Natural Products Expo West

Pickle Juice offers muscle cramping relief without actual pickles

By Deniz Ataman

- Last updated on GMT

Source: D. Ataman
Source: D. Ataman

Related tags RTD functional beverage Sports nutrition

Pickle Juice’s research-backed proprietary blend of acetic acid and natural ingredients was developed to relieve muscle cramping quickly, while tasting like pickles without having anything “to do with pickles,” Fillip Keuppens, the company’s EVP, explained to FoodNavigator-USA during the Natural Products Expo earlier this month.

With its distinct, pickle-like flavor, Pickle Juice​ shots and beverages address muscle cramping, which is a “neurological … not a physiological phenomenon,” explained Keuppens.

Kevin Miller led the research​ that discovered this physiological link while he was a Ph.D student at Brigham Young University. His research later paved the way for Pickle Juice to “isolate the nerve receptors that cause cramping and disrupt the signal from the brain to the muscle that causes cramps,” Keuppens said.

While the beverage has “nothing to do with pickles​,” the flavor of Pickle Juice’s proprietary acetic acid exhibits a similar taste, allowing the company to lean into the flavor with the addition of a USDA-certified organic dill oil as an emulsifier. Pickle Juice also includes triple filtrated water, a proprietary brand of vinegar, vitamins and minerals, all working within a 10.03 pH margin.

Keuppens notes that the patented vinegar “is the secret,” because “there is only a very narrow grain and blend that works with the esophageal receptors. That’s what makes it so unique.”

Backed by athletes, available for everyone

Last summer Pickle Juice collaborated Stirling University to test Pickle Juice’s efficacy to reduce muscle cramps in the UK national swim team.

“It had 100% efficacy to stop cramping in 82 seconds with their Olympic swim team,” Keuppens elaborated, adding that the company has worked with other sports teams, including rugby and cricket teams, and found similar results.

While clinical trials have focused on athletes​, Pickle Juice has a wide audience, Keuppens said.

“It’s people who get nighttime leg cramps. It’s moms who are looking for healthy alternatives to sugary sports drinks for kids. So, we’ve been really fortunate to have such a broad audience and we are really trying to help people understand that. You can use natural products to do really powerful things in the human body. We are trying to do that in a functional, not kitschy way. We are backing it with studies and science,” Keuppens elaborated.

Pickle Juice featured its new Chili Lime shot, a flavor that complemented the acetic acid effects, while adhering to popular flavor trends. The company also featured its larger 16 ounce sports bottle and 8 ounce format, which are “designed for people who get nighttime leg cramps or when portability is not as big of an issue,” he said.

Currently the brand is available in 15,000 US retail doors, including Walmart, sporting goods stores and national grocery chains.


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