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Why you should be drinking more pickle juice—no, really

Why you should be drinking more pickle juice—no, really
Posted at 10:50 AM, Feb 01, 2023

Did you know pickle brine is jam packed with vitamins, electrolytes — and even probiotics, depending on the recipe? You may love eating pickles but have you thought about drinking the juice?

The best pickle juice to drink is the same flavor of whatever variety of pickles you already have in your fridge such as kosher dill, gherkin or bread and butter. While it may seem strange, downing a glass of pickle juice can be highly beneficial to your health. Here’s why.

It could help keep your blood sugar under control

It is possible that vinegar, a key ingredient in pickle juice, helps maintain healthy blood sugar levels (particularly apple cider vinegar, according studies involving diabetes patients). One way to consume the liquid is by savoring frozen pickle juice popsicles during meals, which may decrease the risk of blood sugar spikes.

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Pickle juice can help you recover from a hangover

Since part of the morning-after suffering stems from dehydration and electrolytes, the sodium and potassium found in the brine’s liquid can help restore your salt balance. Just be sure to drink plenty of water along with it to help you recoup.

Pickle juice can help reduce muscle cramps caused by mild dehydration

Next time you go for a long run on a hot afternoon, reach for a jar of pickle juice afterward. Although the liquid is a natural electrolyte, it’s important not to overdo it. Alyssa Lavy, a registered dietician and nutrition consultant for RSP Nutrition, told Women’s Health that you can consume approximately 1.5 to 3 ounces of the juice per day, whether you’re drinking it straight or diluting it with water to mellow out the sour flavor. The FDA recommends consuming no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium each day and just a few ounces of the tangy liquid could put you close to one-third of the way there.

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It could keep your belly happy

When you eat fermented pickles or take a swig of the juice, you’re also ingesting the good bacteria that formed during the fermentation process. If you see the term “probiotics” on the label, the juice may increase the amount of bacteria in your gut. However, if the brine is made from vinegar and salt or has been pasteurized, it won’t contain active probiotics.

Pickle juice is packed with antioxidants

In addition to having substantial amounts of vitamins C and E, brine also contains important antioxidants that can help protect your body from free radicals (damaging molecules).  As an added health bonus, vitamins C and E also help boost immune system function.

It can nix your salt cravings

The next time you are scouring your pantry for a bag of salty chips, nutrient-dense pickle juice may be a healthier alternative. Just make sure the jar isn’t full of dyes or preservatives — which can counterbalance all the positive health benefits.

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Who shouldn’t drink pickle juice

As nutritious as it can be, drinking pickle juice isn’t for everyone. Those battling hypertension or renal, liver or heart disease should speak with a medical professional before consuming the drink and should likely avoid it due to its high sodium levels.

If you really can’t fathom drinking it, we still don’t recommend pitching it. The best pickle juice to drink can also be used for for whipping up homemade salad dressings, tasty marinades or flavorful brines. Or use it to pickle vegetables such as cut-up carrots, radishes, cauliflower or green beans for a healthy, refreshing pick-me-up.

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