THE BENEFITS OF PICKLE JUICE FOR ACTION SPORTS AND EXERCISE
Action sports are fun, but they are also physically demanding on the body, which can make you dehydrated that can lead to fatigue, muscle cramps (ie. the dreaded charlie horse) or worse, losing consciousness. It doesn’t have to be sweltering hot out for this to occur, dehydration can happen in cold weather just as well.
Some of you may have seen or heard of pickle juice being used as a sports supplement on the internet and wondered why or how. Before going into the pickle juice phenomenon, there is some clearing up on what types of pickle juice you should and should not drink. First and foremost please don’t buy a jar of pickles from the grocery store and slam it down your throat. Most commercial pickle juices use processed, GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms) ingredients and harmful chemical additives such as Yellow dye #5 or Red dye #2 and so on. If you can find a pickle supplier that uses only Organic ingredients, that would be the way to go, but you will probably pay more. If you can’t find one, it’s easier and cheaper to make your own and you can customize to your liking.
So, why is pickle juice good for surfing or exercise? Glad you asked! The main ingredients in a pickling solution are vinegar, water, salt and pickles. Mainly the solution or brine on it’s own is around 5% acidic, and contains salt which is an electrolyte as well as water. The vinegar is not effective in the hydration aspect, but when fermentation takes place with cucumbers, it creates a probiotic solution, which aids in digestion and overall gut health. However, vinegar plays a key part in the Krebs Cycle that replenishes your glycogen stores and metabolizes carbohydrates and fat to produce energy and ATP for cells (muscle contraction). Now pair this solution with the all mighty cucumber and you will see why this concoction is so effective.
Cucumbers are rich in vitamin A, B1, B6, C & D, Magnesium, and Potassium. B Vitamins boost muscle repair, cell development and are excellent for a quick and natural pick me up. Magnesium and Potassium are electrolytes that aid in pre-workout and post recovery. Vitamin A is an immune system and major organ recovery aid. Vitamin C helps boost the production of collagen and helps flush the muscles of lactic acid. Vitamin D works as an anti-inflammation aid.
All of these properties from the cucumber seep into the brine solution and make it an incredible concoction that will benefit you while you perform and recover. Here’s a breakdown of a few pickle juice uses:
- Probiotics to boost digestion function and supporting immune health
- Hangover cure
- Pre and Post surf/workout cure
- Muscle cramp reliever and preventative (as little as 90 seconds for relief)
- Dehydration preventative
In regards to muscle cramp relief, the vinegar seems to trigger a reflex that alerts our brains to stop contracting and relax. This reduction in cramping occurs as soon as the vinegar touches the receptors in the mouth.
You are now convinced and want to make your own pickle juice, here you go.
Make sure to use equal parts vinegar and water.
- Organic pickling cucumbers
- Organic white vinegar
- Himalayan Salt
- Purified water
- Boil vinegar and salt till salt dissolves
- Add pickles and anything else you want to pickle (jalapenos, onions, etc.) into the jar.
- Cool the mixture before pouring into a glass jar with sealable lid
- Add water to top off jar (make sure there are equal parts vinegar and purified water in your mixture)
- Seal jar and put into fridge for at least 4 days (pickles are ready to eat after 4 days), we have found that 10 days is the best for the fermentation part to take effect.
- Feel free to add any other vitamins and minerals for complete customization and increased benefits
Your pickle juice is now ready to be consumed. Drink about 2 oz. before exercise and after for replenishment. If cramping occurs (very doubtful), drink immediately. I like to add a little Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar to the mixture (about 1 tsp.) for extra potassium and the incredible benefits that ACV has to offer.
Now get ready for an incredible workout or surfing, snowboarding, etc. session that will leave you with more endurance and energy than anyone else out there.