Pickle juice isn’t something many people think about when it comes to health benefits, but it is an incredibly source of electrolytes, antioxidants and nutrients that is easy to make a part of your diet.
The next time you buy pickles, remember that there is more to that jar than just the pickle itself. Learning why drinking pickle juice can boost your health will help you avoid certain conditions, and help boost your body’s ability to restore itself naturally.
Benefits of Drinking Pickle Juice
1. It’s Better Than Any Sports Drinks
While football players and professional athletes have long thought that drinking pickle juice helped to restore electrolytes because of its sodium levels, there are now scientific studies to support this. In many emergency rooms, it is used to help those in cardiac difficult.
Within 85 seconds, pickle juice can relieve cramps and begin to restore balance. It isn’t so much the sodium content, but that pickle juice can deliver it to your body faster than other sources because that sodium is in calcium chloride and vinegar.
2. It Can Prevent or Treat Muscle Cramps
As mentioned in #1, the calcium chloride and vinegar in pickle juice helps to make the sodium and potassium more readily absorbed by the body. Athletes drink pickle juice before and after activity to help prevent, or to treat muscle cramps. There is more clinical evidence being released that there is value to this claim too.
3. It Can Relieve RLS
Many people with Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) have found that having just a couple of ounces before they go to bed quiets their leg movements. It has yet to be officially studied, but there is enough anecdotal evidence by users to suggest it could be worth a try.
4. It Soothes Upset Stomachs
This one can be hard to even think of trying when you are experiencing heartburn or an upset stomach, but many people swear that drinking pickle juice can relieve their symptoms. Your other choice is vinegar and honey, but that sounds even less appetizing and pickle juice is easier to find and drink fast for relief.
5. To Prevent Hangovers and Cover Alcohol Odor
A popular choice among the under-aged set, drinking pickle juice can significantly help to mask the odor of alcohol on the breath. Since it also helps balance the electrolytes it can be a best choice for avoiding, or recovering from a hangover.
6. Pickle Juice Delivers Antioxidants and Nutrients Too
Low in calories, packed with electrolytes, high in vitamin C and calcium, pickle juice can be an excellent way to boost your health and manage weight. Better still, all of the antioxidants and nutrients are more readily absorbed in the body due to the acidic content of the pickle juice.
Recommended Ways to Drink Pickle Juice
All of these benefits may sound great, but when you picture yourself drinking pickle juice right from the jar, you get a little queasy; there are many other ways to add pickle juice to your diet without having to suffer through the taste. Here are just a few ways people have found to get the benefits without the sour face:
- Mix a few ounces into water for your after workout recovery drink. You can even add it to any recovery shake you use too.
- Anywhere you can think to add a pickle, you can also put pickle juice. Add some to salads, egg salad, tuna salad and any other place where putting in a few slices of pickles makes sense in the first place.
- Yogurt is an excellent choice for your diet that can become even more powerful if you add several tablespoons of pickle juice. The added bonus is that yogurt will mask the taste of the juice too.
- Add it to any marinade, or use it as its own marinade for your poultry, fish and even meat.
- Use it as a salad dressing. The vinegar and salt taste of the pickle juice can make it an ideal salad dressing.
Are There Any Side Effects of Drinking Pickle Juice?
Just like any other change to your diet or supplement, always talk to your doctor before starting. Drinking pickle juice has no real side effects, but there are certain preexisting conditions that could be aggravated by it.
- If you are on a low sodium diet for any condition, you do not want to drink pickle juice.
- If you have gout, or even a family history of gout, you may also want to avoid drinking it too as it can cause a build-up of uric acid.
- One thing you do need to do is check with your pharmacist if you take medications. The acidity of the pickle juice may not be a good mix. Your doctor or pharmacist may say it is OK for you to begin drinking it, but that you need to wait a certain amount of time after taking your medication to make sure they are properly absorbed.
Outside of those considerations, drinking pickle juice is a safe way to start boosting your health.
Editor’s note: We recommend avoiding pickle jar brands that contain additives and preservatives as these are not ideal for consumption (e.g. Bick’s contains calcium chloride, polysorbate 80, seasonings).
Other Uses for Pickle Juice
- Soothe itchy skin: dip a cotton ball or clean washcloth in pickle juice and apply to irritated skin (such as from bug bites). Avoid applying to broken skin.
- Give your potted plants some love: Shade loving plants prefer a slightly acidic soil. If your potted plants has yellowing leaves, it’s a sign that the pH of their soil is too alkaline. Mix 2 tablespoons of pickle juice with 2 1/2 cups of water and use a spray bottle to apply to soil (avoiding the plant itself).