October 21, 2019 | Abby Caviness
If you take a mental walk through your grocery store, pickle products can be found on more than one aisle. From pickle spears to pickle popcorn, pickle lovers are having all their wishes granted. However, one trend that transcends a love of pickles is a love of health and fitness. This is why pickle juice—not even the pickles themselves—is being found in stores across the nation in benefit of people who love to work out but hate getting muscle cramps. Still confused? Well, USHEALTH Group® is answering your top seven questions about pickle juice!
Are There Any Benefits to Drinking Pickle Juice?
We are glad you asked, because there are actually several benefits to drinking pickle juice.
- Soothing muscle cramps
- Drinking it helps you stay hydrated
- It is a fat-free recovery aid
- It will not bust your budget
- Drinking it could support weight loss efforts
- It contains a significant amount of antioxidants
- Can help control blood sugar levels
- It can boost gut health
- Dill is good for you
- It sweetens your breath due to its antibacterial properties
All in all, this drink has a variety of benefits aside from soothing muscle cramps. So, even if you are not slaving away in the gym, pickle juice may be a good option for you!
What is Pickle Juice Made Of?
Though some recipes may add different spices to create different flavors, the base ingredients of pickle juice are salt, water, and vinegar.2
- 0.4g of carbs
- 1-5 percent of the Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) of calcium
- 50-115 percent of the RDI of sodium
- 3 percent of the RDI of potassium
- 3 percent of the RDI of magnesium
- Up to 10,700 colony-forming units of probiotics
While the juice is extremely high in sodium, the other minerals found can potentially be very good for you.
Why Do I Crave Pickles and Pickle Juice?
According to Shape, any craving you have can be linked back to your body’s need for water. While you may think your body is getting dehydrated when you begin to feel thirsty, thirst is the last symptom to result from dehydration. In fact, one of the earlier signs of dehydration is craving food.3 But why do some individuals crave pickles, in particular?
Other than just being really obsessed with pickles (assuming you are if you’ve read this far), a pickle craving can indicate the body’s lack of electrolytes. After a workout, your body has sweat out a lot of salt and electrolytes, so pickle juice is the perfect beverage to replenish what you lost. Another great alternative would be a banana, which is also high in potassium, and a handful of salted nuts to replenish your salt.3
How Much Pickle Juice Should You Drink?
Because pickle juice is so high in sodium, you should not be drinking it excessively. In fact, for every 3.5oz, there can be up to 500mg of sodium, which is a huge slice of the recommended daily intake.4 So, too much could give you excessive sodium, which could contribute to high blood pressure and other health problems.4
Muscle Cramp Relief
Additionally, in situations where you are trying to relieve muscle cramps, studies show 1.5oz per 100lbs. of body weight should resolve the issue.4 However, while pickle juice has great potential benefits, it should not be your only method for resolving dehydration and muscle cramps. Individuals should rely primarily on water instead to keep themselves hydrated and consult their doctor if problems persist.4
Are Pickles Unhealthy?
Pickles and pickle juice are not necessarily unhealthy, but they can be if you eat or drink too much. That is to say, their high sodium content can have adverse effects on the body but, in moderation, have the potential to benefit you in several ways (listed above). So, stick to the recommended 3.5oz or less per day, and you should be able to reap the benefits and avoid the risks.
What Happens If You Eat Too Many Pickles?
While eating pickles and drinking pickle juice can have some great potential benefits, there are some side effects to eating or drinking too much. For example, these side effects include:2
- High acidity may cause issues for those with a history of gout
- Too much sodium can lead to water retention, swelling, and bloating
- Water retention from too much salt can increase your blood pressure
- Too much can lead to gas, stomach pain, and diarrhea
When in doubt, talk to your doctor about your options and whether or not this sour beverage is the right fit for your needs.
Can You Lose Weight by Drinking Pickle Juice?
According to a study conducted on Japanese participants, individuals who consumed 0.5oz to 1oz of vinegar daily had lost more weight and fat over the course of 12 weeks than people who hadn’t consumed any.1 Because pickle juice contains a lot of vinegar, the same effects could be possible with moderate consumption.
If you already love pickles, you may be thrilled to know there are some potential benefits—as long as you don’t drink too much. Or, if you like working out, you may have just stumbled upon another trick to get rid of muscle cramps. Nevertheless, pickle juice should not become your primary source of electrolytes or hydrations. When in doubt, drinking water is always your best option!
*This material is provided by USHEALTH Group® for informational/educational purposes only and should not replace medical/clinical advice or direction from your health care provider.
- Rainey, Alli, “Drinking Pickle Juice: 10 Reasons It’s All the Rage,” Healthline.com, last modified May 3, 2016, https://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/drinking-pickle-juice
- Petre, Alina, “Everything you need to know about pickle juice,” MedicalNewsToday.com, published August 1, 2017, https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/318618.php
- Andersen, Charlotte, “The Hidden Meanings Behind Your Specific Cravings,” Shape.com, accessed October 23, 2019, https://www.shape.com/healthy-eating/diet-tips/hidden-meanings-behind-your-specific-cravings
- Silverman, Sam, “Is Pickle Juice Good for You?” Health.com, published May 17, 2019, https://www.health.com/food/pickle-juice-good-for-you