Cherry juice could be the new sports drink

May 29th, 2009 - 12:14 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, May 29 (ANI): Natural anti-inflammatory power of tart cherries may help ease the pain for people who run, says a new study.

The research from Oregon Health & Science University, which has been presented at the American College of Sports Medicine Conference in Seattle, Wash, showed people who drank tart cherry juice while training for a long distance run reported significantly less pain after exercise than those who didn’t.

In the study of sixty healthy adults aged 18-50 years, those who drank 10.5 ounces cherry juice twice a day for seven days prior to and on the day of a long-distance relay had significantly less muscle pain following the race than those who drank another fruit juice beverage. On a scale from 0 to 10, the runners who drank cherry juice as their “sports drink” had a 2 point lower self-reported pain level at the completion of the race, a clinically significant difference.

While more research is needed to fully understand the effects of tart cherry juice, researchers say the early finding indicate cherries may work like common medications used by runners to alleviate post-exercise inflammation.

“For most runners, post-race treatment consists of RICE (rest, ice, compression and elevation) and traditional NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs),” said Kerry Kuehl, M.D., a sports medicine physician and principal study investigator.

“But NSAIDS can have adverse effects - negative effects you may be able to avoid by using a natural, whole food alternative, like cherry juice, to reduce muscle inflammation before exercise,” the researcher added.

The researchers suggest cherries’ post-exercise benefits are likely because of the fruit’s natural anti-inflammation power - attributed to antioxidant compounds called anthocyanins, which also give cherries their bright red color. (ANI)

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