A Quick Guide to Tart Cherries: The Secret Weapon for Runners & Triathletes

Tart Cherry Juice Benefits for Athletes

It’s no secret by now. People who run professionally or for leisure or sport have likely heard about tart cherries. Maybe you’ve even seen evidence for the claim that tart cherry juice is an athlete’s secret weapon.

In this quick guide, the answers to the most commonly asked questions about tart cherry juice benefits for athletes will be examined as well as how much tart cherry juice to consume, and when to use it. 

Are cherries good for athletes?

Unequivocally, yes, cherries are highly beneficial for athletes. Research has confirmed the various ways that tart cherries act to relieve common runner ailments. The National Library of Medicine alone houses over 700 studies related to tart cherries.

A team of scientists from Northumbria University found that there is a direct relationship between tart cherry consumption and recovery in marathon runners. Tart cherry juice aids in recovery by increasing antioxidant capacity, which reduces inflammation.

What are the some tart cherry juice benefits for athletes?

There are several advantages to consuming tart cherry juice. Scientists continue to uncover the many benefits of tart cherries for a healthy heart and brain. For athletes, like runners and triathletes, here are four key benefits of tart cherries, both whole and juiced:

    How much tart cherry should an athlete drink?

    When reading studies, it might be daunting to determine the right amount of tart cherry juice to drink. For example, the numerous studies reviewed here had a wide range of tart cherry dosages, from 45-270 tart cherries/day and about 55-720mg/day of anthocyanins.

    To simplify this wide range, it’s essential to consider the most effective dosage reported. Studies that showed that a statistically significant benefit from tart cherries was reached with an 8-ounce (240-ml) serving of tart cherry juice. This amount is equivalent to at least 80 mg per day of anthocyanins.

    Of course, tart cherries can be eaten whole if a person also requires a source of fiber, but experts recommend cherry juice or mixing a concentrated tart cherry powder into a juice or smoothie to get their benefits quickly. Either way, the best tart cherry juice for athletes is the one that appeals to them the most.

    When should athletes drink tart cherry juice?

    For active athletes, studies show the ideal dosage is 8 - 12 ounces of tart cherry juice twice a day, four to five days before a sporting event. For recovery, the same dosage should be taken two to three days after the event. This should be continued for 2-3 days afterwards as well as an aid in recovery.

    For daily support and shorter workouts and runs, you can drink 8-12 ounces two hours before a daily workout to ensure a high level of tart cherry juice benefits for athletes. Studies show that tart cherries work best when the body has had a few days to absorb the many phytonutrients that reduce/eliminate inflammation and improve muscle recovery time.

    Why are cherries good for muscle recovery?

    The main reason tart cherries are great for muscle recovery is the sheer number of phytonutrients they contain compared to other superfruits. Their phytonutrients include anthocyanins, flavonoids, flavanols, polyphenols, and other natural compounds.

    This diversified profile of phytonutrients offers many pathways for exercise-related anti-inflammatory effects and antioxidants effects. When one pathway is saturated, the many other phytonutrients present in tart cherries can take on other pathways for relieving pain or acting as an antioxidant.

    Looking at the comparison chart of phytonutrients below, you can see that tart cherries have many more ways to produce antioxidant effects than other superfruits and antioxidant-rich berries.

    phytochemicals in tart cherry | NutriGardens

    Source: The Red Report

    What is the best tart cherry juice for athletes?

    What are the best varieties of cherries for runners? | NutriGardens

    Tart cherries are high in anthocyanins and give athletes and runners that competitive edge by increasing endurance performance and maximal oxygen consumption, which lowers exhaustive effects. So before you head out and grab the sweet varieties most common in the market (Rainier, Bing, etc.), you want to source the tart varieties. 

    What are the best ways to take tart cherries?

    Juice and powder forms are the best, but consuming fresh tart cherries is also acceptable. It should be noted that many cherries will need to be eaten to reach the same level of efficacy as an 8-ounce glass of the best tart cherry juice for athletes. A glass of tart cherry juice provides benefits more quickly. For convenience and predictability, a measured concentrated juice powder can be used to load up on tart cherry juice benefits for athletes.

    Bonus: Pre-recovery tart cherry + Beet Boost drink

    Many athletes enjoy Beet Boost with Tart Cherry. The best way to take it is to add 1 scoop of Beet Boost to a glass of orange or pineapple juice.

    Antioxidant-rich orange juice helps amplify your nitric oxide production, which is beneficial to athletes. Beet Boost can be consumed 2 hours before performance to gain the performance and recovery benefits.

    Beet Boost contains tart cherry extract to quickly and effectively tackle inflammation and muscle recovery while supercharging stamina with beetroot powder. In addition, beets give performance enhancement in the form of nitrate upsurge to increase nitric oxide production. Tart cherry powdered Beet Boost can be bought at our shop to ramp up an athlete’s performance, workouts, results, and recovery.

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