Gym-goers and joggers have been advised to drink cherry juice after a study found that it helps reduce muscle damage caused by exercise.
Researchers gave 10 trained athletes one ounce of an antioxidant-packed cherry juice concentrate twice daily for seven days before and after an intense round of strength training.
The athletes’ recovery after the cherry juice concentrate was significantly faster compared to when they drank other juices without the same nutrient content of cherry juice.
After drinking cherry juice, athletes returned to 90 per cent of normal muscle force in 24 hours, compared to only 85 per cent of normal at the same time point without cherry juice.
This significant difference could affect an athlete’s next performance.
Researchers at Sports and Exercise Science Research Centre at London South Bank University believe that the powerful antioxidant compounds in cherry juice cut damage to athletes’ muscles – the damage that normally occurs when muscles are worked to their maximum – allowing muscles to recover more quickly.
The research is the latest linking cherries to muscle recovery.
Dr Wendy Bazilian, a registered dietitian and expert on super nutrients, said: “Cherries are what I call the ultimate superfood.
“Not only are they a perfect complement to a training routine since they are available year-round in dried, frozen and juice forms, but they taste great.”
Dr Bazilian says some of her favourite ways to include cherries in the diet range from topping dried cherries in oatmeal to enjoying a smoothie of cherry juice and low-fat yogurt.
In addition to the benefits of recovery after exercise, researchers also suggest cherries could reduce inflammation which is linked to heart disease and arthritis.
The research was published in the American College of Sports Medicine’s journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.
Telegraph Media Group Limited