December 2, 2011
If you cringe at the idea of someone chugging some pickle juice from a jar, it may be time to embrace it — especially if you want to improve your sports performance.
Last year, Brigham Young University conducted a study that found pickle juice was in fact an effective rehydration and muscle cramp-reducing drink. Male participants in the study exercised until mild dehydration and experienced induced cramps. The subjects who drank pickle juice felt relief much faster than their counterparts who drank water or conventional sports drinks.
Even before this study was published, Yahoo reported that professional football players boasted the benefits of pickle juice -- the 2000 Philadelphia Eagles credited this salty, green liquid for their victory over the Cowboys in 110 degrees.
And they're not the only ones. In 2006, Jason Witten, tight end for the Dallas Cowboys, endorsed "Pickle Juice Sport" while Jarius Wynn, defensive end, used to drink it in high school.
Since it's so salty, it's no wonder pickle juice is full of sodium, but is also full of other electrolytes. It even helps retain water and rids those cramps.
So don't feel weird about grabbing that pickle jar from the back of your fridge on your way to your next workout — you probably weren't going to use all that brine anyway.
By the American Council on Exercise