A growing number of elite athletes and weekend warriors are turning to Montmorency tart cherry juice as a post-exercise recovery drink.
Keeping up with your exercise regimen is a lot easier when you recover quickly after a workout. Montmorency tart cherry juice is rapidly gaining a following among elite athletes and weekend warriors as a drink that helps speed the recovery process.
Long known for its anti-inflammatory properties (which have been highly valued by sufferers of arthritis and gout), Montmorency tart cherry juice is now relied on for easing muscle soreness after exercise.
Why? The pain associated with exercise involves muscle damage, inflammation and oxidative stress. Tart cherries seem to help with all three due to the concentrated amounts of anthocyanins inside. Studies suggest Montmorency tart cherry juice has the ability to reduce muscle pain and weakness after bouts of intense strength training, as well as after long-distance running.
A look at the evidence.
- Improves cycling performance: Montmorency tart cherry supplementation for seven days improved 15 kilometer (9.3 miles) cycling time-trial performance among eight trained cyclists. 1
- Faster recovery: Marathon runners who drank Montmorency tart cherry juice five days before, the day of and two days after running experienced a faster recovery of strength compared to those who drank a different beverage. 2
- Montmorency tart cherry juice may be especially helpful to reduce post-exercise muscle soreness among active women. Researchers in the U.K. found that Montmorency tart cherry concentrate, when consumed twice a day for eight days, reduced muscle soreness and positively impacted certain aspects of muscle function after exercise, compared to a placebo. 3
- Similarly, in another study Montmorency tart cherry juice helped improve the recovery time after intensive exercise compared to the placebo beverage that was used. 4
- Decreases muscle pain: Runners in an annual 196-mile relay race in Oregon reported significantly less muscle pain after the race if they drank Montmorency tart cherry juice twice a day the week before and on the day of the long-distance race. 5
- Less muscle damage: Montmorency tart cherry juice decreased some of the symptoms of exercise-induced muscle damage following strength training. Strength loss after exercise averaged over four days was only 4 percent, compared to 22 percent among those who drank another beverage. 6
What you can do:
- Drink a 10-ounce glass of Montmorency tart cherry juice before workouts. Most of the exercise recovery studies have provided participants with two 8- or 12-ounce bottles of Montmorency tart cherry juice per day, the equivalent of close to 100 Montmorency cherries a day.
- Drink an additional glass within 30 minutes after workouts, or carry some dried Montmorency tart cherries in your bag. Also try a Montmorency tart cherry smoothie – blending Montmorency tart cherry juice and Greek yogurt with frozen Montmorency tart cherries.
Get the most of your workout, and learn to Recover with Red.
- Morgan, P.T., Barton, M.J. & Bowtell, J.L. Eur J Appl Physiol (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00421-018-04058-6. ↩
- Howatson G, McHugh MP, Hill JA, Brouner J, Jewell AP, van Someren KA, Shave RE, Howatson SA. Influence of Montmorency tart cherry juice on indices of recovery following marathon running. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports. 2010; 20:843-852. ↩
- Brown MA, Stevenson EJ, Howatson G. Montmorency tart cherry (Prunus cerasus L.) supplementation accelerates recovery from exercise-induced muscle damage in females. European Journal of Sport Science. 2018; Jul 28:1-8. ↩
- Bowtell JL, Sumners DP, Dyer A, Fox P, Mileva KN. Montmorency tart cherry juice reduces muscle damage caused by intensive strength exercise. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 2011;43:1544-1551. ↩
- Kuehl KS, Perrier ET, Elliot DL, Chestnutt J. Efficacy of Montmorency tart cherry juice in reducing muscle pain during running: a randomized controlled trial. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. 2010;7:17-22. ↩
- Connolly DA, McHugh MP, Padilla-Zakour OI, Carlson L, Sayers SP. Efficacy of a Montmorency tart cherry juice blend in preventing the symptoms of muscle damage. British Journal of Sports Medicine. 2006;40:679-683. ↩