Keep Hydrated During Summer Break with Pickle Juice

by Travis Blair

As summer winds down, and we get ready to send our kids back to school in the fall, some of you might be squeezing every last drop out of summer. Maybe you're putting your kid on the back of your bike, or pushing them in a jogging stroller. Or maybe you're like me, and are just as active but it is much hotter now that you have some free time before or after work. Whatever the case, be sure to keep you and your family hydrated! Water is great, we all know this. But let's take a moment to discuss a drink that is somewhat of a well-known secret: pickle juice.

Researchers say the juice in a pickle jar is more effective at staving off crippling muscle cramps than water. A study, led by Dr. Kevin Miller, has revealed that pickle brine might be more effective than sports drinks at treating muscle cramps, confirming a longstanding assumption in the sports world. Those who downed the brine stopped complaining of cramping within 85 seconds — about 37 percent faster than the water drinkers and 45 percent faster than when they didn’t drink anything at all. According to Delhi-based Nutritionist Anshul Jaibharat, “Pickle juice is mostly brine solution, but it is surprisingly an incredible source of electrolytes, antioxidants and nutrients”.

Pickles have been known as a health benefit since the days of Cleopatra and Julius Caesar. Drinking pickle juice has all sorts of health benefits. So I decided to try it out for myself. And while I do usually have a couple jars in my fridge, I thought I'd reach out to a local Texas company called...The Pickle Juice Company. Here's what I got in the mail!

First, from their FAQ:

Q: Is it the same as the stuff in the jar?

A: No. Our product is specifically formulated for the dual purpose of addressing muscle cramps through the use of a proprietary grain of vinegar that has proven to be the most effective neural inhibitor available and serving as a tool to aid hydration by containing 10X the electrolytes of most common sports drinks. We have purified and fortified the ingredients in order to provide the most effective product possible while limiting any unnecessary additives.

I already noticed when summer started that my afternoon runs started resulting in calf cramps due to the Texas heat. I like to do a variety of things throughout the week for a workout, but noticed that both days I ran were cut short with me limping home. What I decided to do was take Pickle Juice for two weeks (with Thursday being my day off), and see how I felt. I'm no scientist, so I simply conducted this to see if I felt a change in my normal routine. Here's what I did:

  • Friday: I ran three miles around Town Lake
  • Saturday: I went for an early morning hike with my dogs
  • Sunday: circuit training at home
  • Monday: long dog walk around neighborhood
  • Tuesday: pull-ups & dead lifts at home
  • Wednesday: interval runs on trails
  • Thursday: off day
  • Friday: rowing machine
  • Saturday: Army training (National Guard)
  • Sunday: Army training (National Guard)
  • Monday: long dog walk around neighborhood
  • Tuesday: lifted weights at the gym
  • Wednesday: interval runs on trails

I drank a shot of Pickle Juice every day prior to exercising and felt good! There were certainly days I ran outside when I sweated a lot. But I didn't cramp up after a couple miles like I've done in the heat. Take this with a grain of "salt", since my research was more of an observation than a study. I'll continue to drink water before I exercise, but I can tell the difference when drinking Pickle Juice.

With that extended time off from school that summer provides coming to an end, do make sure to make the most of your summer. But also make sure you and your family are keeping hydrated.