed that the use of mustard or pickle juice could be an easy way to get rid of cramps during physical activity.
“Scientists think the foods might stimulate ion channels in the mouth, esophagus, and stomach to send signals to the central nervous system that inactivate overexcited neurons," the study read.
The “Mustard Tiger” has been critical for Halifax as they make their way through the QMJHL playoffs. In 12 playoff games, L’Heureux has scored seven goals and 16 points, third on the Mooseheads in scoring.
Halifax is currently down 2-1 in the semifinal series against the Sherbrooke Phoenix, with the Quebec Ramparts waiting for the winner in the final after sweeping their own semifinal series.