Pickles have been around for ages, but it is only in recent years that people have been paying more attention to it for possible pickle juice weight loss. Is pickle juice good for your kidneys, too? People have so many questions about this humble, fermented food, and we are here to answer these questions today. What is pickle juice made of? What how much pickle juice is too much?
Pickles or gherkins are cucumbers that have been fermented in specific solutions to produce the sour-tart flavor that we all love. The most traditional method of pickling cucumbers is with a brine solution (20% to 40% salt solution).
Other formulations make use of a combination of water, vinegar, sugar, and spices. Cucumbers may also be pickled alongside other herbs and ingredients like garlic and horseradish. Different cultures that make use of cucumbers for pickling may also have regional variations of necessarily the same thing – the humble pickle.
Craving for Pickles?
People crave pickles because they’re essentially salty, and they satisfy cravings the same way that ice cream satisfies people’s cravings for sweet food.
According to the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, salty foods can tickle neural pathways in the brain that are linked to addictive behavior, so it’s best to moderate your consumption of pickles if you think you are consuming too much.
Nonetheless, we are seeing pickle juice-based products cropping up in the global market. There are even sports drinks now that are derived from pickle juice. If you have a high tolerance for salty food in general, these products will be a sure hit with you because they satisfy your cravings, and they also provide additional benefits to the body.
Did you know that some people crave pickles because they feel dehydrated? Adding sodium to your diet will help retain moisture in your body. People with electrolyte imbalance can also crave for salty food (including pickles). What about pregnant women? Pregnant women tend to want salty food because of the after-effects of morning sickness. If a woman vomits regularly, she is going to feel dehydrated, and this dehydration can trigger specific food cravings that may or may not respond to the needed of the pregnant woman.
Pickle Juice for Health?
To say that the idea of drinking pickle juice is healthy is new would be wrong, because, for years now, athletes have been partaking of this natural elixir to help with their muscle fatigue.
Some athletes also use it to reduce muscular cramps, which can be genuinely problematic if you are training regularly. Severe cramps can be felt all day long, even after the cramps, as some excess lactic acid can cause pain in certain areas of the body affected by overtraining.
A study found in the peer-reviewed journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise revealed that pickle juice functions well in reducing the incidence of muscular cramps. A related study also showed that pickle juice, for some reason, helps people reduce their blood glucose levels.
This was accomplished by reducing the incidence of dangerous sugar spikes that are often undetected. Pickle juice naturally contains nutritious substances and compounds like vitamin C and vitamin E, which makes it quite healthy compared to common commercial beverages like soda and other sugary drinks.
Due to the nature of pickle preparation, pickle juice is a naturally low-glycemic beverage, which means it is favorable for people with type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes, and others who need to cut down on drinks and food with high carbohydrate content.
Pickle juice is not recommended for people with kidney problems because of the high sodium content. However, if you don’t have any preexisting conditions like high blood pressure and kidney issues, you can try drinking pickle juice for its nutrients and probiotic benefits.
Fermented vinegar is also considered ideal for digestive health, so if you are suffering from issues like irritable bowel disease, constipation, and the like, drinking a small quantity of pickle juice per day can be a good start toward rehabilitating your digestive system. Just don’t forget, again, that this beverage does have a lot of salt, so you may want to slightly increase your water intake to counterbalance the effects of having more sodium in your diet.
Drinking pickle juice also has other benefits. The first one is the apparent athletic boost – the reason why we drink sports drinks is for the electrolyte content and nutrients. Pickle juice is no different, and it also helps reduce swelling, cramps, and pain associate with athletic exertions. We recommend that you drink a serving of chilled pickle juice right after your next intense workout so you are ahead of the dreaded muscle cramps that can make the rest of your day unbearable.
Science sheds light on why pickle juice helps relieve muscular cramps: the combination of briny water and vinegar is good for the muscles, so expect relief when you consume pickle juice. Also, dehydration is a huge problem with people who are into fitness, and rehydration with the right balance of salts is essential.
Fortunately, pickle juice provides an optimal level of hydration, and you don’t even need to drink a lot. One-third cup of pickle juice will give you the same amount of hydration as one whole cup. So keep this in mind the next time you drink pickle juice – use it as a health tonic, because it is still not a replacement for pure water.
Pickle juice also helps rehydrate people faster because of its natural sodium and potassium content. What happens is that the pickle juice sets the stage for better hydration, so when more water comes in, the body is ready to accept and retain the water. For people who lose a ton of water when working out, this is a plus.
And lastly, pickle juice is fantastic for weight loss efforts because of its vinegar content. Acetic acid, which occurs naturally in vinegar, can suppress appetite and help people feel fuller, longer.