Pickle Juice sport shots
About the Product
- 10 Times More Electrolytes Than Other Sport Drinks
- ZERO CARBS, CALORIES, OR SUGAR
- STOPS CRAMPS
- PREVENTS CRAMP
“Muscle cramps. Those words alone are enough to make most people cringe. At some point we have all been through those sudden, intense moments where a cramp hits you hard. As you instinctively grab for the muscle in pain, you swear that you are going to research how to prevent this…..as soon as this excruciating pain goes away.
You finally remembered, and you are on a mission to find the best solution to your running cramps. This is the article for you. Rather than looking at what one friend told another, we are going to look into the science behind using pickle juice as a cure for cramps, and you may be surprised by what we found!
We have previously covered what causes exercise-associated muscle cramps, the painful and seemingly random muscle spasms that can fell everyone from recreational marathoners to professional basketball players.
Popular wisdom holds they’re caused by a lack of electrolytes, but scientific research shows that it’s more likely that muscle cramps are due to the failure of a neuromuscular mechanism that usually keeps extreme muscle contraction in check.
Like any ailment that affects athletes, there’s a veritable arsenal of remedies and tricks that runners and athletic trainers swear by to prevent or clear up a muscle cramp. Some of these remedies end up being subjected to scientific testing to validate or bust them.
One simple trick—gently stretching out the cramping muscle—proved to be quite successful, and gave researchers a clue as to the real mechanism behind cramping.
Did I read that correct? Pickle juice?
Yes, believe it or not, old-school athletic trainers swear by gulping down a mouthful of pickle juice as a rapid cure for muscle cramping.
The logic behind this was that the liquid left in the pickle jar is incredibly salty and full of electrolytes.
But here’s the paradox:
As we saw last time, there’s fairly strong evidence that your body’s electrolyte levels have no bearing on whether or not you develop muscle cramps during exercise.
So in theory, pickle juice, despite its reputation, shouldn’t do anything to alleviate muscle cramping.
What happens when you put pickle juice to the test?
Here’s the deal:
Exercise-associated muscle cramps can be tricky to study in a controlled environment, because the cramp location and severity can vary from person to person. A better way to study cramps in a controlled environment is to artificially induce them.
By electrically stimulating a leg nerve in just the right way, researchers can cause cramps on demand. Then, by using an electromyography machine, or EMG, they can quantify the length and severity of a muscle cramp.
A 2010 study using just such a protocol was published by Kevin Miller and colleagues at North Dakota State University and Brigham Young University.
In the paper, the researchers used an electrical current to induce foot cramps in a group of 12 volunteers. Two cramps were induced, each separated by 30 minutes.
The first cramp was a baseline test to establish what a “normal” muscle cramp looks like in terms of its EMG signal and its duration. Then, a second cramp was induced, and the subjects immediately ingested two to three fluid ounces of either water or
A week later, the experiment was repeated with a cross-over design, meaning the subjects who received water the first time got pickle juice the second time, and vice versa.
To guard against any possible placebo effect, the researchers used nose plugs to prevent the subjects from smelling the liquids they drank, and even blinded themselves to which solution was being administered to which subject.
This is crazy:
You might be wondering:
Do the impressive effects of pickle juice revive the “cramps are because of electrolytes” hypothesis?
Miller and his co-workers designed another experiment to test this idea.
This time, nine healthy men underwent three trials where they were given two to three fluid ounces of pickle juice, a sports drink, or plain water.
After ingesting the liquid, Miller et al. took blood samples every few minutes over the course of the next hour, then analyzed the water and electrolyte content of the blood samples to observe the impact of each liquid.
None of the three liquids produced any substantial changes in electrolyte or hydration levels, which is perhaps not surprising considering how small the ingested volume of liquid was (2-3 fluid ounces) when compared to the amount of water in the entire body (several gallons).
Miller et al. conclude that any explanation of the efficacy of pickle juice that is related to electrolytes or hydration isn’t satisfactory—the electrolytes in 2-3 ounces of pickle juice are negligible when compared to sweat losses during exercise.
Further, there’s no way the electrolytes could make their way into the blood within a minute or two after ingestion.
Here’s why it works:
The researchers propose that the acidic pickle juice triggers a reflex when it hits a nerve center on the back of the throat. This reflex sends a signal to the nervous system to shut down the overactive neurons causing the cramp.”
This study has helped me with my cramp because I now drink pickle juice if I know that my workout is going to be more intense than usual.