Did you know that taking a glass of pickle juice post a workout could prevent cramps? What’s even better is that the juice boosts your recovery. It can make your time in the gym a lot more effective.
This forgotten part of your delicious pickles doesn’t deserve to go down the drain. It needs a second look – from you. And this is because the benefits are marvelous. You have to keep reading to know more.
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Why Should You Have Pickle Juice Anyway?
Why? It is not the only health drink out there. What makes it so special?
First, it is not juice. It is brine or a salt solution used to preserve foods. Its key ingredients are water and salt. The preserved food, along with the brine, is what we call a pickle.
The most common way of pickling involves cucumbers, in addition to the water and salt. Lactobacillus bacteria ferment the cucumbers and cover their skin. These are the beneficial bacteria, which are often removed during commercial processing and replaced with vinegar instead. Hence, it is always best to make your own pickles at home (we will cover this in a while).
After many weeks of curing, the cucumbers turn to pickles. The pickle juice is what is left behind after the pickles (cucumbers) are removed. This is the same juice that has some super cool health benefits.
A study published by the Harvard Medical School states how fermented foods can boost gut health (2).
There are several other studies. All of them boil down to one thing – pickle juice sure is beneficial.
What Are The Benefits Of Pickle Juice?
1. Pickle Juice Fights Your Cramps
What if we say pickle juice can resolve your cramps in under a minute and a half? That’s what this research says – drinking 1.5 oz of pickle juice for every 100 lbs of body weight can actually accelerate recovery by a whopping 45% (3).
The protons in pickles activate the spinal column and inhibit the firing of specific nerves that cause leg cramps. There are areas in the mouth and the esophagus through which these nerves can be stimulated – and pickle juice does just that. These properties of the juice may also help treat jerks and twitches associated with restless leg syndrome.
Some sources suggest that the juice, in addition to normal muscle cramps, can be useful in treating menstrual cramps as well.
2. Treats Your Hangover
Hangovers can be torturous. And nobody wants to stay there. If you are looking for a remedy, turn to pickle juice.
Excess alcohol can deplete your body of water and electrolytes, causing a hangover. This is where the salts in pickle juice come to the aid. They replenish the lost salts and bring your body back in balance. Also, the salt in pickles can naturally make you drink more water. This also hydrates you.
3. May Aid Weight Loss
Pickle juice is the ideal replacement for high-calorie energy drinks – in case you are looking to lose weight. Though pickle juice has no fat, it can have few calories. But it sure can be a great deal when compared to most of the high-calorie energy drinks in the market.
Commercially available pickle juice contains vinegar, which, as per studies, may help weight loss (4).
4. Boosts Your Gut Health
The probiotics in pickle juice do the trick – they encourage the growth of the good gut bacteria, thereby boosting digestive health. Studies also show how taking probiotics can cut the risk of colorectal cancer (5).
Some sources suggest that pickle juice may treat heartburn, thanks to its vinegar content. But the same pickle juice may have the opposite effect in some people. So, please consult your doctor before taking pickle juice for this purpose.
5. Pickle Juice Fights Dehydration
Thanks to the sodium and potassium content, pickle juice combats dehydration too. Sodium and potassium are electrolytes the body loses through sweat. Though plain water can work well in combating dehydration, pickle juice aids faster recovery.
6. May Treat Sore Throat
We only have anecdotal evidence here. Pickle juice may relax your throat muscles, thereby treating sore throat.
7. Can Refresh Your Breath
Nothing can turn down someone like bad breath. The bacteria in the mouth cause it, and pickle juice helps in eliminating these bacteria.
The vinegar in pickle juice has antibacterial properties, which help cleanse your mouth and eliminate bad breath. Sipping and swigging some pickle juice can freshen and sweeten your breath.
These are the ways pickle juice can make your life easier. But apart from what we discussed, the juice has some other important nutrients too.
What Is The Nutritional Profile Of Pickle Juice?
Vitamin K is the most abundant nutrient in pickle juice. The juice also contains vitamins A and C, calcium, potassium, and magnesium.
Impressive, isn’t it? But how do you make pickle juice?
How To Make Pickle Juice At Home
What You Need
- 1 gallon of cold water
- 35 to 40 small pickling cucumbers
- 1 cup of raw cider vinegar
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 2 tablespoons of pickling spices
- 2/3 cups of Kosher salt
- 4 fresh dill heads
- Wash the cucumbers first. Don’t scrub them.
- Trim the ends of each cucumber and slice in half lengthwise.
- In a separate glass jar, layer the sliced cucumbers and dill heads and garlic.
- Stir together the remaining ingredients in a separate bowl until the salt dissolves.
- Pour this brine over the cucumbers. Ensure all are submerged.
- Cover the jar with a cheesecloth.
- Store away from direct sunlight for 2 to 4 days. You can also wait until the cucumbers taste like pickles.
- Cap the container with a lid. You can store it in your refrigerator for 6 months to a year.
Great. But is there any other way of taking pickle juice?
Popular Pickle Juice Recipes
1. Pickle Brine Gazpacho
What You Need
- 1 cup of pickle brine
- 8 slices of bread (remove the crusts and tear them into chunks)
- 2 pounds of seeded ripe tomatoes
- 3 quartered shallots
- ½ cup of extra virgin olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves
- Fresh herbs, for garnish
- ½ cup of tomato juice (if required)
- Place the bread in the food processor along with pickle brine.
- After it soaks for 5 minutes, add the tomatoes, garlic, shallots, and the tomato juice.
- Process it until you get a thick consistency like that of a soup.
2. Pickle Juice Vinaigrette
What You Need
- ¼ cup of pickle juice
- 2 tablespoons each of olive oil and vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon of distilled white vinegar
- 1 tablespoon of strained spices and garlic
- 1 small minced and peeled shallot
- 1 small minced and peeled garlic clove
- A pinch of red pepper flakes
- Kosher salt, for taste
- Whisk all the ingredients in a bowl thoroughly.
- You can use it immediately to dress your salads or store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to two weeks.
Sumptuous recipes, aren’t they? But hey, pay close attention – we don’t recommend everyone to have it.
Who Should Not Have Pickle Juice?
Though the juice does not have any serious side effects, it is not meant for all. Please avoid the juice if:
- You want to cut down sodium or are on a low-sodium diet for any reason (including conditions like hypertension).
- You suffer from gout or have a family history of gout – as the juice can increase uric acid build-up.
Pickle juice may also cause water retention and bloating. So, if these are a concern for you, please avoid pickle juice.
Not just cramps, pickle juice can help treat many other conditions. So, why don’t you start including pickle juice in your diet today?
And tell us how this post has helped you. Leave a comment in the box below.
How long does pickle juice last?
Whether store-bought or homemade, if properly sealed, pickle juice might last up to a year.
Where to buy pickle juice?
You can purchase pickle juice from your nearest supermarket or even online at Walmart.
Does pickle juice help pass a drug test?
No. It doesn’t. The best way to pass a drug test is not taking any drugs.
Is pickle juice safe during pregnancy?
Though it is safe in small amounts, we suggest you don’t take the juice during pregnancy. The high sodium content can be harmful to the baby and the mother.
1. “Fermented foods for better gut health”. Harvard Medical School.
2. “The effect of pre-exercise ingestion of pickle juice…”. North Dakota State University.
3. “Reflex inhibition of electrically induced…”. US National Library of Medicine.
4. “Vinegar intake reduces body weight, body fat mass…”. Central Research Institute, Japan.
5. “Potential of probiotics, prebiotics and synbiotics for…”. US National Library of Medicine.