Pickling is defined as the process of preparing a mixture of water saturated with salt, vinegar and other spices to preserve fruits, vegetables and meat for long durations of time. The practice of preparing pickles originated when certain foods were preserved to be eaten during long journeys or for consumption in their off-seasons. When the foods are preserved in the above mentioned ingredients for a certain duration, they start fermenting and give out certain acids which further act as self preservatives and develop a particular taste.
These pickles are not unhealthy in any way but have various benefits, because they are a home remedy and rich with nutrients from vinegar, pickling salt and various spices. The liquid that consists of these ingredients and the extracts from the pickled food is called pickle juice and is an extremely healthy liquid. All these ingredients are used in herbal medicines for stomach and muscle pains, which is why the extract could also be a potential medicine for the same. So, can pickle juice stop muscle cramps? Read the coming up paragraphs and find out.
How Does Pickle Juice Help in Treating Cramps
The extracts from the pickled food are basically the mixture of vinegar (acetic acid), water saturated with salt (sodium chloride) and other spices such as ground cinnamon, cloves, etc. Now, the muscles in our body require the elements such as sodium (Na) for contraction of the cells and potassium (K) for relaxing the cells. Along with these two, calcium (Ca) and magnesium (Mg) are also involved in this contraction and relaxation of the muscle cells.
Thus all these electrolytes are required for the muscles to function properly and even if one is absent or not replaced, it leads to a muscle cramp. The vinegar present in it absorbs the excess sodium in our body (accumulated because of salty fast foods), and balances the lack of the other electrolytes such as K or Mg. Or the sodium in the juice can fill up the lack of sodium, to balance the other electrolytes similarly. Therefore, when you drink it, you give your body the required electrolytes which are lost usually because of exercise, and reduce the cramps.
How to Consume Pickle Juice
Well, even though drinking the extract from pickled food can be helpful for reducing muscle cramps, many people back out because of its strong pungent taste. When you have finished eating the pickles, you can remove the juice and store it in a separate bottle or jar. This can be consumed daily by adding to recipes such as salads or marinades, or by adding a spoon of the juice to warm water and a teaspoon of honey for better taste. This has an extremely pungent taste as it consists of salt, vinegar and the flavors of the pickles, therefore drinking it directly could be a little unbearable. But if you are used to it, consuming it directly is one of the best ways of supplying all the necessary electrolytes to your body.
Other than the property of reducing muscle cramps, pickle juice is a hit among athletes because it prevents dehydration as well. Dehydration is one of the biggest threats faced by sportsmen since they lose a lot of water while exercising. It provides the body with sodium and water, which is why there is not much body water lost after working out and dehydration is prevented. It is also used as a home or natural remedy in case of stomach problems instead of consuming strong chemical drugs. Therefore, not only can it stop muscle cramps, but can also help keep the body hydrated and healthy.
Hope you found a satisfactory answer to your question. Though pickle juice may help in alleviating the symptoms of muscle cramps to some extent, make sure you consult a doctor or a professional before you use it.