Drinking tart cherry juice could help joggers and gym-goers reduce muscle damage and recover faster from a tough workout, according to new findings.
Researchers at the Sports and Exercise Science Research Centre at London South Bank University, gave 10 trained athletes an ounce of an antioxidant-packed tart cherry juice concentrate twice a day for seven days before 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.
After drinking cherry juice, athletes returned to 90 per cent of normal muscle force in 24 hours, compared to only 85 per cent of normal at the same time point without cherry juice – a significant difference that could affect an athlete’s next performance.
Researchers suggest that it is the powerful antioxidant compounds in cherry juice that decreased the muscle damage that normally occurs when muscles are worked to their maximum, allowing the muscles to recover more quickly.
They attribute the benefits to anti-inflammatory, antioxidant compounds in the red fruit called anthocyanins, which are also responsible for the fruit’s bright red colour.
In addition to recovery benefits, research also suggests cherries could affect inflammation related to heart disease and arthritis.
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