Tart Cherry Juice for Athletic Recovery

Tart Cherry Juice for Athletic Recovery

Three cheers for cherries! PIP! PIP! HOORAY!!

Tart Montmorency cherries are a tremendous addition to any health plan as they contain high concentrations of vitamins, minerals, plant nutrients and anthocyanins, which have been linked to many health benefits, including high anti-inflammatory and antioxidant capabilities, alleviate pain from arthritis, and promote sleep.

BUT did you also know that tart cherries can truly benefit athletes and fitness buffs?

On account of its high potassium content, tart cherries help to maintain blood pressure, heart rate, hydration, muscle recovery, nerve impulses, digestion, and pH balance. They contain about 330 milligrams (mg) of potassium per cup, which is almost 10 percent of your daily recommended value.

The nutrients in tart cherries have been scientifically shown to improve athletic recovery, reduce post-exercise muscle damage, lessen pain and soreness, PLUS boost subsequent performance. These improvements occur in both strength and endurance exercise.

Tart cherries have also been shown to balance metabolism and help with weight loss, particularly abdominal fat. Another PIP! PIP! HOORAY!! for that!!

Organic tart cherry juice is readily available at most grocery and health food stores and is great to drink on its own or added to your smoothies. While I always recommend consuming as close to the whole food as possible, which here would be whole cherries followed by juiced, you can also get tart cherry in supplement form as powder or capsules.

Other foods to include in your athletic performance and recovery plans are wild salmon and other food sources of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats, like grass-fed butter/ghee, nuts and seeds, as well as good quality proteins like beans and organic pasteurized beef and chicken, probiotic foods, PLUS loads and loads of different vegetables (particularly, dark leafy greens, onions/garlic and cruciferous veggies (cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts)).

Krista is currently accepting new clients, so if you are interested in getting individualized recommendations and support, go to https://linktr.ee/KristaWMN to book a free 30-min discovery call. Krista is offering members of the Yellowknife Racquet Club a 20% discount on her consulting services until the end of the year.

Krista can be found on Instagram (@gut.brain.alz.nutritionist) and on Facebook (@pre.alzheimers.nutritionist).

References:

Bell PG, McHugh M, Stevenson E, Howatson G. The role of cherries in exercise and health. Scand J Med Sci Spor. 2014;24:477–90. doi: 10.1111/sms.12085.

Howatson G, McHugh MP, Hill JA, Brouner J, Jewell AP, Van Someren KA, Howatson SA, Shave RE. Influence of tart cherry juice on indices of recovery following marathon running. Scand J Med Sci Spor. 2009;20:843–52. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0838.2009.01005.x

Keuhl K, Perrier E. Efficacy of tart cherry juice in reducing muscle pain during running. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2010;7:17. doi: 10.1186/1550-2783-7-17

Levers K, Dalton R, Galvan E, O'Connor A, Goodenough C, Simbo S, Mertens-Talcott SU, Rasmussen C, Greenwood M, Riechman S, Crouse S, Kreider RB. Effects of powdered Montmorency tart cherry supplementation on acute endurance exercise performance in aerobically trained individuals. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2016 May 26;13:22. doi: 10.1186/s12970-016-0133-z. PMID: 27231439; PMCID: PMC4880859.

McCormick R, Peeling P, Binnie M, Dawson B, Sim M. Effect of tart cherry juice on recovery and next day performance in well-trained Water Polo players. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2016;13:41. Published 2016 Nov 14. doi:10.1186/s12970-016-0151-x

Vitale KC, Hueglin S, Broad E. Tart Cherry Juice in Athletes: A Literature Review and Commentary. Curr Sports Med Rep. 2017 Jul/Aug;16(4):230-239. doi: 10.1249/JSR.0000000000000385. PMID: 28696985.