Study shows impact of Montmorency tart cherries on inflammation and oxidative stress after high-intensity cycling

Cyclists who drank Montmorency tart cherry juice concentrate before a three-day simulated race experienced less inflammation and oxidative stress compared to those who drank another beverage, according to a recent UK study published in the journal Nutrients. Credit: Cherry Marketing Insitute

Cyclists who drank Montmorency tart cherry juice concentrate before a three-day simulated race experienced less inflammation and oxidative stress compared to those who drank another beverage, according to a recent U.K. study published in the journal Nutrients.

A research team led by Dr. Glyn Howatson with PhD student Phillip Bell at Northumbria University gave 16 well-trained, male cyclists about 1 ounce (30 ml) of Montmorency juice concentrate mixed with water (equivalent to 90 whole Montmorency tart cherries per serving), or a calorie-matched placebo, twice a day for seven days. On days five, six and seven, the participants performed prolonged, high-intensity cycling intervals – exercise that was designed to replicate the demands of a three-day race.

The researchers collected blood samples and found that markers of inflammation and oxidative stress were significantly lower in the cyclists who consumed the tart cherry juice concentrate compared to those who did not. At one point during the trial, oxidative stress was nearly 30 percent lower in the tart cherry group compared to the other group.

Strenuous exercise can cause temporary inflammation and oxidative that can lead to muscle damage, muscle soreness and reduced capacity to recover quickly, explains research lead Glyn Howatson, Ph.D., laboratory director at the Department of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation at Northumbria University. He attributes the recovery benefits shown in the study to the natural compounds in Montmorency tart cherries. One of the natural compounds found in Montmorency tart cherries is anthocyanins.

"Previous studies have looked at tart cherries and the effect on recovery following weight lifting exercise and marathon running, but until now there hasn't been information on recovery following from cycling," said Howatson. "We found that those cyclists that consumed Montmorency tart cherry juice had statistically significant lower indices of inflammation and metabolic , which is the first time it has been demonstrated following this type of ."

Tart cherries are available year-round in dried, frozen and juice forms —including juice concentrate, which was the form used in this new study. Montmorency tart concentrate can be mixed with water or consumed as a "shot." It can also be used to make smoothies, mixed with frozen tart cherries or other fruits.

More information: Bell PG, Walshe IH, Davison GW, Stevenson E, Howatson G. Montmorency cherries reduce the oxidative stress and inflammatory responses to repeated days high-intensity stochastic cycling. Nutrients. 2014; 6: 829-843. www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/6/2/829

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Tart cherry juice increases sleep time in adults with insomnia

Apr 28, 2014

A morning and evening ritual of tart cherry juice may help you sleep better at night, suggests a new study presented today at the Experimental Biology 2014 meeting. Researchers from Louisiana State University found that drinking ...

Tart cherry juice drinkers gain sleep advantage

Dec 08, 2011

Americans seeking a better night's sleep may need to look no further than tart cherry juice, according to a new study in the European Journal of Nutrition.1 An international team of researchers found that when adults had t ...

Recommended for you

Report highlights progress, challenges in health IT

9 hours ago

(HealthDay)—Progress has been made toward widespread adoption of electronic health records (EHRs), although there are still barriers to adoption of advanced use of EHRs, according to a report published ...

Training your brain to prefer healthy foods

9 hours ago

It may be possible to train the brain to prefer healthy low-calorie foods over unhealthy higher-calorie foods, according to new research by scientists at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center ...

Outdoor enthusiasts need a lightning plan

9 hours ago

(HealthDay)—Those partaking in outdoor sports and activities need to be aware of the threat posed by lightning and take appropriate safety measures, experts say.

User comments