Today there are many reported remedies for leg cramps. However one remedy in particular is being consistently reported as being beneficial for exercise related cramp. Pickle Juice has moved on from being on old wives tale, to a remedy which is increasingly building an impressive evidence base for use with cramp. Here we will look in more detail at the evidence for using pickle juice for legs cramps.
What The Research Says…
Many studies exist where the efficacy of pickle juice on reducing cramp in athletes has been demonstrated.
A 2013 study showed that cramps lasted about 49 seconds less when the study group drank pickle juice rather than water. The common assumption for this reaction is that sodium is an anti-cramping agent. However studies show that plasma concentrations of sodium remain unchanged after pickle juice consumption.
So what is helping with the cramp? Experts think it may be vinegar…
The theory is that vinegar triggers an alert in our brains that tell the muscles to stop contracting, and to relax. This reaction can begin as soon as the vinegar touches mouth receptors, which explains how pickle juice will often work in less than a minute.
Mustard may be effective also as it contains vinegar (although in smaller amounts) and you may find this easier to consume than pickle juice. It also contains turmeric which helps with muscle soreness and inflammation.
There have been case studies which appear to prove the effectiveness of consuming pickle juice to stop cramps fast. For example one case study demonstrated that a basketball player took a dose of pickle juice to help them continue unimpeded through a game. 5 mins from the end of the game they experienced cramp again, but following a further 60ml of pickle juice the cramp ceased again.
“On both occasions the cramp stopped within 30 seconds.”
A further study in 2010 demonstrated that cramps resolved around 45% faster when drinking pickle juice instead of water.
Also a study published in Medicine & Science in Sports and Exercise showed that dehydrated men who drank pickle juice experienced faster relief from cramp after just a third of a cup.
Other Findings and Benefits…
Further studies discovered that drinking pickle juice may increase thirst but does not cause dehydration. It is not detrimental to performance, hydration or sweat loss. Also it does not affect fluid or electrolytes in the blood, so wont interfere with any nutrition plan. It may also:
Boost Immune System – Pickle juice contains vitamins C and E which help prevent infections caused by bacteria, viruses and parasites .
Helps You Lose Weight – Consuming a small amount of vinegar each day can help with weight loss .
Helps Regulate Blood Sugar – Vinegar (the main ingredient in pickle juice) has been shown to help regulate blood sugar levels .
Pickle Juice For Leg Cramps – Which Is Best?
There are several companies now marketing pickle juice sports drinks which provide a handy way to relieve cramp following exercise.
Pickle juice for leg cramps featured in a recent curemycramp.com article for best leg cramp remedies. The product which came out on top as best for instant leg cramp relief was Pickle Juice Extra Strength Shots by The Pickle Juice Company .
This product came out on top for the following reasons:
- Made from all natural ingredients (Dual Filtered Water, Vinegar, Salt, Natural Dill Flavor, Potassium, Zinc, Vitamin C, Vitamin E).
- May stop cramp in as little as 85 seconds.
- Easy to carry (comes in a handy 2.5 fl oz /75 mL bottle).
- Backed by research.
Overall a great product which I recommend for instant leg cramp relief. For information on how to purchase this product please click here.
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