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Dr. Gregory Pais, ND
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Home arrow Blog arrow CHERRY JUICE HELPS EXERCISE PAIN
CHERRY JUICE HELPS EXERCISE PAIN
Kuehl KS, Chestnutt J, Elliot DL, Lilley C. Efficacy of tart cherry juice in reducing muscle pain after strenuous exercise. American College of Sports Medicine. 851. May, 2009.

If you drink cherry juice after you run, you could help ease the pain afterwards. This according to new research from Oregon Health & Science University presented at the American College of Sports Medicine Conference in Seattle, Wash. The study showed people who drank tart cherry juice while training for a long distance run reported significantly less pain after exercise than those who didn't. Post-exercise pain is often a symptom of muscle damage or a possible injury.

In the study of sixty healthy adults aged 18-50 years, those who drank 10.5 ounces cherry juice, twice a day for seven days prior to and on the day of a long-distance run, had significantly less muscle pain following 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 clinically significant lower self-reported pain level at the completion of the race. Researchers say this indicates 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, M.D., a sports medicine physician 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."

Cherry juice has long been known to alleviate arthritic symptoms. This natural anti-inflammatory effect is due, at least in part, to antioxidant compounds called anthocyanins. These and other antioxidant substances correlate with many vegetable/fruit which have bright, deep pigments.

It doesn’t matter whether you are a dedicated athlete or someone who works out on their day off. Cherry juice could have far-reaching benefits for the millions of active Americans currently taking over-the-counter pain medications to reduce muscle pain. Growing research suggests cherries could affect inflammation related to heart disease, arthritis and may even help maintain muscle strength for those suffering from according to a second study presented by the same researchers at the ACSM conference.

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