Should We All Be Drinking Pickle Juice?

001Let’s talk pickle juice. Places like Livestrong, Medical News Daily, and many other sites across the Internet tout drinking pickle juice — yes, that brackish water left over in the jar after you eat all the pickles — as a healthy home remedy for a variety of minor ailments. Even Dr. Oz is on board with it, which tells you two things: (1) a lot of people have probably tried it, and (2) we should probably put the pickle juice question to some scrutiny.

Depending on the website you visit, there are many claims made about the benefits of drinking pickle juice. Supposedly, pickle juice can do any or all of the following:

  • Prevents dehydration
  • Replaces nutrients lost when sweating
  • Helps relieve cramps after a workout
  • Helps prevent cramps if consumed before a workout
  • Alleviates PMS cramping
  • Relieves stomach cramps
  • Relieves heartburn
  • Kills harmful bacteria in the stomach
  • Cures a hangover
  • Keeps blood sugar levels in check
  • Acts as a healthy source of antioxidants and other nutrients
  • Alleviates restless leg syndrome
  • Soothes sunburn

Many of these really boil down to three core claims about pickle juice: it rehydrates, especially after sweating; it relieves cramping of many types; and it carries a load of beneficial nutrients, including potassium and electrolytes, that help the body in some way.

Already, the critical Internet reader should have a red flag. If pickle juice is beneficial to drink, which ingredients carry the most benefit? “Pickle juice” is not one all-encompassing recipe. To be specific, it’s not even “juice”. It’s a brine, a salt solution meant to preserve food. The only key ingredients in a brine are water and salt; anything else added to a brine is done for flavor, not preservation. Some of the more common pickle additives are alum (a form of potassium), dill (an herb), and vinegar (adds to or replaces salt, also adds flavor). Specific pickle recipes can also contain garlic, onions, peppers, sugar, and whatever else the recipe calls for.

If that’s the case, should one be drinking a basic salt brine? A basic dill brine? What about a sweet brine? A zesty brine? Most of these sites aren’t that specific. Some sites will have an offhand suggestion that dill pickle brine is the “best”, though they never offer an explanation as to why. I suspect that it’s because dill is viewed favorably in herbal remedy circles. In general, though, these sites don’t seem to distinguish between the brine in a store-bought jar of pickle chips and grandma’s cellar-aged pickle spears.

Does it even have to be pickle brine? What about the brine in a jar of olives? In a jar of pickled peppers? What about the brine mixture I make for my annual Thanksgiving turkey? These are all largely the same — water, salt, flavorants. Will drinking a shot of fish brine work just as well? Or what about a swig of a tasty salad vinaigrette, which carries many of the same ingredients and also olive oil?  The sites out there promoting pickle brine are silent on this question.

Here’s another one: does it have to be used pickle brine — i.e., do cucumbers have to have been floating in it for it to work its magic? A big selling point of this idea seems to be a “reduce waste” kind of DIY thriftiness. There’s no clear reason why this would have to be the case, though. Besides, if one insists on making used pickle brine a regular part of their daily regimen … who’s eating all the pickles? I imagine one’s need for pickle brine would quickly outpace the cup-or-so of leftover brine in a single jar of Vlassic dill spears. Being able to whip up a new batch of brine at home on the fly would be convenient.

One more question: why a culinary brine at all? If water, salt, and certain nutrients are the keys, why not craft a mixture that provides that nutritional load without having to soak pickles in it? [Oh, wait — they’ve done that.]

I am not arguing against the possibility that a liquid of the approximate salinity and nutritional load of  pickle brine might not carry with it any benefit, though it would almost certainly be minor. But as it is currently touted across the Internet, the pickle “juice” phenomenon is just another awful online food woo trend. “10 Reasons You Should Drink Pickle Juice” makes for a nice click-baity link, but it’s little more than that. There’s nothing about the specific recipe for pickle brine of any variety that makes it stand out from a hundred similar concoctions, and nothing about any of them that makes me want to drink them daily.

At this point, if you’re a good skeptic, there’s one more question you’re probably asking: has there been any actual science done on the pickle juice question? In fact there has. I’ll go over that science next week. As a preview, though, I will say this: there’s not a whole lot of it, and it’s not that impressive.

[UPDATE: The second article can be found here.]

 

About Alison Hudson

Alison is a writer and educator living near Ann Arbor, MI. She blogs regularly about skepticism, games, and the transgender experience.
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154 Responses to Should We All Be Drinking Pickle Juice?

  1. smichels62 says:

    My wife occasionally drinks pickle juice (dill, I think) for leg cramps. It normally works within 5 to 10 minutes. My dad has tried it and it works for him, too. None of us knows why it works but we’re glad it does. I’m just hoping I never have to use it since I really don’t like pickles – can’t even stand the smell of them.

    • Alison Hudson says:

      In my experience, most leg cramps relieve themselves within 5 to 10 minutes anyway, depending on the cause; the American Society of Orthopedic Surgeons says that cramps can last anywhere from a few seconds to 15 minutes or more, with the longer cramps being less common. Is your wife sure the pickle juice is actually shortening the duration of the cramp?

      • smichels62 says:

        My wife says that it normally works in just a few minutes. She says the green olive juice works for her as well. These are cramps that bring tears to her eyes they hurt so bad. Doctors that she’s been to have not been able to determine what causes them. Nothing shows up in her blood work. She doesn’t like to drink very much of it due to the sodium levels. Fortunately she doesn’t have them real frequently but when she does get them she’s glad to have something that works.

        • jeffman12 says:

          That’s too bad that your wife often has these leg cramps, but there’s just not enough data here to definitively state that pickle juice or the contents of the brine are what’re at work here and not the body’s own corrective mechanisms. Due to the highly subjective nature of pain and the way we experience it only one metric exists to quantify the sensation, and that, as you may have seen in any doctor’s office or hospital room, is this: http://www.crdamc.amedd.army.mil/surgery/_images/faces.jpg
          The only way to test it would be to record several instances with and without the use of pickle brine, and possibly by testing other types of brine as well, or perhaps something else entirely, like lemonade. You may wish to take the time to ask your family doctor for advice in this before doing so.

          It sounds as if this provides a great deal of discomfort, so rigorous study may not prove feasible given her situation, but rest assured, unless your family doctor has advised otherwise, she can drink as much pickle juice as she feels necessary.

          • Carl Max says:

            I have many family members that swear by pickle juice for cramps and other ailments. Do people NEED empirical data to understand if something does or does not work? Because your assessment of the juice is downright unrealistic honestly

          • uhhhh yes we do just guessing and following anecdote got us witch trials, phrenology, the 3 humors, blood letting, and mercury for syphilis to name a few so ya it needs to be tested.

          • Jillian Bringas says:

            It’s amazing how many people will outright doubt any kind of possible healthy alternative with out physical proof of cancer being depleted by pickle juice or something. Salt does dehydrate but any idiot knows your body needs sodium and potassium and many side affects and ailments come along with lack of….. too much salt you retain fluid, lack of salt … you retain fluid and if you don’t drink enough h20 u retain fluid. Your body needs, processes and has benefits to sodium especially in pickle juice. So amongst my many listed benefits in a prior comment I’d like to add to those who know more than research itself that there’s been many studies done on this matter and yes the vinegar, salt and almost carb free filled snack has benefits but there’s more to it. There’s actually health benefits that are in tailed along with the cucumber. There cucumbers fermentation process alone kicks out more benefits than you’d actually think. Low calorie, low carb, low fat, low sugar and my low tolerance for negative comments from uneducated people who know how to type. Eat a pickle or save them for us who “do the research ” daily. The weightloss benefits help me daily ♡♡ p.s. it takes 80 to deplete a cough, muscle cramps and dehydration etc…. after drinking the pickle juice. Just some more info that was research and definitely implemented

          • Never ceases to amaze me how many people have zero understanding of physiology, the human body, and basic chemistry call others ignorant and uneducated. Decrying the request for knowledge as close minded while simulataneously falling to understand how our experiences trick us. Consistently call unfounded ideology educated and denigrate the request for scientific evaluation as ignorant….. no learning and asking to understand is educated using something because you believe in it despite all evidence to contrary is purposeful ignorance and closed minded.

          • Susie says:

            Best to do surgery rather than drink pickle juice. Said one person ever.. on the the internet

          • Zane says:

            Just like you could not have commented and your worthless comment would still have no value.. Hmm..

        • jillian Bringas says:

          Pickle juice absolutely helps with cramps. Some cramps are due to dehydration or even potassium and pickle juice covers that plus many other reasons why cramps are existing. I’ve seen people detoxing from drugs benefit from pickle juice as well. They stop hiccups by stopping the spasms in the diaphragm, sore throat remedy, keeps you hydrated, can alleviate heart burn, full of potassium and even a great chaser for tequila shots. Vinegar alone is a very healthy way to go!!!

          • John says:

            Cramps are not due to dehydration and potassium depletion. That’s just what people trying to sell you electrolyte drinks say.
            And you seeing people detoxing from drugs by pickle juice is an outright lie! How insulting!

            And even if cramps are due to electrolyte depletion, do you have any idea how long it would take for a drink to be distributed into the bloodstream? Anyone who claims a drink relieves their cramps is lying.

          • Zane says:

            John on March 20th you are absolutely right. People who think “this or that” is somehow a sudden miracle cure are insane. Food /= medication…

            The notion that a food will have an effect within minutes is absolutely ridiculous.

            Food is natural. Natural remedies, cures, movements, whatever you call them take hours or days to work. I personally use vinegar, salt, and pickle juice and/or beef broth to ease the symptoms of a hangover. Notice how I said EASE!!!! It is NO WHERE NEAR INSTANT! I’d say I see effects 3-6 hours later. And they’re hardly life changing – the hangover is still very real. It’s still there. But the symptoms are lessened, and the recovery time (as measured over 24 hours) is greatly increased. Have I ever experienced relief in fifteen minutes by diet?
            No.

            Have I seen positive effects over twenty four hours based on diet?
            Yes.

          • Hmm. You could also do nothing at all and see an improvement 3-6 hours later.

          • Zane says:

            You, sir, obviously do not understand my drinking habits.

            You could have NOT commented and still appeared just as idiotic

          • Zane says:

            If the topic is leg cramps, I have my doubts that pickle juice solves the problem. I’d sooner blame too much sitting or laying down. People juice usually involves getting up and walking, which will stimulate blood flow and relieve cramps on its own.

        • vanda says:

          She needs potassium, magnesium, and calcium replacement- tabs daily, or foods loaded with these minerals. A lack of these minerals can cause many medical problems. Your heart is a muscle as well and it’s electrical energy needs these minerals. These minerals control the electrical impulses of your motor muscles.

    • TorchWood says:

      I believe you can get the same benefits from an appropriate mineral supplement. No need to suck down vinegar and salt water unless you want to…………

      • DRCoble says:

        Kosher dill pickle juice with garlic has many health benefits…of course the big pharms don’t capitalize of this remedy. Try it before you knock it. I happen to love the taste and can personally attest to the benefits…of course I would not recommend this to those who suffer from high blood pressure since its primarily beneficial to those with low blood pressure and retention of fluid.

        • Sigh! get in line with the other anecdotes. I am sure that unlike the other commentators you of course finally have a well controlled replicated study to back up your claims…… Your just holding it back because you like being coy. Probably not.
          I can personally attest, that despite thousand of posts just like yours there is literally no plausible physiologic reason for your statements, no legitimate treatment that uses the phrase “health benefits” whatever that means, and anything other than glorified stories proving that pickle juice works for ANYTHING. Because obviously magic juice cannot be magic enough unless it is Kosher LOL.

          • Jobob says:

            Alright we get it, you’re educated. I’ve known doctors that couldn’t figure out where a light switch was. Education doesn’t make you smart, you have to earn that. Why not let people believe what they want to? If they want to take pickle juice, let them negative Nelly.

    • ethan spyratos says:

      It’s called placebo effect. That’s why anecdotal evidence carries no weight whatsover as scientific evidence

      • JKEY says:

        Real late on this one —BUT— It wasn’t that many years ago when western medicine said the use of Herbs, Chiropractic and Acupuncture was hocus pocus too…. Never study with a closed mind..5000 years of TCM can’t all be a placebo effect….

        • Noah Dillon says:

          The consensus is still that chiropractic and acupuncture are bogus, since the can’t actually cure anything. Herbs are a mixed bag, of course: opium treats pain, marijuana treats loss of appetite, datura can treat motion sickness, traditional tobacco poultice will kill you. Other “traditional” herbal treatments will make your skin rot off, give you seizures, or dehydrate you to death. Open mind, open mouth, maybe an open casket, too.

          Some herbs are very helpful. When that happens, medicines are made from them, or by improving on them:
          https://skeptoid.com/blog/2015/10/10/malaria-medicine-from-chinese-herbs/
          https://skeptoid.com/blog/2014/05/22/the-mythology-of-asprin/

        • Zane says:

          Just to chime in, the idea that “fat” is unhealthy, specifically saturated fats.. When your BODY, your own body, has chosen saturated fats as its own choice of storing energy.. That’s what I think is most insane.

          And so much vilification of salt in this thread? Why? It’s all about balance!

          Yes, if your primary diet consists of food you liberate from boxes and foil wrappers – yes, you need to limit your salt. Absolutely.

          However, if you still own a flying pan and buy your food as raw meat and uncooked vegetables – salt away! Your counterparts are receiving heavy amounts from other sources, so their comments are irrelevant.

          Doctors are absolutely correct to say limiting sodium and fat is is important, because, as a whole, PEOPLE DO NOT WANT TO UNDERSTAND NUTURITION. If the masses ate a vegan diet, they would most definitely be healthier.

          Is that because vegan is best? Absolutely not! It’s because it takes very little knowledge. Plants are good, animals are bad.

          Fat is not bad. Protein is not bad. Carbs are not bad. It’s all about knowledge.

          I think everyone here is attacking the salt content. Or saying vinegar has no “proven therapeutic effects”

          You know what HAS been proven? That your “eat at least three times a day and snack in between” mentality has detrimental effects on insulin levels. Especially when you take into account that you’re living off packaged foods.

          It’s been proven (by studies) that cocaine addicted rats will choose SUGAR INJECTIONS over cocaine. Think about that. Because you play out that study every day. I doubt any of us regularly seek out cocaine as much as we hunt for sugar. Read your labels for one whole day. Do you eat more than 28g of sugar?

          The world health organization has said 7 tablespoons is the MAXIMUM amount per day a human can consume. That’s around 30 grams. Most of the planet is shoveling in 50% higher or more.

          You wanna talk about weight gain and bloating? The human body can store up to seven pounds of glycogen – the “stage two” effect of high insulin.
          Stage one – feed muscles
          Stage two – replenish glycogen
          Stage three – store everything else as saturated fats

          If you ALWAYS have raised insulin levels, you will always repeat this cycle. If you don’t let insulin levels drop, you’ll never use the fat you store! You’ll continue to grow!

          Eat less OFTEN! NOT LESS CALORIES! Once every 24 hours should be sufficient. I occasionally go 3-5 days without food – no crashes, no cravings, no pains… I’m not saying it’s every week, but I definitely do it. And I wake up every day and go to work. And come home. And I don’t die. I don’t “gain all the weight back,” I don’t get headaches, lethargy, nothing.

          Get off your sugar addiction. Seriously. Then vinegar and salt look like nothing in comparison.

          You all are heroine addicts telling the kid with the asthma inhaler that he’s being controlled by modern medicine.

      • Susie says:

        As I am sipping my pickle juice after imbibing too much… placebo my butt! Lol

    • Harold says:

      It works Bc pickle juice has a form of potassium in it, and leg cramps are caused due to lack of potassium. If either one of them ever want to stop drinking pickle juice, they could start taking a supplement. Or start eating more foods rich in potassium.

      • No leg cramps are like headaches the reasons number in the hundreds. Potassium replacement therapy doesn’t work. So again poor physio understanding is the bedrock of useless treatment. For example The above study is crap. Blinded by sense of smell. I know pickles when I taste them smell has little to do with identification. No blinding for participants or experimenters. No good controls small numbers. Means nothin as far as scientific evidence goes. …..yet some how that’s proof of efficacy. Ya- no its not.

        • Kyle Murphy says:

          Im surprised that the fact that it could be relevant depending on the person and their deficiencies, I think that the benefits/ myths are completely based on the persons chemical make up and how their body reacts to certain minerals. If a person has a deficiency then the reaction could cause benifits potiwntially beyond what “Science” could notably argue.
          The body heals itself in ways far beyond our knowledge, and quite possibly we may never fully understand the full extent of its potential.
          Besides “Science” is really only someonce educated opinion at the end of the day. Isn’t what natural cures and DIU remedies are, I say trial and error, if it works for you DO IT.

          • John says:

            Sorry but Science is not opinion. It is fact.
            And intelligent people study it to gain a better understanding of the world.
            The body heals itself in ways beyond YOUR knowledge because you choose not to try to understand it.

        • Zane says:

          How does one taste without sense of smell? Just simply pinching your nose can nullify all taste – so tell me, if someone genuinely has NO SENSE of smell, how is taste not affected?

  2. jeffman12 says:

    I’ve heard that potassium helps prevent the infamous “charlie horse”, so you should eat a banana if you get one, more to prevent future occurrences than as an immediate cure. I’ve done no research on this claim. I’ve also heard that pickle juice can be used in lieu of gatorade “because electrolytes.”

  3. gerold says:

    I and many other seniors swear by it to control arthritis.
    I know a 92 year old who could barely lift a tea cup with both hands and today she’s dancing.
    It’s slow to take effect. The longer you’ve had arthritis, the longer it take the juice to start working.

  4. I suspect the alum is the “magic ingredient”.

    My only weirdness (well hardly the only one) with pickle juice is I think the vinegar. I think the vinegar changes my blood acidity level. So does smoking in the other direction.

  5. Jesse Morris says:

    Maybe I’m off base here, but wouldn’t high salt content not contribute to hydration? To my understanding and based on this Wikipedia article http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Management_of_dehydration, dehydration is usually treated by a solution of water and small amounts of sugar and salt, but the more salt added the less effective it becomes at rehydration.

    That same wikipedia page indicates a recommended hydration solution of 1 liter of water and 1 teaspoon of salt along with other ingredients. while this recipe for pickle brine, http://www.instructables.com/id/Pickle-Anything-Basic-Pickle-Instructions/ indicates a solution of 3 cups, approximately 0.71 liters, of water and 1/4 cup, approximately 12 teaspoons, of salt. Even allowing for the recipe’s 2 3/4 cups of vinegar that seems to be well and truly above the limit of salt that could aid in rehydration. So it would seem to me that any claims of pickle juice’s prevention of dehydration or abilities at rehydration are false at face value.

    However, I could be wrong, and it certainly would not be the first or last time.

  6. John Symon says:

    I make no claims for any health benefits but I recommend trying a Dirty Martini. When making your Martini replace the vermouth with the brine from your olive jar. Mmmmmmmm…….

  7. jim mullins says:

    the most important benifit they left out ,vinegar disolves kidney stones

  8. Andy says:

    It’s what plants crave!

  9. sambalbajak says:

    pickle have been around thousand of years &so they have many of benefit to eat crunch treat it is good for health also. its juice is good for sports person if it take defenately its stamina will invreese.

  10. Liz says:

    I love pickle juice, but it has to be Claussen pickle juice, the rest isn’t as sour. Pickle juice is the one and only thing that truly makes my mouth water. Some people come home from work and have a cocktail, I come home and have some pickle juice. But, can pickle juice play a role in elevating your white blood cells?

    • Kaiti says:

      Yes! only claussen for me too its something in the seasoning its just so delicious. I sip it from a cup or with a straw and it makes me feel so energized and alive! Ice cold Claussen pickle juice is my absolute guilty pleasure.

  11. Marissa says:

    I am pregnant and I drink pickle juice because it helps almost instantly with heartburn, nausea and my immune system. I think it works miracles.

    • Eric Hall says:

      How do you know it is helping your immune system? What data do you have for that?

    • Jennifer says:

      Natural cider vinegar will do the same with the heartburn & nausea and far less sodium & sugar…

      • Eric Hall says:

        I always love this – let’s take heartburn (acid hitting the esophagus) and cure it with more acid….hahahahaha

        The reason this works is the same reason sipping water works – because you are washing off the acid/diluting it. Vinegar on the shelf is about 5% acetic acid, and the rest is water. So you are essentially drinking a very weak acid, which dilutes the strong stomach acid. You’d be better off with plain water.

        • Bo says:

          Brother, you are a poor mans skeptic. Lack of empirical evidence through controlled studies does not imply a theory is false, only that it is unproven.

          As many who suffer from GERD already know, drinking a glass of water rarely provides relief. In fact, drinking water (or fluids in general) at mealtime can increase the severity due to the same effect you mention. Diluting stomach acid with fluids can cause indigestion, which can lead to reflux.

          A large portion of people with GERD have been found to have a h. pylori infection. H. pylori reduces acid secretion leading to a low ph. Why then would someone with low ph stomach acid also have abnormal relaxation of the lower esophagus? There is no general consensus, but it is theorized that low ph stomach acid seems to go hand in hand with it.

          It is theorized that ACV works by increasing the ph level to normal and corrects whatever fault the lower esophagus experiences with a low ph level. While it can’t eradicate h pylori (it lives in the mucus lining), vinegar is a known antimicrobial and possibly provides some temporary relief.

          Now, none of this has been proven. Your typical family clinic will only tell you to stay away from acidic foods, take some calcium carbonate, and send you off. But for sufferers of GERD who have been through the ringer with over the counter anti acid products, it is well worth the $2 gamble.

          If you have a consistent issue with acid reflux, I highly recommend getting a referral for a GI specialist and getting checked for h pylori.

          Here is a decent layman’s article on h pylori and its links to GERD: http://chriskresser.com/more-evidence-to-support-the-theory-that-gerd-is-caused-by-bacterial-overgrowth/

          • If we assume that everything your supposing about Heliobactor pylori is true. FYI it isn’t… GERD is not peptic ulcer disease and the causes of GERD are multi factorial. But lets assume its true for your argument. What is your evidence that pickle juice does anything to hpylori at all? I am sure that rubbing alcohol is deadly to H pylori but I wouldn’t drink it. So what are the negative outcomes to drinking straight “pickle Juice” frequently? I don’t know I am sure that you don’t know as well. Medical advice that says well I’ve got to try something… is always a mistake you can end up worse off and not be doing anything about the problem.

          • Rochelle bailey says:

            Yes thank you! I know it helps me. I’m on my way to the kitchen to get some now

        • Angela says:

          I have a question. Why does every single solitary thing need to be scientifically proven in order for it to work? Just because there isn’t any research on the subject doesn’t necessarily mean it doesn’t work. I have my own remedy for heartburn that works within seconds and I wouldn’t care how many people said it doesn’t work or what kind of scientific research there was proving or disproving it I am still going to use it and it has worked for other people I have given it to. (FYI it is roughly 1/2 tsp. baking soda in an 8 oz glass of water.) Drinking pickle juice certainly isn’t going to kill you. If it did people would have been dying from it just by eating pickles. If it works for some people so be it. No remedy works for everybody that’s why there are so many drugs out there to cure the same illnesses. I’d rather try an all natural remedy first before sticking a bunch of man made drugs in my body with who knows what kind of side effects.

          • I’m not sure anyone here disagrees with you. Nobody says nothing works that’s not scientifically proven. That would be a silly proposition. Perhaps you could cite an example.

          • Alison Hudson says:

            If someone wants to keep on drinking pickle juice and isn’t worried about their sodium intake, more power to them. However, when websites begin to make unfounded health claims about things like this, it can sometimes lead people to either (a) spending a bunch of money on something they don’t really need to be healthy [there are formulated pickle juices out there, for example, selling for $2 or $3 a serving] or (b) foregoing legitimate, demonstrably beneficial health options in favor of the unproven one. I view those both as potential harms that these sorts of things can cause, and so I will always speak out to warn people that they’re throwing their money away / risking their long-term health.

  12. tina says:

    Yes the pickle juice or any vegetable fermented in brine IS BETTER because of the natural fermentation process giving that brine a boost of good bacteria. Thats what all the fuss is about.

    • tina says:

      Also its proven that our immune system is reliant on a healthy gut flora balance up to 80% in fact so even more reasons to injest fermented foods to boost our immunity.

    • Alison Hudson says:

      But “good bacteria” doesn’t help with cramping, doesn’t aid in quick rehydration, and doesn’t carry a nutritional load, the three main things claimed about drinking pickle juice. So you’ve introduced a FOURTH major claim now. Can you provide details? Research? Reports?

      • Skepticalofskeptics says:

        Do you have any evidence to support your claims that GI microbiome shifts don’t alter cramping or rate of rehydration?

        I haven’t been able to find this research on pubmed. Please don’t make claims without citing evidence.

        • Alison Hudson says:

          Nice try, but you know what they say about “extraordinary claims” and “proving the negative”, right? Tina has made the claim; it’s up to her to support the claim. You yourself have found that such info isn’t on PubMed. So where is she getting this info from?

      • Morgan says:

        Alison, I believe fermentation can create nutrient content. Please do more research before writing biased pieces heavily driven by skepticism. Your skepticism does not appear to be the healthy kind that helps to find the answers. Instead, you just leave us with a bunch of unanswered questions that probably do have answers. You should t rely on your readers so much to help with this.

        Lack of sodium, and a few important minerals can be a major contributing source of many people’s physical ailments. Further, probiotics, and healthy acids, can have an immediate beneficial impact on gut health and overall physiological body function.

        Vinegar has many health benefits. This is a fact. But the best, and most healthy, pickle and juice are the ones simply fermented using salt and water.

    • Nancy says:

      So, is this safe for toddlers given there’s so much salt in it? …or is there anything saying its bad for toddlers?

      • Noah Dillon says:

        It’s probably best if you ask a pediatrician about baby nutrition. Asking a stranger on the Internet about how to best care for your child seems like a very bad idea. You have no idea who you’re talking to or if they’re capable and qualified to give a good answer. For all you know, the person you’re asking is completely misinformed and could give you terrible, harmful medical advice. If you wouldn’t ask that question of a stranger on the bus, you probably shouldn’t ask someone you don’t know and can’t see on a comment thread.

        • Morgan says:

          Pediatrician and doctors often do not know much about nutrition. The nutritional advice they give is from the dark ages of the last 50 years

          • Patricia Lavatai says:

            So true. My sister was an RN and my best friend is a doctor. They teach NOTHING about nutrition in med school. I am a certified sports nutritionist and know this as fact. It is also the reason hospitals hire distortions. The link between salt and high blood pressure is tenuous at best. The body needs salt and our ancestors ate much more of it than we do today. A teaspoon of pickle juice is fine for a toddler.

          • Eric Hall says:

            Can you provide citations for the ancestor claim, as well as studies showing the safety of a high sodium load for toddlers? It would seem to me to be fairly dangerous advice without proper knowledge since they have a much lower body weight than an adult.

            Also, can we get the name of this doctor and ask him/her about their nutrition knowledge? As far as an RN, comparing them to a doctor’s education is a bit silly, as someone can be an RN with as little as 2 years’ education. This means they concentrate on the most important aspects of nursing, and not on all of the things a doctor should know, or a specialist like a dietitian. A nutritionist can have any number of meanings, and in many states has no oversight or license requirements, thus you would need to give us more detail on your education and certification to help us judge your expertise.

  13. Kevin R says:

    Seems to be a lot of confusion… while it seems reasonable that the vinegary brine of store-bought pickle juice might help some people with reflux or acid upset stomach in a similar way that a bit of apple cider vinegar does, for me the “pickle juice” that does wonders is not that type of juice at all. it must be genuine *fermented pickle juice*, a true brine. For a couple years I make my own pickle (it’s the easiest thing ever and so much tastier than the canning method using vinegar) but you can buy this type of pickle as well – “Bubbie’s” brand is a true fermented type – you can find it in refrigerated sections at the grocery store where I live in WA state. A couple swallows of *fermented* pickle brine juice relieves reflux symptoms (the burning, burping type that might wakes you in the night, and something that I get only very occasionally) literally within seconds, not minutes. The relief for me is immediate and worth a try. I have found it uncanny and is one of the reason we make our own at home. Just search for “fermented dill pickles” and you’ll find an easy wealth of recipes, and there’s the added benefit that they taste 100 times better than store bought vinegar type pickles – like an old deli style pickle you’ve never been able to find otherwise. Give it a try.

  14. mk says:

    If you have an adrenal disease pickle juice can be a life saver….look up Addison disease….. Adrenal fatigue.

    • Alison Hudson says:

      Standard care is taking steroids, which pickle juice doesn’t have. Yes, there’s also a need for crisis injections of sugar and salt (according to the Mayo Clinic), but pickle juice is hardly the most efficient way to get either. Again: it’s a basic brine. It has no special properties.

  15. John Turner says:

    Alison Hudson doesnt want you to drink pickle juice…(i have no evidence to back up that claim…)

  16. kyle says:

    I love to sip on pickle juice. Nathans pickles or classens are the best IMO. I firmly believe that it does have health benefits. Epsecially reading many testimonials of this juice 🙂 and yes, rather drink this than take steroids…

    • Noah Dillon says:

      Testimonials are easy to fake and if you read the fine print on many ads that include testimonials you’ll find that they’re being made by paid actors. They’re also posted to discussion threads by bots and/or they’re just made up. Even those made by real people might be mistaken. I thought I saw a unicorn once. My testimony about that is not evidence that unicorns exist. I don’t know why you would substitute pickle juice for steroids. It has no similar compounds or properties. It’s vinegar and salt.

      • kyle says:

        ah yes, that is very true and a good point too. Tho I would expect to see those bots and paid actors for products where there is a individual company making money off of it. Taking into concideration that no individual company is benefiting from this debate, I am led to believe the testimonials posted here and on other blog type sites more legitimate.

        Re the steroids, I was refering to Alison Hudsons earlier post when someone mentioned that the pickle juice helps with cramps, she said there was steroids for that :/ in which case id rather take the pickle juice over the steroids as the results for her/him are the same. Minus the nasty side effects steroids bring 🙂

        • Steroids were for Addison’s disease and adrenal fatigue. I don’t know anyone who would take steroids for post-workout cramps. Lower back pain caused by spinal stenosis is sometimes treated with steroid injections, but not a post-workout leg cramp.

      • Patricia Lavatai says:

        Properly fermented pickles do not contain vinegar…the sour taste is from fermentation, which HAS been proven to increase the nutritional value of food. Sauerkraut prevents scurvy, which is why barrels of it were taken on ships. Pickled limes and lemon, yogurt, kefir, kimchi. Without these things our ancestors would not have survived. Modern medicine ? Look up what the top ten leading causes of death in the US are and you will find medical mistakes and prescription error and side effects are among them. My daughter was prescribed steroids but quit them after one month…cold turkey. She had not been told that she could have died from doing that.

        • Eric Hall says:

          Do you know why “naturally” fermented pickles taste sour? Because the fermentation of the sugars produces alcohol, and in turn the alcohol is oxidized to acetic acid (vinegar). This is a known process, and produces some awesome sour/farmhouse beers as well.

  17. John says:

    I became dehydrated during a ride once and had to call for an ambulance. I couldn’t actually call myself it had gotten so bad – my hands were in a clamped /cramped position and my speech was slurred.

    When the EMT got there one of the first things he said was, “Should have had a pickle.” When I asked if he’d brought one with him he replied, “No, we have something better called an IV and you’ll be back up in about an hour.” His note of the pickle helping with hydration is more than enough proof I need to know it can be useful.

    However, once you experience what I did, you learn to hydrate properly ahead of time. This can be done in a number of ways such as… water and keeping it handy on a long or hot ride.

    As for the sites touting you drink pickle juice – if you have high blood pressure, you should probably avoid it as a regular drink. That salts not going to do you any favors when not in moderation. But SOMETIMES should be OKAY.

    • Medgirl says:

      The IV they gave you to hydrate you was most likely saline which is essentially kind of like salt water. You need the salt to retain the water. I agree and say drink up but in moderation. Too much salt/sodium can cause you to retain too much water which will cause bloating and high blood pressure.

    • Richard says:

      Primarily in the warmer months, I would eat a dill pickle 30minutes before jogging anything over 3miles and drink about 1/2 cup of pickle juice after…..

  18. Shelby Oller says:

    I’m a recovering alcoholic. Or, I still don’t even know if that’s what I was. Because I wasn’t addicted to the alcohol itself, I didn’t even care if I got drunk. It was the burning. I loved the feel of it burning my throat as I swallowed it. And while I didn’t are for the actually alcohol itself, I loved the burn so much that I did get out of hand. I’m better now. And when I crave that burning sensation, I take a “shot” (or maybe like 7) of pickle juice and it always makes me feel SO MUCH BETTER! I know that doesn’t have anything to do with health benefits, but I support pickle juice consumption!!!:)

  19. Chrissie A. says:

    I hear a lot of hating on pickles, but I have been eating them and drinking the juice my entire life and have perfect cholesterol and blood sugar levels and my kidneys are better than normal every time I get a checkup. My BMI is better than average. I am a thirty-seven year old woman who looks several years younger. Pickle juice, vinegar, and pickled peppers have been a constant source of comfort for me ~ alleviating my salt (and sweet, in some cases) cravings, especially when PMS strikes. All you pickle haters out there, tell me about your health and we can compare notes. No scientific evidence needed here ~ my optimal health over the years is proof enough to keep consuming this delightful treat! Especially of the homemade variety ~ YUM!!

    • Noah Dillon says:

      My mom is an old woman who does not eat very well and is obese. Her cholesterol level is exceptional. Many of my friends eat pickles only occasionally but are super healthy. Some people I know are in excellent shape but their cholesterol is all messed up. People’s bodies are all different. The fact that you love pickles and their juice (as I do) is not evidence that they are keeping your cholesterol in balance, your blood sugar low, your BMI low, your kidneys in shape, or your looks hot. There are almost certainly other things you do that contribute significantly to all these indices: walking and/or exercise, a healthful diet, not smoking, drinking in moderation if at all, etc. etc. I’m totally stoked that you like pickles and that you’re very healthy. The two are not necessarily correlated. There are tons and tons of unhealthy and overweight people who also really love pickles. Also: pickles have salt and sugar in them, which may be why they’re alleviating your salt and sugar cravings.

  20. I usually want pickle brine or pickles with salt before my menstrul cycle starts, anyone else have that issue?

  21. christy says:

    Pickle juice has controlled many things for me, just a teaspoon here and there throughout the day helps keep blood sugar in check, keeps blood pressure down, and I never go over my sodium recommended intake as I do not like much salt anyways so all my food has minimal salt.. But it is a better way to keep some elements of health in a reasonable state rather than have a doctor push down a bunch of meds that have far worse side effects

  22. Bebe says:

    I like pickles

  23. betsy s says:

    I like pickled pepper juice either jalapeno or pepperoncini, first as a drink straight, also mixed with low salt tomato juice (I figure the pickled pepper juice has enough salt in it), as an adjunct to almost any salad I eat but especially tabouli. I rarely use salad dressing.

  24. jill says:

    Any real doctors on here or is everyone just using the oh so trusted wikipedia and webmd for their info? Suddenly everyone’s an expert..

  25. Tom says:

    Like many people in recent years, I’ve come to the epiphany that sugar is slow poison and it’s best to phase it out as much as possible. And I have very much done that in the last year. Yet I have a sweet tooth and still lapse often. I feel much better, yet I would like to phase it out totally. Someone recently told me that pickle juice eliminates the sugar cravings. I don’t like pickles, but I will do this if true. Is it? And how often should I do if so. Any feedback would be appreciated ……..

    • Noah Dillon says:

      Pickles, the cucumbers they’re made from, and the brine they’re pickled in contain sugar. That may be why it cures your sugar cravings. Sugar isn’t “poison,” but it’s best not to consume it in excess. Doctors have been telling us that for years.

  26. Sheryl kierstead says:

    I have chronic back issues. I have for over 24 years. I was paralyzed due to them for 3 days. I drink pickle juice and it takes me from being in bed to productive again in less than 10 minutes. Whatever it is that makes this possible, I don’t question it but I’m very thankful for it.

  27. Patricia Lavatai says:

    Real fermention does indeed increase vitamin content ..particularly b vitamins…of food. The benefits mentioned are from real fermented pickles, not the processed store bought ones. Scientific data is not hard to find. As far as bias, I also see the bias in this author. Most of the so called scientific studies are also biased as they are paid for by companies with vested interests in proving or disproving a particular premise. My daughter has severe Crohns and was told she needed Remicade or she would need surgery. That was ten years ago and she takes no medication. The father of medicine, Hippocrates, noted the importance of food in treating illness and maintaining health.

  28. Anthony says:

    Pickle juice taste so good I drunk a whole jar today I love it

  29. Lin says:

    So today my whole body was aching as if I were catching the flu or something… But I went to Six Flags in Texas yesterday and I figured maybe my body was just sore from all the walking and riding the rides but anyways I landed back in Californi today but my whole body was aching on the plane
    including stomach pain as if I were catching the flu or something… I felt like I had to throw up and I felt like maybe I got food poisoning because my stomach was in pain but I also thought maybe I had caught a 24 hour bug… Anyways I land in California and came home and my stomach intestines or something felt really tight as if I had some type of food poisoning so I ended up drinking a whole bag of pickle juice from the pickles that I bought in Texas which I have been eating pickles all my life and believe it or not it literally has taken my stomach pain away and this was just a few minutes ago and I’ve been in pain all day… So I do believe there something in the pickle juice that helps

    • I’m very glad your feeling better but we-humans like to put 2 and 2 together all the time when it comes to medical problems and solutions. Everyone myself included is very bad at putting together those connections because our memories are unreliable and we seek out patterns. we are more often wrong than right that is why you have to check scientifically and with controls to see if something really has an effect.

  30. morgan 38 says:

    Most pickled veggies call for a vinegar based dressing using various spices. Vinegar is good for a lot of things as are the herbs. Pickle juice is not the same thing as brine. The brine is the salt water solution used to draw the water from the veggies to keep them crunchy

    • That depends, in part upon the recipe (fermented vs. unfermented, etc.); and anyway,”brine” is a broad term here used to denote the broad category of picking liquid recopies. If any of the claimants wanted to offer up a better detail about what they mean when they say “pickle juice,” they could go a long way with science … assuming there were any basis for their claims.

  31. Frances Hunt says:

    I love pickle juice its really good for cramps in your legs ,but I can’t use too much imon a low sodium diet

  32. K Mary Hess says:

    Scientists at Brigham Young University recently tested this remedy on 10 college students. A mild electrical current was applied after exercise to induce a muscle cramp. (Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, May, 2010). Pure vinegar may work just as well, if not better.

  33. K Mary Hess says:

    Scientists at Brigham Young University recently tested this remedy on 10 college students. A mild electrical current was applied after exercise to induce a muscle cramp. (Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, May, 2010).

  34. K Mary Hess says:

    One of the studies that looked at the efficacy of pickle juice in stopping cramps is “Reflex Inhibition of Electrically Induced Muscle Cramps In Hypohydrated Humans”, May issue of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise by researchers at Brigham Young University. From the ABSTRACT: The most significant and novel observation of this study was that ingesting small volumes (73.9 +/- 2.7 mL) of pickle juice alleviated electrically induced muscle cramps in mildly hypohydrated (3%) humans. Pickle juice required approximately 85 s to alleviate muscle cramps (cramp duration after ingestion ranged from 12 to 219 s). Although this was much longer than the purported claims of pickle juice’s efficacy, it still relieved a cramp 45% (85 vs 153 s) faster than when no fluid was consumed. In contrast, ingesting similar volumes of deionized water had no therapeutic effect on cramp duration (cramp duration after ingestion ranged from 71 to 246 s).

    • Mary I would like to point out that this is an index study that used deionized water. Water without electrolytes causes cramping dehydration. They used water specifically created to have zero electrolytes. This is not new information. That is why products with electrolytes like gatorade works better than straight water for cramping and we give iv saline for severe dehydration. They used a control that was guaranteed to show a positive response in relation to rehydration to a hypertonic solution. Not a very compelling bit of evidence. Secondly they used uncontrolled cramping by electrical induction. That is not the mechanism for sports induced cramping. Replicate this study using a sports drink as a control and use exercise induced cramping with better blinding and you may have a compelling argument. You still have to break down the substantive parts of the drink brine, vinegar and concentrations to make this anything more than interesting but really says nothing.

  35. taneal says:

    All these people “do you have proof to back up your claim”? Lol…if you don’t think it works…don’t drink the damn stuff. If it works for you…awesome…keep doing your thing. I drink it because I love it. Don’t really care if it works or not.

  36. David says:

    It seems that the pickle juice theory has been worked on by a Nobel Prize award winning Neuroscientist.

    The benefits are derived from the reaction of motor neurons rather than the nutritional value of juice. The brain and its associated systems are a strange, wonderful and sometimes limited thing that can glitch and be fooled quite easily on occasion.

    Take for example that the brain has no way of telling you you are thirsty, its just telly you you are hungry and your consciousness does the rest (sometimes badly)

    Pickle juice causes a reaction directly in your mouth and your body responds.

    • David
      Although I agree with some of your statement I would like to point out that the belief that thirst and hunger are interchangeable and indistinguishable to the human body is in fact false. That “fact” is commonly used in several pseudo-scientific theories related to diet and obesity but they do not have a foundation in science. There is research supporting distinct stimulus pathways in both animal models and human beings. Thirst is in fact stimulated by a drop in certain baroreceptors in the hypothalamus, production angiotensin II in the kidneys stimulates a thirst response, also there is clear research showing that a loss of osmotic pressure in the right ventricle directly stimulates the drink reflex in mammals. Most of this is substantiated in humans involving functional MRIs of the brain. Secondly there are similar pathways in the G.I. tract involving drops and certain fatty acids, sugar, and changes in the cerebrospinal fluid which resulted in different stimulation in the brain. Again supported with both animal mammalian models and functional MRI. Although higher brain functions and maladaptive behaviors can adjust our behavior the stimulus has a definable separate pathway and is false to say it is not a distinctly different brain response.

  37. Michael Heynz says:

    I recently damaged my intestinal mucosa by taking too many ibuprofen for a tooth infection. It was way too many, like triple the daily allowable dose. I’m lucky I didn’t die. After three days from the “d” day, I had severe diarrhea which led to dangerously low potassium. I didn’t know what was going on, so after a week, I went to the ER where they tested my blood and told me about the potassium issue. I told the ER Dr that I had severe stomach issues for which I was taking 1 x 10mg Pepcid AC per day so I could eat. The ER Dr prescribed me Priolosec, which thankfully, I only took twice. I went back to the Pepcid AC because it was easier for me to handle and obtain than the prescription medication. About 6 weeks later, I felt totally normal, was eating what I wanted and drinking caffeine, sodas, water, whatever I wanted. So I decided to come off the Pepcid AC, which was half the allowable daily dose. The ER Dr didn’t tell me I had to wean myself, nor did the instructions on the Pepcid Bottle which I read VERY carefully. I had massive Acid Rebound which I am just now overcoming – by getting back on the Pepcid AC. Now I feel trapped. Everyone gives me all this advice from drinking apple cider vinegar, dill pickle juice, taking a pepcid every other day, and so on and so on. The Acid Rebound was MANY TIMES worse than the original pain I had. No one told me about Acid Rebound, I had to figure it out the hard way. Then everyone was like “Duh you didn’t know that?” So I am extremely skeptical of all these solutions to come off the Pepcid. I want to come off of it due to the fact I don’t like taking medications anymore unless absolutely necessary after the Ibuprofen drama. I’ve also read it can cause serious problems and make you more susceptible to colds and food borne illnesses if you are taking something like this for long periods of time. The ER Dr said I could take the Pepcid AC forever as long as I didn’t have an ulcer or something, which she seemed to think I didn’t. I don’t have a Primary care physician, nor insurance, nor the money to go to a gastroenterologist. So I am forced to ask random people on the interwebs for advice. I like skeptical people, so here I am. I think weaning myself off of the pepcid ac by taking it every other day is wise, then go to every other other day… etc. But in the meantime, I do get acid indigestion, not gerd or acid reflux. I know NOW that I have to reduce my acid intake such as cutting out caffeine and citric acid in sodas which REALLY affects me. Tartaric Acid in Fanta Grape soda doesn’t bother me as much, but I can’t stand drinking water 100% of the time. I tried it, I felt very bad. I do drink A LOT of water – about a gallon a day, and about 20 oz of soda right now. I’ve changed my eating habits significantly to reduce bad things and acid, but now that I’m almost “normal” again but still on Pepcid AC, I want to know, what can I take that will help me get through weaning off of this? I thought vinegar from dill pickle juice (which I LOVE) would help, and it does seem to ease the sour stomach. I don’t know if that is because the sour stomach was self resolving or what. It sucks not having a doctor or insurance or money or a job thanks to outsourcing. But whatever advice you may have regarding the efficacy of dill pickle juice is helpful. Thanks!

  38. Kelli says:

    I read your article and read many of the comments as well. I know there are a lot of people out there who believe and do not believe in the benefits of drinking pickle juice. I actually have a rare genetic kidney disease that causes me to loose potassium, magnesium, and sodium. My condition causes horrible muscle cramps and spasms. At times my electrolyte levels get so low that I am usually hospitalized for this. I have found that when I start to have minor muscle cramps and spasms, drinking pickle juice with my medications actually does help. With the advice of my doctor he recommends me doing this, because of the high volume of sodium and potassium found in pickle juice.

  39. AbbeBabble says:

    There is a huge difference between vinegar-brined pickles and lacto-fermented pickles. Natural pickles, made by tossing a vegetable (not just cucumbers) in salt, pounding it to release juices, then letting it sit out to culture, are probiotic, with the added benefit that the cellulose and fiber of the vegetables are prebiotic. I have not tried pickle juice for cramps, hangovers or rehydration, but after I have had a virus or have accidentally ingested gluten (celiac here), I do try to have some pickle juice among other probiotics to restore some of the damaged gut biome.

    • This is what skeptics call special pleading your magical pickle juice doesn’t work but mine does because it has super wonderful pickle juice. You missed mentioning that it was organic can’t forget that to impress people.

  40. Bryan says:

    I enjoy having a little glass of pickle juice once and a while, but if in my opinion drinking that amount of acidic vinegar and salt regularly I would think it would dehydrate you and not hydrate someone. Just my thoughts.

  41. Polli says:

    This might help answer some of the questions–two neuroscientists, Nobel Prize winner Dr. Rod MacKinnon and Harvard professor Dr. Bruce Bean have developed something–although they say the ingredients are proprietary, it’s mostly still pickle juice and mustard. Maybe it’s in the fermentation? Or maybe this is a marketing blitz for just another product for all of us sweating and cramping out there.

    Check this out and you can also download the whitepaper.

    http://itsthenerve.com/download-the-facts/?ga=1#signup

  42. Dennis says:

    I drink it because it tastes good! If there are benefits to it , then all the better.
    Good info here!

  43. Steve says:

    I Have used Pickles Juice for Cramping, headaches, Upset Stomach, Sinus Pain, Spicy Dill is Great for Many Ailments. My Patients I have recommended it too Absolutely Love the results. Just as well as Drunken Raisins for Arthritis.

  44. susan how says:

    if on warfarin will send your INR sky high learned the hard way after trying for a wek did work tho

  45. Nathan says:

    Lacto-fermentation of cucumbers is the correct process for preserving all of the probiotic qualities that make ‘pickle juice’ so healthy. I see that skeptics so often just don’t look deep enough before making their stands against… whatever.

    • Noah Dillon says:

      You say that as though skeptics don’t like eating pickles. All that’s being said here is that, counter to claims, pickle juice isn’t a magical panacea. There’s simply no evidence for it. Pickles are great. And they’re delicious. And fermentation is really cool. But it’s not a cure for… whatever.

  46. Cindi Ciuffo says:

    Interesting, looking forward to science reports!!

  47. Atul says:

    I can vouch for it’s efficacy. I just started my keto, low carb high fat/protien diet. First week I went thru hellish dehydration. Potassium/magnisium supplement helped only so much. Morton lite salt did some more. But I still had weakness and light headedness.
    I gave dili kosher pickle a try, a few pickles and a couple of sips later, I felt like I came back from dead.
    It works man, it really does, mostly for potassium dehydrated folks.
    I get non-believers too, I suspect those fully hydrated folks would not see any benefit from it and laugh the benefits off.

  48. rltmusicman says:

    Didn’t say drink like you drink milk how dumb. I have been in music for over 40yrs. It was used when I was in high school for dehydration and used it when I was a director. You take a cupful maybe 2 if you use too much it could have an adverse effect. This isn’t anything new oh wait yes it is because now everyone knows about it because Of the net

    • Atul says:

      It’s high in potassium, so you have to use judgement. Potassium overdose can kill you, or it can cause hyperkalaemia. You can have the same effect with 30 bananas as well.

  49. January Sunshine says:

    Jillian Bringas & Carl Max, thank you. My thoughts also. There are always some people who are just waiting to be negative. Probably working for drug companies. There are some weird tricks out there that do help for some reason & no one knows why. You have to trust your own ideas & your own body’s responses.

  50. Alex says:

    It’s fermented pickle juice dumb dumb

  51. Sal says:

    A study published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise in May 2010, illustrated how a group of young men in Utah were given 2.5 ounces of either straight pickle juice or deionized water once their exercised-induced and electronically stimulated cramping began. The group downing the pickle juice stopped cramping within 85 seconds, while those who drank water continued to seize up. The findings determined that pickle juice relieved cramping 37 percent faster than drinking water, and 45 percent faster than drinking no liquid at all.

    Yet the true secret weapon in pickle juice may be the vinegar.

    Dr. Kevin C Miller, Ph.D., ATC, and assistant professor at North Dakota State University, believes, based on his own studies on cramping, the pickle brine helps cure cramps because it triggers a nerve reaction.

    Dr. Miller notes the rapidness in which the craps are eased (once the juice is ingested) wouldn’t provide it enough time to leave an athlete’s stomach in order to produce such a dramatic reaction. Instead, he and fellow researchers suspect the vinegar in pickle juice actually sparks a nerve reflex, which sends out a signal disrupting the misfiring of muscles and therefore stops the actual cramping.

  52. Patricia says:

    Why question at all just try it for yourself, my husband had 5 badly compressed discs & gets severe cramps, he eats 10 or so green Olives, it stops the cramp immediately, or has a few pickle slices. It works.

  53. Scotty says:

    I do wonder if there are or is a degree behind the mouth stating empirical scientific evidence.?

  54. Don says:

    I drink pickle juice because I like it. I know it is an acquired taste. lol I am sure it helps with cramps. After all it is a brine solution with vinegar and some other additives. The water and salt in the brine will help stop cramps. The potassium too. I am sure definitive research has not been done because if it is proved to work, the medical establishment won’t be able to make any money. Cynical but very likely true.

  55. Zane Paul says:

    I like to drink brine. A lot. I love the taste. But every time I do, about a quarter cup of it, I have diarrhea.

    Not like soft stools diarrhea. Like full on dark brown waterfall diarrhea. Like spraying a garden hose in the toilet diarrhea.

    Starts about forty five minutes after the drink, and continues for about a half gallon of diarrhea. However long I stretch that out for.

    Estimating half a gallon. It’s about a 3.5 pound reduction in body weight, whatever that equals in gallons of diarrhea.

  56. Russell says:

    Can help with rhinoviruses (cold sores, common cold) who tend to start dying at a pH below 6.. most dill pickle juice sits at 5.5… sraight vinegar is even better, if you can stomach that.

  57. Kary Smith says:

    I found this skeptical little piece after asking WHY pickle juice helps my heartburn and nausea so much. I was just curious because it was the only thing that got me through the unbearable indugestion of pregnancy and it’s still my go to when I have terrible nausea and heartburn. My grandmother used to drink water with baking soda added. It was once even listed on the box. And baking soda, being a salt, I can understand the concern and curiosity about the link between salt and sodium. But I can tell you from experience that the baking soda remedy only made things worse for me (no, I never took it while pregnant), but dill pickles and the “brine” are an almost instant fix for heartburn, neausea, and trapped gas. And I don’t suffer from high sodium so if you really want relief from these symptoms and you don’t have issues with sodium you might try the old remedy. You’d be surprised at how effective it is.

    My OB/GYN said that it has something to do with opening a sphincter in the digestive system that frequently gets stuck with too little bile. The acid in the vinegar floods the space and the sphincter dumps the contents like it’s supposed to. I haven’t researched this but I’m taking her word for it now that I’ve read some of the truly uneducated comments. If we waited for difinitive proof of everything we’d probably be dead. Fact is, no one told me to try this. It was instinctive and lo and behold it did the trick. In my little world that’s called hypothesis/theory/proof. And here’s another little nugget to annoy you brilliant scientific geniuses who are obviously above the common folk. It works GREAT for a sore throat. Better than salt water, alone. Chew on that Big Papa for a while. (And don’t forget to drink the brine.)

  58. Kathryn says:

    I have read everything I can find to explain WHY pickle juice not only stops my muscle cramps in a few seconds (yes, seconds); but also why it stops heartburn almost immediately as well. I don’t have any good info on the cramps – other than it just works. Regarding the heartburn, however, it is certainly counter-intuitive to think to swallow an acidic substance when one assumes their heartburn is caused by too much acid. That’s what we’ve all been taught, after all, for eons. What several credible studies have found, however, is that it is most often caused by LOW stomach acid. Often that low stomach acid has allowed the pH of our stomach to be high enough for opportunistic bacteria called Helicobacter Pylori (H. Pylori) to grow, flourish, and be happy. While it is doing that, it is damaging the lining to our stomach and causing gas and bloating while feeding on the undigested food left behind by low stomach acid. When that causes stomach contents or gas to be forced or allowed to reach the esophagus through the Lower Esophageal Sphincter (LES) it hurts because any amount of acid (even low levels) hurt the esophagus. Acid does not hurt in the stomach because the lining (when healthy) protects it. When the level of acid is high enough in the stomach, the LES is triggered to close tightly, this is to keep the acid out of the esophagus where it doesn’t belong. So – when we drink pickle juice, it may trigger the LES to close tightly and shut off the transfer of stomach contents to the esophagus – therefore, resolving the heartburn. What I know for sure is that it works for me. The first time I tried it, it was a huge leap of faith; but it worked. It has worked each time since then. I can’t argue with that.

  59. Stella says:

    After having a child with dysautonomia and pots, I’ve learned the importance of salt in our diet. This explains why brine does such wonderful things for so many people! My daughter can consume in upwards of 6 grams a day with no ill effects on blood pressure or sodium levels in her blood. She feels like a new person! I too when consuming brine (dill) daily feel far better than usual! My Gi health is better, I don’t get sick as often, my headaches are at bay.

  60. Shane says:

    If it takes from a doctors pocket, they disapprove of it….I came from a house full of them..but they all own stock or some type of natural health store service in their investment portfolio..

    • Noah Dillon says:

      Huh. My doctor has told me for years to eat a healthy, balanced diet and get some moderate exercise, use sunscreen, stay hydrated, don’t smoke or drink, etc. She doesn’t make any money off of that, and following that advice has probably made sure that I visit her less. As far as I know, this is standard advice from anyone in the medical community. I’m pretty sure that craters your first statement, and I find the second one kind of doubtful. I’ve never asked my doctor about her investments or anything, that’s not something I typically ask people. But I find it hard to believe that all doctors own stock in “some type of nature health store service,” whatever that means.

      • mudguts says:

        Did someone express another conspiracy Noah??? You just never get that around here.

        I should ask if a medico I know if he has a thriving business wrt the spotty potty or chi tips

  61. JJ says:

    Sour dill pickle juice works amazingly for heartburn and upset stomach. All these negative opinions from people who have never tried it. I’ve never used it for cramps, but I’m sure it would work. Why? Because myself and countless others have been using it for decades with success. Stomach acid burning you? Take a swallow of dill pickle brine. What do you have to lose??

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