When you think of health food, chances are pickles, and specifically, pickle juice, don’t exactly come to mind. Many people don’t realize that it is actually an incredible source of electrolytes, antioxidants, and nutrients that is easy to make a part of your diet. When you reuse pickle juice, you are getting the most out of every jar.
Why You Should Reuse Pickle Juice
There are many reasons to reuse pickle juice that go far beyond simply not being wasteful. There are actually many benefits to your personal health. That being said, it really depends on the type of pickles that you have. Traditionally made fermented pickles will have different health benefits than some of the regular store-bought ones. You need to base what you buy off on what you hope to get out of the juice. Without further ado, here some reasons you might want to consider reusing your pickle juice.
1. It’s Hydrating
If you regularly do long, intense workouts in a hot climate, then simply drinking water will not be enough to properly rehydrate after a session. This is when many of us turn to sports drinks. Unfortunately, many sports drinks can be high in sugar and calories, which some may want to avoid. Drinking a shot or two of pickle juice can replenish your depleted sodium stores and give you a small amount of potassium, too. If you require a low-sodium diet for any reason, be sure to consult your doctor before using pickle juice as a recovery beverage.
2. Help With Muscle Cramps
Most of us have experienced the extreme discomfort of muscle cramps at least once or twice in our lives. These are, for lack of a better word, un-fun. Pickle juice can be an excellent remedy for these. A study done in 2010 found that just one-third of a cup of pickle juice can effectively relieve a cramping muscle in less than two minutes (1).
4. It Soothes Upset Stomachs
Vinegar has long been used to relieve an upset stomach. In most store-bought pickles, vinegar is the number-one ingredient. This means that drinking a few ounces of pickle juice may help to relieve a disgruntled tummy. Do not use this method, however, if you have problems with stomach ulcers. (2)
5. It May Ease A Hangover
After a night out drinking, you are likely very dehydrated. Pickle juice can help you to restore some much-needed electrolyte levels. Its salt content may also help to feel even more thirsty, therefore encouraging you to drink more water. It may not solve your hangover completely, but it may help to at least help you overcome it more quickly. (3)
Pickle Juice Has Antioxidants and Some Nutrients
While not brimming with nutrients, they are low in calories, packed with electrolytes, contain vitamin C and calcium. On top of that, if you buy fermented pickles, the juice will also contain some probiotics. Again, be wary of the salt content, which can have adverse effects. (3)
Recommended Ways to Drink Pickle Juice
You likely don’t want to sit down and just pour yourself a tall glass of pickle juice – neither do I! Thankfully, there are a variety of ways to reuse pickle juice in a more appetizing way:
- Mix a few ounces with water for your post-workout recovery drink.
- Think of places that you might enjoy the flavor of a pickle and add the juice to those. Think salads and salad dressings, egg salad or tuna salad, and more.
- Yogurt is an excellent choice for your diet that can become even more powerful if you add several tablespoons of pickle juice. The bonus is that yogurt will mask the taste of the juice too.
- Add it to any marinade, or use it as its own marinade for your poultry, fish, and even meat.
Are There Any Side Effects of Drinking Pickle Juice?
As previously mentioned, if you have any health concerns that require specific dietary recommendations or restrictions, talk to your doctor first. Drinking pickle juice has no real side effects, but certain preexisting conditions could be aggravated by it.
- If you are on a low sodium diet for any condition, you do not want to drink pickle juice.
- If you have gout or even a family history of gout, you may also want to avoid drinking it, too, as it can cause a build-up of uric acid. (4)
- Check with your pharmacist if you take medications in case they don’t combine well with the acidity of pickle juice. You may need to wait a certain amount of time after taking your medication to make sure they are properly absorbed.
Is pickle juice a silver bullet to health? Of course not; nothing is. If consumed properly and within reason, it can be just another beneficial addition to an already healthy diet.
Keep Reading: Which Is Better: Butter Or Margarine?
- “Reflex Inhibition of Electrically Induced Muscle Cramps in Hypohydrated Humans.” Journals. Kevin Miller, et al. may 2010.
- “Drinking Pickle Juice: 10 Reasons It’s All the Rage.” Healthline. Alli Rainey . March 8, 2019.
- “6 Health Benefits of Drinking Pickle Juice.” Cleveland Clinic. December 31, 2020.
- “Gout.” Mayo Clinic