I’m in the midst of some really intense training. A common problem I have to deal with is muscle soreness and inflammation. Recovery days for me include massages, ice, rest, and lots of proper nutrition to battle the fatigue, soreness, and swelling that happens from intense training. Recently, I gave Tart Cherry Juice (Montmorency) a try. I love cherries so drinking some juice was easy to get down. I’ve heard that the right cherry juice is a powerful way to deal with muscle soreness and inflammation. This blog is my honest evaluation of how good this stuff works.
Let me begin by saying I am naturally a little sceptical about anything working really well to help with recovery and performance. We all know there are a lot of products out there that claim to be major differance makers for your training and health. I am not being paid or sponsored by anyone to represent their products. Therefore, I will occassionally try different things like CBD products, topical cremes, recovery drinks, and supplements. I prefer to use natural products so when I heard about the growing popularity of tart cherry juice for recovery, it peaked my interest.
Tart cherry juice was easy to find at my local grocery store in the fruit and vegetable section. It is a little bit expensive. Twelve dollars for a bottle of concentrate that will yield me about 16 servings. Yet, if you compare that with a lot of other products, it really is a good deal. Would it noticibly work though? I ran a series of very intense speed workouts in the past two weeks followed by more mileage that left my legs very tired and sore. I drank some tart cherry juice following each of these intense days and could immediately feel the results in my legs during the day.
A part of me wanted to deny the results and just conclude that my legs were recovering faster because I have adjusted to training. Yet, I have honestly never had my legs feel this good after a really hard training day. In fact, my legs felt noticably better after just a couple hours of drinking the juice. This past Monday I drank some tart cherry juice before and after an intense workout. I ran 12 miles followed by 20X400 meter intervals with a 6 mile run at the end. My legs were trashed by the workout. Yet, my legs felt great enough the next day to put in 15 recovery miles at an easy pace with no problem.
It’s working and I can tell a difference! Honestly, I am pretty excited because tart cherry juice is easy to get, affordable, and all natural. The other benefits of this juice include helping some people sleep better and it helps to boost the immune system. I will say that tart cherry juice is hard on some people’s stomachs. You will probably want to monitor how much you drink and in what concentration. I put one ounce of tart cherry juice into a cup of about 8 to 10 ounces of water.
I have also read that you have to be careful about what you buy. Cherry juice drink is not tart cherry juice and not all tart cherry juices are the same either. You want the montmorency cherries which are high in the antioxidants and nutrients. If you have muscle soreness, inflammation, trouble sleeping, or want to boost your immune system, please give tart cherry juice a try. It won’t cure everything or take your pain away completely but it has made my body feel noticably better. Most of the products I have tried might minimally make me feel better. For me, this beats trying to use Aspirin or Tylenol after really hard workouts. I have had stomach ulcurs before from taking too many pain killers like Aleve (which is naproxen).
Don’t rely on just one method or product for recovery. I find that nutrition is key to the body healing so you’ll want to eat to restore energy, replace lost nutrients, boost the immune system, support the brain, and to repair the muscles. Outwardly, you can ice, heat, and massage your muscles and use topical cremes like CBD. Lastly, make sure to include recovery days where you rest. I believe tart cherry juice can be one part of an effective recovery plan.