Pickle juice for a hangover: does it really work?

Although they are usually served as a garnish or appetizer, pickles are also used as natural remedies. Pickle juice, for example, is highly recommended in traditional medicine to relieve hangover symptoms.

But what are pickles? It is a pickled cucumber. This means that it has been immersed in a salt solution, better known as brine, where it undergoes a fermentation process.

It is estimated that the first cucumber pickles were made in Mesopotamia 4,500 years ago. From there, this technique spread throughout the world, just like this vegetable. In the following space we will tell you more about its properties and clarify if it works for a hangover.

Pickle properties

Cucumbers are characterized by having a lot of water, but little fat and protein. However, going through a fermentation process, the brine absorbs all the water, leaving them with a high concentration of vitamins. Here are its main components:

  • Vitamin K: 23% of the recommended daily intake (RDI).
  • Vitamin A: between 21% and 24% of the recommended daily needs.
  • Calcium: 7% of the dose that adults need for healthy and strong bones
  • Potassium: 5% of the recommended daily amount.
  • Vitamin C: between 3 and 4% of the RDI.

It should be noted that, by being fermented, pickles are rich in probiotics, also considered "good bacteria" that help maintain the health of the intestine and the digestive system in general.

Pickles stand out for their vitamin, mineral, and probiotic content.

Also read: What are prebiotics and what are they for?

Pickle juice main benefits

The evidence on the benefits of pickle juice is still limited. Still, a number of positive health effects have been attributed to it in popular literature. Which? We detail them in the following space.

1. Helps to calm cramps

A study involving dehydrated men found that drinking pickle juice helps relieve muscle cramps faster. It is estimated that only 1/3 cup is needed to experience these effects, and it could be more effective than drinking the same amount of water or not drinking at all.

Experts associate these results with the vinegar present in the drink. It may stop the nerve signals that cause cramps, thereby reducing pain.

2. Allows you to stay hydrated

Sodium and potassium promote hydration, since they are electrolytes that are lost when sweating. This juice, being a source of these minerals, favors the balance of mineral salts in the body and hydration. In any case, before ingesting it for this purpose, it is best to consult a doctor.

3. It is a source of antioxidants

Being a source of vitamins C and E, pickle juice has antioxidant properties. They protect the body from so-called "free radicals" that can accelerate aging and increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. In fact, these nutrients help to stimulate the functions of the immune system.

4. Supports weight loss

Due to its vinegar content, This product is believed to help you lose weight. According to a study published in Bioscience, Biotechnology and Biochemistry, the daily intake of vinegar can promote weight loss.

In the 12-week investigation, participants consumed 1/2 to 1 ounce of vinegar per day. The results determined that those who took the solution lost more weight and fat than those who did not.

5. Supports intestinal health

Fermented foods are linked to good gut health, since they allow the growth of healthy bacteria of its flora. This juice, being a product abundant in probiotics and vinegar, seems to provide this benefit.

Because it is a fermented product, pickle juice has positive effects on the intestinal flora.

Does it really work for a hangover?

Alcohol works as a diuretic that stimulates urine production and removes fluids and electrolytes from the body. Therefore, drinking too much alcohol can cause dehydration and electrolyte imbalances, closely related to hangover symptoms.

Since pickle juice is rich in sodium and potassium, electrolytes that are lost during alcohol consumption, se believes it can ease imbalances in these fluids and reduce hangover symptoms.

However, research suggests that this juice does not affect electrolyte levels. A study published in Journal of Athletic Training stated that drinking 3 ounces of pickle juice did not alter the concentrations of these substances in the blood.

In turn, another study published in the same journal determined that drinking pickle juice after exercising has no effect on sodium levels in the blood. Of course, it is capable of stimulating fluid intake, which can counteract dehydration.

Despite this, more studies, especially on a large scale, are still required to determine the effectiveness of pickle juice on electrolyte levels, dehydration, and hangover symptoms.

Discover: The hangover goes away with these 5 natural drinks

What is there to remember about pickle juice?

Pickles are nothing but pickled cucumbers. Although it is common to find them as an aperitif, they are also served in juice. This, in particular, is often used as a home remedy for hangovers. However, the evidence on its efficacy is still limited.

For now, it is believed that they have benefits at the muscle and intestinal level due to their content of mineral salts and probiotics. In any case, more research is needed to verify this and it is not considered a first-line treatment for health problems.