Is Drinking Pickle Juice Good?

Most people would agree that drinking pickle juice is an unusual choice for a healthy drink. The debate, however, remains whether or not it’s beneficial to your health. Drinking pickle juice may be good for you in some ways and bad in others–but there are no indisputable facts about how this strange beverage affects our bodies.

Drinking pickle juice is good for you. It has been said that drinking pickle juice can help with digestion, weight loss, and more.


Some athletes may use pickle juice sports drinks as a “hack” to avoid cramps and exhaustion, but what do studies say? Is there anything good about drinking pickle juice?

According to most experts, more study on the possible benefits of salty beverages for athletic performance is required. However, pickle juice (PJ) has been proven in certain tests to be just as effective as water in decreasing leg cramps and tiredness. It may also assist in reducing blood sugar spikes and troughs, resulting in more consistent energy and other metabolic benefits.

What Is Pickle Juice?

Pickle juice is the liquid that remains in a pickle jar after consuming all of the pickles.

What is the composition of pickle juice? It all depends on the kind of pickle and how it’s produced. Water, sea salt, and vinegar are commercially the most common components in pickle juice, with sometimes added garlic, peppercorns, herbs, and spices.

Pickles that are fermented are prepared in a “brine” solution that is very salty but does not include vinegar. The salt aids in the fermentation of sugars in the cucumbers, resulting in a crisp, acidic snack.

Nutritional Information

Is pickle juice electrolyte-rich? Most pickles and their juices are abundant in salt, potassium, and water, yet they are nutritionally deficient.

Because pickles (cucumbers) contain vitamins and antioxidants like vitamin A and E, it’s ideal to consume both the pickles and their juices if at all feasible. In addition, probiotic bacteria, which provide a variety of health advantages, are also found in fermented pickles.

The USDA estimates that 1/2 cup (or 4 ounces) of pickle juice comprises approximately:

  • Calorie count: 20
  • Protein:0 g protein
  • Fat: 0 g
  • Carbs: 4 g
  • Sodium: 920 mg

Potential Advantages

According to current research, pickle juice has the following possible advantages and uses:

1. Dehydration-related leg cramps may be alleviated

Various factors may cause leg cramps, but they’re often linked to fluid and electrolyte loss or disruptions. This is particularly true after strenuous activity since increased perspiration depletes fluids.

Certain sportsmen claim to have had favorable outcomes from drinking pickle juice for leg cramps, although the findings of studies have been equivocal.

While there is evidence that drinking modest amounts of PJ (approximately 1 mL per kg body mass) ahead to exercise may help athletes perform better by reducing the length of electrically caused muscular cramps, other studies have concluded that this is not the case.

In one research, 63 (19%) of 337 sports trainers said they had provided PJ to their athletes to avoid exercise-related muscular cramps. According to the research, the majority of these doctors said they told athletes to drink 70 to 200 mL of PJ 30 to 60 minutes before exercising.

“Ingesting modest volumes of PJ with water before exercise is unlikely to impact athletic performance or select thermoregulatory characteristics,” researchers found after testing the effects of PJ ingestion on aerobic performance and thermoregulation.

However, the findings of a different 2014 research were inconclusive. So what is one of the study’s most important findings? “If the cramps are caused by Na+ (sodium), K+ (potassium), or fluid imbalances, tiny amounts of PJ may be ineffectual in treating exercise-related muscular cramps by restoring electrolytes.”

What’s the bottom line? You can usually avoid cramps by drinking plenty of water and eating nutrient-dense meals throughout the day. Still, if you’re doing something like endurance training, salty drinks may help you stay hydrated since sodium helps retain more water.

2. May Boost Athletic Performance

Drinking high-sodium beverages, according to studies, may stimulate blood volume expansion, allowing athletes to sweat at faster rates and exercise with more skin blood flow, resulting in longer activity duration. In addition, assisting in regulating the body’s core temperature may help avoid early weariness.

“This may explain why some people can exercise longer when they consume sodium-containing drinks,” said researchers from one study.

While some experts are concerned that PJ might promote dehydration, one of the research described above revealed that it did not affect exercise-induced hypertonicity (muscle tension) or hyperkalemia (high potassium), consuming little amounts of PJ, on the other hand, did not entirely replace electrolytes and fluid deficits.

3. May help with gut health and digestion

Real pickles are manufactured via a fermentation process that produces beneficial bacteria (probiotics) that aid in gut health and digestion.

Is it true that drinking pickle juice aids weight loss? Of course, this is contingent on how it fits into your entire diet. It has a lot of salt, which might cause you to retain water and bloat.

On the other side, there’s some evidence that consuming fermented foods, such as pickles and their juice, might make you feel fuller by slowing the process of stomach emptying and supporting other metabolic processes.

4. Helps to maintain blood sugar balance and metabolic health

Although it’s ideal for drinking fermented pickle juice for the greatest health advantages, vinegar-based pickle juice does provide the added benefit of promoting insulin sensitivity.

According to some research, taking vinegar before meals may help people with metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes by aiding muscle glucose (sugar) absorption. There’s also some evidence that drinking vinegar might help you maintain a healthy weight.

Is pickle juice healthy for your liver and kidneys? It might reduce issues linked to metabolic dysfunction, such as kidney, heart, and liver damage, by improving hydration (when ingested in tiny amounts) and blood sugar regulation.

5. May Help With Hangovers

Is it true that pickle juice may cure a hangover? If you can stomach a few ounces, you may notice that it helps with headaches, exhaustion, and heartburn after a night of drinking.

This is due to its capacity to replace electrolytes and fluids lost. In addition, some believe that pregnant women prefer pickle juice due to an increased demand for salt and minerals, particularly if they’re suffering symptoms like nausea, bloating, and exhaustion, which is also frequent during hangovers.

Mix a tiny quantity with additional water or juice to combat dehydration even more to get the greatest benefits.

How to Create

Fermented pickles and their juices (also known as lacto fermented pickles) must be cured for a few days to a few weeks. Fermentation is a pickling procedure that uses lactic acid fermentation to produce acidity. The bacteria lactobacilli transform the starches and sugars in the cucumbers into lactic acid, which gives the pickles their sour flavor and smell.

Try this simple pickle juice recipe if you want to make your own salty pickle concoction:

Recipe for Fermented Pickles

This yields a 16-ounce jar, including both pickles and their juices.


  • 7–8 tiny, unwaxed cucumbers (3–4 inches long) — pickling or “Kirby” cucumbers are often the ideal sizes.
  • 6–8 fresh dill sprigs
  • 1.5 quarts distilled water
  • 1.75 tbsp. kosher salt
  • (added for taste) 2–3 peeled garlic cloves, cut in half and smashed 3/4 teaspoon peppercorns, 1 teaspoon mustard seeds, 1 teaspoon dried celery leaves


  1. To begin, put the salt and water in a mixing bowl. Allow it to settle for a few minutes until the salt has dissolved.
  2. Wash the cucumbers well. You may leave them whole, remove the tips on both ends, split them in half, or quarter them like spears.
  3. Half of the dill sprigs, garlic cloves, mustard seeds, dried celery, and peppercorns should be placed in the jar. Pack the cucumbers tightly into the jar, then top with the remaining dill.
  4. Cut one cucumber in half and place the pieces horizontally at the top to keep the cucumbers below the brine.
  5. Pour the saltwater into the container, covering the cucumbers thoroughly.
  6. Put the lid on the jar but don’t close it. Instead, place the pot on a counter to start the fermentation process.
  7. Allow 4–10 days for the process to complete. You may test the pickles at any point throughout the process to determine whether the texture and flavor are to your liking. Tighten the cover and refrigerate after you’re satisfied with your work.
  8. The pickles and juice will stay in the refrigerator for around 7–8 days. If the salty flavor of the juice doesn’t appeal to you, try mixing it with other tastes or some water. You may also use the brine to ferment other veggies like green beans, carrots, peppers, and beets or store it to create extra pickles.

Do you prefer not to make your pickle juice and are unsure where to get it?

The simplest method to get this drink is to buy a jar of fermented pickles and save the liquid after the pickles have been consumed. Pickle juice sports drinks, shots, and even slushies are now available in certain health food shops due to the drink’s growing popularity.

When it comes to pickle juice, how much is too much? If you drink pickle juice in tiny quantities, you’re more likely to get the advantages while limiting the danger of adverse effects. However, 1.5 to 3 ounces of pickle juice per day is plenty for most healthy persons.


What are the risks of consuming pickle juice? While it depends on the individual and various circumstances such as hydration and physical activity, some experts have recommended against drinking PJ due to high salt intake issues.

Salty beverages may be harmful to specific individuals, such as those with high blood pressure, so if you’re following a low-sodium diet, you should avoid them. Adults should take up to 2,300 milligrams of salt per day, and three ounces of pickle juice will give one-third of that amount.

Drinking PJ might result in various effects, including decreased performance due to dehydration, a more difficult time rehydrating, stomach distress and nausea, and blood pressure problems. Another concern is that eating salty meals and beverages daily increases your “tolerance” to the taste of salt, increasing your need for salt and decreasing the enjoyment you receive from modestly seasoned, natural foods.

Last Thoughts

  • Pickle juice has various health advantages, including preventing leg cramps and tiredness, improving sports performance and digestive health, and supplying enzymes and antioxidants.
  • Fermenting your pickles and storing the juice is the best approach to generating pickle juice at home. Cucumbers, water, salt, and optional herbs are all needed for this simple recipe.
  • Is there ever a time when pickle juice is hazardous for you or likely to trigger adverse effects? For example, it may induce dehydration or elevated blood pressure in certain persons due to its high salt content. Nausea and stomach distress are other common side effects, particularly if you consume too much alcohol.

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