What Are the Benefits of Drinking Dill Pickle Juice?
Muscle cramps are an involuntary movement of your muscles. Though extremely painful, these cramps generally are harmless. If the discomfort interferes with your workout routine, dill pickle juice might help reduce the muscle cramping.
It’s not uncommon for athletes to experience cramping during workout sessions. Scientists don’t agree on what causes this type of cramping; however, some believe that dehydration is to blame. During an intense workout, your body sweats. This causes sodium and potassium levels to get out of balance – resulting in muscle cramping. Some people drink an electrolyte replacement drink or water to relieve muscle cramping. However, pickle juice might have perks for reducing cramping, too.
Pickle Juice Servings
To get the benefits of reduced cramping with dill pickle juice, drink about 2.5 ounces of pickle juice after your workout session. Most athletes experience reduced cramping within about 85 seconds, reports The New York Times. Drinking pickle juice appears to reduce cramping about 45 percent faster than just drinking water.
How it Works
Pickle juice is slightly acidic. Scientists believe the acidic substance found in pickle juice -- vinegar -- sends signals to your nerves. This disrupts the cramping caused during workout sessions. Drinking pure vinegar might have a similar affect, reports The New York Times. However, straight vinegar doesn’t taste as pleasant as pickle juice.
More research is needed to determine if dill pickle juice is truly an effective treatment for muscle cramping. However, there isn’t any know side effects of consuming pickle juice. If you continue to have muscle cramping during workouts, talk with your doctor. She can advise if drinking pickle juice is the right option for your situation. She also can make other recommendations, such as modifying your workout to reduce fatigue in the muscles. Starting your workout routine slowly and building strength over time, rather than starting with an intense workout, might help reduce this type of cramping.
- American Osteopathic Association: Muscle Cramps-A Common Pain
- Peikert J, Miller KC, Albrecht J, Tucker J, Deal J. Pre-exercise ingestion of pickle juice, hypertonic saline, or water and aerobic performance and thermoregulation. J Athl Train. 2014;49(2):204-9. doi:10.4085/1062-6050-49.2.11
- Allen S, Miller KC, Albrecht J, Garden-robinson J, Blodgett-salafia E. Ad libitum fluid intake and plasma responses after pickle juice, hypertonic saline, or deionized water ingestion. J Athl Train. 2013;48(6):734-40. doi:10.4085/1062-6050-48.5.04
- Allen S, Miller KC, Albrecht J, Garden-robinson J, Blodgett-salafia E. Ad libitum fluid intake and plasma responses after pickle juice, hypertonic saline, or deionized water ingestion. J Athl Train. 2013;48(6):734-40. doi: 10.4085/1062-6050-48.5.04
- Johnston, Carol S. and Appel, Christy L Frozen pickle juice reduces mealtime glycemia in healthy adults The FASEB Journal 2009 23:1_supplement, 900.2-900.2
- Miller KC, Mack GW, Knight KL, et al. Reflex inhibition of electrically induced muscle cramps in hypohydrated humans. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2010;42(5):953-61. doi: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e3181c0647e
- Miller KC. Electrolyte and plasma responses after pickle juice, mustard, and deionized water ingestion in dehydrated humans. J Athl Train. 2014;49(3):360-7. doi: 10.4085/1062-6050-49.2.23
- Peikert J, Miller KC, Albrecht J, Tucker J, Deal J. Pre-exercise ingestion of pickle juice, hypertonic saline, or water and aerobic performance and thermoregulation. J Athl Train. 2014;49(2):204-9. doi: 10.4085/1062-6050-49.2.11
- Petre,Alina. Everything you need to know about pickle juice. Medical News Today. August 2017.
Nicki Howell started her professional writing career in 2002, specializing in areas such as health, fitness and personal finance. She has been published at health care websites, such as HealthTree, and is a ghostwriter for a variety of small health care organizations. She earned a Bachelor of Science in business administration from Portland State University.