Beverages

Pickle Juice: The Perfect Workout Refreshment?

Having spent a fair amount of time perusing running Web sites for nutrition tips, I am used to encountering strange food and drink recommendations, particularly in online forums where everyone is a nutritionist (or at least pretends to be). Often I chalk up the more bizarre advice to the eccentricities of long-distance runners, a wacky bunch, needless to say, for their dedication to running ten-plus miles for fun.

That's what I did, at least, when someone first mentioned drinking pickle juice before and sometimes during a marathon to squelch muscle cramps. Since I fortunately do not experience cramping on long runs (piriformis issues, well, that's another story), his advice wasn't of much interest to me anyway.

I went along my merry way on the interwebs in quest of more "professional" eating and drinking guidance for endurance athletes. A few months later, I stumbled upon "Runners Share 7 Secret Food Weapons." I couldn't read through that list fast enough. And what did I find at the end?

Pickle juice again! And this time I learned that it's not just for alleviating cramps but also helps with balancing electrolytes, a particular concern of mine since I am a "salty sweater." Then I saw this article and this article and, most recently, this blog post. Pickle juice was clearly not just for the crazies. In fact, I was the crazy one for not trying it.

And now that H-E-B carries a pickle juice sports drink, I don't even have to buy a jar of pickles just for the juice. Which is a shame, actually, because I used the presence of pickles in my fridge to legitimize eating cheeseburgers more often than I should.

Could the reason I have failed to quality for Boston be the absence of pickle juice in my diet? Curses! It's not definitely the fact that I am lazy about speed training.

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Joanna O'Leary