Tart cherry juice after a marathon might help whisk away some of your aches and pain, new research finds. Since endurance sports can produce damage and inflammation to the muscles, scientists have been trying to determine if antioxidants might reduce this stress. One study had marathon runners drink tart cherry juice (naturally high in antioxidants) before and for two days after the event to see if it would help. The results are in favor of reaching for a glass of cherry.
Some of the research has shown that a diet (not supplements) high in antioxidants may help reduce oxidative stress and increase muscle recovery. However, most of the studies using endurance athletes are small, using only 20 or so people, as is the case with this study. That doesn’t mean that the results are inaccurate, but more research needs to be conducted to come up with a conclusive recommendation.
Regardless, we all should have a diet high in antioxidants to help fight oxidative stress, especially athletes. Cherries are a great source of antioxidants, and research shows tart cherry juice may help you sleep better! While this research looks at cherries for endurance athletes, a previous study found benefit in resistance athletes who ate ginger daily.
Have a variety of these foods high in antioxidants:
- Vitamin C: Citrus fruits, Kiwi, Strawberries, Bell Pepper, Brussels Sprouts, Tomatoes, CHERRIES!
- Vitamin E: Wheat germ oil, Almonds, Peanuts, Vegetable Oils
- Alpha-Lipoic Acid (You don’t need this from the diet, our body can make it.): Red meat, Liver, Brewer’s Yeast
- Carotenoids: Carrots, Tomatoes, Watermelon, Pumpkin, Kale
- Flavonoids: Berries, Grapes, Red Wine, Chocolate, Tea, Hot Peppers, CHERRIES!
- CoQ 10: Beef, Chicken, Pistachios, Broccoli, Oranges
Here’s to health with a cherry on top!