Hold the pickles: briny juice is the new sports drink

Hot pickles, dill pickles, pickled garlic—the options abound at The Pickle Guys on the Lower East Side. But lately one of the most popular orders has been just pickle juice.

Alan Kaufman is one of the "pickle guys." He has been pickling for 38 years. He says these days many customers buy pickle juice as a sports drink or health drink.

We learned of the trend from the New York Post and wanted to learn more.

Leigh Gerson, a trainer and running coach, says she drank pickle juice as a kid because she loved the taste. But now she finds pickle juice to be the perfect post-workout replenishment, especially after a run on a hot summer day.

Kaufman says a lot of athletes, including football players, drink pickle juice to prevent cramps during a game.

Pickle juice, which is made with salt water, spices, garlic and sometimes vinegar, can have benefits, according to Shari Boockvar, a registered dietician. She says some people drink pickle juice for dehydration and to decrease cramping while others drink it for its probiotic value.

But Boockvar warns that the high sodium content can be more harmful than healthy for people with high blood pressure and those looking to stay in shape. She says the salt may bloat you and negates the effects of exercise.

So if you're hooked on the briny stuff, stick with a few sips instead of chugging the whole jar.