Everyone loves a good pickle (my deepest condolences to the wayward taste buds they cannot appreciate).
However, since pickles are the star of the jar, the juice – you know the stuff that is responsible for turning your daily cucumber into crispy, sour goodness – is thrown out and forgotten. But not today. Nowadays, pickle juice gets the honor it deserves.
After all, the simple liquid has many benefits that nutritionists say you should take advantage of once the last pickle is gone. So yes, consider this your excuse to buy another jar of pickles, stat. You're welcome.
1. It is a source of hydration at a higher level.
"Gherkin juice contains (sodium), potassium, and water, all of which are important for hydration," says Alyssa Lavy, RD. And although water is usually sufficient, if you need supplementation after a super heavy workout or a long day in the sun, electrolytes (a general term for good for your minerals, including sodium and potassium) can help. And that is where the all-in-one status of pickle juice comes in the link.
Lavy says that about one and a half to three grams of pickle juice a day should suffice – whether you just drink the stuff or dilute it with water to soften the taste.
That said, pickle juice doesn't skimp on sodium – three ounces (or six tablespoons) has 690 mg. "So, you may want to limit your intake if you look at sodium in your diet or are already eating a low-sodium diet." (For information, the FDA recommends consuming 2,300 milligrams per day.)
Here's the rest of the pickle juice diet, in a three-ounce serving, according to the USDA:
- calories: 15
- Protein: 0 g
- Fat: 0 g
- carbohydrates: 3 g
- Sodium: 690 mg
2. It's great for training recovery.
Water is usually all you need before and during training, but if you are really going fast (like at athlete level), you still need a few of the aforementioned electrolytes. And pickle juice is THE recovery fluid for replenishing the electrolytes lost during a large sweat session. Moreover, it can even help with muscle cramps after training.
3. It is full of probiotics.
Gherkin juice is here to work magic on your gut. Okay, not magic necessary, but since pickles are fermented, says Lavy, they are full of probiotics.
That said, Lavy recommends keeping an eye on the labels of pots purchased in the store. Some "commercially produced pickles are unlikely to contain probiotics because of processing." That is because, in order to extend their shelf life, they are made with vinegar and heat, which usually destroys the gut-loving active cultures. So, pay attention to vinegar on the ingredient list, it could tell you if those pickles pack probiotics.
Or, if you are really committed, you can just pick up your cucumbers at home. (Make sure you choose a classic pickling recipe that contains salt, water, and cucumbers – no vinegar.)
4. It will satisfy your desire for salt.
If you find yourself grabbing a bag of chips or pretzels when it is fifteen hours. hunger pang hits, Monica Auslander Moreno, RD, nutrition consultant for RSP Nutrition, says that pickle juice may be the nutritious (and tasty) alternative you're looking for. After all, it tastes just like the pickles that were once in the pot.
Speaking of chips … view Chrissy Teigen taste test all sorts of crazy flavors:
5. It helps to regulate blood sugar.
Although pickle juice made with vinegar may not have probiotic benefits, it does have its own benefits. "Gherkin juice can help regulate blood sugar," says Kelli McGrane, RD for Lose It! "Studies have shown that people with type 2 diabetes had reduced blood sugar levels prior to a meal." And although the vinegar in gherkin juice is largely responsible for improving the body's response to insulin, I probably don't need to convince you a dash of vinegar tastes a lot better if it is masked by the sweet and sour flavors of a pickle.
6. It is a source of vitamins and antioxidants.
Gherkin juice is a particularly good source of vitamins A and E. It also contains a small amount of antioxidants that help protect your body and cells from harmful molecules. While other foods contain higher levels of antioxidants (pickle juice should not be your go-to source), you know that you also reap these benefits if you already drink it.
7. You can use it to pickle more vegetables.
If you do not intend to throw a straw into your pickle jar, Moreno recommends using the brine to pickle other vegetables, such as carrots, peppers, and beets.
8. It is cost effective.
Because pickle juice comes with the pickles that you already planned, this sports drink with probiotics is super profitable. Not to mention, it helps you eliminate food wastage. Win win.