Pickle Juice for Muscle Cramps
Cause Muscle Cramps
The cause of muscle cramps are usually electrolyte imbalance, dehydration or unaccustomed physical activity. Pickle juice has become a popular & effective way of treating muscle cramp during an event.
How Does Pickle Juice Work?
Pickle juice and it’s most important ingredient, vinegar, has been used to treat muscle cramps for at least 15 years.
Multiple researchers have concluded that vinegar (in pickle juice) stimulates receptors (nervous system) in the mouth, stomach & oesophagus. A strong stimulus in one area of the nervous system means relaxation in another. Thus relaxing the muscle fibres which are cramping.
Suggestion is that other ingredients which are sour or spicy may have the same affect, and in conjunction may have an even greater affect.
During a longer distance event, the likelihood of muscle cramps increases. There are several products on the market which contain pickle juice or vinegar in conjunction with carbohydrate & sodium. They may come in the form of a small bottle / shot or gel. It is advised to carry a few of these on the bike/run leg and ingest when you feel the beginnings of a muscle cramp.
The taste is quite sour, so practice in training where possible & use in conjunction with water / fluid afterwards to prevent GI distress.