4 Healthy Pickle Benefits You Need As An Athlete

Vegetables are good for you. There are not many nutritionists that would dispute otherwise. So why is there so much confusion over whether pickles are actually good for you? Pickles, or as I like to them fancy cucumbers, are loaded with health benefits that can help your gut, digestion, weight loss, and even aid in your athletic performance. We’re going to discuss more about the sour, and salty pickle benefits, and how they can enhance your health.

What Are Pickles 

Pickles are fermented cucumbers. Pickles are fat free, and low in calories making them a healthy and delicious snack. However, since pickles are fermented, they are high in sodium, containing nearly 450mg or nearly 20% of the daily recommended value in a 100g serving.

Pickle Nutrition

Pickles again are fermented cucumbers, therefore, they contain a host of vitamins and minerals, as well as powerful antioxidants, which can help against free radical damage and chronic disease. Pickles are rich with calcium, iron, and potassium, along with vitamins A, C, and K.

According to the Food Central Database, 1 cup of Dill Pickles contains

  • Calories 20
  • Protein 1g
  • Carbohydrate 3.5g
  • Fiber 1.5g
  • Sugar 1.6g
  • Fat 0g

Pickle Benefits

1. Restoring Electrolyte Balance

A major benefit of pickles is the amount of sodium they contain, for some people. Not everyone will need, or want the extra sodium, however if you need electrolytes, then pickles are a great option. Electrolytes are salts and everyone needs salt for healthy bodily function. Pickles are high in sodium, making them robust in electrolytes, which can be extremely beneficial for athletes, and restoring electrolyte balance after a workout, or during endurance performance.

2. Treating Muscle Cramps

Hydration is key to reduce muscle cramps, and since pickles and pickle juice is so rich with electrolytes, research indicates that pickles may help reduce muscle cramps. Athletes can benefit from eating pickles and adding pickle juice to their recovery regimen or intra workout hydration, ensuring better hydration and less cramping, which is key for performance.

3. Supports Weight Loss

Pickles are low in calories and fat free, making them an ideal snack if your goal is weight loss or body optimization. Caloric deficit is a key factor in losing weight, therefore, adding healthy snacks which are low calorie will help you stay full, while also reducing caloric intake and helping you reach your weight loss goals. Vinegar used in the pickling process, has also been shown to enhance the thermic effect, which can increase caloric burn and increase fullness.

4. Good For Gut Health

Fermented pickles, such as dill pickles are rich in healthy probiotics, which have been shown to have a positive effect on building a health gut flora and providing good bacteria. Probiotics support a healthy digestive system, boost your immune system and provide fuel to help protect your body from invading pathogens and improve overall health and wellness. Your stomach contains millions of gut bacteria that help the body digest and absorb food. Probiotics aid in this process and help improve digestion, protecting the body’s microbiome and supporting the growth of healthful bacteria in the gut.

Pickle Benefits: Takeaway 

Overall, pickles are a fantastic snack to consider when looking for a healthy and low-calorie food option, especially if your goal is weight loss or maintaining that slender figure. Crunchy, sour, sweet and delicious, pickles also provide a reasonable amount of health benefits, rich with vitamins, minerals, disease fighting antioxidants, and supporting athletic performance through better hydration and reducing the occurrence of muscles cramps.


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