Does pickle juice stop muscle cramps?
Muscle cramps can cripple your performance and throw training off course in a moment. Most athletes have experienced these intensely painful muscle spasms, and know how frustrating they can be.
So, if you were told you could relieve cramps in moments with just a single swig, you probably wouldn’t think twice, right? What if that drink was a gulp of briny, salty pickle juice right from the jar? Mmm, not quite as appealing. Although, if cramps are impacting your training and performance, you might be ready to try anything. There’s been wide coverage of pickle juice being swallowed or swished by athletes recently, and you might be wondering if pickle juice is a remedy for cramps after all.
When there’s no time for cramps — should you reach for the pickle jar?
What’s the deal with drinking pickle juice for cramps?
Yes, there is evidence showing the benefits of drinking pickle juice as a remedy for muscle cramps, and other potential health benefits of drinking pickle juice. It’s no wonder the remedy has been widely talked about in endurance and elite sporting communities over the past few years. However, there are a few things to consider.
First, let’s look at what’s actually happening when you reach for the pickle juice for cramps.
Is pickle juice sport’s new elixir?
Drinking pickle juice has become a hot topic in the sports community, rumoured to be a simple and effective cure for muscle cramps. It’s the salty taste on everyone’s lips.
If you follow Australian sport, you have most likely heard of athletes and elite sports people downing pickle juice to relieve cramps. But before you reach for the nearest jar of briny, fermented cucumbers — there are a few things to keep in mind.
What’s happening when you drink pickle juice for cramps?
You are probably familiar with sports drinks used to aid recovery by reintroducing important electrolytes to the body after exercise. While pickle juice does contain electrolytes in the form of sodium, potassium and magnesium— this is actually not why drinking pickle juice can be an effective remedy for cramps.
While pickle juice is a powerhouse of electrolytes — this isn’t actually the reason it works as a fast and effective remedy for cramps. Both Pickle juice and our specially formulated CrampFix for sport treat muscle cramps directly through the neuro-muscular system. Both the pickle juice brine and our Crampfix sports range activate a reflex in the mouth and top of the throat which activates the neuro-muscular system to stop spasming.
Pickle juice triggers a mouth reflex that then sends signals to the body’s nerve system to stop the cramps.
Pickle juice & CrampFix
How does it work?
When your muscle cramps, what is actually happening is your nerves are overfiring in sending signals to your muscle. To relieve a cramp, you need to interrupt this overfiring signal and send a new one that relaxes the muscle.
By drinking either CrampFix or pickle juice, you can activate the sensory nerves in your mouth and throat, which then sends a new signal through your neuro-muscular system, to relax — which stops the cramps.
While the unlikely spectacle of drinking pickle juice for muscle cramps has taken the sporting community’s interest; drinking pickle juice is not the only way to stimulate this magical mouth reflex for cramp remedy. Thankfully there are tastier and more practical solutions — with more precise results.
The magical mouth reflex to beat cramps
You may have heard about a warning being issued to AFL players drinking pickle juice to ease cramps. Many AFL players use pickle juice to stop cramps in a game, however players weren’t drinking pickle juice— they were swishing it in their mouths and spitting it out. The problem was, the pickle juice was so acidic, it was killing the grass.
Of course, if it’s killing the grass on the field, maybe it’s not really what you want to be drinking while training or competing. The good news is, you don’t have to. Because pickle juice acts through a neuro-muscular system, with a mouth reflex trigger that sends a message to the nervous system to stop cramps — and it’s not the only remedy that does.
You can still get this magical mouth reflex without killing the grass on the field, or getting a warning issued to your team for spitting out pickle juice! CrampFix uses the same mouth reflex to stop cramps — in a consistent formula designed to be swallowed on the go, with electrolytes and added carbs to assist your body in peak performance. You can choose from three invigorating flavours; Lemon, raspberry, & espresso (with real caffein for an added kick!)
Pickle juice; the next sport drink?
These green jars of wonder have become a bit of a poster child for the sporting community, as a natural remedy for muscle cramps, with praises of pickle juice sung by endurance athletes, elite sportsmen and women, and everyday athletes alike.
You may have also heard there are also a number of potential health benefits associated with drinking pickle juice (the brine in which cucumbers are fermented in and stored as pickles). This includes potential benefits of drinking pickle juice from the brine itself (salt and water mixture for fermenting), vinegar (an alternative method of pickling), as well probiotics, electrolytes and nutrients of the actual cucumbers themselves.
However, the health benefits of pickle juice in order to gain these benefits is not that straight forward. There are many differences in pickles and the pickling process which makes it difficult to provide a simple yes or no answer on the benefits and risks of drinking straight pickle juice from the jar, to ease cramps.
Pickle juice is the cramps remedy on everyone’s lips, but is pickle juice good for you?
The answer to ‘is pickle juice good for you’ requires knowing what you’re drinking and why.
What is pickle juice made of?
It depends on the pickler and their process, however in general, pickles are cucumbers fermented in a brine (salt and water) or vinegar mix. This brings a range of health benefits, as with other well known fermented foods — and also a few things to look out for that may be significantly less healthy.
Health benefits of fermented foods are well known. Yoghurt and other naturally fermented foods play an important role in a healthy diet. We spoon kimchi, sauerkraut and other fermented foods on top of meals to aid gut bacteria health and digestion, and likewise, naturally fermented pickles and the pickle juice often contain a high level of probiotics.
When fermented naturally, using salt and water rather than vinegar, pickle juice can contain high levels of probiotics with help aid digestion, in this way, it could be said pickle juice can be good for you, or rather, there are elements of pickle juice that can be good for you.
Pickle juice contains electrolytes in the form of a lot of sodium and some potassium and magnesium — however the best pickle juice for electrolytes is vinegar based (which are not high in probiotics). Vinegar has even been linked with helping to prevent spikes and dips in blood sugar, however vinegar based pickle juice also contains a high amount of sodium, which can be harmful to consume in large amounts. Tricky.
Potential health issues of drinking pickle juice from the jar.
Sure, there are some potential benefits but the type of pickle juice matters. It’s important to understand the health benefit you’re hoping to achieve,and the pickle juice you have on hand.
Studies have shown people suffering from high blood pressure, or hypertension, should avoid drinking pickle juice for cramp relief, due to the high level of sodium. Look for information on dyes and preservatives or other harmful additives before you decide to drink pickle juice or cramps as it may do more harm than good.
On average, athletes need to consume between 60-80 millilitres of pickle juice for muscle cramp relief. That’s three times more than is needed for muscle cramp relief from CrampFix.
Looking for a cramp remedy that’s easier to swallow?
While some people may enjoy the briny, vinegar taste of pickle juice, for many of us the thought of downing salty pickle juice in the middle of a workout or endurance activity is almost as unpleasant as the cramp itself.
Not only the taste, but the practicality of syphoning off pickle juice into a bottle to take with you, trying to fit your stash into your pocket makes pickle juice less appealing for the sporting world.
Packaging designed for active lifestyles
Our specially formulated CrampFix comes in two handy packaging options, and three flavours. Simply slip a satchel or small pop top bottle in the back of your cycling jersey, running belt or workout bag and go.
Studies show that for pickle juice to be effective, you need to consume one millilitre per kilogram of body weight. Unlike pickle juice from the jar, which may vary from brand to brand, CrampFix is a concentrated proprietary blend, so only small doses are required to get the results — and you know what you’re getting each time.
One shot, for effective relief
One 15-20ml shot of CrampFix works within 1-2 minutes to alleviate cramps.
CrampFix is the ultimate performance aide, providing rapid cramp management, specially developed to help high performing athletes to achieve their performance goals. It is used and trusted by athletes and sports teams all around the world.
CrampFix is designed for athletes
Pickles are for burgers.
No matter what activity, we have the right, convenient packaging option: A 20mL single-serve QuickFIx Shot which is easy to fit in pockets or running belts, and a 50mL Flip-Top Lid Bottle which contains 3-5 serves and can be carried in a pack or bento box. Both options are much more practical than bringing a jar with you or filling a bottle with 3x the extra weight than carrying CrampFix.
What’s more, CrampFix takes into account the other elements of exercise. When you’re cramping, your energy levels are usually low — which is why Crampfix has 5 grams of added carbs, for a boost of energy to get you through.
Don’t like the thought of drinking the briny juice from the pickle jar?
You don’t have to. Our sports formulated CrampFix is designed to refresh on the go, so you can keep moving. CrampFix comes in three different flavours: Lemon, raspberry, & espresso (which contains 7mg of real coffee) in each packaging option, so you can stick to your favourites.
Informed Sport Accredited formula
Want an assured remedy each time? CrampFix’s highly effective formula is Informed Sport Accredited, meaning every batch is tested for banned substances for athletes’ assurance. All CrampFix products are also 100% natural, gluten-free, & vegan, and are made in Australia to HACCP quality standards.
Fix cramps and get back to the action sooner!
Cramps can be more than just painful — they can have a massive impact on your training and performance, which is why so many athletes and elite sportspeople seek fast and effective remedies for cramps.
Rather than buy pickle juice by the jar, for a fast and effective cramp remedy you can trust (and swallow), CrampFix is the go to remedy for athletes looking for a fast and reliable remedy for cramps.
Image – endurance athlete
Check out our full range of CrampFix sports products here.
Where can I buy Pickle Juice in Australia?
If you’re looking to buy pickle juice, it’s important to know what you’re looking for. If you’re after some yummy pickles for a burger, you’ve got a bit of flexibility.
However, when buying pickle juice for cramps, it’s important to remember the health benefits and potential health issues mentioned above. The difference between vinegar or brine based, and the number of additives, salt (sodium) level and other variations could alter your end result.
Where to buy pickle juice for cramps?
It’s easy to buy pickle juice in Australia, you can select a jar of pickles from the shelf (keep in mind our health benefits and potential issues to watch out for). You can generally pick up pickle juice in Woolworths and other local supermarkets. However, if the thought of guzzling the juice surrounding your fermented cucumbers turns your stomach, don’t worry.
If you’d prefer to leave briny, salty pickles for your BBQ, treat cramps fast with effective CrampFix in Lemon, Raspberry or Espresso flavour.
Where can I buy CrampFix sports products?
You can buy Fixx Nutrition CrampFix sports products online and in partnering supermarkets, running specialist stores and other sport stores. That’s right, you can have both. Buy pickles for your burger and pick up your supply of Fixx CrampFix mouth spray in Woolworths supermarkets across Australia.
For cramp relief you can count on, Fixx Nutrition’s CrampFix provides a tried and tested recipe that achieves results.
Pickle Juice vs CrampFix
So what exactly is the difference between drinking a shot of CrampFix compared to drinking a jar of pickle juice?
- CrampFix requires a much lower dose. Studies show that for pickle juice to be effective, you need to consume one millilitre per kilogram of body weight. On average, participants needed to consume between 60-80 millilitres of pickle juice. To get muscle cramp relief from CrampFIx, the average person only needs to consume 10-20 millilitres which is three times less.
- CrampFix offers 2 convenient packaging options: A 20mL single-serve QuickFIx Shot which is easy to fit in pockets or running belts, and a 50mL Flip-Top Lid Bottle which contains 3-5 serves and can be carried in a pack or bento box. Both options are much more practical than bringing a jar with you or filling a bottle with 3x the extra weight than carrying CrampFix.
- Crampfix has 5 grams of added carbs for a boost of energy since when you are cramping your energy levels are usually low
- CrampFix comes in three different flavours: Lemon, raspberry, & espresso (which contains 7mg of real coffee)