Here's What Happens When You Drink Pickle Juice Every Day

Green juice made with nutrient-dense spinach, kale, cucumbers, or celery is all the rage. But did you know there's another green juice — that requires no juicing — that you should be drinking every day? If you answered "pickle juice," you're right. 

Of course, just the thought of pickle juice can make a mouth pucker. While most people toss the juice and the jar once the pickles are gone, you might want to reconsider. 

Athletes have been drinking pickle juice since before it was hip, using the liquid to help combat leg cramps, according to Healthline. Today, you can find pickle juice in everything, even slushies at Sonic (per USA Today). You can also drink pickle juice in various proprietary blends of sports drinks on supermarket shelves (per Pickle Power). It's clear that pickle juice is here to stay, and researchers and consumers alike are putting the question to the test: What happens to your body when you drink pickle juice every day? 

What exactly is pickle juice?

Pickle juice is a pretty simple drink. It's made with three ingredients: cucumbers, water, and salt. Cucumbers contain the natural probiotic — Lactobacillus bacteria — that lives on the cucumber's skin and aids in the fermentation process. The pickles you buy at the store are made just a little differently — manufacturers generally remove this bacteria and replace it with vinegar, creating what is commonly called pickle juice, per Medical News Today

That said, pickle juice is a green goddess of a drink. When consumed on a regular basis, pickle juice is touted for helping to boost your immune system, aid in digestion, combat muscle cramps, help with rehydrating after exercising, control blood sugar, relieve period cramps, help with weight loss, serve as a cure for the common hangover after a night out with friends, and even sweeten and combat bad breath. 

It's worth noting that some of these claims still require scientific research to back their validity, per Healthline. Potential imbibers of pickle juice should also be aware that they'll ingest a lot of sodium.

Pickle juice can help with muscle cramping and dehydration

Drinking pickle juice after a strenuous workout has long been a natural remedy to guard against muscle cramps, as well as other aches and pains. According to a study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise in 2010, pickle juice works better than water to relieve debilitating muscle cramps. The pickle juice helps restore the electrolyte imbalance from dehydration and can do so 45% quicker than drinking no liquid.

Speaking of dehydration, have you ever wondered why women crave pickles when they're pregnant? Turns out, it probably has something to do with experiencing morning sickness and not being hydrated. Our bodies crave this salty beverage because we need to restore lost electrolytes, explains Forbes. That's why pickle juice is becoming a go-to drink for the masses as well as hardcore athletes in their efforts to rehydrate and recover. During the 2019 Australian Open, Frances Tiafoe was seen chugging pickle juice. New Jersey Devils winger Blake Coleman has been seen pounding his own line of pickle juice called P20 before his NHL games.

More research is needed, and experts say pickle juice shouldn't be a replacement for water, or sports drinks such as Gatorade or Bodyarmor. But Stacy Goldberg, a nutrition consultant who has worked for the Cleveland Cavaliers and Detroit Pistons, told Sports Illustrated in 2019 that just because there isn't a lot of research yet, "doesn't mean it's not effective or doesn't work."

It can help with hangovers, too

Of course, sports drinks aren't the only beverages that utilize pickle juice; there are plenty of cocktails that incorporate the salty mix. Martinis, Bloody Marys, and picklebacks all use a little brine, per

It's worth noting, though, that pickle juice can also be a godsend when you're on the other side of drinking and nursing the once-in-a-blue-moon hangover. In fact, according to The Recipes Project, Russians have been using pickle juice to help combat the effects of drinking too much alcohol for centuries. Apparently, the Russians called this remedy "pokhmel'e,and it was a meal of baked lamb with peppers in a juice of vinegar and cucumber juices. They may not have understood the science behind their creation, but they certainly knew that it made them feel better, thanks to the hydrating capabilities from the brine's rich electrolytes.

No matter how you enjoy it, pickle juice does have health benefits — as long as you can stand the salty taste.