Discover These 3 Health Benefits of Cherry Juice
When I lived in Philadelphia, I used to workout at the Bally’s Total Fitness near City Hall. They would send weekly emails that usually had good fitness and nutrition tips, and one that stood out to me said that drinking cherry juice was good for reducing muscle soreness. At the time, I was part of a recreational flag football league, and I mentioned this to my teammates. A few days later, I had one of my teammates come up and told me he’s tried everything to reduce soreness, and cherry juice was literally the first time his soreness was actually reduced.
Besides just helping to reduce muscle soreness, there are a couple more benefits that you can get out of drinking cherry juice, such as reducing inflammation and improving cognitive function.
Decreased Muscle Soreness
When I read that email from my gym, I have to admit that I was really skeptical. When my flag football teammate told me how much it helped him, I started to believe in it a bit more, but I still needed to do more research, and here are a couple interesting things that I learned.
Working out, especially if you’re doing something that is high-intensity, such as HIIT or Crossfit, there’s a good chance that your muscles are going to be damaged and in need of repair when you’re done. In a 2011 study, researchers found that drinking cherry juice before and after exercise has been shown to reduce muscle damage and inflammation.
In a study from Oregon Health & Science University, researchers found that drinking cherry juice before and after exercise reduced muscle soreness and improved muscle recovery. The inspiration for the study was that runners often rely on NSAIDs and other anti-inflammatory drugs for sore muscles, which can be harmful to the stomach when used excessively, so they looked to cherry juice as an effective alternative.
After a challenging workout, your body needs time to recover and repair muscles. In a study published in the British Journal of Sports medicine, researchers found that drinking cherry juice may improve muscle recovery after exercise by reducing muscle damage and inflammation. This doesn’t mean that you’re not going to be ready to blast another workout right away, but it may help to shorten the amount of time you would need, otherwise.
Improved Cognitive Function
While in graduate school, I had to read mountains of research papers and be able to apply those that supported my arguments in my assignments, which meant that I needed my brain to be able to function optimally to put out a great work product and get an A. Because of my grad school experience, I have since become pretty obsessed with things about improving cognitive function. When I first heard about health benefits from drinking cherry juice, I wasn’t expecting that it could also improve cognitive function, but, to my delight, it does!
Do you frequently forget where you left your keys? How about more work-related information that you used to be able to spit out on a dime? While slipping memory is just a part of getting older, allowing it to get out of hand can be detrimental. In a 2015 study about drinking cherry juice, researchers believed that there were possible improvements to memory as a result.
Your brain needs to be supplied with blood to function at its highest levels. One of the reasons why hypertension is believed to negatively affect cognitive function may be due to reductions in blood flow. In a 2018 study from the University of Exeter in England, researchers believe that cherry juice contains compounds, which may increase blood flow and possibly improve cognitive function.
Stress is part of life, but being able to live your best life means that you must be able to maintain control of your stress. When stress is high for an extended time, it can contribute to cognitive decline. Cherry juice has been shown to reduce stress and improve cognitive function in response to stress. In fact, Vauzour et al. (2010), researchers believed that flavonoids in cherry juice may reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease (note that this still needs more research to be fully confirmed).
Inflammation is one of the first warning signs that there is something going wrong inside your body. When a person doesn’t take action to reduce chronic inflammation, this is where health problems, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes could result.
C-reactive protein is one of the marker’s used to detect inflammation in the body. Researchers believe that drinking cherry juice may have an effect in reducing levels of C-reactive protein. If you could reduce these levels, you may be able to reduce harmful inflammation.
Oxidative stress may lead to inflammation and cell damage. Research has found that some of the antioxidants contained in cherry juice may help reduce oxidative stress in the body.
When inflammation exists in the brain, this may impair your brain’s functionality. Inflammation in the brain has been linked to a range of neurological conditions, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Research has found that cherry juice may help reduce inflammation in the brain and improve brain function. However, it is important for me to inform you that this doesn’t mean it will completely prevent the aforementioned neurological conditions.
If you have never drank cherry juice, I should warn you that it can be pretty tart; personally, I enjoy the flavor of cherry juice, even with the tartness. Nevertheless, the health benefits of drinking a glass of cherry juice can have a number of health benefits, largely because it’s rich in antioxidants. You can also get all of the same health benefits from eating whole cherries, so you should not feel that juice is the only way to go.