Pickle Juice Nutrition Facts

Calories, Carbs, and Health Benefits of Pickle Juice

Fresh pickled cucumbers on black background, homemade preserved vegetables
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Pickle juice is becoming popular as an alternative to traditional sports drinks. Some believe that the salty brew can help decrease muscle cramps and provide other benefits.

However, pickle juice has very little nutritional value and the research regarding its purported health benefits is weak.

Nutrition Facts

Pickle Juice Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 2.5 ounces
Per Serving% Daily Value*
Calories 0 
Calories from Fat 0 
Total Fat 0g0%
Saturated Fat 0g0%
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g 
Monounsaturated Fat 0g 
Cholesterol 0mg0%
Sodium 470mg20%
Potassium 20mg1%
Carbohydrates 0g0%
Dietary Fiber 0g0%
Sugars 0g 
Protein 0g 
Vitamin A 0% · Vitamin C 8%
Calcium 0% · Iron 0%
*Based on a 2,000 calorie diet

Carbs in Pickle Juice

The amount of carbohydrate in pickle juice can vary based on what brand you buy. There are very few brands on the market. Pickle Juice made by The Pickle Juice Company provides zero grams of carbohydrate. The product's ingredients include water, vinegar, salt, and natural dill flavor—none of which provide any calories or carbohydrate.

However, there are other brands of pickle juice that include beets or other ingredients with sugar. For example, pickle juice made by Farmstead Ferments includes the brine of beet pickles (beets, filtered water), turmeric, black pepper and sea salt. You'll get 41 calories and about eight grams of carbohydrate when you consume one cup of this juice, according to the USDA.

Fats in Pickle Juice

Regardless of the brand you buy, there is no fat in pickle juice. Even if you make this juice at home, you wouldn't use any ingredients that provide fat.

Protein in Pickle Juice

There is no protein in pickle juice, or in pickles.

Micronutrients in Pickle Juice

When you drink pickle juice, you'll get a hearty dose of sodium, although depending on the type of juice you buy, the amount will vary. Sodium is an electrolyte. Electrolytes are necessary for your body to maintain normal cell function.

However, most of us get more sodium than we need. 

Pickle juice supplements may provide added minerals. For example, Pickle Juice Company's product contains added vitamin E (eight percent of your daily value per serving). Vitamin E protects blood cells, body tissue, and essential fatty acids in the body.

The supplement drink also provides zinc, a mineral involved in digestion and metabolism. One serving of the pickle juice made by the company provides 13 percent of your daily value of zinc if you consume a 2,000 calorie per day diet

Health Benefits

Many people who consume pickle juice do so for its ability to provide sports benefits, cure hangovers, and boost post-workout hydration. But research supporting these benefits has provided mixed results.

  • For example, one study found that when muscle cramps were electrically stimulated in subjects, pickle juice reduced cramping. 
  • Another study found pickle juice did not provide improved aerobic performance or thermoregulation when athletes drank the beverage before exercise.
  • In a study that tested whether or not pickle juice can boost rehydration after exercise, researchers concluded that "The rationale behind advice about drinking (pickle juice) is questionable."
  • Lastly, a small study revealed that healthy adults may benefit from antiglycemic effects when they consumed frozen pickle juice. Researchers also wrote that "Foods containing vinegar may help pre-diabetics and diabetics manage their condition and may be considered functional foods."

Because many of these studies were small and limited in scope, it is hard to say for sure if drinking pickle juice provides health benefits.

Recipes and Preparation Tips

Brands dedicated to making pickle juice—for example, The Pickle Juice Company—may be hard to find at your local market. Many fans of the drink make their own pickle juice at home.

Most recipes simply call for water, vinegar, salt, and pickling herbs or spices (dill is popular). Often, cooks use one or two parts water to one part vinegar. Salt and spices are added to taste. Sugar can be added as well.

After the ingredients are combined in a pot and heated on the stove, the juice is stored in the refrigerator.

Allergies and Interactions

If you are watching your sodium intake, pickle juice may not be a good choice in your diet as it is relatively high in sodium (depending on the brand).

Sources:

Allen S, Miller KC, Albrecht J, Garden-robinson J, Blodgett-salafia E. Ad libitum fluid intake and plasma responses after pickle juice, hypertonic saline, or deionized water ingestion. J Athl Train. 2013;48(6):734-40. doi: 10.4085/1062-6050-48.5.04

Johnston, Carol S. and Appel, Christy L  Frozen pickle juice reduces mealtime glycemia in healthy adults  The FASEB Journal 2009 23:1_supplement, 900.2-900.2 

Miller KC. Electrolyte and plasma responses after pickle juice, mustard, and deionized water ingestion in dehydrated humans. J Athl Train. 2014;49(3):360-7. doi: 10.4085/1062-6050-49.2.23

Miller KC, Mack GW, Knight KL, et al. Reflex inhibition of electrically induced muscle cramps in hypohydrated humans. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2010;42(5):953-61. doi: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e3181c0647e

Peikert J, Miller KC, Albrecht J, Tucker J, Deal J. Pre-exercise ingestion of pickle juice, hypertonic saline, or water and aerobic performance and thermoregulation. J Athl Train. 2014;49(2):204-9. doi: 10.4085/1062-6050-49.2.11