Have you heard of the new craze of drinking pickle juice and the possible health benefits? Is it too good to be true that this century-old juice can be an elixir that has health benefits that are just now being explored? Though there is not a lot of scientific data, it does appear that pure ole pickle juice can provide benefits. In this post, we will look at the possible 9 health benefits of pickle juice. Will it help you and your maladies, perhaps.
There are precautions to take if you decide to give pickle juice a try.
Pickle juice does contain on the average 690 mg of sodium, so if you have high blood pressure (hypertension), you should consult your doctor to see if pickle juice is okay for you or if it should be restricted from your diet. This article is for information purposes only and should not be used as an alternative to medical advice or seeing your doctor.
What Exactly is Pickle Juice?
Simply put – pickle juice is the brine (liquid) you see in a jar of pickles. However, there are products you can purchase that contain just the juice and no pickles and you can even make pickle juice yourself. Most pickle juice contains water, vinegar, salt, dill, and sometimes sugar – read the label of the one you are considering to be sure it doesn’t contain any ingredients you don’t want – like sugar perhaps.
Why Pickle Juice?
Pickle juice may alleviate some issues you are having and can be an alternative to taking manufactured over the counter options that can contain ingredients you may not even understand or be able to pronounce when reading the label. Also, pickle juice is relatively inexpensive, which also can be an attractive alternative to medication.
Benefits of Pickle Juice
Pickle juice contains antioxidants of vitamins C & E. Why is this important? Antioxidants help protect your body from damaging molecules, also known as free radicals. Free radicals are unstable atoms that can lead to damaged cells, which may cause illness and aging.
Blood Sugar Levels
Pickle juice may lower blood sugar levels by slowing digestion after a meal. Also, research as reported in the “ Journal of Diabetes Research” vinegar, an ingredient of pickle juice, has been shown to have a glucose-lowering effect in patients with glucose abnormalities.
Decrease Muscle Cramps
Drinking pickle juice has been touted by athletes from football players to cyclists as a viable product to relieve muscle cramps for years. One study showed that drinking pickle brine helped stop muscle cramping within 85 seconds. This is about 37% faster than drinking water and 45% faster than not drinking anything at all. In an article by the Cooper Institute, the reason for this decrease in cramping is discussed and proposed that it may be a reflex in the throat that is stimulated when drinking pickle juice and decreases the activity of neurons, which in turn causes muscle relaxation.
Decrease Muscle Soreness
My own story, found in a prior post, Pickle Juice Benefits, I recount my skepticism with drinking pickle juice to experiencing the positive results after drinking pickle juice following two separate workouts. Again, there isn’t scientific proof, but for me, it was enough – for me, I didn’t experience the same post-workout soreness.
Fermented foods are good for the digestive system. Pickle juice encourages the growth of good bacteria and flora in the stomach. Digestive conditions that may be helped include indigestion, constipation, and gastritis.
Hangovers are partially caused by dehydration. It’s thought that because of the salt content of pickle juice after drinking it, you become thirsty and thus drink more water. Becoming rehydrated helps relieve the hangover. Another theory is that with the drinking of alcoholic beverages, there becomes an electrolyte imbalance. The salt in pickle juice is thought to introduce electrolytes back into the body.
It’s suggested to take 1/2 tsp every few minutes until hiccups are gone. This may be due to the triggering of the gag reflex.
We have all heard of a pregnant woman craving pickles. Though not pregnant, I have found pickles and pickle juice to work for nausea. It is thought that salt alleviates nausea, and the sodium content found in pickle juice would lend to why it would be useful in relieving nausea. Another theory as to why pickle juice is helpful with nausea is the vinegar. Vinegar has been a popular home remedy for stomach upset for years.
The weight loss effect possibly found in pickle juice is thought, again, to be the vinegar in the pickle juice. In one study, it was found that those individuals that drank a small amount of vinegar daily had more fat and weight loss than those who didn’t consume vinegar.
Pickle Juice From a Jar?
Sure, drinking pickle juice from a jar of pickles is an option. I would, however, use this option as a last resort as your pickles will have nothing to ferment in, and it leads to slightly shriveled pickles. This I learned from personal experience.
If you would like a recipe to make pickle juice yourself I have one posted in Pickle Juice Benefits.
Pickle Juice Sports Drink?
Pickle juice that is sold in individual containers (without the pickles) is a convenient way to have pickle juice on hand. Though you can purchase pickle juice in a gallon container, I find the individual shot containers more convenient. They are easy to take with you, for instance, to the gym. They also come in 1 dose where there is no need to measure – just drink and discard the container.
Is there a lot of scientific evidence that pickle juice has health benefits – no not a lot. However, not having a lot of scientific studies doesn’t negate that pickle juice may work for you. You may find that even one of the above mentioned 9 health benefits of pickle juice might work for you, and that, for you, is proof enough. I have used pickle juice for muscle soreness and nausea, and it did work for me. Can I say it will work for you, no I can’t make that claim but it may be worth trying. If you have any medical issues, check with your doctor before ingesting as it does contain sodium.
Have you had any experience(s) with drinking pickle juice? I would love to hear about them – please comment below.