Tart Cherry Juice May Lower Oxidative Stress After Exercise
Previous studies have found that heavy and sustained exercise generates large quantities of free radicals and leaves the person performing the exercise susceptible to oxidative stress. A recent study suggests that drinking Montmorency tart cherry concentrate daily may lower oxidative stress and markers of inflammation after exercise.
Participants in the study included 16 trained cyclists who were given either two 30 mL doses of cherry concentrate or a placebo every day for seven days. All of the participants completed a 109 minute simulated high-intensity road cycling trial on days 5, 6, and 7.
At the conclusion of the study, the cherry group had 30% lower LOOH, a marker of oxidative stress. They also had lower levers of high sensitivity C-reactive protein (a marker of inflammation) and interleukin-6 (a marker of oxidative stress) than the placebo group.
High levels of oxidative stress and inflammation over time increase the risk of heart disease, cancer and possibly premature death.
Researchers from Northumbria University in England, the University of Stirling in Scotland, and the University of Ulster in Northern Ireland conducted the study. It was published on February 21, 2014, in the journal Nutrients.
This is not the first study to look at the impressive health benefits of this “super fruit”. Previous studies have shown that tart cherries may be associated with reducing pain from rheumatoid arthritis and reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, gout, and diabetes.
Be sure the tart cherry extract you consume is tested for potency. This is especially important if you’re drinking tart cherry juice, as some juices may be watered down.