Tart Cherry Juice - NutraPedia

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1) Conditions Tart Cherry Juice Has Been Studied For:

Tart cherry juice has been studied for a variety of conditions, including:

  • Sleep disorders, particularly insomnia
  • Muscle pain and recovery post-exercise
  • Inflammatory conditions and arthritis
  • Gout
  • Cardiovascular health

2) Efficacy in Treating Those Conditions:

While studies have shown some promising results, the effectiveness of tart cherry juice can vary. For instance:

  • It may help to increase the duration and quality of sleep due to its natural melatonin content.
  • Some athletes report reduced muscle pain and quicker recovery when consumed around workouts.
  • It might offer relief for inflammatory conditions, but the evidence is not conclusive.
  • There is some evidence that it can reduce the frequency of gout attacks.
  • Its potential benefits for cardiovascular health are associated with its high anthocyanin content, but more research is needed.

3) Health Benefits of Tart Cherry Juice:

Tart cherry juice is rich in nutrients and bioactive compounds, offering several health benefits:

  • Contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds
  • May help to improve sleep quality
  • Could aid in muscle recovery and reduce exercise-induced muscle pain
  • Potentially reduces the risk of gout flare-ups
  • May support heart health

4) Potential Downsides of Tart Cherry Juice:

Despite its benefits, there are some downsides to consider:

  • High in natural sugars, which may not be suitable for individuals watching their sugar intake
  • Caloric content should be considered as part of the overall diet
  • May interact with certain medications, like blood thinners
  • Excessive consumption can lead to gastrointestinal discomfort

5) Tart Cherry Juice and Genetic Variations:

Research on the relationship between tart cherry juice and genetic variations is still in its early stages. However, it's known that:

  • Individuals with specific genetic profiles may metabolize the nutrients in tart cherry juice differently, impacting its efficacy.
  • Genetic variations could also influence the likelihood of experiencing side effects or interactions with other substances.
  • More research is needed to fully understand these relationships and provide personalized guidelines.

Tart Cherry Juice and Its Benefits

Effectiveness in Athletic Recovery

A review of studies on cherry juice as a recovery aid for athletes indicates that consuming tart cherry juice prior to exercise may speed up muscle recovery. The concept of "precovery" suggests that the timing of intake is crucial, with benefits seen when the juice is taken several days before athletic activity. The review also notes that the optimal dosage is still uncertain and the effects on soreness and inflammation are less conclusive.

Endurance Exercise Performance

Analysis of randomized controlled trials reveals that tart cherry concentrate, in juice or powder form, consumed from 7 days to 1.5 hours before exercise significantly improves endurance performance. This is attributed to its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant properties, low glycemic index, and ability to enhance blood flow.

Muscle Recovery and Inflammation

Tart cherry supplementation has a positive impact on reducing muscle soreness, restoring muscle strength and power, and modestly lowering some inflammation markers following intense physical exercise.

Cherries in Health and Disease Prevention

Cherries, including sweet and tart varieties, offer health benefits such as reducing oxidative stress, inflammation, muscle soreness, blood pressure, and symptoms of arthritis, and improving sleep quality. They also show potential in preventing diseases like heart disease, cancer, and diabetes due to their high levels of antioxidants and other bioactive compounds.

Insomnia and Sleep Quality

Montmorency tart cherry juice has been found to increase sleep time and efficiency in older adults with insomnia, potentially by reducing inflammation and increasing tryptophan availability. In elite female field hockey players, tart cherry juice improved sleep quality but did not significantly alter cortisol and melatonin levels.

Precautions and Potential Harms

Despite the benefits, there are cases where cherry concentrate could cause harm, such as acute kidney injury in patients with pre-existing kidney conditions. Care should be taken when considering cherry concentrate as a supplement, especially in individuals with chronic kidney disease.

Cherry Juice and Uric Acid

Research indicates that tart cherry juice can lower serum uric acid levels and may provide antioxidant effects, which could be beneficial in managing conditions like gout.


Overall, tart cherry juice and cherry-based products show promise in aiding recovery from exercise, improving sleep, and potentially offering antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. However, more research is needed to confirm these effects and to establish optimal dosages and intake timing, especially in clinical populations and individuals with existing health conditions.


  1. "Precovery" versus recovery: Understanding the role of cherry juice in exercise recovery
  2. Effect of Tart Cherry Concentrate on Endurance Exercise Performance: A Meta-analysis
  3. Tart Cherry Supplementation and Recovery From Strenuous Exercise: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
  4. A Review of the Health Benefits of Cherries
  5. Cherry antioxidants: from farm to table
  6. Cherries and health: a review
  7. Pilot Study of the Tart Cherry Juice for the Treatment of Insomnia and Investigation of Mechanisms
  8. Effects of Short-Term Intake of Montmorency Tart Cherry Juice on Sleep Quality after Intermittent Exercise in Elite Female Field Hockey Players: A Randomized Controlled Trial
  9. Effect of tart cherry juice (Prunus cerasus) on melatonin levels and enhanced sleep quality
  10. A case of acute kidney injury secondary to black cherry concentrate in a patient with chronic kidney disease secondary to type 2 diabetes mellitus
  11. Acute kidney injury from cherry concentrate in a patient with CKD
  12. Chemical Composition of 21 Cultivars of Sour Cherry ( Prunus cerasus) Fruit Cultivated in Poland
  13. A Systematic Review of the Effects of Polyols on Gastrointestinal Health and Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  14. Effects of tart cherry juice consumption on cardio-metabolic risk factors: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized-controlled trials
  15. Do antioxidant supplements interfere with skeletal muscle adaptation to exercise training?
  16. The role of cherries in exercise and health
  17. Detection and quantification of the antioxidant melatonin in Montmorency and Balaton tart cherries (Prunus cerasus)
  18. Redox interventions to increase exercise performance
  19. Glycaemic index, glycaemic load and exercise performance
  20. Inhibitory Effects of Tart Cherry (Prunus cerasus) Juice on Xanthine Oxidoreductase Activity and its Hypouricemic and Antioxidant Effects on Rats
  21. Consumption of cherries lowers plasma urate in healthy women
  22. Consumption of 100% Tart Cherry Juice Reduces Serum Urate in Overweight and Obese Adults
  23. Acute Ingestion of Montmorency Tart Cherry Reduces Serum Uric Acid but Has no Impact on High Sensitivity C-Reactive Protein or Oxidative Capacity
  24. Lack of effect of tart cherry concentrate dose on serum urate in people with gout
  25. Tart cherry juice decreases oxidative stress in healthy older men and women
  26. Influence of tart cherry juice on indices of recovery following marathon running
  27. Randomized double-blind crossover study of the efficacy of a tart cherry juice blend in treatment of osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee
  28. Anthocyanin content, lipid peroxidation and cyclooxygenase enzyme inhibitory activities of sweet and sour cherries

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