Sour cherry juice has been sold as a potent antioxidant for years.
are especially potent, as they contain high levels of flavonoids and anthocyanins, which have scientifically proven anti-inflammatory effects and act as potent antioxidants. Controlling oxidative stress during exercise has been a growing area of research, as it has been shown that it can decrease muscle and work performance.
In a recent volume of Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, scientists from the UK hypothesized that consumption of
Montmorency cherry juice
would decrease oxidative muscle damage and maintain muscle function after intensive single leg knee extensions. Subjects were well-trained men, who were randomly assigned Montmorency cherry juice or an isoenergetic placebo and consumed the supplements twice daily for 7 days before and 48 hours after exercise. The participants completed 2 trials of muscle damaging knee extension exercise, separated by two weeks, with alternate legs used in each trial. Immediately and 24 and 48 hours after muscle damaging exercise, knee extension maximum voluntary contractions (MVC) were completed. Blood samples were collected throughout the exercise and test period and analyzed for makers of muscle damage and antioxidant status.
The researchers observed that subjects who received cherry juice had greater MVC force at all time points after muscle damaging exercise. The functional findings were supported by lower levels of protein carbonyls (which cause oxidative muscle damage) in those who drank cherry juice versus those who received the placebo. Overall it seems that Montmorency cherry juice supplements improve the recovery of muscle strength after intense strength training as a result of decreased muscle oxidative damage.
Bowtell JL, Sumners DP, Dyer A, Fox P, Mileva KN. Montmorency cherry juice reduces muscle damage caused by intensive strength exercise. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2011 Aug;43(8):1544-51.