Group 5 Does drinking pickle juice really help to fight hangover?


By Patrycja Szkriba, Hannah Campbell, Wannes Van den Steen, Isabelle Van Poeck & Lander Vangenechten 5 Feb 2019, 12:35

We all know the horrible feeling of being hangover after a night out. We constantly look for effective remedies to treat this awful feeling. Some of the remedies found online include: drinking a bottle of water after the night out, drinking an energy drink or interestingly- pickle juice.

Accordingly to the entertainment website "one shot of pickle juice after your night out can help you wake up hangover-free." This is because of the high salt content which replenishes electrolytes and hydrates the body to combat the effects of alcohol.

MedicalNewsToday states that hangover is a group of unpleasant signs and symptoms that can develop after drinking too much alcohol. The symptoms begin when blood alcohol content drops near zero. Some symptoms include.

  • Fatigue and weakness due to decreased sugar level
  • Excessive thirst and dry mouth
  • Headaches and muscle aches
  • Nausea, vomiting or stomach pain
  • Decreased ability to concentrate

Alcohol also causes your body to produce more urine and leads to more frequent urination. Alcohol inhibits the secretion of the hormone responsible for water reabsorption in the kidneys. Low levels of this hormone lead to kidneys producing more water and therefore imbalance of electrolytes.

Electrolytes are minerals in the body which have an electric charge. They can be found in the body, including urine. They are responsible for balancing the water in the body, moving nutrients into cells and enhance the function of muscles, heart and brain.

There is not many studies about effects of pickle juice on hangover. However, alcohol causes dehydration, therefore studies about dehydration in athletes can be used to prove if the pickle juice is true hangover remedy, as athletes lose water and electrolytes through sweat. A study published in Journal of Athletic Training found that when exercising for 2 hours, there was loss of electrolytes in participants. The participants then ingested approximately 79 mL of pickled juice. Despite ingestion of 1.5g of electrolytes, it did not replenish electrolytes and fluid loses. Another study in the same journal found similar outcome.

Pickle juice is not very effective to fight hangover due to its low content of sugar and potassium and high salt content. A better idea to fight this dreadful feeling would be to drink ORS (oral rehydration solution) which can be bought from the store in some countries or homemade by mixing 1l of water, 6 teaspoons of sugar and half a tea spoon of salt as its composition is similar to the body's natural fluids and helps to replenish missing electrolytes.

Additionally, drinking pickled juice may cause adverse effects such as upset stomach, bloating and high blood pressure.