Ileana Paules-Bronet and her boyfriend went on a 5k run recently. In these events, it’s normal to get commemorative t-shirts and free snacks. However, this time they got something else: a tiny bottle of pickle juice.
Ileana always loved pickles. However, her boyfriend stands on the other end of the pickle-enjoyment spectrum. As soon as he saw the bottle he wrinkled up his face in disgust. So, when he offered her the bottle, Ileana wasn’t all that interested.
Nevertheless, it raised a question in her mind—why were they giving pickle juice to runners?
After a quick search on the Internet, she found that pickle juice is full of health benefits. The brine is mostly made up of water, salt and vinegar. It replenishes the potassium and sodium lost during workouts, keeping your body in top shape during exercise.
Drinking pickle juice has become the newest health trend among fitness aficionados. According to Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise’s study, there are numerous benefits to drinking pickle juice.
Another study in Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry suggests that if pickle juice is consumed daily, it will aid in weight loss.
Pickle juice is full of antioxidants and it helps fight cancer-causing free radicals. According to Rice University, cucumbers—which pickles are made from—contain vitamin A and vitamin E, which are powerful antioxidants.
Ileana Paules-Bronet for LittleThings
Being a fermented food, pickles are good for your digestive system. The vinegar found in pickle juice is known to relieve bad breath. And finally, pickle juice can help control blood sugar. According to a study published in the Journal of Diabetes Research showed that vinegar consumed before a meal helped regulate blood sugar levels after the meal in people with type 2 diabetes.
Ileana decided to test out the theory by drinking a shot of pickle juice for 7 days. Here’s what she found in the end.
“ I love eating pickles, but I won’t lie—I was a little intimidated by the idea of drinking pickle juice.”
“Honestly, I had to work up the courage to actually drink the pickle juice shot. I probably stood in the office for about 10 minutes just staring at the pickle juice before I actually drank it.”
“I was pleasantly surprised that the pickle juice didn’t taste bad at all—it was strong, but it mostly just tasted salty. Even though pickle juice has a lot of vinegar in it, it didn’t taste too acidic.”
“On Day 2 of my pickle juice experiment, I had some period cramps, so I hoped the pickle juice would help—since it’s known to ease muscle cramps….”
“By the end of the day, my cramps were gone—whether they went away on their own or because of the pickle juice, I’m not sure. But either way, they were gone.”
“By Day 3, it felt pretty normal to drink my shot of pickle juice.”
“After work, I went to barre class—and let me tell you, I was definitely expecting to have some muscle cramps after barre, as I almost always do.”
“The class was as difficult as usual, so I was pretty sure I’d be sore the next day.”
“On Day 4, I was almost certain that I’d have muscle cramps from the barre class—but I didn’t.”
“I was pleasantly surprised that I wasn’t sore, but I was so busy reveling in my lack-of-soreness that I forgot to drink pickle juice at my normal time.”
“I ended up drinking my pickle shot at the end of the day, but I don’t think it made too much of a difference.”
“Usually, the second day after working out is when I’m the sorest, but I still had no cramps from barre class—I don’t know if that’s natural or from the pickle juice, but hey, I’m all for it either way.”
“By the time I got to Day 5, drinking pickle juice felt pretty normal. I no longer had to work up the courage to take my shot, but I still felt a little silly drinking pickle juice in the kitchen.”
“Day 6 was my first-day drinking pickle juice at home—I felt pretty comfortable with it, but my boyfriend, who is a pickle-hater, couldn’t keep the look of disgust off his face.”
“That being said, he didn’t run away when I tried to kiss him, which leads me to believe the breath-freshening benefits of pickle juice definitely worked.”
“On Day 7, I was happy to be nearing the end of my pickle juice experiment—not because I didn’t enjoy it, but because I was looking forward to just getting to eat pickles like a normal person again.
Overall, the experiment was definitely a success, but I was happy to not have to carry my measuring shot glass with me to work every day.”
After a week, Ileana thought the only visible effects from drinking pickle juice was no muscle cramps and bad breath. She believed that while there are other claimed benefits such as blood sugar regulation, fight against free-radicals, or losing weight. However, they would have to be verified by professionals.
She also said that she would definitely recommend it to people who like pickles. There are so many potential benefits and no negatives. However, she will most definitely be drinking pickle juice but only as a pre- or post-workout drink. If nothing, it will relieve her from those nasty muscle cramps or soreness.