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Is cherry juice the new sports drink?

June 1, 2009  ByMarg Land


cherrieshrJune 1, 2009, Seattle, Wash. – Drinking cherry juice could help ease
the pain for people who run, according to new research from Oregon
Health & Science University.

June 1, 2009, Seattle, Wash. – Drinking cherry juice could help ease the pain for people who run, according to new research from Oregon Health & Science University.

cherrieshr 
  

The study, presented recently at the American College of Sports Medicine Conference in Seattle, Wash., showed people who drank tart cherry juice while training for a long distance run reported significantly less pain after exercise than those who didn’t. Post-exercise pain can often indicate muscle damage or debilitating injuries.

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In the study of 60 healthy adults aged 18 to 50 years, those who drank 10.5 ounces cherry juice (CHERRish 100 per cent Montmorency 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. On a scale from 0 to 10, the runners who drank cherry juice as their “sports drink” had a two point lower self-reported pain level at the completion of the race, a clinically significant difference.

While more research is needed to fully understand the effects of tart cherry juice, researchers say the early finding indicate cherries may work like common medications used by runners to alleviate post-exercise inflammation.

“For most runners, post-race treatment consists of RICE (rest, ice, compression and elevation) and traditional NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs),” said Dr. Kerry Kuehl, a sports medicine physician and principal study investigator. “But NSAIDS can have adverse effects – negative effects you may be able to avoid by using a natural, whole food alternative, like cherry juice, to reduce muscle inflammation before exercise.”

The researchers suggest cherries’ post-exercise benefits are likely because of the fruit’s natural anti-inflammation power – attributed to antioxidant compounds called anthocyanins, which also give cherries their bright red colour.


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