Have you heard of the curative properties of pickle juice? People are always looking for a magic elixir to cure all of their ailments. A quick fix that will wash away all the unhealthy choices they regularly make. It’s great for salespeople and doctors, not so great for everyone else. Is pickle juice one of these magical elixirs?
But, it does actually have some health benefits that may make you consider adding it to your daily routine. Let’s take a closer look.
A Bit of History
Pickling is a 4000-year-old art. As with most food-related techniques that are that old, its original purpose was food preservation. Fruit, vegetables, meat, you name it, people pickled it.
Mercifully, humanity found better food preservation methods and pickling largely fell by the wayside, with a few exceptions – most notably pickles.
The pickle preparation consists of sealing up cucumbers in vinegar until they ferment. Seeing as modern companies never looked at a food they didn’t want to put unpronounceable chemicals into, there are a bunch of those mixed in there too. The result is pickle juice.
How Healthy Is It?
Well, the short answer: It’s basically Gatorade, and Gatorade is basically salt water.
The longer answer: There’s good news and bad news, but it has been said to have at least some homeopathic properties.
First the bad news: There is some evidence that Asian pickling causes cancer in test mice. There have yet to be any evidence that it has the same effect on humans. But it is it’s a concerning piece of information.
Now, the good news: Remember how I said it’s basically Gatorade? Well, Gatorade is actually a very strong post workout drink. When you sweat, you don’t just lose water, you lose electrolytes as well. Pickle juice (like Gatorade) is full of sodium that will help replenish those electrolytes and help you recover faster. It may not taste as good, but it serves pretty much the exact same purpose, and with fewer calories.
Some people say that drinking pickle juice will help you lose weight. There is no evidence to support that pickle juice would play any special role in a lower calorie diet one way or the other.
There are, however, reports of people saying that pickle juice helped curb the symptoms of restless leg syndrome. Restless leg syndrome causes such discomfort that the urge to move becomes irresistible. This may not seem like a big deal, but it can make falling asleep near impossible, which itself carries a bunch of health risks.
Because there is no known cause of restless leg syndrome, it’s difficult to determine ways of curing it. All that can really be done is to treat the symptoms. As such, there’s no explanation as to why pickle juice helps, but all the same there’s nothing to suggest that it doesn’t.
Perhaps it has something to do with the electrolytes or one of the other effects of increased sodium levels. On the other hand, it could just be a placebo. In which case, me telling you about it might cause it not to work…Oops.
In all seriousness, if you do decide to incorporate pickle juice into your diet, make sure you are keeping your sodium levels in check. Too much sodium is a bad thing.