Friday, November 21, 2014

Study(s) Spotlight: Tart Cherry Juice

People are constantly searching for different ways to increase their capacity to workout, decrease their soreness and generally take better care of their bodies.  Tart cherries have been around for awhile and their use has been used at different institutions for a variety of reasons. Tart cherries are unique in their high quantity of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties (for the science folks: Cyclo-oxygenase inhibitory flavonoids and anthocynanins).   Consumption of about 45 cherries a day has been shown to reduce circulation concentrations of inflammatory markers in healthy men and women.

One of the studies reviewed showed that consumption of tart cherry juice had an effect in decreasing some of the symptoms of exercise induced muscle damage.  The one that was most notably beneficial to those who consumed the tart cherry juice was the amount of strength lost over the they 4 days.  Researchers found that strength loss was 22% in the placebo group but only 4% with the tart cherry juice.

The other study looked at utilizing tart cherry juice in a preventative way.  The study compared two groups who were going to compete in a long-distance race and had the experimental group ingesting tart cherry juice for 7 days prior to the race, compared to the placebo group who did not use the tart cherry juice.  What they found was that the experimental group had significantly reduced muscle pain after the race compared to the placebo group and that the experimental group was more willing to try the cherry juice due to it's benefits.

Bottom Line:
In a world of a lot of different options for both prevention and recovery from muscle soreness and/or injury tart cherry juice could be a vital addition to your nutrition/supplementation protocol.  The addition of tart cherry juice may help prevent decreases in acute exercise pain while also aiding in recovery from exercise and the preservation of muscle strength.  Hey, it's worth a shot right?

Tart Cherry Supplement Option:
Rapid Perform-Rapid Red

Efficacy of a tart cherry juice blend in preventing the symptoms of muscle damage
D A J Connolly

Br J Sports Med 2006; 40: 679-683

Efficacy of tart cherry juice in reducing muscle pain during running A randomized controlled trial
Kerry Kuehl
JISSN 2010, 7:17