Pickle juice can help alleviate exercise-induced muscle cramps, according to The Times-Picayune. The exact reason this works is unknown, but some researchers theorize that the vinegar in the pickle juice interferes with nerve receptors that cause the cramps.
Pickle juice is an old folk remedy for muscle cramps, but there was little scientific evidence behind it, as reported by The New York Times. A 2010 study used an electrical current to induce cramps in several young adults after strenuous exercise. The study found that the subjects who let the cramps go away without any assistance and those who drank plain water had cramps that lasted for about 2 1/2 minutes. However, the subjects who drank pickle juice had cramps that went away after about 85 seconds.
Pickle juice does have a significant electrolyte content, including sodium and potassium, as noted by The Times-Picayune. The subjects in the study experienced relief too quickly for that alone to explain it, as the body did not yet have time to absorb the electrolytes. The juice's high sodium content has raised some concerns about other health complications, but small amounts are safe, and the subjects of the study experienced benefits after drinking only 2 1/2 ounces. Gentle stretching can also help relieve cramps, and staying hydrated and avoiding overuse may help prevent them.