Substance Use

Does Pickle Juice Help Sober You Up?

pickle juice glass and pickles in a jar

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Does Pickle Juice Help You Get Sober?

Drinking pickle juice as a hangover cure is an unfounded claim that has been around for centuries. Not only will vinegar not sober you up, but drinking it has potential risks. Those risks increase when combining pickle juice with alcohol.

Natural detoxification begins in the liver, where alcohol is metabolized. Pickle juice cannot speed up or slow down this process. The only way to get sober from alcohol is to abstain from drinking and give your body time to detox.

Pickle juice will not provide relief or treatment for alcohol addiction.

If you or a loved one is struggling to get sober or stay sober, Zinnia Health can help. Our experts offer a comprehensive approach to alcohol addiction, including medication-assisted detox and behavioral therapy. To get started, call us at (855) 430-9439.

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Can Pickle Juice Delay Alcohol Intoxication?

Unfortunately, drinking pickle juice isn’t a great method for getting sober. 

You might have heard that pickle juice — mainly vinegar — helps you sober up. This is due to acid in the vinegar, which is thought to neutralize the effects of alcohol. However, this neutralizing benefit is often linked to apple cider vinegar (a different kind of vinegar), which is rumored to have PH restorative qualities. 

Apple cider vinegar is also said to contain natural probiotics that provide various health benefits, such as weight loss, relief of bloating, and an improvement in general wellness. However, there are only small studies pointing to these benefits, so more research is needed to support these claims. 

According to Harvard T.H. Chan, early civilizations used vinegar as an all-purpose treatment for everything, but current research doesn’t support these uses. Despite the beneficial claims linked to vinegar, there is no research to support its use in alcohol detox.

Why Pickle Juice Doesn’t Sober You Up

When you drink alcohol, five percent is excreted through urination. The rest is absorbed into the bloodstream. Next, your liver detoxifies by converting alcohol into a toxin called acetaldehyde.

Then it is further processed into acetate, which leaves your body through respiration and urination. According to Alcoholic Beverage Control, your liver metabolizes alcohol at a rate of one drink per hour. Drinking pickle brine will not speed up this process.

While your liver works to rid your body of alcohol, it affects your brain. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, alcohol interferes with your brain’s communication pathways.

These pathways control speech, coordination, balance, and judgment. As a depressant, alcohol slows these functions, resulting in signs of intoxication. Pickle juice does not interfere with this process and cannot prevent or reverse intoxication.

Is Pickle Juice a Good Hangover Remedy?

Pickle juice doesn’t contain any magical properties that automatically sober you up, but it may help support your body through the natural detoxification process. It may also help relieve hangover symptoms caused by dehydration.

Pickle Juice May Offer Rehydration 

Pickle juice can help with rehydration. Alcohol is a diuretic that causes you to urinate more than usual. In some cases, alcohol may also trigger vomiting. This fluid loss can lead to dehydration, which can become severe unless treated. 

It’s essential to rehydrate to prevent the serious complications of dehydration. According to Ohio State University, dehydration and a loss of electrolytes trigger dehydration. Pickle juice can help replenish some of these electrolytes, specifically potassium. However, due to its high salt content, it’s better to drink a glass of water. 

Pickle Juice May Help Balance Blood Sugar

Certain alcoholic drinks contain a high amount of sugar. Pickle juice contains vinegar, which may improve insulin — a hormone that regulates blood sugar. This results in a reduced blood sugar level.

This practice isn’t widely accepted, so there are no guidelines. However, before you reach for that pickle jar, speak to a physician about pickle juice as a treatment for high blood sugar.

Are you drinking pickle juice to avoid feeling hungover? Drinking pickle juice may make you feel better temporarily, but it could spell danger in the long run. Call Zinnia Health at (855) 430-9439 to discover how we can help you or a loved one achieve sobriety. 

The Dangers of Masking Intoxication with Pickle Juice

Pickle juice may taste refreshing and improve blood sugar and hydration, but there are dangers associated with mixing pickle juice and alcohol.

Exacerbates Intoxication Symptoms

Vinegar contains acetic acid, also called ethanoic acid. Ingesting a small amount of acetic acid is harmless. However, at high concentrations, acetic acid irritates the mucus membranes.

Inhaling a high concentration of acetic acid vapors can irritate the nose, eyes, and throat. Both vinegar and alcohol cause tissue damage, which could lead to unforeseen health effects.

Heart Complications from High Blood Pressure

Alcohol increases the risk of developing cardiovascular disease due to its hypertensive effects. According to a study published by Harvard T.H. Chan, having more than four alcoholic drinks a day increases the risk of hypertension.

In addition, pickle brine contains a considerable amount of concentrated salt. Combining the high amount of salt in pickles and alcohol could lead to high blood pressure. This risk is potentially dangerous to individuals with untreated high blood pressure.

Increases Risk of Acid Reflux

Alcohol is acidic, and, in some cases, it triggers acid reflux. The National Library of Medicine found that foods like pickles can also trigger acid reflux, mainly in individuals with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

Acid reflux causes stomach contents and acids to flow back into the esophagus (your throat). If this happens repeatedly, you could develop esophageal inflammation (esophagitis) or a narrowing of the esophagus. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, if left untreated long enough, an individual could develop throat cancer.

Dangers of Using Substances to Cover Alcohol Intoxication

Covering alcohol inebriation with another substance should be avoided at all costs. Masking potential symptoms of intoxication can give you a false sense of sobriety. In some cases, it can mask symptoms of alcohol poisoning. Left untreated, this may cause an overdose.

Warning signs of alcohol poisoning and overdose include:

  • confusion and disorientation
  • loss of balance
  • slurred speech
  • bluish lips and fingers
  • fainting and dizziness
  • seizures
  • difficulty breathing
  • dulled responses
  • no gag reflex
  • convulsions

If you notice any of the above-listed symptoms after consuming alcohol, seek emergency care.

What Happens If I Can’t Get Sober?

Getting sober is the best way to avoid the potential health risks of long-term alcohol use. However, if you’re often looking for a hangover cure after a night of heavy drinking, you may need help. Abstaining from alcohol after long-term use may cause uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms that prompt you to drink again. Reduce this risk by speaking to a professional about your struggles.

If you’re ready to get back to a fulfilling life without the interference of addiction, Zinnia Health can help. We provide treatments for Alcohol Use Disorder and addiction at our rehabilitation facilities nationwide. To find out how we can help you or a loved one struggling with addiction, call us today at (855) 430-9439

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