Does Pickle Juice Increase Metabolism?

By: Andra Picincu | June 24, 2019

Pickles and fermented foods, in general, are well known for their beneficial effects on gut health. Some dieters even drink pickle juice for weight loss, saying that it’s a powerful metabolism booster due to its high vinegar content. Gym-goers, on the other hand, claim that pickle juice can speed up recovery after exercise and relieve muscle cramps. The question is: What’s true and what’s hype?

Are Pickles Good for You?

These fermented veggies are a healthy addition to sandwiches, salads, appetizers and meat dishes. Low in calories, they’re a perfect diet snack. One small spear has 4 calories and less than 1 gram of carbs, so it fits into any diet. Just make sure you stick with unsweetened pickled cucumbers, which contain no sugar.

Like sauerkraut, pickles are naturally high in probiotics, such as L. plantarum and L. brevis. These microorganisms balance the gut flora by increasing the levels of beneficial bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract. Mustard pickles and other fermented foods have a positive impact on the structure, function and diversity of your gut flora. Commercial pickles, though, are not fermented at all and contain lower levels of probiotics.

According to a September 2017 review featured in the journal Nutrientsprobiotics benefit people with diabetes, obesity and insulin resistance. These microbes ensure a proper balance between “good” gut bacteria and pathogens, such as Salmonella and E. Coli.

Some bacteria species produce B-complex vitamins, aid in nutrient absorption and boost immune function. The Nutrients review reported that, in clinical trials, probiotics were shown to reduce total fat mass, visceral fat mass, body mass index and waist circumference while improving blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Considering these facts, it’s not surprising that a growing number of dieters are using pickle juice for weight loss. This liquid is low in calories and contains small amounts of probiotics. You can even purchase pickle juice fortified with zinc, potassium, vitamin C and other micronutrients that support athletic performance.

Pickle Juice and Weight Loss

Pickle juice is touted as a natural fat burner and metabolism booster,but few studies confirm these potential health benefits. The idea behind these claims is that acetic acid, a natural compound in vinegar (one of the main ingredients in pickle juice), supports weight loss and improves the body’s ability to burn fat.

Furthermore, vinegar may lower blood sugar levels and increase glucose uptake, leading to improved metabolic health. But what does the science say?

A clinical trial, one of the few studies linking vinegar to weight loss, published in the journal Bioscience, Biotechnology and Biochemistry in August 2009, suggests that vinegar may aid in weight loss.

As the researchers point out, acetic acid may reduce body fat mass and prevent metabolic syndrome. Obese subjects who drank a beverage containing varying doses of acetic acid experienced a decrease in body weight, body mass index, abdominal fat, waist circumference and serum triglyceride levels.

The scientists state that acetic acid inhibits lipogenesis, a metabolic process that promotes fat storage. It appears to be particularly effective against visceral fat — a major contributing factor to cardiac events, insulin resistance, inflammation and metabolic problems. Furthermore, vinegar intake didn’t cause any adverse effects.

To date, this is the only human study that confirms the relationship between vinegar and weight loss. Other studies and clinical trials have been conducted on mice, so their findings may not apply to humans.

However, vinegar may improve glycemic control, according to a May 2018 review in the Journal of Evidence-Based Integrative Medicine. After assessing several clinical trials, the researchers concluded that vinegar intake may slightly lower blood sugar levels and improve pancreatic insulin secretion. However, more research is needed to confirm these results.

Glycemic control and obesity are strongly connected. Obese and overweight individuals are at higher risk for insulin resistance, a major risk factor for diabetes. In fact, a staggering 90 percent of people with Type 2 diabetes are obese and overweight, as reported by the World Health Organization.

If you’re on the heavy side, take the steps needed to keep your blood sugar levels within a normal range. As the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health points out, nine in 10 causes of type 2 diabetes and pre-diabetes can be prevented through lifestyle changes.

Adequate blood glucose control is paramount. Pickle juice is high in vinegar and hence may help reduce your blood sugar levels, leading to a lower risk of diabetes and its complications.

Potential Benefits of Pickle Juice

As you see, there is little evidence about the relationship between pickle juice and weight loss. Furthermore, no studies confirm that pickle juice increases metabolism. However, this briny beverage has its perks. High in sodium, it can balance your fluid levels and prevent dehydration during or after long bouts of strenuous exercise.

One cup of pickle juice provides 1,150 milligrams of sodium — that’s half of the maximum daily recommended intake (2,300 milligrams). This nutrient helps maintain your fluid balance, preventing dehydration. For the record, most people get way too much sodium in their diet.

During heavy bouts of exercise, you may lose excessive water and sodium in your sweat. According to the Gatorade Sports Science Institute, low-sodium diets are not the best choice for athletes and individuals who engage in long-term aerobic exercise. When consumed during or after training, sodium increases thirst and helps your kidneys retain water, keeping you hydrated.

Dehydration is often the culprit behind muscle cramps, gallstones, constipation and kidney disease. The sodium in pickle juice may help prevent these side effects. The downside is that it can also increase blood pressure and fluid retention when consumed in excess.


Pickle juice and pickles are high in sodium and can elevate your blood pressure.

If you’re an athlete or gym enthusiast, you may benefit from drinking pickle juice during or after exercise. However, there are better options available.

Coconut water, for example, is significantly lower in sodium and higher in calcium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus and other trace minerals. In fact, it’s often used as a substitute for electrolyte beverages and other sports drinks.

Fermented foods, including pickles, have their place in a balanced diet. Rich in probiotics, they may improve digestion and help restore the gut flora. They also contain vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that support your health and well-being.

Pickle juice, on the other hand, is high in sodium and has little nutritional value. When consumed in excess, sodium can elevate blood pressure and cause your body to hold water. If you love this beverage, enjoy it in moderation. Taking a few sips every now and then is unlikely to affect your health.

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7 Surprising Health Benefits of Drinking Pickle Juice

By Coti Howell | 2 years

Pickle juice is usually just what we throw away when we’re done with our prepackaged pickles. It keeps our pickled treats moist and fresh in the jar, but we usually don’t think to drink it. (OK, well sometimes we drink it after a shot of whiskey but that’s a completely different story.) The juice has electrolytes, antioxidants and some other very surprising health benefits.

Here are six stellar reasons why you should start drinking pickle juice.

1. Workout Rebuilder

Pickles can be used both before and after a workout. Nutritionist Anshul Jaibharat told Smart Cooky that it’s a healthy workout treat because it gets nutrients straight to the body. “Pickle juice is really popular with athletes when it comes to pre or post workout meals,” Jaibharat says. “The body loses both sodium and potassium while sweating during a workout, and needs to maintain the electrolyte balance. The calcium chloride and vinegar present in pickle juice makes the sodium and potassium more readily absorbed by the body.” This post-workout drink can help you avoid muscle cramps and encourage weight loss.

2. Hangover Remedy

Who doesn’t love a good hangover cure? Pickle juice may be the answer you need after a long night of drinking. Much like sports drinks, the juice contains electrolytes and high sodium content which will help you rehydrate, so you’ll be feeling better in no time. Another added bonus? Dill pickle juice hides the strong smell of alcohol on your breath the morning after, so your co-workers will never know. Cheers!

3. Relieves Cramps

The same benefits that help you before and after a workout also help to prevent cramps. Pickle juice is a great option for women dealing with PMS, as it can help to prevent menstrual cramps, bloating and curbs cravings for salty foods.

4. Aids in Digestion

The vinegar in pickle juice may not be all that tasty, but it’ll help your digestive tract. Doctors believe that the juice helps to maintain a healthy balance of good bacteria in your stomach. So you may want to add some pickle juice to your annual Thanksgiving spread. A small serving is also a great cure for an upset stomach.

5. Provides Antioxidants

Who knew pickles are a health food? Pickle juice is also chock full of antioxidants, which “protect the body from damage caused by harmful molecules called free radicals.” Antioxidants are thought to prevent some cancers, arthritis and possibly Alzheimer’s.

6. Relieves Heartburn

Pesky heartburn pains could no longer be a problem thanks to pickle juice! Medical Daily says the vinegar actually helps some people ward off heartburn. This isn’t a tried and true remedy, though, because vinegar can actually cause heartburn for some people.

Did you know pickle juice now even comes in cans? Just crack one open and reap the health benefits.

7. Cures Headaches

Many people with chronic diseases, migraines and other health problems can benefit from drinking pickle juice. By raising your sodium levels, your body will retain more water, which increases your blood pressure. So make sure your sodium intake is monitored by a professional.

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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.

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