Pucker Up: 10 Reasons To Drink Pickle Juice

Pucker Up: 10 Reasons To Drink Pickle Juice

Pickles are a tasty side that compliments many dishes including a good, savory sandwich. The word comes from the Dutch “pekel” or northern German “pókel,” meaning “salt” or “brine,” which is the major transformer of a cucumber to a pickle. Pickles can be found mentioned in the bible as well as writings by Shakespeare (“And Trinculo is reeling ripe: where should they find this grand liquor that hath gilded ’em? How camest thou in this pickle?” – The Tempest)

Although pickles have been around for centuries, it wasn’t until modern science could decipher the health benefits of pickle juice that people started to take notice. Observational reports through ancient use of pickle juice have shown a variety of health benefits. Now, various studies have corroborated its possible beneficial effects on human health.

See if these 10 reasons to drink pickle juice might be a good reason to take a few slugs every day.

Relieve Leg Cramps Fast

Struggling with leg cramps, especially while you are trying to sleep, can be very painful. For some this is restless leg syndrome (RLS), and many will try anything to stop such a neurological storm.

Pickle juice may help. In small studies this salty concoction was able to quell leg cramp symptoms in participants with a history of RLS.

Researchers from the Department of Health, Nutrition, and Exercise Sciences, North Dakota State University, published a study of the effect of pickle juice on muscle cramps. The focus of the study, published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, was to investigate the claim that relief for leg cramps could present within 35 seconds of ingesting pickle juice. Using electrical stimulation and deionized water as control comparisons, the study conclusion stated that,

“Pickle juice, and not deionized water, inhibits electrically induced muscle cramps in hypo-hydrated humans. This effect could not be explained by rapid restoration of body fluids or electrolytes. We suspect that the rapid inhibition of the electrically induced cramps reflects a neurally mediated reflex that originates in the oropharyngeal region and acts to inhibit the firing of alpha motor neurons of the cramping muscle.”

Gut Instinct

Most vinegar based pickles become fermented which, although it may sound bad, can be a pre-biotic boost to your intestinal microflora community or colony forming units (CFU). This area of your body is considered ground zero for your immune system.

According to Dr. Manoj K. Ahuja, of India’s Fortis Hospital, it was stated that drinking pickle juice

“…encourages the growth and healthy balance of good bacteria and flora in your gut”,

Eating pickles has a beneficial effect but drinking the juice seems to be a more potent choice.

Diabetes Regulator

Whether you have diabetes or not, regulating your glycemic index is just as important all around. The glycemic index is a measurement of blood sugar levels and when they are too high your body goes into alarm mode. Pickle juice often contains vinegar which has shown to help regulate proper sugar equilibrium.

In 2015, the Journal of Diabetes Research published a study on vinegar consumption which concluded that,

“In summary, our study showed that, in type 2 diabetes, vinegar reduces postprandial hyperglycaemia, hyperinsulinaemia, and hypertriglyceridaemia without affecting lipolysis. As a result, vinegar’s effect on carbohydrate metabolism may be accounted for, at least in part, by an increase in insulin-stimulated glucose uptake, demonstrating an improvement in insulin action in the skeletal muscles.”

Talk to your medical or naturopathic doctor about consuming pickle juice to regulate your blood sugar levels.

Swill Some Dill

Researchers from Hamadan University concluded a study on dill’s effects stating,

“This study established that dill has potential hypo-lipidemic activity; consequently it can be used in hyper-cholesterolemic patients.”

Specifically choosing dill pickle juice may bring even more benefits as dill contains quercetin. Quercetin is a potent antioxidant that has been linked to preventing heart disease due to its cholesterol lowering capabilities.

Weight Loss Assist

When trying to shed a few pounds or more you’ll probably use anything that can help. Pickle juice may be a good adjunct to keep you on track. The vinegar found in pickle juice has also been linked to assisting weight loss.

Healthline cites a Japanese study published in the peer reviewed journal Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry (2009) which concluded that,

“…vinegar intake reduced body weight, visceral and subcutaneous fat mass, and serum TG [thyroglobulin, proteins formed in the thyroid] levels without causing adverse effects in our obese Japanese study subjects. Intake of 15 ml of vinegar (750 mg AcOH) per day was sufficient to achieve these effects…After 12 weeks, study participants who had consumed either about 1/2 ounce or 1 ounce of vinegar daily had lost more weight and fat than those who hadn’t consumed any vinegar.”

Notable Mentions

Research based findings and folklore recommendations offer many more benefits of consuming pickle juice. Some conditions pickle juice may be able to address include:

  • Indigestion
  • Bad breath
  • Stomach cramps
  • Preventing hangovers
  • Pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS)

Healthline reports that most studies used 1 milliliter of pickle juice per kilogram of body weight. For the average study participant, this was somewhere between 2 to 3 fluid ounces. People with hypertension (high blood pressure) or any contraindications to salt should consult their healthcare practitioner before consuming pickle juice.


These 10 reason to drink pickle juice could finally determine that natural elixir you may have been searching for.