Pickle Juice Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

Pickle juice, annotated
Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

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 limited.

Pickle Juice Nutrition Facts

The recommended serving size of pickle juice from The Pickle Juice Company is 240mL or one cup. This nutrition information is provided by the USDA.

  • Calories: 0
  • Fat: 0g
  • Sodium: 821mg
  • Carbohydrates: 0g
  • Fiber: 0g
  • Sugars: 0g
  • Protein: 0g
  • Potassium: 69.6mg
  • Vitamin C: 18mg

Carbs 

The amount of carbohydrate in pickle juice can vary based on what brand you buy. Pickle Juice made by The Pickle Juice Company provides 0 grams of carbohydrate. The product's ingredients include water, vinegar, salt, and natural dill flavor—none of which provide any calories or carbohydrate.

However, other brands of pickle juice 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 

Regardless of the brand you buy or whether you make this juice at home, there is no substantial fat in pickle juice.

Protein

There is no protein in pickle juice, with 0 grams per serving.

Vitamins and Minerals

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 may may also contain potassium, another electrolyte that is important for health. The Pickle Juice Company's juice has 67mg per one-cup serving, or 2% of the daily value if you consume a 2,000 calorie per day diet.

Pickle also provides zinc, a mineral involved in digestion and metabolism. One serving of Pickle Juice Company juice provides 13% of your daily value of zinc. This brand of juice is also a good source of vitamin C, with 18mg per cup (30% of the daily value).

Calories

The amount of calories in pickle juice will vary by brand and variety. A standard pickle juice from The Pickle Company has zero calories. However, a cup of the beet-turmeric pickle juice from Farmstead Ferments has 41 calories.

Summary

Plain pickle juice is free of calories, fat, protein, carbohydrates, and sugar. Some people use it as a sports drink because it contains sodium and potassium to replace electrolytes lost through sweat.

Health Benefits

Pickle juice has been promoted and sold to treat sunburns, relieve menstrual cramps, prevent cancer and reduce the risk of heart disease. There is no scientific evidence to support these purported benefits. But there is some data about other uses for pickle juice.

May Help Relieve Muscle Cramps

Some people who consume pickle juice do so for its ability to prevent muscle cramps, and boost post-workout hydration. 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 temperature regulation when athletes drank the beverage before exercise.

May Help Regulate Blood Sugar

A 2015 clinical study published in the Journal of Diabetes Research examined the effects of vinegar on blood sugar regulation. Thanks to pickle juice's vinegar content—it's one of the primary ingredients in the drink—it may help in regulating blood sugar after eating, the study found.

Another 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 [people with pre-diabetes and diabetes] manage their condition and may be considered functional foods."

May Improve Exercise Performance

In studies that have investigated the effect of pickle juice on exercise performance, muscle cramps, and post-exercise rehydration, research subjects generally consumed 1 to 2 mL of juice per kilogram of body weight as a standard dose. For a 150-pound person, that would be only 68 to 136 mL, or about 1/4 cup to a bit over 1/2 cup.

One study found that the active cramp-relieving ingredient in pickle juice is acetic acid (vinegar). Pickle juice can be a more palatable way to consume acetic acid to prevent and relieve cramps.

Studies investigating the safety and efficacy of pickle juice as a sports drink so far have been very small in scope and not all have shown a benefit.

May Support Digestion

As a fermented food, pickle juice may boast many of the same benefits as sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, and yogurt. One of these noted benefits is improved digestion, which comes thanks to improved gut microbiota balance.

May Help in Rehydration

While some people have claimed that pickle juice can cure a hangover, no scientific studies have verified that claim. In fact, there are only limited studies that have been able to responsibly evaluate potential hangover cures.

Some people believe that drinking pickle juice will help you to rehydrate better, but a 2014 study found that small volumes of pickle juice did not fully improve electrolyte levels. Study authors noted that more research is necessary to explore the potential of pickle juice as a rehydrating liquid.

Allergies

While allergies to pickles themselves are uncommon, some people experience an allergic reaction to the vinegar used during the brining process. Symptoms may include itchy skin, nausea, hives, stomach discomfort, constipation, or diarrhea. If you have a history of vinegar allergies, it's best to avoid pickle juice.

Adverse Effects

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).

Varieties

Manufactured pickled juices that you'll find in stores may contain added ingredients including herbs, vegetables, and citrus fruits. Check the label and nutrition facts panel on the bottle at the grocery store to learn more about what exactly goes into the beverage.

Storage and Food Safety

Keep pickle juice in the refrigerator after opening a store-bought bottle. If you're making your own pickle juice, it's also best to keep it refrigerated.

How to Prepare

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.

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9 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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