I’m completely amazed. Before last week I had never heard of drinking pickle juice or its health benefits. I was feeling very nauseous. A co-worker of mine suggested pickle juice. Say what? Pickle juice. Yep. So I thought what the heck I’ll get some pickle juice. I ordered some online – very reasonably priced, especially for the amount needed. Within a few minutes of drinking the pickle juice, my nausea had subsided. This got me curious and, thus, began my journey and research on pickle juice benefits.
Tell Me More
When I began my research, I remembered all the times I saw pickle-flavored foods in the store and thought it strange. Though I like pickles, it wasn’t something I was interested in having as a potato chip, pop cycle, or candy cane flavor. Just thinking of it makes my mouth pucker, much like thinking of eating a lemon.
Shortly after my finding the benefits of pickle juice on nausea, I researched and found that athletes have been using pickle juice for years in relieving muscle cramps and muscle soreness. Maybe this pickle fad has something to it.
Being that I haven’t been as consistent at the gym that I should be and becoming sore each time I go, I thought I would give pickle juice another try. After getting home from a personal training workout, I drank pickle juice, and again to my amazement; I didn’t experience any muscle soreness. This is so unusual for me, as I’m usually sore for a few days after working out.
So my skepticism began talking to me – maybe I didn’t work out hard enough, and that’s why I didn’t experience my usual soreness. A couple of days later, I returned to the gym. After working out, I again drank pickle juice. And still, the same result no muscle soreness. This was fantastic well except for one thing – now I couldn’t use the excuse that I was too sore to workout again lol.
Another story is of a co-worker whose husband was experiencing pain from his job that involved a lot of manual labor. He had been in pain a few days, and I mentioned pickle juice and my results with it. When she got home, she told him about the pickle juice, and he tried it. His muscle pain became much less.
Scientific Proof – Not Much
Does scientific research support this? When I did my research, not a lot of scientific studies have been done. Some pointed to the ingredients of sodium and vinegar as being the possible reason. Salt and vinegar may help with replenishing electrolytes, and perhaps replenishing these attributes led to the lack of soreness I experienced.
Another theory is that drinking pickle juice triggers a reflex in the mouth, sending a signal to the nerves to stop muscle cramping.
Another theory is that it is just a placebo effect.
Possible Benefits of Pickle Juice
Some benefits that have been reported are:
- Decrease muscle soreness.
- Relief of muscle cramps.
- Salt alleviates nausea – maybe this is why you hear of a pregnant woman craving pickles.
- Weight loss
- Blood sugar levels
- Pickle juice may also lower blood sugar levels by slowing digestion after a meal.
- Hangover relief
- 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.
- Hiccup relief
- It’s suggested to take 1/2 tsp every few minutes until hiccups are gone.
- Digestive system
- 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.
- Antioxidants of vitamins C & E
What to Watch Out For
Because pickle juice contains sodium, it’s crucial to consult with a doctor if you have high blood pressure (hypertension) or if you need to monitor your salt intake. Pickle juice has 690 mg of sodium, and the FDA’s daily recommendation is 2300 mg.
Pickle juice can be bad for animals, so it’s best to play on the safe side and not give to your pets unless your veterinarian advises otherwise.
The recommended dose is 1 ounce for every 75 pounds of body weight. If you weigh 150 lbs, then 2 ounces would be the does. If you weigh 225 lbs, then 3 ounces would be the recommendation. Again, remember to check with your doctor if you have health issues or sodium levels need to be monitored.
Possible Side Effects
Though I didn’t experience any adverse effects from drinking pickle juice, there are a few that are possible, namely:
- Stomach Pain
To keep adverse side effects at bay, don’t drink over the recommended dose. It doesn’t take a lot to experience the benefits.
Recipe or Buy?
But if you prefer, you can also make it at home. Here is an example of one that I found on yummly.com
2 cups of filtered water (purified )
1 cup white vinegar (5% acetic acid)
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon pickling spice
Dash of sugar
1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed or 4 fresh dill sprigs
clove of garlic ( partially crushed)
Mix all ingredients in a saucepan, on low to medium heat, continually stirring to dissolve all salt and sugar.
Pickling spice can be added in the pan or the container. It can be added loose or within a tea ball (for those who like clear pickle juice).
Let cool, pour into container and store in the refrigerator.
Gently shake 1 time per day to redistribute herbs and spices if pickling spices are used.
If the resulting mixture is too vinegar-heavy, add more filtered water.
I found drinking pickle juice beneficial in the treatment of nausea and warding off post-exercise soreness. I will continue to use it on an as need basis and not an everyday supplement. Though I don’t have high blood pressure, I don’t want to include something continuously in my diet that isn’t necessary.
There isn’t a lot of scientific studies done on its effectiveness or pickle juice benefits, and there needs to be more research done. Can you imagine how many people could be helped with this simple drink, being so reasonably priced compared to pharmaceutical or over-the-counter drugs. Does something need scientific proof to be useful is a question you might ask yourself. For me, as long as it isn’t harmful and I find it helps me, then I don’t need the proof.
I would love to hear your experience(s) with pickle juice. Comment below.