Claims, Research Evidence, and Side Effects of Drinking Pickle Juice
Thursday, 01 April 2021

Pickles have been known over years for being a healthy type of fruit with several benefits. Pickle juice on the other hand is also said to have several benefits and that drinking it brings numerous body benefits. There are claims that the juice has body benefits such as maintaining blood sugar levels and improving performance during exercise. The juice however is known to contain very high levels of sodium. Pickles have existed for centuries and are made from cucumbers, salt, and water. It emerged due to the invention of a method of cucumber preservation. There are bacteria in cucumbers that ferment their skin. The bacteria can however be eliminated during manufacturing and replaced with vinegar during processing.

Cucumbers turn into pickles after several days of being cured and pickles juice is the fluid that remains in the jar that surrounds the pickles. Pickle juice is therefore a result of cucumber preservation. As much as pickle juice has a lot of health benefits it should also be noted that too much pickle juice can lead to health risks and complications.

In every 3.5 ounces of pickle juice, the following nutrients are available.
  • Calcium -1-5%
  • Carbohydrates- 0.4 grams
  • Magnesium-3%
  • Potassium-3%
  • Sodium-50-115%
Unpasteurized juice still has probiotic bacteria in it. In conclusion, pickle juice contains minerals, carbs, bacteria, and high amounts of sodium.

Benefits of Drinking Pickle Juice

Most people have claimed that pickle juice has several benefits. Research findings prove that:
1. People claim that [pickle juice can be used to enhance the performance of an individual in a sports activity. They say that the high levels of sodium in pickle juice improve the body’s hydration and enhances its performance. However, a study carried out in 2014 produced contrary results. Different sports participants were given pickle juice and there were no signs of increased body performance, body temperature, or sweat rate. Those who drink the juice after exercise meanwhile observed some health benefits. Additionally, some studies indicated that drinking the juice improves the concentration of sodium in the blood after exercise and helps to improve water intake. Therefore, from these findings, a conclusion can be drawn that drinking limited amounts of juice has no notable effects on the change in exercise performance.
2. There are speculations that the juice helps to cure muscle cramps. Research carried out in 2010 proved that healing of muscle cramps after taking pickle juice only took 1.5 min on taking only 1.5 ounces of the juice for an individual with a bodyweight of 100lbs. the rate of recovery was seen to be faster by 45% when the juice is taken than when no fluid is taken. Scientists came up with an explanation that there is content in the juice that triggers mouth reflexes and sends signals to the nerves to cure the cramps. However, more research needs to be carried out to prove this effect.
3. There have also been claims that drinking pickle juice helps to relieve and lessen stomach pains. The fact that vinegar is used in the preservation of pickles could be the reason why the juice helps in reducing stomach pains. Vinegar is known for its benefit and is used as a home remedy for stomach upsets. According to anecdotal findings, pickle juice may help to minimize stomach pain due to its property that combats pain that is caused by low stomach acid production. The juice therefore can help to restore acidity levels in the stomach. However, people with ulcers are strongly advised against this since no research has proved that the juice is effective for such conditions. There is also no specific research evidence that the juice can relieve stomach pain.
4. It has also been claimed that drinking pickle juice when someone has a hangover can help reduce and cure hangovers. Hangovers somehow due to dehydration and pickle juice give people the urge to drink more water. There are no studies to support this claim and no evidence that drinking pickle juice is more effective than taking any salty drink. It is however safe to take pickle juice as a hangover remedy since it has not proven harmful.
5. Claims also state that pickle juice is a remedy for sunburns and has been popularly used by people to directly apply the juice in the skin part affected or soak the juice on a paper and lay it on the area with the research has been done yet about this and how effective the remedy is despite been used by several people.
6. People argue that pickle juice also reduces and relieves period cramps. There are however no research observations to prove those claims scientifically. It is however speculated that the property making it able to reduce period pain is similar to the one that enables it to reduce muscle cramps. There is still a need for scientific research to confirm these claims.
7. It has also been attested that pickle juice helps in the fighting of certain diseases in the body. Speculates state that the juice can enhance the digestion process and improve the immune functions in reducing cancer and heart disease risks. Such health claims are beyond reproach, but one might reason that it is because it has antioxidants and probiotics. There is no evidence so far of the antioxidant component of the juice. Processed pickles also do not contain probiotics since they have cured rendering the juice sterile. Only unpasteurized pickles have bacteria and must be kept under refrigerated conditions. To reach a therapeutic dose, someone has to take a lot of pickle juice. Additionally, there are no scientifically proven facts that the juice can protect against diseases.
8. Claims that pickle juice can help in controlling blood sugar levels are supported by the scientific fact that vinegar can control the response of the body to insulin, therefore, helping in reducing elevated blood sugar levels. High blood sugar levels can cause type 2 diabetes. It is however important that individuals under medication should get a doctor's advice before taking pickle juice.
Having seen that pickle juice has some beneficial properties, it may not apply to everyone and some factors have to be considered before including the juice in one’s diet. It is also advisable to seek a doctor’s advice before involving pickle juice in your diet. They include:
  • High sodium levels in the body can lead to retention of water, blotting, and swelling since the body requires maintaining a balance between sodium and potassium for the effective performance of the Na/K ion pump that has various body functions.
  • Increased blood pressure can also be an effect of the intake of too much salt.
  • Indigestion can also result when one drinks too much pickle juice leading to gas, stomach aches, and diarrhoea.
  • Some practitioners also speculate that drinking pickle juice as a period cramps remedy may cause electrolyte imbalances in the body leading to heightened cramps, but no study has proven this yet.
The health benefits that have been proven scientifically to result from the consumption of pickle juice are not exclusive due to the properties of the juice. There are possibilities of other factors that may contribute to these health benefits. Maintenance of blood sugar levels and relieving period cramps are however a few proven benefits of drinking pickle juice. Most of the health benefits are just speculations and claims by people who may have seen positive results when using pickle juice as part of their diet. The anecdotal claim is so far the best of them about pickle juice. The juice has also not shown negative effects in some scenarios and anyone who may need to drink it can try it out white giving much concern to its possible negative side effects.
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