Kind of a Big Dill: Is Drinking Pickle Juice Healthy for You?

Kind of a Big Dill: Is Drinking Pickle Juice Healthy for You?

Drinking pickle juice is a Texas tradition, and it’s becoming more popular throughout the country. People claim that pickle juice can heal all sorts of ailments. Is that true? Let’s find out!

Claim #1 Pickle juice can relieve muscle cramps.

Athletes have been claiming that pickle juice can relieve muscle cramps for years. That claim could possibly be true. According to some research, it’s claimed that drinking pickle juice might help dehydrated people stop cramping up much more quickly than if they didn’t drink pickle juice.

This may be because pickle juice contains vinegar. Vinegar may be able to stop nerves from “telling” muscles to cramp.

Probably, a few more studies should be done. But some have placed this claim in the “possibly true” category.

Claim #2 Pickle juice can help lower blood sugar.

Kind of a Big Dill: Is Drinking Pickle Juice Healthy for You?

Photo: Max McNabb

At first, this claim seems far-fetched. After all, how can pickle juice help lower blood sugar?

Just to review, high blood sugar can lead to Type II diabetes, along with many other conditions. In order to keep blood sugar low, the body creates insulin. Insulin enables easier conversion of sugar in the blood to energy. Eventually, the body may become insensitive to insulin, and sugar in the blood stays there, causing Type II diabetes.

It turns out that the vinegar in pickle juice may be effective in lowering blood sugar. It’s claimed that vinegar may increase the body’s sensitivity to insulin, especially if taken right before meals. Again, the effect needs to be studied more.

Vinegar also may help you lose weight! In one study, it’s said that participants who drank ½ an ounce or one ounce of vinegar per day lost more weight than people who didn’t drink it. That was only the result of one study, but still is a good sign.

So far, drinking pickle juice seems like a good idea. However, you should make sure that the pickle juice you drink contains vinegar. Not all pickle juice has it.

Claim #3 Pickle juice can stop dehydration

Pickle juice proponents (say that five times fast!) claim that pickle juice is actually better than water in stopping dehydration.

These folks claim that pickle juice has electrolytes, potassium, and sodium. Your body loses those when working out. So, according to them, pickle juice is highly effective in replenishing you after a long workout.

What does science say? Well, studies have come up with mixed results.

Some studies do say that drinking pickle juice after exercise helps increase water intake and boosts sodium. Other studies find no benefit.

We can safely place this claim in the “who knows” category.

Claim #4 Pickle Juice can cure a specific malady.

Kind of a Big Dill: Is Drinking Pickle Juice Healthy for You?

Photo: Max McNabb

Some people say that pickle juice can cure all sorts of health issues, from hangovers to cancer. Science hasn’t proven or disproven any of these claims. But some maladies seem more likely than others to be affected by pickle juice.

For example, pickle juice is very salty, so it may compel someone with a hangover to drink more water. Many hangover effects are caused by dehydration, so the pickle juice may help in that case.

However, for serious medical issues, nothing is better than going to a trained medical doctor and having your problem treated by a professional.

With the benefits pickle juice provides, are there any drawbacks? Yes, there is one major drawback with pickle juice. Unfortunately, pickle juice is very salty. If you have high blood pressure, or otherwise are negatively affected by sodium, talk to your doctor before drinking pickle juice.

Fortunately, it’s easier now to get pickle juice than it ever has before. Best Maid, a company based right here in Texas, sells dill pickle juice by the gallon! It’s available on Amazon and in Wal-Mart. Best Maid sells pickles too, just in case you actually want to eat a pickle, instead of just drinking the juice.

Best Maid is also teaming up with Martin House Brewing Company to bring you Sour Pickle Beer. That’s right. Pickle Juice and beer—the combination you didn’t know you wanted. Apparently, all sorts of other pickle beer flavors may be coming soon. Some of you may have fingers crossed.

While pickle juice may not be the “miracle cure” that some folks have made it out to be, there’s no question that drinking it may have some benefit.  As long as your body can tolerate the salt, drink away! It’s a heck of a lot better for you than soda.

Written by Paul Ehrlich