The Proven Benefits of Tart Cherry for Endurance Athletes that You Never Imagined

Your new pre- and post-workout regimen just got a little more tang. According to new research, tart cherry may help boost performance during a workout while also improving recovery time after exercise or injury. 

Endurance building and recovery boosting

Researchers conducted a meta-analysis of 10 previous studies looking at the many health benefits of cherry juice toward exercise. All studies involved a healthy adult population, using a placebo to provide a comparison for any experimental supplementation, whether it be juice, powder, or capsules.

After comparing the data from all 10 studies, the researchers were able to draw the conclusion that there was a significant improvement in endurance when tart cherries were consumed before exercise, in addition to assisting with recovery from injured athletes. The types of exercise studied varied from swimming, cycling, and running.

So, when should you drink it?

According to the analysis, researchers say that the tart cherry concentrate consumed in either juice or powder form was maximized by taking it anywhere from just 90 minutes to seven days before exercise. 

"The recovery benefits of tart cherry concentrate are well researched, yet evidence on performance enhancement is scarce and results have been mixed," says author Philip Chilibeck, Ph.D. "The results of this meta-analysis found that tart cherries did help improve performance, and we gained greater insight into the potential mechanism responsible for this benefit."

Researchers hope to conduct further studies to get a closer look at how much tart cherry juice maximizes health benefits for athletes and recreational exercisers alike.

There are plenty of ways to maximize your recovery, so whether you try tart cherry juice or not, just remember the many health benefits of exercise are really the cherry on top.

Written by Runners Essentials

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