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Pickle Juice For Muscle Cramp Prevention?

Cure For Muscle Cramps & Spasms?
When I was getting my degree in Sports Medicine, a curriculum strongly based in Athletic Training and Physical Therapy and all the sciences, I was slightly disturbed by how many occasions that one of my professors or athletic trainer instructors mentioned athletes and coaches using Pickle Juice as a possible remedy for muscle cramps. When questioned WHY pickle juice would be so widely used, they mostly just shrugged their shoulders and mumbled something about placebo effect or possible electrolyte content. It never really got more in-depth than that. While I'm sure it wasn't there number one priority as professional athletic trainers and teachers, I would have thought they could give a slightly more educated answer on the topic. I always wondered why pickle juice would be utilized instead of water, a sports drink, fruit, or some of the other more common remedies. So I'm taking a closer look.

Snookie doesn't have to worry about smoosh smoosh related muscle cramps!
Pickle juice does contain some sodium and potassium, the electrolytes considered to help prevent muscle cramps. It is obviously a very acidic solution that may signal other receptors to somehow thwart muscle cramps. There are a few recent studies (published in major international academic journals), however imperfectly designed, that have suggested pickle juice significantly reduces the risk of muscle cramps versus water, sports drinks (like Gatorade or Powerade), or nothing.


The problem is, there are numerous causes for muscle cramps and the jury is still out on all of the exact science behind a muscle cramp. It is also difficult to uniformly and accurately elicit a sports muscle cramp in a controlled laboratory setting. There is also the major issue of palatability of the nasty juice and the fact that it would have to go up against marketing behemoths Coca-Cola and Pepsi to compete with Gatorade and Powerade.

So the science of pickle juice may be a mystery for many years to come, but for now I would only consider it as a last resort for major muscle cramping problems, and only if bananas / fruit / juice / water / sports drinks and other major factors (such as proper training, nutrition, stretching, hydration, supplementation, endurance, etc) have already been evaluated.

Probably my favorite part of The Little Rascals movie!
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