Pickle Juice Is Way More Hydrating Than You Think

Between summer scorchers and our tendency to forget to drink enough water in winter, the need for serious hydration is nothing to sneeze at. While water will always be option number one, there are many ways to secure the most hydrating food and beverages. In fact, something a lot of us already have in our fridge is a surprising source of excellent hydration. Pickle juice, it turns out, is way more hydrating than you'd think, so when in search of that perfect year-round quencher, head straight for the nearest jar. 

Pickles are most often associated with their salty, briny flavor, which may lead some to believe that pickle juice has no business hydrating thirsty sun-seekers and fitness zealots. But there are a few key components to pickle juice that will change your mind. Pickle juice contains both sodium and potassium, a combination that improves the retention of water. They're both essential to hydration because they're two of the three main electrolytes you lose when you work up a sweat, whether that's due to exercise or summer heat. A sip or a serving of pickle juice can be a health game changer in many ways, but particularly for hydration and as a savory alternative to sugary workout beverages.

How can I drink pickle juice?

Now that we're in a pickle renaissance, the ways to consume pickle juice are more creative, delicious, and abundant than ever. If you want to get straight to the point, procure and crack open a can or little bottle of pickle juice for pleasure or hydration (or better yet, both) from a number of brands such as Mt. Olive and LiveBrine. You can also embark on a journey to craft your own pickles at home with the specific intention of savoring the juice left over in the jar. This recipe for classic dill pickles offers an easy place to start. 

But hydration doesn't need to come at the expense of craft. Many people, yours truly included, consider pickle juice to be a delicious ingredient or stand-alone beverage. Look to the ever-growing catalog of mocktail recipes for inspiration when crafting a savory, hydrating pickle-juice drink. Virgin pickle-juice margaritas, spicy or standard, are a great avenue to elevate your pickle-juice consumption, secure hydration, and enjoy dramatic flavors. Adding lemon juice and sparkling water to a little pickle juice over ice is another way to provide an interesting flavor dynamic along with boosted hydration. But wherever your pickle-juice appetites take you, and whatever kinds of pickles you prefer to source the juice from, its hydrating qualities mean you'll stay the right side of thirsty more easily.