Can Pickle Juice Stop Muscle Cramps?

Republished with permission from Musely an Evio Community Partner

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We already knew that eating pickles helps ease anxiety, but who knew pickles could help ease painful muscles cramps? 

When foam rolling or stretching don't work to relieve your muscle cramps, next time try drinking pickle juice. Yes, you read that right. Many people—especially runners and football players—claim that drinking pickle juice can help alleviate painful cramps and even prevent cramps from happening in the first place.

Let me explain. According to Women's Health Mag, pickle juice is technically a brine, which is basically a really salty water, and the sodium from the salt is where people believe the benefits come from. When you get dehydrated (like after a hard workout), your body’s electrolytes (which include sodium and potassium) get thrown out of whack, explains Albert Matheny, R.D., certified strength and conditioning specialist, of SoHo Strength Lab and Promix Nutrition. That can cause involuntary muscle contractions, a.k.a. cramps.

This is where the pickle juice comes in. One small study published in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise gave some men who had cramps pickle juice and others water. The researchers found that men who drank the pickle juice had cramps that lasted about 49 seconds less than those who drank water.

Since most people get cramps because of a lack of sodium, pickle juice will “definitely fix this,” says Matheny. “But it’s not much different from drinking some salt water."

The type of exercises who would likely need to resort to something as strange as drinking pickle juice are people who run long distances in hot weather, football players who work out for long hours in the heat, or people doing hot yoga, Matheny says.

If that’s you, you can try to have an ounce or two of pickle juice after you work out and see where that gets you, he says. Just take it with a solid amount of water to make sure you stay hydrated, too.