December 30, 2020

6 Health Benefits of Drinking Pickle Juice

From probiotic powerhouse to hangover cure

drinking pickle juice

Next time you open a jar of crunchy pickles, save the juice! Maybe you’ve always loved that mouth-watering pucker. Or, maybe the thought of drinking straight pickle juice sounds unappetizing. Whether you love it or hate it, pickle juice may be good for your health.

Advertisement

Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy

“Pickle juice does have some benefits, but it really depends. The type of pickle juice matters. So does the health benefit you’re looking to gain,” says functional medicine dietitian Camille Skoda, RDN, LD, IFNCP. “A jar that’s full of dyes and preservatives won’t give you those benefits.”

Skoda gives six ways pickle juice is good for you and how to reap the benefits.

1. Pickle juice contains probiotics

Naturally fermented pickles — and their juice — contain helpful microorganisms called probiotics. Probiotics are live, microscopic bacteria and yeasts that you can also find in:

  • Kimchi.
  • Miso.
  • Sauerkraut.
  • Yogurt.

“Your gut contains many bacteria species that are beneficial for metabolism, overall health, digestion and fighting sicknesses. They’re also linked to less anxiety, depression and better mood,” explains Skoda.

Probiotics can help keep your good gut bacteria in balance. People eat probiotics for these benefits, especially to aid digestion.

Skoda says you can find probiotics in refrigerated pickles that are not vinegar-based. They should be fermented naturally in water using salt and spices.

“To get these benefits, try eating a pickle a day. But keep in mind that everybody tolerates probiotics differently. So if you’re drinking pickle juice for the probiotics, start with a small amount,” Skoda recommends. “And don’t drink so much that you overdo it on the sodium.”

Advertisement

2. Pickle juice can help you recover after exercise

Electrolytes help maintain the fluid balance in your body and keep all systems firing. But when you sweat, you risk losing too many. The antidote?

“Pickle juice contains electrolytes in the form of a lot of sodium and some potassium and magnesium. That’s why you can use it as a natural electrolyte,” says Skoda. “It can help to rehydrate after exercise.”

To get the most benefit, Skoda says to choose a vinegar-based pickle without yellow dye and preservatives. Using pickle juice as an electrolyte may work well for people who:

  • Have a chronic condition that requires you to take in more sodium.
  • Don’t get enough sodium in their diet.

But using pickle juice as your go-to recovery drink isn’t for everyone. “The recommendation is to have no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium each day. And 3 ounces of pickle juice gives you 900 mg right there, depending on the brand,” she says. “You can find electrolyte supplements that only have 150 mg of sodium and more potassium and magnesium instead.”

3. Pickle juice can help blood sugar regulation

Studies show that vinegar can help prevent spikes and dips in blood sugar. That’s a check in the win column for vinegar-based pickle juices. “You would also see the same benefits from vinegar-based salad dressings and apple cider vinegar,” adds Skoda.

4. Pickle juice may support weight loss

The research gets a little murkier when it comes to pickle juice’s effects on weight loss. But it’s also less about the pickles and more about vinegar.

“Pickle juice could help curb your appetite by stabilizing blood sugar. It’s easier to lose weight and control appetite when your blood sugar’s stable,” says Skoda. “And if you’re drinking pickle juice for the probiotic benefit, improving digestion and metabolism could definitely help you lose weight.”

Advertisement

5. Drinking pickle juice for a hangover may help you feel better

Drinking too much alcohol can dehydrate you. Electrolytes can help reduce some of those effects, says Skoda. “Drinking pickle juice as a hangover cure can help if it’s the electrolyte you choose.”

6. Pickles contain disease-fighting antioxidants

Score one for the cucumbers! Since pickles are fermented cukes, you get to count some of that veggie goodness, including vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

Antioxidants may protect your cells from damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are molecules inside the body that are linked to cancer, heart disease and more. “You can get some antioxidants from pickle juice, but eating the pickle is more beneficial.”

Skoda’s bottom line: If you like the briny goodness of pickles or pickle juice, bon appetit! While pickle juice is not a cure-all, it can definitely be part of a healthy eating plan.

Related Articles

salmon, dairy, salt, citrus, honey and asparagus
September 21, 2023
Rebalance, Replenish: 4 Sources of Electrolytes

Sports drinks and electrolyte-infused waters aren’t the only game in town

person drinking an electrolyte sports drink outdoors
June 29, 2023
Is Salt an Electrolyte?

Two key electrolytes — sodium and chloride — are the building blocks of salt

Person drinking sports drink with electrollytes while taking a break from tennis.
June 19, 2023
Can You Drink Too Many Electrolytes?

Sports drinks are best when needed — and that’s not all the time

Bowl of Greek yogurt with fruit.
December 29, 2022
What You Should Know About Your Gut Health

A healthy gut benefits your entire digestive system — and more

Fermented cabbage.
October 12, 2022
How To Pick the Best Probiotic

Pay close attention to the dose, colony-forming units, storage information and genus

An illustrated person stands with their arms crossed surrounded by graphics of microorganisms.
June 19, 2022
Are Probiotics Good for Vaginal Health?

Maintain a healthy vaginal microbiota with the help of good bacteria

Stretching after running
May 17, 2022
A Post-Workout Recovery Plan for Healthy Muscle Growth

What you do in the hours and days after exercise can determine how your body bounces back

postbiotic foods
November 21, 2021
What Are Postbiotics?

And should you take them?

Trending Topics

close up of keto gummies
Do Keto Gummies Work for Weight Loss? Are They Safe?

Research is inconclusive whether or not these supplements are helpful

Person in yellow tshirt and blue jeans relaxing on green couch in living room reading texts on their phone.
Here’s How Many Calories You Naturally Burn in a Day

Your metabolism may torch 1,300 to 2,000 calories daily with no activity

Older person postioned sideways showing dowager hump.
Dowager’s Hump: What It Is and How To Get Rid of It

The hump at the base of your neck may be caused by osteoporosis or poor posture

Ad