Victorian Institute of Sport

Nutrition Tip | Pickle Juice

Monday, 11 December 2017

You may have noticed more and more elite athletes using pickle juice lately to treat muscle cramps. Maybe you've tried it yourself? So how does it work?

 

Whilst many would assume it's the electrolytes in the salty solution the pickles are soaked in, it doesn't appear to be.

 

It seems that the pickle juice triggers a reflex in the mouth to send a signal to the muscle to ease the cramp. The exact mechanism of action is not completely known.

 

While the cause of cramps is not entirely known, we do see an increase when exercise intensity increases and the muscle fatigues. Of course ensuring adequate hydration and carbohydrate stores in the exercising muscle is important, but keeping some pickle juice on hand as a quick fix, might be worth considering if you are a cramper. Speak with your Sports Dietitian for further advice.

 

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