New and exciting research might give us even more reasons to pucker up for tart cherry juice! On top of its high concentration of antioxidants and its sleep-inducing properties, studies now show that tart cherry juice and tart cherry powder can be used as nutritional supplements to support the muscle recovery process in endurance athletes.
While most studies are conducted on tart cherry juice itself, this study - published in the Journal of International Society of Sports Nutrition - focused on the powdered supplement. Many endurance athletes will be pleased to learn that tart cherry powder may be effective, as well as convenient to use following training since so many of us train and race away from home.
The study observed 27 trained endurance runners and triathletes who supplemented their diets with powdered tart cherry before and after a stressful 21.1-kilometer endurance run, or a half-marathon. The other participants were given a placebo. Afterward, muscle damage, inflammation, oxidative stress, and muscle soreness were measured and compared. The results showed that athletes in the supplementation group had favorable results across all markers – faster running times, less oxidative damage, less inflammation, and lower rate of perceived muscle soreness.
While research is still ongoing, powdered tart cherry supplements show a lot of promise in aiding the muscle recovery process. Before any conclusions can be made, however, studies need to be conducted on different athletes and in different situations that require endurance. We also have to be aware that the supplement industry remains unregulated, so it’s important to know which supplement companies are trustworthy. Researchers, coaches, sports nutritionists, and physiologists will certainly be on the lookout for any advancement in studies so that athletes can start improving their performance effectively and safely.
Want to supplement your diet with tart cherry the natural way? Try our Tart Cherry Smoothie, which combines the health benefits of tart cherries with the sweetness of all natural banana, coconut water, and more. It's especially beneficial before or after a tough workout.