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Pickle Juice for Cramps: Does It Work?

Medically reviewed by Katherine Marengo, LDN, RD, specialty in nutrition, on September 12, 2019m| Written by Adrian White

What does pickle juice have to do with cramps?

Pickle juice has become a popular remedy for leg cramps over the years — specifically for the cramps runners and athletes get after a workout.

Some athletes swear by it, attesting that pickle juice really works. Still, the science behind it is unclear.

On the one hand, skeptics have doubted that pickle juice works for leg cramps at all. There’s no solid scientific reason yet proving how it works, so some write it off as a placebo effect.

On the other hand, some research suggests that pickle juice is way more effective than a placebo. However, it’s still unclear why.

One long-standing theory for how pickle juice works is its sodium content. The juice contains salt and vinegar, which may help replenish electrolytes. But is this actually true?

Keep reading to learn more.

Does it actually work?

Because pickle juice is such a widely used remedy for leg cramps in the sports world, there’s been some research and studies investigating its effects — though not much.

Very few studies fully explain or prove how it works. Nor do they explain how it doesn’t work, or how it’s just a placebo effect. To date, the efficacy of pickle juice is still uncertain.

Some have theorized that pickle juice’s electrolytes prevent leg cramps after exercise — but one study in 2014 debunked this.

After checking blood plasma levels of nine healthy men for signs of increased electrolytes following consumption of pickle juice after exercise, researchers found that electrolyte levels remained the same.

They also stayed level no matter what the study participants drank: water, sports drinks, or pickle juice. This is because it takes a lot longer for electrolytes to be fully absorbed into the body, and long after a muscle cramp would come and go.

The same set of researchers also did a test on pickle juice for cramps earlier in 2010. They found that it did work to shorten cramp duration. On average, it relieved cramps in about 1.5 minutes, and 45 percent faster than when nothing was taken after exercise.

Cramp relief also had nothing to do with placebo effect. This led to the more intense exploration of pickle juice’s effects on electrolyte levels later in 2014.

How to use pickle juice for cramps

In studies where pickle juice was effective for muscular cramps, researchers used about 1 milliliter per kilogram of body weight. For the average study participant, this was somewhere between 2 to 3 fluid ounces.

To use pickle juice for muscular cramps, measure out the pickle juice and drink it quickly. Taking a rough “shot” is also acceptable.

You can use pickle juice from store-bought cucumber pickles or safely fermented homemade pickles, if you desire. Make sure the natural vinegar acids and salts are present. It also doesn’t matter if the pickle juice was pasteurized or not.

Because it’s thought that cramp relief comes from the vinegar specifically, avoid watering the juice down. Drink it raw and experience the taste. However, this may be difficult for some people who don’t enjoy the taste so much.

The science behind why it works

While it hasn’t been proven yet, researchers posit that pickle juice may help cramps by triggering muscular reflexes when the liquid contacts the back of the throat.

This reflex shuts down the misfiring of neurons in muscle all over the body, and “turns off” the cramping feeling. It’s thought that it’s specifically the vinegar content in pickle juice that does this.

Still, more research is needed to prove if this is exactly how pickle juice works to prevent cramps. While there are no studies proving that pickle juice doesn’t work, or that it’s a placebo, more research supports that it does indeed work by this mechanism.

Does it have to be pickle juice?

Over time, pickle juice has been unique and popular in the way it helps with muscle cramps. Thus far, there haven’t been many other natural foods or remedies to rival it.

Foods of a similar vein haven’t been studied as much as pickle juice for cramps. But they could be just as good.

Could you eat a pickle and have the same effect? Scientifically speaking, maybe.

As researchers supposed in 2010, the cramp relief may have more to do with the vinegar content. If you eat a pickle brined with vinegar, it might also work.

However, eating a pickle isn’t as well-studied as pickle juice.

What about other similar fermented products? Liquids like sauerkraut juice, kimchi juice, apple cider vinegar, and even kombucha are similar to pickle juice. Some have both vinegar and salt content, while others have just vinegar content.

Following the vinegar theory, these may also work. They just haven’t been studied or tested like pickle juice has.

There’s no harm in giving them a try if you consider any of the possible side effects beforehand.

What should I know before using pickle juice?

Some doctors and health professionals warn that pickle juice could possibly worsen dehydration. They say it curbs thirst when you drink it, but doesn’t rehydrate like water.

According to both the 2010 and 2014 studies, this isn’t true. Pickle juice won’t dehydrate you, and it doesn’t curb thirst. It’ll also rehydrate you just as much as water, another similar study in 2013 suggests.

If small amounts are taken — such as 2 to 3 fluid ounces occasionally — there should be little to no health or dehydration concerns.

Pickle juice tends to have a lot of salt, and is thus high in sodium. People with high blood pressure and those who are watching dietary sodium may want to be careful not to take too much pickle juice and use it only occasionally.

Pickles, especially homemade, have high levels of probiotics for gut health and immune system function.

Be careful taking it if you have digestive ailments or disorders. Some pickle juices are high in acetic acids, which can worsen certain symptoms. There are also some other possible side effects, too.

The bottom line

The verdict thus far is that pickle juice can work for leg cramps after exercise. Though there isn’t a whole lot of research on it, the studies so far are quite supportive.

Use of pickle juice to occasionally get rid of cramps post-exercise should also generally be quite safe. If you have any concerns, talk to your healthcare provider before using it.

Originally Published: https://www.healthline.com/health/pickle-juice-for-cramps

saltandlavender.com

Dill Pickle Soup with Smoked Ham

January 9, 2017

This Polish dill pickle soup with smoked ham is a hearty, savory, creamy, and comforting dish. A big pot of it can be on your table in only 45 minutes!

It’s not very often that I get excited by soup, but here we are. I’ve wanted to make my own version of the classic dish (zupa ogorkowa) for a while now. My mom makes pickle soup and so does our Polish friend, so it’s something that I enjoy periodically.

I can’t say I’ve ever had a pickle soup that didn’t hit the spot, and this version definitely left me wanting more (my husband finished most of it). 😛

I get that dill pickle soup would sound very weird if you hadn’t heard of it before. Obviously you won’t like it if you don’t like pickles.

If you do like pickles, give it a chance! I promise it’s delicious.

The smoked ham adds a special little something extra to this creamy pickle soup and also makes it more filling.

Perfect winter comfort food. Or anytime comfort food, really.

This comforting dill pickle soup recipe isn’t complicated, and the soup doesn’t take ages to cook, which is nice for busy weeknights.

Obviously I don’t mind spending time in the kitchen, but I think we can all appreciate quick meals that taste just as amazing the next day.

How to make pickle soup

Sauté the onions and carrots in a large soup pot; add the pickles, potatoes, chicken broth, pickle juice, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, dill, and ham to the pot.

Bring to a boil and then simmer the soup for 15-20 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked.

Mix the flour into the sour cream until smooth, then add it to the soup. Cook for another 5 minutes.

Serve with extra salt & pepper and more fresh dill if desired.

So. Dill pickle soup – yay or nay?

Will you be making this easy pickle soup recipe?

A delicious tangy and comforting dill pickle soup recipe with smoked ham.

  • Course Soup
  • Cuisine Polish
  • Keyword dill pickle soup recipe
  • Prep Time 20 minutes
  • Cook Time 25 minutes
  • Total Time 45 minutes
  • Servings 6
  • Author Salt & Lavender

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1 cup finely chopped dill pickles
  • 1 medium carrot grated
  • 3 large red potatoes (skins on) diced
  • 2 (10 fluid ounce) cans chicken broth
  • 1 cup pickle juice
  • 3 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • Handful fresh dill chopped
  • 3/4 pound piece smoked ham diced
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Add the olive oil to a large pot on medium-high heat. Add the onion and carrot once the oil is hot. Sauté for 5 minutes.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients except for the sour cream and flour. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.
  3. Mix the flour into the sour cream until you have a smooth mixture. Stir it into the soup and cook the soup for another 5 minutes. Season with salt & pepper to taste. Garnish with extra fresh dill if desired.

Recipe Notes

  • This soup can turn out a bit salty for some people (depending on the salt in the pickle juice) so I suggest using low-sodium chicken broth if that’s a concern for you. 
  • Serves 4-6

Originally Published: https://www.saltandlavender.com/polish-dill-pickle-soup-smoked-ham/

Pickle Juice Detox Benefits: Detoxification Using Pickle Juice Diet

Published September 26, 2010 by Nick

We have to cleanse our body by getting rid of the toxins that have slowly built up their way inside. It is a fact that toxins are ingested in our bodies regularly through the food that we take in. As much as we want it, they have began piling up inside which is the cause of most illnesses.

Detoxifying the body is accomplished by flushing toxins out with excessive urination. It can be valuable at rejuvenating the body and making it easier for the body to absorb beneficial nutrients.

There are a variety of natural recipes and tips for detoxifying and cleansing the total body.

Pickle juice is not at the top of the list. It is a very questionable method. There are claims that pickle juice benefits in treating gout by breaking up calcium deposits. Other claims say pickle juice helps arthritis and will remove THC from the body of marijuana users.

Pickle Juice Diet Benefits For Detoxification

Pickle juice is a known sports drink. It is effective in reducing athlete’s cramps in whatever sport. More and more sports players have been seen using pickle juice rather than the popular “ade” drinks: Gatorade and Powerade. It is also for the drinkers because it is known to be a great hangover reliever.

Recently, pickle juice has been recognized as a detox drink. It fills in to what the body has lost and what the body actually needs. There have been testimonies that pickle juice actually made them feel better, although the taste proves to be a challenge. Well, don’t mind the taste because it will make you become a whole lot better.

  • It is not advisable to drink as much pickle juice as you would need to adequately remove all the poisons and wastes from your system.
  • A pickle juice detox could be harmful to your system because it has a high salt content and vinegar is the main ingredient. Never initiate a detox program such as this without the advice of a doctor.
  • Patients with kidney or heart problems, especially, could really do themselves harm. A person with hypertension could sent their blood pressure through the roof with high quantity of salt and vinegar.
  • Natural drinks like green tea, cranberry juice, or lemon water can help to flush the system out regularly.
  • At least there is some antioxidant powers in the green tea and the urinary antiseptic property of the cranberry juice. These beverages certainly won’t hurt you in quantity.
  • Don’t take chances with any detox agents that contain harmful ingredients when taken in massive amounts. Take time to discuss the facts about detoxifying your body with a licensed professional.
  • It is not wise to try new trends without researching all you can about the process involved and how it could hurt you.

Originally Published: https://www.tandurust.com/diet/pickle-juice-detox.html

Pickles and Pickle Juice: Healthy or Horrible?

Written by Team Legion | not dated

If you hang out in nutrition and fitness circles like I do, you’ll come across all sorts of interesting recommendations.

Practically everyone has their own personal miracle drug or perfect natural supplement to make their workouts easier.

One of these I keep coming across is pickle juice.

People just can’t seem to get enough of the stuff. And if you follow their logic, you too should be drinking it before and after every workout.

But something about this whole pickle craze hasn’t seemed right to me all along.

Don’t get me wrong, I like the taste of pickles – but should you really drink the juice too?

Today we’re going to find out whether pickles and pickle juice are great for you, or if they’re part of yet another ridiculous trend.

What Are Pickles and Pickle Juice?

Your everyday pickle starts life as a raw cucumber, and then it’s submerged into a concoction of vinegar, salt, and spices, and is fermented. After its fermentation, it becomes a pickle – a vegetable with a different flavor and nutritional value than the original cucumber.

Pickling is an ancient method of food preservation. Before human beings could refrigerate or store foods long-term, pickling was the only way to preserve foods for future consumption.

Cucumbers are fermented by Lactobacillus bacteria, which normally cover the cucumber’s skin.

During commercial processing, these beneficial probiotic bacteria are usually removed once vinegar is added. The liquid remaining after the cucumber has changed into a pickle is its juice.

But when it comes to pickle juice, it’s not really a juice after all. Pickle juice should actually be called pickle brine. Brine is the salt solution meant to preserve food. Anything else added to brine is purely for flavor purposes.

Nutritional Value of Cucumbers and Pickles

A lot of the claims about pickles and pickle juice revolve around the fact that they’re the byproduct of a vegetable – and vegetables are great for you, right?

Let’s take a look at the nutrient content of cucumbers before they become pickles. Your average, unpeeled cucumber contains:

  • 45 calories
  • 4 milligrams of vitamin C
  • 21 micrograms of folic acid
  • 1 milligram of sodium
  • 76 milligrams of potassium

So, let’s compare. Here’s the nutritional breakdown of a serving of pickles:

  • 17 calories
  • 1 milligrams of vitamin C
  • 4 micrograms of folic acid
  • 1251 milligrams of sodium
  • 132 milligrams of potassium

That’s right. The sodium content in pickles is an increase of 1250 milligrams from regular cucumbers. Your biggest positive increase here is in potassium – as a result of the sodium increase.

Pickle Juice: The Claims

Some claim that athletes who experience muscle cramping during their workout sessions should drink pickle juice to replace their electrolytes and reduce cramping. This is based on the idea that vinegar sends signals to your nerves which disrupts the cramping caused during workout sessions.

Would any other brine work just as well? Olive brine or pepper brine for instance? All of these have high levels of sodium and borrow nutrient content from the vegetables in them.

What Does Science Say About Pickles and Pickle Juice?

The real truth is that science has come nowhere close to proving most of these claims.

In fact, if you search PubMed –a website I use constantly to look up scientific studies, you’ll only find a mere 16 results.

The studies that have been performed are underwhelming at best. One study found that drinking pickle juice after exercise was not highly effective at replenishing electrolytes.

Another study found that pickle juice “does not relieve cramps via a metabolic mechanism.”

And yet another study suggested that actually swallowing pickle juice could relieve cramps – something that involves no metabolic processes whatsoever.

The rest of the studies seem to indicate pickle juice is nothing more than a weak water, carbohydrate, and electrolyte replenishing solution. There seem to be no fantastic health benefits here.

But, several of the same studies have shown that the sensation of vinegar and salt on your tongue can help relieve muscle cramps. It’s not clear if this would last long-term, or in everyone, but it certainly couldn’t hurt.

Final Thoughts

There’s nothing special about salt water that once contained floating cucumbers, or pickles themselves for that matter.

I’m sorry, but those are the facts, folks. There’s no evidence for any exclusive advantage you can gain from drinking pickle juice or eating the fermented cucumber, except perhaps a slight ability to ameliorate muscle cramps.

Pickle juice may help with your cramps – and it may not.

If you like the way pickles taste, great! Eat them and drink their juice in safe amounts and you shouldn’t run into any serious health issues.

Just don’t expect any miracles.

Originally Published: https://legionathletics.com/pickles-and-pickle-juice-healthy-or-horrible/

Should You Really Be Drinking Pickle Juice After a Workout? It sounds gross, but some people swear it helps with recovery.

By Isadora Baum | Aug 3, 2018

If you think of pickle juice as a beverage at all, it’s probably only as an alcohol chaser. But some people swear that there’s a good reason to chug the briny liquid at the bottom of your pickle jar: it can help reduce muscle cramps and expedite your post-workout recovery.

Does taking shots of warm pickle juice at the gym sound appetizing? Not really, nope. So we decided to call up a few experts and find out whether there’s any truth to the rumor.

What is actually in pickle juice?

First off, pickle juice is basically just salt. “Pickling is a method of preserving cucumbers in water and salt over time. The juice that remains is a mixture of water, salt and cucumber juice,” Natalie Rizzo, MS, RD told MensHealth.com.

How does pickle juice work for recovery?

“During intense activity (usually lasting longer than an hour) or working out in extremely hot conditions, an athlete will sweat a lot and lose electrolytes (sodium and potassium) in their sweat,” says Rizzo.

To not lose steam and to keep up performance, you need to replace those electrolytes and stay hydrated. So after, say, sweating it out during a brutal CrossFit circuit, you may want something with a salty kick.

Because it’s so salty, pickle juice contains a ton of sodium, as well as smaller amounts of postassium and magnesium, explains Elizabeth Ann Shaw, MS, RDN, CLT, CPT. Replenishing these electrolytes can perk you up when you’re feeling fatigued and rehydrate you quickly.

Are there any other benefits to drinking pickle juice?

There’s also some evidence

Beyond that, pickle juice may also help to improve digestion. “The pickling (aka fermenting) process creates live cultures (probiotics) in the juice, so the juice may be good for gut health,” Shaw says.

I’d rather not straight-up chug pickle juice. Are there any other ways to take it?

You can cook with pickle juice to benefit from its effects. Shaw recommends using one-third of a cup of pickle juice while browning meat: “Since my family is a big fan of the spicy pickles, I’ve found the liquid in the empty jar serves as an excellent flavor enhancer when I’m browning my lean turkey or pork for tacos and chili,” saysShaw. And because the flavor is so strong, there’s no need to add other herbs or seasonings.

You can also use pickle juice as a marinade for beef or pork. “Marinate a piece of meat with as much pickle juice as needed to coat the meat,” says Rizzo. Keep it in the fridge for 1-3 hours or so for it to sit. Shaw recommends using it to make tacos or Sloppy Joe-style sandwiches, or subbing in pickle juice for apple cider vinegar in this delicious short ribs recipe.

You can also use that pickle juice to make even more pickled veggies, such as shredded cabbage, carrots, or radishes, or as a way to make poached eggs, says Dana Angelo White, MS RD. . “Usually, you poach an egg in boiling water with 1 tablespoon of vinegar,” she says. Instead of the vinegar, use pickle juice. It gives the egg a savory, salty edge that will really wake you up in the AM.

And of course, if you’re really into pickles, you can also use pickle juice to make even more pickles: “Throw some sliced cucumbers into the pickle juice and marinate overnight. They will become pickles before you know it,” says Rizzo.

Isadora Baum Isadora Baum is a freelance writer, certified health coach, and author of 5-Minute Energy.

Originally Published: https://www.menshealth.com/health/a22550892/benefits-of-pickle-juice/

Dr. Oz Logo

Health Secrets Dr. Oz Only Tells His Friends

Dr. Oz’s 1-Ingredient Hangover Cure

Pickle juice! After a long night of drinking your body is zapped of water and electrolytes, which is why you get headaches, dizziness and cramping. The salts in pickle juice will help replenish your electrolytes and put your body back in balance. Dr. Oz recommends 1/4 cup first thing in the morning to help ease a hangover.

Originally Published: https://www.doctoroz.com/slideshow/health-secrets-dr-oz-only-tells-his-friends?gallery=true&page=2

Is Pickle Juice Good for You? The idea of a sugar-free sports drink sounds great—but first, let’s look at the science.

By: Sam Silverman | May 17, 2019

Pickles are a household staple and can be found in the depths of many refrigerators. The juicy spears typically accompany your burger and fries to add some salty zest to your meal. But you may have never wondered about the nutritional benefits of this crunchy snack—or the salty juice it’s cured in.

Recently, though, pickle juice has been touted as a nutritional superfood and a low-calorie sports drink. You can even buy it by the bottle—sans pickles. Nutritional information varies by brand and recipe, but most pickle juice contains less than 20 calories (and zero grams of fat) per 3.5-ounce serving.

However, pickle juice is also high in sodium: A 3.5-ounce serving can contain roughly 500 mg of sodium, if not more. That’s a large slice of the recommended daily intake (2300 mg) for the mineral.

Sodium can be a benefit to some people and in some circumstances, but it can also contribute to high blood pressure and other health problems. For that reason, it should be consumed in moderation, Megan Roosevelt, RDN and founder of HealthyGroceryGirl.com, tells Health. “You may want skip pickle juice if you’re following a low sodium diet, have a history of gout, or previous negative experience drinking pickle juice,” she says.

Besides being a salty and savory treat, pickle juice may also have health benefits. Here are five reasons it just might be good for you.

Athletic performance

Pickle juice has been called a natural Gatorade, and it’s been utilized by athletes looking to cut down on sugary sports drinks. It is true that athletes might benefit from pickle juice because of its high sodium content, Cynthia Sass, RD, Health contributing nutrition editor, tells Health.

When you sweat, you lose fluid and electrolytes—including sodium. “Pickle juice can be a very good source of sodium, and some athletes like the taste,” Sass says. But the flavor can be intense, she adds, and since people will probably drink a small amount of pickle juice at a time, it should not be your only method of hydration to replace electrolytes.

Muscle cramps

A 2010 study from North Dakota State University found that muscle cramps could be resolved in a minute and a half with 1.5 oz of pickle juice for every 100 pounds of body weight. The researchers couldn’t say for sure why pickle juice had this effect on cramping, but they hypothesized that it triggered a reflex in the mouth that sent a signal to the nerves.

It’s also not clear what component of pickle juice is responsible for this potential benefit. “Some research supports the idea that the vinegar in pickle juice may help with cramping, rather than its sodium content,” Sass says, “but it hasn’t been well studied.”

Hydration

Pickles are very high in sodium, which can be great for increasing hydration before and after a workout. According to Sass, water is attracted to sodium—so when you replace the sodium lost via sweat, you retain more water as a result.

Relief from stomach aches

Pickle juice could be a natural remedy for stomach pain. “The vinegar in pickle juice may be beneficial for reducing bloating and boosting levels of good bacteria in the digestive tract,” Sass says. This is because some stomach pain is caused by low acidity, which the addition of vinegar can restore.

Hangover helper

Pickle juice might also be the answer to your hangover needs. “The main component of pickle juice that may support a hangover is the water and sodium, which help restore electrolytes and bring your body back to balance,” says Roosevelt.

Of course, not over-indulging in the first place is always the best way to avoid feeling sick the next morning. But if you do find yourself under the weather after a night of too many drinks, a sip from the pickle jar may help you feel better faster.

Originally Published: https://www.health.com/food/pickle-juice-good-for-you

Dean Drobot/Shutterstock

6 Health Reasons You Need to Be Drinking Pickle Juice

By: Alexa Erickson | Updated: Oct. 01, 2019

If you’re pouring your leftover pickle juice down the drain, you could be missing out on the brine’s healthy benefits—says science.

Pickles and other fermented foods boast some pretty impressive health benefits. But you have to use some caution: If you have high blood pressure or are sodium-sensitive, salt can drive up your blood pressure levels, and pickles and pickle brine are loaded with sodium that could do more harm than good.

First, a primer. There are two types of pickles: naturally fermented pickles and the ones that are preserved in vinegar. Both versions convey benefits, but they do differ.

Pickle juice’s high sodium content—in both the fermented and vinegar versions—may be beneficial for helping the body retain fluids. This is important when you’re working out for longer periods of time—an hour or more—since losing fluids through sweating can cause dehydration and leave your muscles cramping.

A study from Brigham Young University found that pickle juice was more beneficial for alleviating muscle cramping in male participants than plain H2O. For the study, male participants rode bikes for 30-minute sessions, with 5 minutes of rest between. When the researchers could document that the men’s fluids were depleted by 3 percent—which qualifies as mild dehydration—they electrically stimulated a nerve in the ankle to provoke a foot cramp. The researchers found that pickle juice could relieve the cramp about 37 percent faster than the men who drank water.

With gut issues on the rise in recent years, fermented foods have garnered a lot of attention for their probiotic potential. If you can find fermented pickles (they’ll be in the refrigerated section, unlike the vinegar-cured pickles on the shelf), drinking the juice might be helpful for alleviating digestive issues. The probiotics in pickle juice may support the growth and healthy balance of good bacteria and flora that keep your gut healthy, according to a 2018 study in the journal Foods. One note: You can get the same benefit from other fermented foods such as sauerkraut and kimchi.

According to a study published in Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry, pickle juice may help aid in your weight loss goals thanks to the main component in vinegar—which is acetic acid. The researchers found that the acid seems to interfere with the body’s ability to digest starch. This interference results in less starch being broken down into calories in the bloodstream.

Having high blood sugar levels can lead to type 2 diabetes, along with a variety of other chronic diseases. Vinegar has been found to be beneficial in lowering blood sugar levels by improving the body’s response to insulin and dramatically reducing blood sugar levels after meals.

One study, published in the Journal of Diabetes Research found that drinking a small serving of vinegar before a meal works to stabilize a person’s blood sugar levels after eating for people with type 2 diabetes.

This one falls under the old wives’ tale thanks to the lack of scientific evidence, but some people swear by drinking a small glass of pickle juice as a fail-safe cure for hiccups.

You can try the remedy out next time you have hiccups by gulping down half a teaspoon of salty pickle juice every few seconds until the hiccups subside.

In the same way that the juice may help ease muscle cramps from exercise, some women say that it can help with menstrual cramps. While the theory makes sense, it hasn’t been effectively studied (and it’s just one of several unusual tricks for dealing with menstrual pain).

Want to give it a try? Some women swear by drinking a half of a cup of dill pickle juice to ease cramps.

Medically reviewed by Maureen Namkoong, MS, RD, on August 18, 2019

Originally Published: https://www.thehealthy.com/nutrition/health-benefits-of-pickle-juice/

Pickle Juice: 4 Health Benefits Of Drinking The Green Juice

Apr 25, 2014 | By Sabrina Bachai

Pickle juice — it’s often the forgotten counterpart when enjoying delicious pickles, and fortunately it actually does more than just add flavor to your favorite side dish. There are also many health benefits associated with the leftover juice. 

According to the New York Food Museum, the history of cucumbers dates back to 2030 B.C. when cucumbers were first brought over from India to the Tigris Valley, and people needed a way to preserve them. Cleopatra even claimed that her diet of pickles helped maintain her beauty. In modern times, pickles are used in many ways: drinks, foods, and beauty remedies, to name a few. However, pickle juice also has amazing health benefits like curing a hangover and soothing heartburn. We’ve listed some helpful ways you can incorporate pickle juice into your life:

1.       Hangover Cure:

One of the main reasons people feel so terrible when they’ve spent a night drinking is because alcohol is a diuretic, leaving you feeling dehydrated. Drinking pickle juice helps to replenish your depleted sodium levels.

2.     Post-Workout Cure:

Many athletes swear by it because it helps to rebuild electrolytes post-workout. Pickle juice contains sodium and vinegar — both necessary in aiding athletes and those who sweat heavily. Some researchers also credit vinegar to help relieve the cramps; others say it’s the magnesium. This might also be useful pre-workout, too. The National Institutes of Health found that ingesting high-sodium drinks pre-exercise can improve thermoregulation and performance.  

3.       PMS Remedy:

It works the same way as it would for a post-workout cure because it helps to hydrate the body and alleviate cramping. It also will help to curb the salt cravings that many women have when they are menstruating.

4.       Heartburn Relief:

This might sound like it would cause the exact opposite effect, since vinegar triggers heartburn for some, but the vinegar in pickle juice actually helps some people soothe heartburn, according to Yahoo Shine.

Originally Published: https://www.medicaldaily.com/pickle-juice-4-health-benefits-drinking-green-juice-278780

Science be damned, football players are drinking pickle juice to try to ward off cramps

Washington Post | Sports | High School Sports
By: Jacob Bogage September 22, 2016

That bottle doesn’t have water in it. Or Ga­tor­ade. Or anything you might want to chug down.

There is, instead, pickle juice: briny and sour with seeds floating to the top, acidic enough to sting the back of your throat and make you reevaluate the decision to drink it.

Thirsty? Not anymore.

And yet football teams nationwide — from high schools into the college and professional ranks — are keeping pickle juice on their benches and in their cafeterias to ward off cramps and fight dehydration, regardless of the lack of science demonstrating its efficacy.

Lackey High School running back Malik Burns couldn’t get enough of the stuff after a broiling night game earlier this season.

“It was very hot outside, so when [my coach] said something about the pickle juice, I went for it,” he said. “It tasted pretty good, and it helped out a lot. That was one of the first games where I didn’t cramp.”

Coaches and athletes alike have sworn by it for decades, pointing to its sodium content as a way to help retain moisture and electrolytes.

“Most athletes walk around in a dehydrated state,” said Randy Bird, director of sports nutrition at the University of Virginia. “It’s not an acute problem; it’s a gradual problem throughout the week. So Monday they practice and don’t properly hydrate, and Tuesday they do it again. And then, bam, it’s Saturday, and they’re very dehydrated.”

Coaches and nutrition specialists have turned to all kinds of remedies to keep athletes hydrated and stocked up on electrolytes.

The University of Maryland football team passes out pickle juice to players as a post-practice refreshment.

A manager on the Lackey team is in charge of a three-gallon jug of kosher dills and keeps a squirt bottle full of the juice. Trainers keep mustard packets on the sideline for players to gulp down during stoppages.

Bullis Coach Pat Cilento switched two years ago from pickle juice to apple cider vinegar. Players get a shot of it in a Dixie cup on Thursdays and two more on Fridays. During Cilento’s one-year stint at Sherwood, in 2009, the Warriors kept a bottle of pickle juice on the sideline during games. Upperclassmen would toss the bottle to underclassmen as a prank during timeouts.

“Normally we would put tape around it so everyone would know, but then they would rip the tape off,” Cilento says now with a laugh. “They knew what they were doing.”

But the actual impact of pickle juice — or any kind of salty fluid — is less well known.

“It’s definitely been something that’s been around for a while,” said Colleen Davis, director of sports nutrition at Maryland. “But the biggest thing as a dietitian is thinking about more than one thing. I don’t think pickle juice is a sole factor in preventing or alleviating cramps.”

And there isn’t any science that says pickle juice or vinegar or mustard packets prevent cramps, Bird said.

Cramps are caused by a lot of things, such as dehydration, an electrolyte imbalance or a lack of carbohydrate fuel. Some cramps are even caused by hiccups in the nervous system that cause muscles to get stuck in the “on” position, Bird said.

But a 2010 study conducted by researchers at North Dakota State and Brigham Young universities found that ingesting pickle juice right before or during a game doesn’t have much of an effect. The extra sodium that might ward off a cramp doesn’t reach the blood stream in time to be preventative. And athletes drink such a small amount of the stuff that it’s not enough sodium to really make a difference regardless.

In other words, those shots of apple cider vinegar and the mustard packets may be more torture than they are helpful.

But the acid found in the pickle juice, vinegar and mustard does help alleviate cramps, the study concluded. A cramp induced by researchers lasted two minutes on average. Those cramps lasted 30 seconds shorter when test subjects drank pickle juice during the experiment. When subjects drank water, there was no change.

Researchers argue that the acid in the liquid reacts with nerves in your throat that somehow calm your cramping muscle in less than a minute.

Science aside, though, coaches across the area still turn to the liquid to keep their players on the field — and figure to continue to.

Friendship Collegiate linebacker-fullback Hassan Terry felt a cramp in his right calf earlier this month during a game against Carroll. As the Knights’ trainer tended to Terry on the sideline, the trainer shouted to the bench: “Get the pickle juice!”

Originally Published: https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/highschools/science-be-damned-football-players-are-drinking-pickle-juice-to-try-to-ward-off-cramps/2016/09/22/fe60fa50-7b65-11e6-bd86-b7bbd53d2b5d_story.html