Friday, January 18, 2013

Recover After Exercise Faster With Cherries?

July 29, 2011 by  
Filed under Natural Pain Relief

natural anti inflammatoryI just love when new research confirms what I’ve preaching, that nature does provide what we need to cure and keep us healthy. I have long been aware of the natural anti inflammatory quality of berries, and have always  included them in my daily smoothies. Cherries of course are a fruit, since unlike berries do have a pit. Cherries contain anthocyanins the red pigment in berries, these are potent antioxidants with a number of potential health benefits. And now this very interesting finding for those of us that engage in any form of exercise.

New research suggests tart cherries could speed muscle recovery
Study finds daily cherry juice reduces muscle damage caused by exercise

Tart cherries could help athletes reduce muscle damage to recover faster from a tough workout, according to new research published in the American College of Sports Medicine‘s journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.

Researchers at the Sports and Exercise Science Research Center at London South Bank University in the UK gave 10 trained athletes 1 ounce of an antioxidant-packed tart cherry juice concentrate (provided by CherryActive) twice daily for seven days prior to and two days after an intense round of strength training. The athletes’ recovery after the cherry juice concentrate was significantly faster compared to when they drank juice without the same phytonutrient content of cherry juice.

After drinking cherry juice, athletes returned to 90 percent of normal muscle force at 24 hours, compared to only 85 percent of normal at the same time point without cherry juice – a significant difference that could affect an athlete’s next bout of performance. Researchers suggest that the powerful antioxidant compounds in cherry juice likely decreased oxidative damage to the athletes’ muscles – the damage that normally occurs when muscles are worked to their max – allowing the muscles to recover more quickly.

Cherries and Muscle Recovery

This is the latest in a growing body of science linking cherries to muscle recovery. Researchers attribute the benefits to anti-inflammatory, antioxidant compounds in the red fruit called anthocyanins, also responsible for cherries’ bright red color.

“Cherries are what I call an ultimate super food,” said Dr. Wendy Bazilian, DrPH, registered dietitian and author of The SuperFoodsRx Diet: Lose Weight with the Power of SuperNutrients “Not only are they a perfect complement to a training routine since they’re available year-round in dried, frozen and juice forms, but they taste great.” Dr. Bazilian says some of her favorite ways to include cherries in the diet range from topping dried cherries in oatmeal to enjoying a smoothie of cherry juice and low-fat yogurt.

In addition to recovery benefits, research also suggests cherries could affect inflammation related to heart disease and arthritis.

For more information on the recovery benefits of tart cherries, and to download the Red Recovery Routine, a guide to training with cherries, visit

Source: Cherry Marketing Institute
If cherries and their anti inflammatory qualities helped decrease oxidative damage to athletes’ muscles then most assuredly they will help the rest us in dealing with everyday joint pain and discomfort.

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

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