Cherry juice and recovery

After dosing up on beetroot juice before a race to improve endurance, it now seems that distance runners benefit from drinking cherry juice to aid recovery.

One study by the University of Vermont  claims:

There was a significant difference in the degree of muscle strength loss between those drinking the cherry juice blend and those taking the placebo juice. This fell by 22 percentage points in those drinking the placebo juice, but only by four percentage points in those drinking cherry juice. Muscle strength had slightly improved after 96 hours in those drinking cherry juice. The degree of soreness differed little between the two groups, but the average pain score was significantly less in those drinking cherry juice. Average pain scores came in at 3.2 for those drinking the placebo juice and 2.4 for those drinking cherry juice. Pain also peaked at 24 hours for those drinking cherry juice, but continued to increase for those on the placebo juice for the subsequent 48 hours.

University of Vermont. “Cherry Juice May Prevent Muscle Damage Pain.” (ScienceDaily23 June 2006. 18 April 2010 <http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/06/060623101220.htm&gt;).

Another more recent experiment conducted by the School of Psychology and Sports Sciences at the Northumbria University confirms the beneficial effects of cherry juice:

In the investigation, 20 marathon runners drank either a tart cherry blend juice or a placebo drink twice a day for five days before taking part in the London Marathon and for two days afterwards.

The findings indicated that the group who drank the cherry juice recovered their strength more rapidly than the control group over the 48-hour period following the marathon. Inflammation was also reduced in the cherry juice group, as was oxidative stress, a potentially damaging response that can be caused by strenuous physical activity, particularly long distance endurance exercise.

Northumbria University. “Marathon Runners Should Pick Cherries for Speedy Recovery.”ScienceDaily 3 April 2010. 18 April 2010 <http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100401131106.htm&gt;.

The scientifically minded can find the abstract to the original article here.

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