DOMS is a result of the micro tears that are created in your muscles while working out. These tears occur in order to help you build muscle, creating inflammation in the body. Inflammation is not always bad though! It is a normal process in the body, allowing the cycle of breaking down and rebuilding. But too much inflammation can cause issues, just like too much wine or too much chocolate. The inflammation can cause some of the soreness/pain that we feel. The idea behind the tart cherry juice is that the antioxidants in the fruit help to speed muscle recovery, thus reducing the soreness. Tart cherry juice has anthocyanins, which are antioxidants that gives the cherries their red color. There are also other antioxidants in the fruit, but this is the one specific to tart cherries. The juice must be made from tart cherries (aka Montmorency cherries) because I think the other cherry juices have too much sugar. I just had my first glass of it last night from Eden Foods and it was pretty delicious.
“The cherry tart juice appears to provide viable means to aid recovery following strenuous exercise by increasing total antioxidant capacity, reducing inflammation, lipid peroxidation and so aiding in the recovery of muscle function.” Howatson G. Scand J Med Sci Sports 2010.
What am I telling you?
Maybe drinking this juice after your workouts will help to reduce soreness. There are a few studies about it reducing soreness with long distance runners, and also increasing muscle force production 24 hours after a strength training workout. You can read more here and learn about the additional benefits of drinking tart cherry juice.
What am I NOT telling you?
I am not saying that you can push yourself harder, wreck your body, drink the juice and then repeat daily. Please remember that rhabdo is a response of pushing your body too hard. Tart cherry juice is not an excuse to do more and rest less. It’s just may help your body recover quicker. Everybody needs a rest day!
Is tart cherry juice Paleo?
I did some research on this, but if anyone else has any input please share. It is one of the better fruits to consume because of it’s low glycemic index. It’s on the Paleo list for some CrossFit gyms, but I’m sure not eating in excess. According to the Paleo diet, you are suppose to have your main source of carbs post-workout. So this makes me think that tart cherry juice is Paleo approved post-WOD. But I’m also not a strict Paleo eater and if you’re doing the challenge Ashley may give you 1 point instead of 2. So if you’re trying to be super strict with your diet, I would do more research. Or ask Miss AVH.
Glyn Howatson et al. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports. “Influence of Tart Cherry Juice on Indices of Recovery Following Marathon Running.” 2009.
Clarkson, Pricilla. ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal. “Oh, Those Aching Muscles: Causes and Consequences of Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness.” 1997.