Pickle Juice for Leg Cramps: Important Things to Remember
Pickle juice has been regarded as one of the best remedies to treat leg cramps since the past few years. In fact, some athletes swear by the fact that pickle juice actually works. Yet, it is yet to be backed by a scientific research. On contrary, there are folks who simply consider it nothing more than a placebo effect.
According to one popular theory, since pickle juice contains vinegar and salt, it might be effective in replenishing electrolytes, thus helping in speeding up the recovery process of leg cramps
Since pickle juice is among the widely used home remedies in order to cure leg cramps among athletes, there have been few studies exploring its effects. However, hardly any of these is able to prove how does it work. Even today, the effectiveness of pickle juice for treating leg cramps is still uncertain.
According to some researchers, the electrolytes present within the pickle juice help relieve the symptoms of leg cramps after a workout – however, a study conducted in 2014 debunked this.
After studying the blood plasma ratio of 9 healthy people for indications of elevated electrolyte level following intake of pickle juice post workout, experts noticed that the level of electrolyte stayed almost identical.
The level stayed the same no matter what the subjects drank: sports drinks, pickle juice or water. This is due to the fact that electrolytes take some time before they are totally absorbed in the human body.
Earlier in the year 2010, the same set of experts conducted a similar study on pickle juice for leg cramps. They noticed the pickle juice did work in shortening the duration of cramps. It was found that, on average, it relieved cramps under 1.5 min and almost 45% faster as compared to when no drink was taken post workout.
In addition, cramp relief had no connection with the placebo effect. This resulted in a more thorough research in regards to the effects of pickle juice in electrolyte levels during the last quarter of 2014.
Using Pickle Juice for Leg Cramps
In researches where the juice was proven beneficial for leg cramps, experts utilized about 1mm/kg of body weight which was around 2-3 fluid ounces for the average participant.
To effectively use pickle juice for leg cramps, take the correct amount & drink it rapidly. You can also try a rough “shot”. Ensure the juice contains salts & natural vinegar acids. Also, don’t worry whether the juice is pasteurized or not.
Since it’s considered that the relief from leg cramps comes especially from the vinegar, do not water the juice down. It’s best to taste it raw whenever possible.
Why Does it Work According to Experts?
Although nobody has come up with a concrete proof as of yet, researchers say that pickle juice might help leg cramps by activating muscular reflexes once the liquid gets in contact with the back portion of your throat.
The reflex helps terminate the misfiring of neurons within the entire muscles of the body. This in turn “switches off” the feeling of cramping. It’s believed that the vinegar inside the juice plays a major role in this.
Still, further studies need to be conducted in case this is exactly how the juice works to treat leg cramps. Whilst there are hardly any studies which completely discard the effectiveness of the pickle juice, or that it may be a placebo effect, more studies support the fact that it does work due to this mechanism.
To conclude, we can say that the consumption of pickle juice for leg cramps might be effective after the workout. Despite the fact that there is not a lot of research on this topic, the ones so far do seem to support the claim.
In case you have any doubts, consult with your doctor prior to using it.