Pickle juice makes splash in sports nutrition category

By Danielle Masterson

- Last updated on GMT

Getty Images
Getty Images

Related tags pickle Sports nutrition

Often a pregnancy staple for many women, pickle juice is attracting a new audience. The salty beverage is gaining traction as a functional ingredient, particularly for athletes.

Pickle brand Grillo recently announced its foray into the beverage category with the launch of its cold-pressed pickle vinegar drinks. The line offers two flavors, lemon and pickle. The beverages will be positioned as health drinks, as well as sports beverages for pre- and post-workouts.

A new twist on hydration

The niche sports nutrition ingredient trend is heading in a more mainstream direction, with other pickle juice beverages for the athletic population entering the market. The Pickle Juice Co​, Arty’s Straight Up Pickle Juice, Bob's Pickle Potion #9, and P20, are just a few that have popped up in recent years. 

Health benefits

Athletes are drawn to the high mineral content in pickle juice, which provides the body with post-workout electrolytes that are lost during intense workouts.

Grillo on Instagram

Another perk athletes enjoy is the purported ability of pickle juice to stop leg cramps. While the science behind the mechanism of action is murky, some swear by it.

Some theorize that the salt and vinegar may stop leg cramps by replenishing electrolytes, while some studies have suggested pickle juice provokes a neurological reflex that prevents muscles from cramping.

According to a small study published in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise​, researchers gave some men who had cramps pickle juice and others water. The researchers found that men who drank the pickle juice had cramps that lasted about 49 seconds less than those who drank water.


The global sports drink market is expected to reach $32.83 billion by 2027, growing at an estimated CAGR of 4.7% over the forecast period. The growth is credited to the increased popularity of sports drinks among athletes and growing consumer health awareness.

The global pickles market was valued at $11.10 billion in 2018 and is expected to reach a value of $14.62 billion by the end of 2026, with an anticipated CAGR of 3.5% during the forecast period of 2019–2026.

Pickles are expected to benefit from strong consumer interest in fermented foods, and their contributions to digestive health benefits. According to Straits Research, “Pickles are a rich source of necessary nutrients such asiron, vitamins, potassium, and calcium, which is a key factor that drives their consumption. They also possess antioxidants, which prevent free radicals from attacking the human body. Pickles also help in digestion as they have prebiotic properties.  The increasing demand for organic pickles is expected to drive the growth of the global pickles market during the forecast period. Additionally, the booming food service sector is also contributing to the increasing demand for pickles around the globe, which is likely to propel market growth.”

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