Pickle Juice as a Sports-Performance Tonic? | STACK

Become a Better Athlete. Sign Up for our FREE Newsletter.

Pickle Juice as a Sports-Performance Tonic?

October 1, 2010

Must See Nutrition Videos

You may have heard that downing pickle juice can alleviate exercise-induced muscle cramps, which are brought on by a number of factors, including dehydration and loss of sodium through sweat. In Performance Nutrition for Football, author and University of Miami sports nutritionist Lisa Dorfman throws down some thoughts in the ongoing debate about whether drinking pickle juice actually eases cramps.

The major reason for drinking pickle juice is for its sodium content. Just one dill spear contains approximately 306 mg of sodium, according to the nutrition profile 411 on nutrition.gov. In comparison, the average sports drink offers around 110 mg per eight ounces. But according to Dorfman, the only evidence that pickle juice relieves muscle cramps is anecdotal. Some athletic trainers recommend it, convinced that pickle juice aids in replenishing sodium and fluids; but research is inconclusive on whether reduced muscle cramping is attributable to the sodium or vinegar in pickle juice.

In her book, Dorfman says if you’re compelled to drink the recommended amount of pickle juice (two ounces), you should dilute it with a sports drink, which makes it taste a bit sweeter than Pickle Juice Sport. Or, depending on your palate, the practical route is to incorporate high-sodium foods, like canned soups and vegetables juices, into your daily diet. When you’re training for an hour or more, add in a sports drink like Gatorade, hydrating about every 15 minutes. Regardless of how you do it, staying hydrated and consuming enough sodium should help you stay cramp-free.

Sources:  nytimes.com

Sarah Gearhart
Sarah Gearhart
Must See
Jadeveon Clowney on Making Big Hits
Views: 3,796,683
Perfect Dwyane Wade's Signature Euro Step
Views: 1,307,131
Brandon Jennings: "Always Improve"
Views: 2,792,027

Featured Videos

Dwight Howard Ab Workout Views: 62,672
John Wall Elbow-to-Elbow Shooting Drill Views: 186,478
Elite Performance with Mike Boyle: Build Explosive Power With Contrast Training Views: 17,880
Load More


STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be fitter than ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers


Latest issues of STACK Magazine


Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice


Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes


Find the latest news relevant to athletes

Most Popular Videos

Colby Lewis's Post-Game Band Splitter Routine
Views: 8,349,427
Dwight Howard Stays in the Gym All Night
Views: 4,006,048
Allyson Felix Explains How To Choose a Coach
Views: 8,690,610
Charging Ground Balls With Skip Schumaker
Views: 29,529
Antonio Brown Juggles 3 Footballs
Views: 1,176,187

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

Powerade Removes Controversial Ingredient

Living the #JugLife: Javale McGee Wants You to Drink More Water

Will This Edible Blob Replace Your Water Bottle?

Beat the Heat: Hydrate with Lemon

Avoid Dehydration During Your Next Hockey Game

New Gatorade Montage Counts 50 Years of Fueling Athletes

Healthy Hydration for Track & Field Athletes

Compare 3 of the Most Popular Hydration Backpacks

Benefits of Coconut Water for Athletes

7 Rules for Keeping Hydrated

Weight Loss and Other Benefits of Staying Hydrated

4 Hydration Rules for Football Players

Drinking for Sport Performance

Electrolytes Explained

Ask the Experts: Am I Drinking Too Much Water?

4 Ways to Carry Backpack Hydration

Chocolate Milk after Workouts

6 Effective Drinks for Athletes

BPA: Health Hazard In Your Water Bottle?

Winter Dehydration: Are You At Risk?

Best Pre-Workout Energy Drink? You May Be Pleasantly Surprised!

Hydration Guidelines for Volleyball Players

Selecting Fluids to Enhance Soccer Performance

12 Must-Know Hydration Rules for Athletes

An Athlete's Guide to Late-Summer Dehydration

How Much Water Should Athletes Drink Every Day?

Hydrate With...Pickle Juice?

Staying Hydrated for Basketball

How to Hydrate With Food

Not Just for Drinking: Use Water to Avoid Getting Sick

I Hate Water: Healthy Alternatives to H2O

Surviving Football Hell Week: A Nutrition Guide

Elements of Proper Hydration

This Ebola Treatment Sounds a Lot Like Your Sports Drink

Beat the Heat During Training With These Hydration Strategies

Why Pedialyte Is a Good Source of Hydration for Hockey Players

How to Schedule Your Hydration

Cutting Weight for Wrestling: 3-Step Sodium Strategy

Too Much of a Good Thing: The Danger of Over-Hydration

Hydration: Follow the Rules That Help Your Performance

Healthy Hydration for Hockey Players

How to Stay Hydrated When It's Hot and Humid

Hydration Inside the Race Car

Opinion: Your Post-Workout Recovery Nutrition Should Be Liquid