Pickles make the best side dishes because of the concentrated sour and salty flavors most are well-known for. But, that is also perhaps why it is uncommon to find people drinking the pickle juice.
Athletes are most commonly known to enjoy this drink with many regarding it as the perfect power juice for after exercising. This is associated with its ability to quickly rehydrate athletes and also help relieve muscle cramping. But even those are only a tiny fraction of the health benefits you can get from drinking pickle juice.
Here are ten amazing reasons to drink pickle juice:
1. It soothes muscle cramps
A study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise reports that dehydrated men experienced faster relief from muscle cramps after drinking pickle juice. Most astonishingly, all it took to achieve this effect was about 1/3 cup of pickle juice! This made drinking pickle juice a better option to relieve cramps than drinking water or nothing at all.
This benefit is thought to be because the vinegar in pickle juice may help with rapid pain relief by blocking nerve signals that cause tired muscles to cramp.
2. It boosts gut health
Pickle juice contains a considerable amount of vinegar which has been found to help keep the digestive system healthy. Nutrition experts say this is because vinegar is fermented. Such fermented foods are especially recommended because they promote the growth and healthy balance of good bacteria and flora in your gut.
3. Pickle juice contains probiotics
If your pickles are organic i.e. lack preservatives and dyes, it is highly likely that they contain helpful microorganisms called probiotics. Probiotics are live, microscopic bacteria and yeasts that are commonly found in fermented foods.
By consuming probiotics, you help keep your good gut flora in balance, providing efficient digestion, metabolism, overall health, digestion and helping to prevent illnesses.
Functional medicine dietitian Camille Skoda, RDN, LD, IFNCP, says you can find probiotics in refrigerated pickles that don't contain vinegar. She also advises starting your consumption of pickle juice with small amounts if it's for the probiotics.
4. Pickle juice can help you recover after exercise
Exercising will cause you to lose lots of fluid in the form of sweat. This is why health experts recommend drinking pickle juice, which contains electrolytes in the form of a lot of sodium and some potassium and magnesium, making it a potent substance for rehydration after exercise.
However, keep in mind that not every person can take pickle juice as a go-to recovery drink because of its high sodium content. If you fall into this fraction, you can select electrolyte supplements that only have 150 mg of sodium and more potassium and magnesium instead.
5. Pickle juice can regulate blood sugar levels
A study published in the Journal of Diabetes Research reports that vinegar, a common content in pickles, can help prevent sharp increases and decreases in blood sugar.
According to experts, consuming a small serving of vinegar before a meal can help regulate blood sugar levels after the meal in people with type 2 diabetes. Keep your blood sugar levels in constant balance and you can prevent debilitating diseases like heart and kidney damage.
6. Pickle juice can aid weight loss
Again, this health benefit of pickle juice is associated with vinegar. According to experts, this organic juice can stave off hunger by stabilizing blood sugar. This makes it easier to keep diligently to a weight loss diet and control your appetite.
Even better, the probiotics present in the pickle juice can aid digestion and promote metabolism during your weight loss journey.
7. Pickle juice can help relieve your hangover quickly
Drinking too much alcohol leaves you dehydrated which is why drinking a natural electrolyte like pickle juice is a solid recommendation to ease some of the effects of hangovers.
8. Pickles contain disease-fighting antioxidants
Pickles are simply vegetables that have been preserved naturally, using salt and vinegar. This means that in addition to the many benefits listed above, you'll be obtaining the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants contained in the vegetables themselves.
Antioxidants will particularly help protect your cells from damage caused by free radicals that are commonly linked to cancer, heart disease and more.
9. Pickle juice sweetens your breath
At the first taste test, you may find pickle juice too briny and it may even cause your lips to pucker. But don't let that discourage you from drinking it; as opposed to the logical reasoning that the juice may cause your breath to stink, experts say it actually makes for sweeter breath. This is attributed to the antibacterial properties of the vinegar present in the juice.
Note: choose pickled dills to make this property function even more potently.
10. Choose dill pickle juice to lower cholesterol levels
Last but not least is the expert recommendation to choose dill pickle juice for more health benefits. One of the most important properties of dill is its ability to lower cholesterol levels as it contains quercetin. Other important benefits include its ability to ease indigestion, stomach cramps, and other digestive ailments.
Stop discarding the juice left in your jars of pickle as it has been found to provide numerous health benefits. However, the kind of pickle that you choose is also just as important. Aside from choosing vegetables that'll give specific benefits, make sure to keep an eye on how the pickle was made. This especially applies when you are going for store-bought pickles; never forget to make sure that it is void of dyes and preservatives!