Tart Cherry Juice
When it comes to supplements and solutions to improve your performance, be it on the track or in the gym most guys tend to disregard the natural solutions that’ve been proven to assist and instead opt for some hyped up BS by another supplement company that popped up over night, take for example a supplement that claims to work as well as EPO for boosting endurance performance… upon looking into it a little further it’s merely an underdosed vitamin B/iron pill.
Tart cherry juice is one of those forgotten or neglected performance aids that actually works.
No joke, drinking tart cherry juice daily is not only fantastic for overall health but it’ll aid your performance and recovery too.
Let’s delve in to the big benefits of tart cherry juice.
The Benefits of Regularly Consuming Tart Cherry Juice
Improves Quality of Sleep
Cherries contain melatonin, a chemical that is essential for well regulated sleep cycles.
Boosting your melatonin levels via daily (well, at least regular) cherry juice consumption is a proven strategy to improve your quality and duration of sleep.
Reduces Inflammation In The Body
Cherries are loaded with the flavonoid known as anthocyanin, this particular flavenoid has very similiar anti-inflammatory effects as the likes of ibuprofen and naxproxen – if you’ve got joint related issues I’d highly recommend trialing cherry juice and seeing if you notice a difference.
Reduces Soreness of Muscle After Training
A number of legitimate studies on cherry juice (we’ll look at those in more detail below) indicate that consuming cherry juice before and after a gruelling physical effort (such as a triathlon, marathon or taxing resistance workout) reduces muscle soreness and speeds up the rate of recovery.
Boosts Your Immune System
The large number of antioxidants contained in cherries are set to reduce risk of infection, a study performed on runners found that those that consumed cherry juice before and after a marathon didn’t encounter any issues, meanwhile 50% of the individuals in the placebo group encountered issues with upper respiratory tract symptoms (which is reasonably common after a marathon).
Gives You a Bunch of Nutrients
Believe it or not tart cherries are loaded with nutrients, consume a 240ml glass of tart cherry juice and you’ll be getting:
120 calories (28 carbs, 1 fat, 2 protein).
65% of your Vitamin A intake.
40% of your Vitamin C intake.
15% of your Manganese intake.
13% of your Copper intake.
9% of your Vitamin K intake.
14% of your Potassium intake.
Legitimate Studies & Research on Tart Cherry Juice
“While both groups reported increased pain after the race, the cherry juice group reported a significantly smaller increase in pain (12 +/- 18 mm) compared to the placebo group (37 +/- 20 mm) (p < .001). Participants in the cherry juice group were more willing to use the drink in the future (p < 0.001) and reported higher satisfaction with the pain reduction they attributed to the drink (p < 0.001).
Ingesting tart cherry juice for 7 days prior to and during a strenuous running event can minimize post-run muscle pain.“
“Markers of muscle damage (creatine kinase, lactate dehydrogenase, muscle soreness and isometric strength), inflammation [interleukin-6 (IL-6), C-reactive protein (CRP) and uric acid], total antioxidant status (TAS) and oxidative stress [thiobarbituric acid reactive species (TBARS) and protein carbonyls] were examined before and following the race. Isometric strength recovered significantly faster (P=0.024) in the cherry juice group.
The cherry juice appears to provide a viable means to aid recovery following strenuous exercise by increasing total antioxidative capacity, reducing inflammation, lipid peroxidation and so aiding in the recovery of muscle function.”
“Results revealed that short-term supplementation of Montmorency powdered tart cherries surrounding an endurance challenge attenuated markers of muscle catabolism, reduced immune and inflammatory stress, better maintained redox balance, and increased performance in aerobically trained individuals.”
“Short-term supplementation of Montmorency powdered tart cherries surrounding a single bout of resistance exercise, appears to be an effective dietary supplement to attenuate muscle soreness, strength decrement during recovery, and markers of muscle catabolism in resistance trained individuals.”
“These data suggest that consumption of a tart cherry juice concentrate provides an increase in exogenous melatonin that is beneficial in improving sleep duration and quality in healthy men and women and might be of benefit in managing disturbed sleep.”