Gatorade? Thanks, but I'll have some pickle juice instead... Huh?

I seem to be hearing quite a bit from both pro and college football teams since both seasons started that they are having their players drink pickle juice on the sidelines because it is said to help with the players avoid cramping and dehydration better than water and sports drinks.

Where did this idea come from? What exactly is the theory behind pickle juice working in this manner? Has this been tested or is this just a passing fad? Does it have to be certified kosher for it to work?

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I saw a friend of mine drink a beer bong of pickle juice on a dare at aparty when I was in college. He threw up. I can’t see this actually preventing dehydration. Isn’t pickle juice mostly vinegar?

Pickle juice is vinegar and water. I drink pickle juice when I have the hiccups–works great!

Here is a list of uses for the wonderful vinegar, Sorry about the formatting:

It’s a bit of a long list, but you may find it useful.

  1. Arthritis tonic and treatment; 2 spoonfuls of apple cider

vinegar and honey in a glass of water several times daily.

  1. Thirst-quenching drink: apple cider vinegar mixed with cold


  1. Sagging cane chairs: sponge them with a hot solution of

half vinegar and half water. Place the chairs out in the hot

sun to dry.

  1. Skin burns: apply ice cold vinegar right away for fast

relief. Will prevent burn blisters.

  1. Add a spoonful of vinegar to cooking water to make

cauliflower white and clean.

  1. Storing cheese: keep it fresh longer by wrapping it in a

vinegar-soaked cloth and keeping it in a sealed container.

  1. Remove stains from stainless steel and chrome with a

vinegar-dampened cloth.

  1. Rinse glasses and dishes in water and vinegar to remove

spots and film.

  1. Prevent grease build-up in your oven by frequently wiping it

with vinegar.

  1. Wipe jars of preserves and canned food with vinegar to

prevent mold-producing bacteria.

  1. To eliminate mildew, dust and odors, wipe down walls with

vinegar-soaked cloth.

  1. Clean windows with vinegar and water.

  2. Hardened paint brushes: simmer in boiling vinegar and wash

in hot soapy water.

  1. Clean breadbox and food containers with vinegar-dampened

cloth to keep fresh-smelling and clean.

  1. Pour boiling vinegar down drains to unclog and clean them.

  2. Clean fireplace bricks with undiluted vinegar.

  3. An excellent all-purpose cleaner: vinegar mixed with salt.

Cleans copper, bronze, brass, dishes, pots, pans, skillets,

glasses, windows. Rinse well.

  1. Make your catsup and other condiments last long by

adding vinegar.

  1. To clear up respiratory congestion, inhale a vapor mist

from steaming pot containing water and several spoonfuls of


  1. Apple cider vinegar and honey as a cure-all: use to

prevent apathy, obesity, hay fever, asthma, rashes, food

poisoning, heartburn, sore throat, bad eyesight, dandruff,

brittle nails and bad breath.

  1. When boiling eggs, add some vinegar to the water to prevent

white from leaking out of a cracked egg.

  1. When poaching eggs, add a teaspoon of vinegar to the water

to prevent separation.

  1. Weight loss: vinegar helps prevent fat from accumulating

in the body.

  1. Canned fish and shrimp: to give it a freshly caught taste,

soak in a mixture of sherry and 2 tablespoons of vinegar.

  1. Add a spoonful of vinegar when cooking fruit to improve the


  1. Soak fish in vinegar and water before cooking for a tender,

sweeter taste.

  1. Add vinegar to boiling ham to improve flavor and cut salty


  1. Improve the flavor of desserts by adding a touch of vinegar.

  2. Add vinegar to your deep fryer to eliminate a greasy taste.

  3. Add a tablespoon of vinegar to fruit gelatin to hold it


  1. Steep your favorite herb in vinegar until you have a

pleasing taste and aroma.

  1. Use vinegar instead of lemon on fried and broiled foods.

  2. To remove lime coating on your tea kettle; add vinegar to

the water and let stand overnight.

  1. To make a good liniment: beat 1 whole egg, add 1 cup

vinegar and 1 cup turpentine. Blend.

  1. Apply vinegar to chapped, cracked skin for quick healing.

  2. Vinegar promotes skin health: rub on tired, sore or

swollen areas.

  1. Reduce mineral deposits in pipes, radiators, kettles and

tanks by adding vinegar into the system.

  1. Rub vinegar on the cut end of uncooked ham to prevent mold.

  2. Clean jars with vinegar and water to remove odor.

  3. Avoid cabbage odor by adding vinegar to the cooking water.

  4. Skunk odor: remove from pets by rubbing fur with vinegar.

  5. Paint adheres better to galvanized metal that has been

wiped with vinegar.

  1. Pets’ drinking water: add vinegar to eliminate odor and

encourage shiny fur.

  1. For fluffy meringue: beat 3 egg whites with a teaspoon of


  1. Pie crust: add 1 tablespoon vinegar to your pastry recipe

for an exceptional crust.

  1. Half a teaspoon per quart of patching plaster allows you

more time to work the plaster before it hardens.

  1. Prevent discoloration of peeled potatoes by adding a few

drops of vinegar to water. They will keep fresh for days in


  1. Poultry water: add vinegar to increase egg production and

to produce tender meat.

  1. Preserve peppers: put freshly picked peppers in a

sterilized jar and finish filling with boiling vinegar.

  1. Olives and pimentos will keep indefinitely if covered with

vinegar and refrigerated.

  1. Add 1 tsp. vinegar to cooking water for fluffier rice.

  2. Add vinegar to laundry rinse water: removes all soap and

prevents yellowing.

  1. After shampoo hair rinse:

1 ounce apple cider vinegar in 1 quart of distilled water.

  1. For a shiny crust on homemade bread and rolls: just before

they have finished baking, take them out, brush crusts with

vinegar, return to oven to finish baking.

  1. Homemade sour cream: blend together 1 cup cottage cheese,

1/4 cup skim milk and 1 tsp. vinegar.

  1. Boil vinegar and water in pots to remove stains.

  2. Remove berry stains from hands with vinegar.

  3. Prevent sugaring by mixing a drop of vinegar in the cake


  1. Cold vinegar relieves sunburn.

60.When boiling meat, add a spoonful of vinegar to the water to

make it more tender.


  1. Marinate tough meat in vinegar overnight to tenderize.

  2. A strength tonic: combine raw eggs, vinegar and black

pepper. Blend well.

  1. Douche: 2 to 4 ounces of vinegar in 2 quarts of warm water.

a pickle douche?

sniff sniff I swear to god I smell kippered herring.

Fascinating stuff there, Boscibo, but I’d rather not think about my NFL heroes douching with pickle juice.

I think they’re told just to drink the stuff… :slight_smile:

That said, I’m sure FarTreker’s interest was piqued!

Yer pal,

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Doesn’t pickle juice have mucho acid init?

Satanlicious - I’ve read that at least the Iggles dilute the pickle juice with water, probably lessening the odds of reverse drinking. The one obvious benefit I can see is that pickle juice is mighty salty - gobs of electrolytes there. I seriously doubt anyone’s done a double-blind study comparing pickle juice to Gatorade or water.

Pickle juice? Come on
Do you really think that any pro sports team would give up its Gatorade contract for a pickle juice one?? How much money do you think pickle juice manufactrers can afford to pay?

Pickle Douche???

Ummmm, is the actual pickle used for this? Or just the joice? I bet you would have a lot of takers if the pickle was used as the dispensor.

Umm…I’m not exactly a rocket surgeon or anything–but could it be because of the sodium content?

I know that salt is just as important to quenching a body as water is–that’s why if you take a peek at the ingredients for Gatorade or any other ‘thirst quencher’–sodium is one of the highest ingredients under water and sugar, I think.

Maybe it’s the fact that pickle juice doesn’t have as many artificial ingredients that makes it healthier. In addition to the healthy qualitative effects of vinegar.

Still–I’d rather lick a shaggy carpet than gulp down a glass of pickle brine.


Interest piqued.

Mmmmm! Pickle juice! I love it – but not as a drink.
The stuff is acid, so vinegar used for heartburn is like pouring gasoline on a fire. I like pickles, so I like to sip the juice now and then, especially from garlic pickles, but not by the glassful.

I have heard of vinegar and water douches, but never a ‘pickle juice’ one and would not suggest any girl try it.

Pickle juice has a lot of salt in it, but not much in the way of electrolytes, so it possibly could be used by athletes, but along with Gatorade. Still, knocking back a big, cool glass of pickle power, then going out and bashing people around might have adverse effects on the players stomach. The large amount of concentrated vinegar and salt might make him want to hurl. He’d have to dilute it with water.

I’m baffled.

I think I’ll go have a sip of that great aged Pickle Barrel Garlic pickle juice I have chilling in the 'fridge, now, complete with pickles.

Pickle juice is what made Ducerun so well. Lack of pickle juice is why Troy went bye bye bye!!!


I got this from a doctor so while I don’t know if this is true I’ll take it at face value till I hear better.

Basically Gatorade is sweat. Someone way back did an analysis of what sweat is comprised of. Then that someone reproduced sweat (water, salt and some other stuff)…added some flavor and voila! You have Gatorade!

Not a very good ad campaign, is it?

It sounds better than Gatorade is pee.

I can see that none of you have read Gatorade’s promotional materials. If you had, you’de know that the company considers that there are 3 (count 'em: 3) ways in which Gatorade works to improve performance.

  1. Electrolyte replacement. I think we’re all moderately familiar with this concept. Sodium and potassium are included to replace that which is lost to sweat, ensuring correct functioning of muscles.
  2. Sugar buzz. In other words, quick energy from sugar in the drink.
  3. Palatability. In other words, it tastes good so people WANT to drink it. So they drink more of it, so they are more hydrated than otherwise, thus preventing premature exhaustion. (Note: in my experience, any flavor of Gatorade tastes very, very good when I am nearing dehydration. Other times, it tastes salty and I will only drink Lemon Ice flavor).

The Florida Gators found that their foorball players performed significantly better in the second half when they drank their concoction (for the reasons stated above). Soon, all the college football coaches wanted some for their teams, so they went national in producing it.

Pickle juice fails on points 2 & 3, plus, I think chances are you’de really wanna hurl if you drank a couple of quarts worth during excercise. Which kind of makes the whole hydration thing moot.

My dad was no kind of rocket surgeon either (I have to remember that phrase, Ashley) but he drank pickle juice. Sweet pickle juice if I remember right. He said that when he had been out working in the heat all day, he just craved it and he didn’t know why. He’d just grab the jar and start gulping. He always said it made him feel better. (Sorry to spoil the “It will make you vomit” theories.) Of course he only lived to be 76, so maybe it’s bad for you.

SoMoMom, your post illuminates the questions further: What type of pickle juice are we talking about here? Does sweet pickle juice contain sugar? What percentage of it is vinegar? I was imagining Garlic Kosher dill pickle juice personally, which is really sour and garlicky – I was imagining the vinegar would make one feel quite ill. However, if sweet pickle juice contains a lot of sugar and not a lot of vinegar, it may not differ substantially in content from Gatorade. Plus, his “it tastes good when you’re thirsty” is about the same attitude I have towards gatorade!

Call me strange, but I always cure my heartburn/indigestion by drinking something laden with acid, usually orange juice, but the principle is the same.

If you drink something acid, your body detects an inrush of acid and shuts down acid production, fixing the problem, though it doesn’t immediately fix the symptom.

If you instead take an antacid, you DO treat the symptom by neutralizing the acid, but then your body notices, “hey, pH is up, we need more acid…” and actually increases acid production.

It’s my understanding that they are not drinking the pickle juice during the actual game, but instead were loading up for the whole week before. The extra sodium is inteded to make them retain water, which would somehow make them perform better in the heat. Or something.