Ad libitum fluid intake and plasma responses after pickle juice, hypertonic saline, or deionized water ingestion

Scott Allen, Kevin C. Miller, Jay Albrecht, Julie Garden-Robinson, Elizabeth Blodgett-Salafia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Context: Adding sodium (Nap) to drinks improves rehydration and ad libitum fluid consumption. Clinicians (~25%) use pickle juice (PJ) to treat cramping. Scientists warn against PJ ingestion, fearing it will cause rapid plasma volume restoration and thereby decrease thirst and delay rehydration. Advice about drinking PJ has been developed but never tested. Objective: To determine if drinking small volumes of PJ, hypertonic saline (HS), or deionized water (DIW) affects ad libitum DIW ingestion, plasma variables, or perceptual indicators. Design: Crossover study. Setting: Laboratory. Patients or Other Participants: Fifteen, euhydrated (urine specific gravity = 1.01) men (age = 22 6 2 years, height = 178 6 6 cm, mass = 82.9 6 8.4 kg). Intervention(s): Participants completed 3 testing days (-72 hours between days). After a 30-minute rest, a blood sample was collected. Participants completed 60 minutes of hard exercise (temperature = 36 6 28C, relative humidity = 16 6 1%). Postexercise, they rested for 30 minutes; had a blood sample collected; rated thirst, fullness, and nausea; and ingested 83 6 8 mL of PJ, HS, or DIW. They rated drink palatability (100-mm visual analog scale) and were allowed to drink DIW ad libitum for 60 minutes. Blood samples and thirst, fullness, and nausea ratings (100-mm visual analog scales) were collected at 15, 30, 45, and 60 minutes posttreatment drink ingestion. Main Outcome Measure(s): Ad libitum DIW volume, percentage change in plasma volume, plasma osmolality (OSMp,) plasma sodium concentration ([Nap]p), and thirst, fullness, nausea, and palatability ratings. Results: Participants consumed more DIW ad libitum after HS (708.03 6 371.03 mL) than after DIW (532.99 6 337.14 mL, P , .05). Ad libitum DIW ingested after PJ (700.35 6 366.15 mL) was similar to that after HS and DIW (P . .05). Plasma sodium concentration, OSMp, percentage change in plasma volume, thirst, fullness, and nausea did not differ among treatment drinks over time (P . .05). Deionized water (73 6 14 mm) was more palatable than HS (17 6 13 mm) or PJ (26 6 16 mm, P , .05). Conclusions: The rationale behind advice about drinking PJ is questionable. Participants drank more, not less, after PJ ingestion, and plasma variables and perceptual indicators were similar after PJ and DIW ingestion. Pickle juice did not inhibit short-term rehydration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)734-740
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Athletic Training
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2013


  • Acetic acid
  • Electrolytes
  • Rehydration
  • Sodium
  • Vinegar


Dive into the research topics of 'Ad libitum fluid intake and plasma responses after pickle juice, hypertonic saline, or deionized water ingestion'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this