Tart cherry supplements may reduce muscle soreness and speed recovery post-workout

By Stephen Daniells contact

- Last updated on GMT

It reportedly takes over 100 pounds of fresh Montmorency tart cherries to produce a single kilogram of CherryPURE Montmorency Tart Cherry Powder, which is derived from cherry skins obtained after juicing. Image: © iStockPhoto / dkgilbey
It reportedly takes over 100 pounds of fresh Montmorency tart cherries to produce a single kilogram of CherryPURE Montmorency Tart Cherry Powder, which is derived from cherry skins obtained after juicing. Image: © iStockPhoto / dkgilbey
Short-term supplementation with Montmorency Tart Cherry powder may speed recovery from muscle soreness, slow strength decline during recovery, says a new study.

Scientists from Texas A&M University report that 480 mg daily doses of freeze dried Montmorency tart cherry skin powder for ten days also decreased markers of muscle catabolism in resistance trained individuals.

“The current study demonstrated that consumption of a Montmorency powdered tart cherry supplement seven days before, the day of, and two days after completing a single bout of high volume, high-intensity resistance exercise, appears to be an effective dietary supplement in reducing muscle soreness across the most biomechanically loaded region of the quadriceps near the distal patellar attachment and markers of muscle catabolism in resistance trained individuals,” ​they wrote in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition​.

The researchers used the commercially available CherryPURE Freeze Dried Tart Cherry Powder by Shoreline Fruit, LLC (Traverse City, MI) for the supplements. 

This study was funded by Shoreline Fruit and Anderson Global Group, LLC (Irvine, CA).

Study details

Led by Dr Richard Kreider from the Department of Health and Kinesiology, Exercise and Sport Nutrition Laboratory, the researchers recruited 23 healthy, resistance-trained men with an average age of 21 to participate in their double-blind, placebo-controlled tests. The men were randomly assigned to either the CherryPURE group or placebo for ten days. On the eighth day, the men performed ten sets of ten back squat repetitions.

Men in the tart cherry supplement group reported a significant decrease in post-workout muscle soreness compared to the placebo group, said the researchers.

Blood tests also revealed that the tart cherry powder supplementation was associated with significant attenuation in post-workout markers of protein catabolism, indicating muscle recovery benefits following exercise.

On the other hand, no significant effects on markers of inflammation, while markers of free radical production, lipid peroxidation, or antioxidant capacity were not significant changed.

“Due to the inconclusive oxidative damage and inflammatory evidence, mechanisms of short-term powdered tart cherry and other related phytochemical-containing nutritional supplements surrounding bouts of high intensity, anaerobic and resistance exercise need to be further investigated,”​ said the researchers. “Additional examination of powdered tart cherry supplementation with other forms of exercise that are known to promote a more pronounced effect on inflammation and oxidative stress (e.g. endurance exercise) is also needed.

“However, the initial effectiveness in reducing perceptions of muscle soreness and markers of muscle catabolism in resistance-trained men demonstrates that powdered tart cherry supplementation provides similar benefits as previously studied tart cherry juices or concentrates following acute bouts of lower body strength-based exercise,”​ they concluded.

Source: Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition
2015, 12​:41, doi:10.1186/s12970-015-0102-y
“Effects of powdered Montmorency tart cherry supplementation on an acute bout of intense lower body strength exercise in resistance trained males”
Authors: K. Levers, et al. 

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