Pickle juice is good for muscle cramps.
Muscles can become extremely tense, or “cramp,” for a variety of reasons. Some suggest that drinking pickle juice will relieve muscle cramping.
Misbar’s investigation found that muscles can cramp for a variety of reasons. Examples include overuse, dehydration, or mineral depletion according to the Mayo Clinic. Athletes have often turned to pickle juice as a solution to muscle cramps because pickle juice contains electrolytes in the form of sodium, potassium, and magnesium according to the Cleveland Clinic.
Pickle juice has been tested in small trials for muscle cramping and has been found to shorten the duration of muscle cramps. However, it is theorized that pickle juice does not work by restoring body fluids or electrolytes. When Ironman athletes who suffered from cramping and were compared to athletes without cramping, it was found that the cramping was not associated with significant differences in electrolyte concentrations. Instead, it is suspected that the cramping has to do with the nervous system and a miscommunication from the brain stimulating the muscle to maintain a sustained contraction. Some believe that pickle juice is so noxious-tasting that it stimulates a reflex in the back of the throat that results in muscle relaxation.
While pickle juice has been shown to reduce muscle cramping related to fatigue in athletic settings, there are other reasons that muscles may be cramping such as limited blood flow or nerve compression according to the Mayo Clinic. Diabetes, nerve, liver or thyroid disorders can also cause muscle cramping. In these cases, pickle juice would not be a good treatment for muscle cramping.