Recent studies suggest cherries may have powerful pain relief benefits for active adults, from elite athletes to weekend warriors.
Research from Oregon Health & Science University revealed that runners who drank cherry juice twice a day for seven days prior to and on the day of a long-distance relay had significantly less muscle pain following the race than those who drank another fruit juice beverage. Researchers believe cherries’ post-exercise benefits are likely because of the fruit’s natural anti-inflammation properties – attributed to antioxidant compounds called anthocyanins, which also give cherries their bright red color.
Cherries’ post-exercise benefits are good news for the increasing number of active adults who feel the aches and pain of post-exercise muscle soreness. The average age of today’s endurance athlete is 40-years-old (marathonguide.com). According to health and fitness experts, diet is a key part of training to manage pain.
“Most people only think about how to manage post-workout pain, not realizing that pain management and the ability to maximize muscle recovery starts before you even put on your shoes,” said Leslie Bonci, sports dietitian and Director of Sports Nutrition at the University of Pittsburgh. “I recommend tart cherry juice to my athletes because it is a natural, anti-inflammatory option that provides additional nutrition value such as antioxidants and carbohydrates. Cherry juice is also extremely convenient to incorporate into a routine because it is available all year round and easy to take on the road.”
Bonci also authored the Red Recovery Routine, which provides simple and healthy ways to not only enhance your overall training diet, but to incorporate tart cherries into your day for increased pain relief and performance.