Tart Cherry Juice Benefits – The Next Health Antioxidant?

I’m a firm believer in a simple post-workout protein drink spiked with 5 or 10 grams of Glutamine after a hard workout. I even recommend this to my marathon runner friends to lessen the pain in their quads 1-2 days after their race.

And for sleep, I simply take Melatonin or Sleepzyme if I need to induce sleep prior to International travel going from West to East. I don’t need it the other way around as I simply stay up as long as possible.

Hard speed workouts make me feel crappy, and the high CNS stimulus affects my sleep patterns. Some coaches suggest to try Powerdrive or Vitalyze after workouts. While this helps my recovery and alertness, it keeps me up at night.

You try 4x30m, 1x60m, 1x80m, 1×100, 1×150 at 95% top speed with full recovery and you let me know how you feel that night or the next day. I describe it as a “hang over” feeling without getting drunk the previous night.

So what’s the latest drink out there for recovery and sleep?

One of them is tart cherry juice from CherryPharm. I was surprised because tart cherries wasn’t on my Top 20 Foods with the Highest Antioxidant Properties. Sweet cherries ranks #15, and strawberries #11.

Who the heck is CherryPharm?

Why cherries? One would think strawberries as a better food for its high Vitamin C content, and Vitamin C is well documented to help muscle soreness for its collagen repair qualities.

Leading food researchers have confirmed that cherries are rich in Phyto-Nutrients and powerful antioxidants including natural anti-inflammatories, pain relievers and sleep regulators.

You’re probably fed up about magic potions as you’ve heard pomegranate or Acai berry as the next super food. Or even blueberry juice because wild and cultivated blueberries rank #2 and #5 respectively in highest antioxidant foods.

But this one is different.

Each 8oz bottle is made from 50 cherries. I have to admit, this product tastes amazing, but it does contain a small amount of apple juice. They have 2 products; one juice and one juice + protein. (see? protein is good! see my article on protein PLUS carbohydrates for optimal recovery)

In a recent study, 7 of the top 25 ranked NCAA Division 1 football teams drank CherryPharm during the 2007 season. Even the National Hockey League’s New York Rangers are using it.

In a University of Rochester Medical Center study, they reported this juice has beneficial effects on adults with insomnia. It decreased the amount of time to fall asleep, and it decreasd the amount of time awake after sleep onset.

It is now available to the general public at a cost of $2 USD per bottle by mail order only. You will not find this on the shelves, at least not yet. CherryPharm is 100 percent natural juice with no additives or preservatives.

They recommended users drink two 8 oz. servings of CherryPharm each day but NOT during exercise or strenuous activity. CherryPharm makes this clear: it is not intended to be an energy drink or take the place of other hydration drinks.

I had the luxury of trying out a few samples. Unfortunately, due to a shoulder injury, I am not able to train 100% so I couldn’t test the benefits out fully. I can say that it tastes amazing.

I’ll be heading to Death Valley in February, and I’ll definitely have these handy for my marathon friends.

Here’s a short video of their product, describing some of the benefits mentioned above. Feel free to leave comments on your experiences, good or bad.