Is pickle juice the next sports drink?

Is pickle juice the next sports drink?

In all our coverage of energy and sports drinks in recent history, how is it that I’m just now learning about Pickle Juice Sport? In my role as functional beverages editor at the New Hope publications—not to mention a self-affirmed pickle aficionado—I feel woefully negligent in leaving this beverage and its straight-forward functionality out of the picture.

While I can’t imagine pickle juice contending with electrolyte giants such as Gatorade for the sport drink market, its salt, electrolyte, and (if it hasn’t been pasteurized) probiotic content could make it a useful functional ingredient. We all know it’s the key to a perfect Bloody Mary—along with celery salt and my new favorite, caraway-infused vodka—by could there be a bigger, more sober world out there for our salty, sour friend?

The folks at Golden Beverages, Inc., makers of Pickle Juice Sport, surely would sing a resounding “Yes!” But I’m not so optimistic. They tout studies revealing the beverage’s ability to more quickly resolve muscle cramping in athletes compared to water or no liquid at all. Yes, well, salt has been known to help with hydration and muscle cramps. So have bananas for that matter. But somehow I just don’t see soccer moms handing bottles of Pickle Juice to their 8 year-olds at games. Or imagine the Patriots dumping a cooler of Pickle Juice on Bill Belichick after a winning touchdown. Actually, I think I’d like to see that.

Nonetheless as a food and beverage minimalist I like to see the simplest, inherently good-for-you ingredients getting attention for the health benefits that we daily take for granted. Coconut water has rocketed to the forefront of functional beverage fame and has found its way even into the quick-grab coolers at gas stations and corner bodegas around the country. And if there’s room in our coolers and our hearts for the, shall we say, acquired taste of coconut water, then just maybe we can carve out a little corner for the unexpected briny optimism that has borne Pickle Juice Sport into the world. 

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