A recent study published in the European Journal of Sport Science finds that consumption of Montmorency tart cherry juice may boost muscle recovery and reduce symptoms of exercise-induced muscle damage (EIMD). EIMD symptoms include muscle loss, stiffness, reduced flexibility, and muscle soreness.
Montmorency tart cherry juice is particularly interesting because of its high antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, which are thought to speed up muscle recovery.
This blinded randomized trial looked at 20 physically active young girls (average age of 19 years) who consumed either a cherry juice drink (one ounce of cherry juice concentrate diluted with 3 ½ ounces water) or a placebo twice a day for eight days. After four days of consuming the drink, participants performed a repeated-sprint protocol involving a series of maximal sprints.
Three days following the repeated-sprint protocol, the researchers collected measures of muscle soreness, pain pressure threshold (PPT), limb girth, flexibility, muscle function, and systemic symptoms of inflammation and damage. Results showed that cherry juice drinkers experienced less muscle soreness and better pain tolerance in comparison to the placebo group. The cherry juice group also displayed faster recovery of countermovement jumps, which is a measure of muscle recovery.
These findings suggest that supplementing your workout diet with just a half cup of Montmorency tart cherry juice twice a day may help improve muscle function recovery, and reduce muscle damage-related symptoms in physically active females.
Cherry juice is just one of the many 100% fruit juices that can benefit your health. To learn more about the nutritional value of your favorite juices, check out our Juice Varieties page. For more information on the important nutrients found in your glass, visit our Vitamins & Minerals page.