Study supports pickle juice to relieve cramps

though not sport related they refer to the use in sport and that the mechanism is a nerve related response in the throat caused by the acid:

so maybe pickle juice does help, and in this study only required a teaspoon of the stuff.

This is not relevant to the athlete. Cirrhotic patients very commonly have hyponatremia (low sodium) along with a myriad of other electrolyte/metabolic/neuromuscular/brain changes.
Dr. Rob.

they mention the issues with sodium, and the fact that they used only a small volume of juice so it would have virtually no impact on sodium, and in addition one of the reason they tried it was in other etiologies, the use of pickle juice seemed to be efficacious for cramping. So I am sure you are correct in relation to hyponatrium in these patients. From Medscape:
“The acid (vinegar) in the brine triggers a nerve reflex to stop the cramp when it hits the throat. This is why only a sip is needed,” lead investigator Elliot Tapper, MD, division of gastroenterology and hepatology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor" ““This is something that athletes use, and kidney doctors often recommend to their patients, so it is nothing unique to cirrhosis,” Tapper said.” source Can Pickle Juice Help Ease Cirrhotic Cramps?

So there is some cross over application maybe…

I seem to recall a study referenced on an old fast talk podcasts that suggested limited efficacy in athletes. I’ll see if I can find it.

If it’s SAFE and CHEAP then go ahead and try it. Are you going to carry a little flask?

For me, my cramping issues are rare now that my fitness is better.

Thanks for posting, @scooter. This is kind of related to the information published on HotShot, which aims to exert effects via the same channels. However, I’m not sure if there has been any published research on HotShot (haven’t really looked in a while). It’s certainly interesting, and I’ve had some success with both pickle juice and HotShot in the past. When I was more prone to cramping, it was nice to have it, related to @robertehall1’s comment, because it was safe and cheap!

I am fortunate in that I rarely cramp, but it was interesting that a well designed study (though not at all related to sport) found that there was some impact and that they suggested a mechanism. So it seemed interesting and as said, it is cheap, safe and you need not take much for the effect, just a sip is all. Seems almost too go to be true but… seems for some folks it might work.

Nothing (well, almost nothing) more annoying than the zealotry of an ‘ambassador’ for

Those people are something else!

yup, just go to the fridge take a few mLs from an old bottle of pickles and there you go… but someone needs to find a way to make it “special”… It won’t work for everyone, but those who are “responders” might find a sip of pickle juice just works… other not so much.

I think the previous comments re: low sodium being an issue may be on point. For example, in my n=1 experience, I’ve found similar success using pickle juice, BUT I get mine from jars of Bubbies Pickles from my fridge. The thing is, Bubbies are ‘old fashioned’, and use NO vinegar in pickling process. Just water, spices, and salt.

On a completely unrelated note: if you like brined pork or chicken, just use the juice from a jar of Bubbies pickles. Saves a lot of hassles trying to develop your own brine recipe.

I think that Bubbies does have vinegar except it is not added, instead they allow it to ferment naturally (same as sauerkraut) so the vinegar that is present is naturally occurring. Without the low pH the pickles would not be stable and there would not be enough salt to preserve them with just a salt brine. So if when you taste the Bubbies pickles if they taste sour (like vinegar) it is because it is there. Their website does say that the pickles do contain vinegar, but that it is the product of fermentation and therefore not added so not on the label.

I only see a reference to vinegar in one product. I’d be happy to stand corrected if you can direct me to where they acknowledge vinegar in their basic pickles. FWIW, the thing I really like about Bubbies is that they don’t taste anything like a common vinegar-brined pickle.

That said, assuming there is a small amount of vinegar produced during the fermentation process, I would imagine it’s far less than found in typical pickles which are brined in vinegar from the get go.

I am fairly certain that Bubbie pickles have vinegar in them, either naturally or added.
from the website:

source: Bubbies
Fementation in the above cases produces acetic acid or vinegar or lactic acid or malic acid depending upon what is available as a source of carbohydrate. But like you, if someone can provide evidence to the contrary I will also stand corrected. The test for you, is the brine from the pickles sour? if so it contains acid, does it smell like vinegar? I have never seen Bubbies pickles :wink:

The sole use of the word “vinegar” on their site is that one reference to their spicy kosker dills and spicy sauerkraut, not their regular kosher dills or kosher sauerkraut. As for whether the presence of any of the acids you reference equates to ‘vinegar’, I don’t know. I realize that vinegar is basically acetic acid and water, but don’t know if that means all acetic acid is vinegar. By definition vinegar is no less than 4% acetic acid and if the brine in Bubbies pickles is less than 4% acetic acid, it isn’t technically vinegar. I suppose that’s just splitting hairs. :slight_smile:

As for their brine, it isn’t sour, it’s salty, tastes nothing like any vinegar I’ve ever tasted. Perhaps that’s a function of there being, for all intents and purposes, negligible vinegar in the liquid.

Begs the question, or perhaps bolsters the point, if the minimal vinegar, and not the salt itself, in the brine of a traditional recipe pickle is enough to thwart cramps even in very small quantities, then the impact of vinegar must be off the charts.

One thing you’re absolutely correct about, and with which I agree, there’s no reason to buy small containers of ‘pickle juice’ when the liquid from the jar of pickles you already have handy in the fridge will do the trick.