Tart cherry juice is extracted from Montmorency cherries, also known as sour cherries. Tart cherries are a rich source of antioxidants. Recent medical research has suggested that they offer a range of health benefits from exercise recovery to better sleep. Although additional research is needed, tart cherry juice appears to improve overall health by reducing inflammation in the body.
One cup of tart cherry juice contains:
- Calories: 159
- Protein: 0.8 gram
- Fat: 1.5 grams
- Carbohydrates: 36.9 grams
- Fiber: 0 grams
- Sugar: 32.8 grams
Tart cherry juice is a good source of:
Tart cherry juice is also an excellent source of potassium. Studies have shown that potassium may help keep blood pressure in a healthy range and reduce the risk of stroke.
Potential Health Benefits of Tart Cherry Juice
Tart cherry juice is a rich source of vitamins and minerals. However, the same thing that makes tart cherry juice so potent can also create complications for people with certain medical conditions.
Research has found a number of potential health benefits to drinking tart cherry juice:
Tart cherry juice contains anthocyanins, which are anti-inflammatory compounds that may help to combat some chronic diseases. In a randomized, placebo-controlled study, tart cherry juice significantly reduced inflammation biomarkers that are common in chronic diseases.
These anti-inflammatory properties may provide needed relief for people with arthritis. Studies show that tart cherries can help reduce the pain and stiffness associated with arthritis and other joint pain disorders.
Exercise Recovery and Performance
Several studies have shown tart cherry juice to aid significantly in exercise recovery and muscle pain after exercise. In a randomized, placebo-controlled study, college athletes experienced reduced muscle pain and strength loss after exertion when drinking tart cherry juice twice a day for eight days.
In addition to helping aid recovery, tart cherry juice can also improve athletic performance. Research shows that it may enhance endurance exercise performance due to its low glycemic index (causes small, slow increase in blood sugar levels), anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative capacity (disease fighting), as well as blood flow enhancing effects.
If you experience insomnia, tart cherry juice may help you get a better night’s rest. The research shows that tart cherry juice increases sleep time and sleep efficiency for people with insomnia. This may be because tart cherry juice increases the bioavailability of tryptophan and increases your body’s production of melatonin.
Tart cherry juice may help to improve the oxidative stress on the body from aging. Studies in older adults show that tart cherry juice improves antioxidant defenses and reduces oxidative damage. Another randomized, controlled trial showed that tart cherry juice may improve cognitive abilities in older adults due to its antioxidant properties.
Potential Risks of Tart Cherry Juice
Because tart cherry juice has such potent ingredients, you should consult with your doctor before taking it or any other supplement. Consider the following before drinking tart cherry juice:
Tart cherry juice contains sugar, and some brands may contain added sugars. If you have diabetes or another condition that affects blood sugar, you should speak to your healthcare provider before adding tart cherry juice to your diet. You can still reap the benefits of tart cherry through capsule supplements if drinking the juice is not recommended for you.
Tart cherry juice may interact with some medications. For example, medications used to control blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Speak to your healthcare provider if you are concerned about medication interactions with tart cherry juice.