The Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa

PICKLE JUICE

I remember reading the forums before last years RAGBRAI about drinking pickle juice and thinking GROSS!! Then on the 1st day there were actualy vendors on the side of the road selling pickles and pickle juice. I chuckled to myself until 5 miles from the first overnight town I bonked. That last 5 miles I crawled into town. When I got to camp (PBV) one of the staff realized I was in pain and got me a cup of pickle juice. I drank it and 30 min later I felt 100% better. I was drinking tons of water but still bonked.
The rest of the Days I stopped halfway on the route, had a pickle and drank some pickle juice. I never cramped up again. This will be my RAGBRAI tradition from now on.

Anybody else have this same experience? Opinions?

32 Replies

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brian wallenburg, February 15, 2017 at 1:54 pm

One needs to drink other things than water alone. Things like chocolate milk (its balance of protein and carbohydrates makes it the ideal workout drink and ….pickle juice. Two key ingredients in pickle juice, sodium and potassium. Electrolytes that most riders on a sweltering hot day fall short on. Mix in a Powerade Zero and you’ll be good to go! See you on the road.


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#1214481

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Iceman !, February 15, 2017 at 3:03 pm

I started drinking pickle juice long ago and got it for free until it became popular. Started long ago because a well known medical journal had come to the conclusion that it is not the salt in the pickle brine that so quickly stopped the cramps (although eventually it will help). There is some reaction of the lining in the stomach to the vinegar in the pickle juice that signals the muscles to “not cramp.” That signal comes much more quickly than the salt in the pickle brine will help. And on ice, it actually tastes pretty good.


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#1214511

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W Fanning, February 15, 2017 at 3:10 pm

Good to know.. I’ll make sure to drink some pickle juice.. especially on hot days.. who would of thought…


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#1214519

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Gypsy Rose, February 15, 2017 at 4:09 pm

When asked how it was that he stayed so healthy, my grandfather used to always claim that vinegar was the secret. At the time, I used to chuckle about his claims. These days, I feel that maybe he was on to something.

Cheers,
~ Kevin


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#1214537

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brian wallenburg, February 15, 2017 at 6:42 pm

All those people that were telling you about vinegar are right. It speeds up the transfer of potassium. One of the two important electrolytes that make our muscles happy.


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#1214614

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VIKING, February 16, 2017 at 7:01 am

Took a ride across Nevada last year. At the rest stops they had pickle juice in little bottles. Their web site is http://www.picklepower.com. Started carrying one with me on the ride.


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#1214889

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Michrider !!!, February 16, 2017 at 7:11 am

brian wallenburg: All those people that were telling you about vinegar are right. It speeds up the transfer of potassium. One of the two important electrolytes that make our muscles happy.

Pickle juice works for me. PBV provides pickles & juice that chase away my cramping!!!


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#1214891

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jwsknk, February 16, 2017 at 7:52 am

bloddy mary with the pickle spear and not olives it is then. 🙂


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#1214911

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Amanda, February 16, 2017 at 7:54 am

Would sweet pickle juice work too or is it just dill?


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#1214913

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KenH, February 16, 2017 at 7:57 am

It’s become clear to me over the last few years that when I bonk it is rarely, if ever, an electrolyte issue and pretty much always a food intake issue. Often starting the day before. I had a lot of trouble with bonking last year before I got to Iowa, almost certainly because I was also dieting to loose some weight, faced as we were with the task of climbing all those hills. Somehow on RAGBRAI eating enough has never been an issue for me!

I use Endurolytes to take care of my electrolytes. As long as you keep up with your need for them you do not need vinegar to turbocharge your potassium uptake. But if you like pickle juice, more power to you. Someone has to drink it.

I suppose.


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#1214915

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Michrider !!!, February 16, 2017 at 8:03 am

KenH: I use Endurolytes to take care of my electrolytes. As long as you keep up with your need for them you do not need vinegar to turbocharge your potassium uptake. But if you like pickle juice, more power to you. Someone has to drink it.

I use it because it helps prevent after ride cramping. It works for me (don’t care why it works)!!! I guess we’re all different!!

BTW, RAGBRAI don’t care!!!


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#1214917

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George A, February 16, 2017 at 10:40 am

It does work but do not overdue it. On the 2014 ride near on the first day near Okoboji there was a stand that had pickle juice. I drank way to much and sort of Od’d on it. I got to Okoboji and had to just sit for about an hour pounding water to flush out my system. I have learned to take it in moderation. I usually drink some after rides, not during, based on the experiance I had in 2014.

I use both Hammer Heed and Pacific Health Accelerade during rides and their recovery products after riding. They work very well.


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#1214967

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Gypsy Rose, February 16, 2017 at 5:18 pm

bloddy mary with the pickle spear and not olives it is then. 🙂

My martinis have always been traditional, “shaken, not stirred,” but I did implement a change years ago. Rather than the olive, I switched to the dilly bean (something I put up, in vinegar, from my own garden). Don’t know if a pickled bean has any impact on the cramps, but the gin . . .

Cheers,
~ Kevin


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#1215218

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Aaron Norgrant, February 16, 2017 at 8:05 pm

I just started cycling about a year ago. I had heard about pickle juice and started drinking it and eating whole large pickles before and after rides here in Texas where the summer heat averages over 100 degrees. I did the Hotter “N” Hell Hundred and had a pickle at darn near every rest stop and finished feeling better than ever…..I buy pickles now in the largest jar available!!!

Aaron


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John L, February 17, 2017 at 3:40 am

Don’t like it. For me sugar is an issue. So most sports drinks have way too much sugar for me and unneeded for all. I drink a minimum of 24 oz of water an hour. I snack on 200 calories of low sugar energy bars. If I do that I am fine for 10s of miles. At Ragbrai I eat great regular food along the route. Many people just dont eat and drink enough.


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