As football teams gear up for practice, coaches around the country are stocking up on pickle juice. Why? Tradition has it that a gulp or two of pickle juice makes muscle cramps disappear. Now we have some understanding of the possible mechanism.
Pickle Juice Makes Muscle Cramps Disappear:
Q. I often get muscle cramps in my legs. I have found that drinking pickle juice relieves the cramps within a minute.
It doesn’t matter what kind of pickle juice-dill pickles, sweet pickles, bread-and-butter pickles. I’ve even used relish juice. I’ve recommended it to others who have used it with similar success.
A. Coaches have long relied on pickle juice to treat their players’ muscle cramps. We suspect that vinegar is the magic ingredient.
How Does Pickle Juice Work?
At one time, people thought muscle cramps were due to dehydration, potassium depletion or low magnesium. While those factors may make people more susceptible to cramps, the more recent hypothesis is that muscle cramps result from motor neurons firing uncontrollably.
Strong flavors like vinegar, ginger, hot peppers, mustard and quinine all stimulate receptors (TRP channels) that can override the inappropriate nerve firing. You will find other muscle cramp remedies and hundreds of additional simple treatments for common ailments in our book, Quick & Handy Home Remedies.