Cherry juice hottest new sports drink

May 29th, 2009 - 3:35 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, May 29 (IANS) Cherry juice is the hottest new sports drink that helps ease the pain for runners, a new study says.
The study showed that people who drank tart cherry juice while training for a long distance run reported significantly less pain after exercise than those who didn’t.

Sixty healthy adults aged 18-50 years, who drank 10.5 ounces cherry juice twice daily for seven days prior to and on the day of a long-distance relay, had significantly less muscle pain after 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 two 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, 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, sports medicine physician at Oregon Health and Science University 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,” he said.

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 colour, said an Oregon release.

Whether elite athletes or weekend warriors, this natural anti-inflammation power of cherry juice could have far-reaching benefits for the millions currently taking over-the-counter medication to reduce muscle pain.

A growing body of research suggests cherries could reduce inflammation related to heart disease, arthritis and may even help maintain muscle strength for those suffering from fibromyalgia (a common, chronic widespread pain disorder).

These findings were presented at the American College of Sports Medicine Conference in Seattle.

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