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The Surprising Truth About Tart Cherry Juice Benefits

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A glass of Montmorency tart cherry juice

A glass of Montmorency tart cherry juice

What Is Tart Cherry Juice?

Tart cherry juice is made from Montmorency cherries, also known as sour cherries. As a dietary supplement, tart cherry juice is created as a concentrate and also packaged as a freeze-dried powder in capsules. Drinking the juice itself is said to be very beneficial to health because it provides an excellent source of anthocyanins and flavonoids. But can drinking tart cherry juice actually promote better sleep, reduce inflammation, and aid athletes in muscle recovery?

Tart Cherry Juice Benefits

Let's examine some of the health benefits of tart cherry juice, and look at the real science behind some of those claims, as well as some of the potential side effects:

1. Deeper and Longer Sleep

There have been claims that cherry juice can help people with insomnia sleep better, but there is no scientific proof to back up these claims. The Sleep Foundation notes, however, that drinking tart cherry juice does contribute to a deeper and longer sleep, thanks to its tryptophan and melatonin content.

Melatonin is a hormone that is naturally released by the body at specific times of the day, which aids in the body's transition to sleep. Increasing your melatonin intake will probably help you fall asleep more quickly and get better-quality sleep.

Tryptophan is necessary for a restful night's sleep because it aids in the body's production of melatonin. Each day, people require about 250 to 425 milligrams (10) of tryptophan for normal function, and Montmorency sour cherries contain about 9 milligrams per 100 g.

In sleep research on tryptophan supplements, experts suggest that people take tryptophan before bed, so drinking tart cherry juice in the evening may likewise be most effective for getting a deeper and longer sleep.

2. Anti-Inflammatory

Anthocyanins, which are anti-inflammatory substances found in tart cherry juice, may aid in the treatment of some chronic diseases. One study found that tart cherry juice significantly decreased inflammation biomarkers, which are typical of chronic diseases.

In certain diseases, the blood's increased need for antioxidants may be brought on by an elevation in uric acid levels. In a 2011 study, participants who drank 8 ounces of 100% tart cherry juice daily for four weeks saw a significant decrease in their serum uric acid levels.

Tart cherry juice as well as cherry juice supplements can help people reduce their uric acid levels. For this reason, drinking tart cherry juice is beneficial for people experiencing gout.

3. Muscle Recovery

According to some studies, drinking Montmorency cherry juice after strenuous exercise may help muscles recover. Because of this, tart cherry juice might be a good candidate to include in the diets of athletes or bodybuilders.

A review of the literature published in 2019 found that tart cherry juice may not be ideal for use during the adaptation/build stage of training, but it might be helpful for training athletes in peak physical condition who want to speed up their recovery from inflammation and oxidative stress brought on by rigorous daily training or competition.

However, a thorough analysis revealed that cherry juice had a negligible impact on soreness in the muscles.

4. Weight Loss

There is some research to support the claim that tart cherry juice can benefit your health by lowering cholesterol and reducing fat. While tart cherry juice isn't a weight-loss cure, it will likely be beneficial to supplement your weight-loss efforts.

Anthocyanins, the class of flavonoid that gives Montmorency cherries their red color, have been shown in one study to prevent the growth of obesity. Another study discovered that tart cherries can help lower the risk of metabolic syndrome by reducing inflammation and abdominal fat.

Therefore, researchers contend that consuming more foods high in anthocyanins can help adults maintain their weight and prevent obesity and its negative effects. Preventing low weight gain can also significantly improve community health overall and reduce the risk of CVDs, diabetes, high blood pressure, and a variety of cancers.

5. Bladder Infections

Sadly, there is little solid proof that tart cherry juice or any other cherry-related product can treat a bladder infection.

Some people may even experience symptoms of an irritable bladder when they consume tart cherry juice too frequently. Acidic urine may irritate the bladder lining may irritate it if the urine's acidity is high enough, the person has a sensitive bladder, or they are predisposed to bladder inflammation.

You might want to think about using cranberry juice instead if you have a urinary tract infection (UTI). Cranberry juice, extracts or supplements, are usually thought of as being more beneficial in the treatment of UTIs.

The reason for this is that cranberries contain unique compounds called A-type proanthocyanidins (PACs), which can stop bacteria from adhering to the bladder wall. But diluting the juice with lots of water is the real key to its success.

Glasses of Montmorency cherry juice

Glasses of Montmorency cherry juice

How to Drink Tart Cherry Juice

According to published studies and numerous clinical trials, you should consume daily the equivalent of 8 ounces of tart cherry juice. Enjoying Montmorency cherry juice that is 100% all-natural and has no added sugars will help you fulfill this requirement.

Some people may benefit from drinking more or less juice daily, depending on their circumstances, and their doctor's recommendation.

One study found that after six weeks of daily consumption of two 8-ounce (240 ml) bottles of tart cherry juice, arthritis patients had a slight reduction in pain and stiffness.

Drinking tart cherry juice may be most effective in the evening to aid in promoting deeper and longer sleep. After a meal of foods that promote sleep, sipping a glass of tart cherry juice may have added advantages.

Tart cherry juice may be consumed alone, or diluted with water to make it taste better. Try making a tart cherry juice spritzer with juice, club soda, and lime, and serve it on ice for a refreshing beverage that can be enjoyed anytime.

Tart Cherry Juice vs. Capsules

Surprisingly, research doesn't show that one is better than the other, so choosing tart cherry juice or capsules is a matter of preference (and taste). The vast majority of tart cherry studies use the juice and present encouraging findings.

Those who use powdered capsules, however, produce strikingly similar results.

Tart cherry skins are converted into powdered capsules, which offer advantages compared to those of drinking tart cherry juice. You can purchase tart cherry extract as a supplement in pill form if the tart flavor of cherry juice is not to your taste.

Warnings and Side Effects

In order to avoid accidentally adding too much sugar to your diet, it is best to choose tart cherry juice without added sugar, especially if you are thinking about using it as a sleep aid. And you should definitely avoid drinking tart cherry juice if you have diabetes or another condition that affects blood sugar.

If you are taking high blood pressure medication, it is actually okay to drink tart cherry juice. In fact, it could be beneficial to do so. One study found that drinking 2 ounces of tart cherry juice concentrate significantly lowered systolic blood pressure within 2 hours in both men and women with moderately elevated blood pressure.

In all cases, it's wise to speak to your healthcare provider before adding tart cherry juice to your diet.

Sources and Further Reading

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2022 Louise Fiolek