Is pickle juice good for you? Here's what experts want you to know

Is there a secret health hack hiding in the door of your refrigerator?

"Pickle juice, the brine solution used to pickle cucumbers, has gained attention for its potential health benefits and uses beyond simply being a byproduct of pickling," registered dietitian Abbey Sharp tells USA TODAY.

Some TikTok users have hypothesized that drinking or gargling pickle juice could help alleviate sore throat symptoms, which medical experts say is likely valid due to its salt and water content.

Others wonder if consuming pickle juice could have preventative health benefits. Here's what dietary experts have to say about it.

Is pickle juice good for you?

There are some benefits to consuming pickle juice, health experts say. But it also matters which kind of pickle juice you're choosing.

Harvard Health suggests opting for brands that brine their pickles in water and sea salt, rather than vinegar.

For athletes, pickle juice can essentially act as a substitute Gatorade. Hydration and relief from muscle cramps are among the benefits, thanks to electrolytes, Sharp says.

Pickle juice contains water and electrolytes, such as sodium and potassium, which can help replenish fluids and electrolytes lost through sweating during exercise or hot weather," she notes. "Some athletes and individuals engage in pickle juice consumption for rehydration purposes."

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Is it OK to drink pickle juice every day?

The potential risks of regularly drinking pickle juice may outweigh the potential benefits, depending on the person.

"Pickle juice is typically super high in sodium due to the salt used in the pickling process," Sharp notes. That can exacerbate high blood pressure, fluid retention, hypertension and cardiovascular issues.

Pickle juice is also typically high in sugar and acidity, Sharp notes, which can impact those with acid reflux and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and cause issues with blood sugar and tooth enamel.

Are pickles good for your gut health?

The thinking that pickles have gut health benefits stems from the fact that pickles themselves are fermented, Sharp says.

"Like other fermented foods, (pickle juice) contains probiotics: beneficial bacteria that support gut health," she adds. "That said, It's highly unlikely that you will get anywhere close to a clinical dose of probiotics from pickle juice."

Servings of probiotics are best found in foods like yogurt, kefir, kimchi, kombucha, miso and sauerkraut, according to Harvard Health.

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Is pickle juice good for you? Answering questions about gut health