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.
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.