If you love to eat pickles, you should understand how healthy pickle juice is for you. If you don’t like to eat them, before you can say, “Eew, Yuck,” hear me out first. Sometimes drinking or eating healthy foods doesn’t have the best taste. However, they can provide excellent and easy nutritional content. Although it may seem new and popular, athletes have been drinking this fermented juice. It may seem gross to drink pickle juice, but maybe the benefits outweigh your taste.
The Dark Side of Pickle Juice
First things first, you only need to drink about three ounces. If you drink more than this, it can negatively impact you. Many pickle juices contain large amounts of sodium but you can find some that are low. However, drinking too much can cause:
- digestive disruption,
- gas, high blood pressure due to high sodium and,
- excessive kidney functions due to too much sodium at one time.
The Benefits of Pickle Juice
1. Hydrates Your Body Quickly
Sodium and potassium are two electrolytes that help your body hydrate fast. When you train and play sport for hours, you sweat a lot. And sweating to much causes you to lose a good amount of sodium and potassium. It can be ok when you are sweating and dehydrated to drink a large amount of sodium after a sporting event or at halftime. It will bring the levels back to normal quickly. And pickle juice can get the job done. But if you are not training and sweating too much, you should drink a pickle juice that is lower in sodium.
2. Muscle Cramps
And to ride the coattails of hydration, pickle juice helps prevent muscle cramps. Sweating too much causes a faster loss of electrolytes. And this leads to muscle cramps and spasms. One of the primary reasons athletes probably drink pickle juice is because of this powerful preventative aspect. A study in Medicine and Science in Sport and Exercise showed how pickle juice prevented and reduced cramping. Cramping was induced to specific muscles by an electric stimulator. Once cramping was achieved, they had the person drink pickle juice that reduced the cramping in just 35 seconds.
3. Great Probiotic for Your Gut
Fermentation is how probiotics are formed. They are the good bacteria you often hear about. The good bacteria in your gut is the strength of your immune system that prevents flu and sickness and acts as an anti-inflammatory. Unfortunately, good bacteria get destroyed by taking medications, drinking alcohol, eating processed foods, and artificial flavors and preservatives. Therefore, pickle juice is a great way to quickly restore healthy bacteria to your intestines.
4. Controls Blood Sugar
The vinegar in the pickle juice is the main ingredient that prevents diabetes. In addition, vinegar acts as an anti-inflammatory and has a glucose-lowering effect that is still unclear. But one promising conclusion says vinegar delays and suppresses carbohydrate absorption in the small intestines.
5. Potential to Lose Weight
Pickle juice curbs your appetite. To lose weight effectively, stabilizing your blood sugar is the key. So, if you regulate your blood sugar, you control your appetite and boost your metabolism.
6. Good Antioxidant
Pickle juice contains about 30% of vitamin C and E needed to reach your RDA. In addition, they are two important antioxidants.
Pickle juice seems to have a lot of power. I see why athletes say they have an energy kick from drinking it. Hydrating your body and controlling blood sugar are two important ways to have good energy.
So, if you are convinced about the benefits of pickle juice but still leery about the taste, here’s a solution. Instead of drinking it straight up, mix it. You can mix pickle juice and herbs and flavors to make it taste better. For example, you can make a marinade for your meat, dressing for your salad, or create a sauce.
If you are not down with pickles, you can eat other fermented foods like kimchi or sauerkraut. Kimchi is spicy cabbage mixed with Korean flavors like garlic, chili peppers, and ginger. They both do the same job as pickles. However, they are not only rich in natural sodium but higher in potassium than pickle juice. So, it is a better trade-off to have more potassium with sodium to promote electrolyte balance.