Tart cherry juice is gaining popularity in the health food world and for good reason! Many enjoy it for the refreshing taste, but others choose it for its many potential health benefits.
Tart cherries, also known as sour cherries, are different from the traditional black cherries that you often see in the produce aisle. Tart cherries contain less sugar and carbohydrates when compared with the black variety. This feature makes tart cherries more appealing for people who want the health benefits from consuming those yummy berries without the sugar rush.
One thing you may notice when you reach for a beverage that contains tart cherry juice is its beautiful red hue. This coloring is a result of the natural occurrence of anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are natural flavonoids which are found in foods that are naturally red or purple in color (obviously cherries, but also think purple cabbage, blueberries, and black plums).
Tart cherries are also rich in antioxidants Vitamin A and Vitamin C. The natural occurrence of flavonoids, antioxidants, and vitamins may be contributors to the many potential benefits that tart cherry juice offers.
What health benefits do tart cherries offer? Below are six clinically-backed reasons why someone may want to incorporate tart cherry juice into their life.
- May help you sleep.
Melatonin is a hormone that helps regulate sleep. Tart cherry juice can naturally raise the melatonin levels in your body, and as a result, may help you sleep. (1) In one clinical trial, the results suggest that adults who drank tart cherry juice had less severe insomnia when compared with a placebo. Also, tart cherry juice had similar effects as insomnia medications like valerian or melatonin on older adults. (1)
In another study evaluating adults over the age of 50 who suffer from insomnia, results suggest that on average, drinking tart cherry juice resulted in an additional 84 minutes of sleep when compared with placebo. Sleep efficiency increased as well. (2)
- Has been shown to promote athletic performance.
Drinking tart cherry juice before an athletic event may improve some aspects of exercise performance, specifically end-sprint performance. In a study focusing on trained cyclists who drank tart cherry juice vs. placebo, total work completed during the 60-seconds all-out sprint was 10% higher in those who drank the cherry juice. (3)
Drinking a beverage that contains tart cherry juice may give you an athletic edge.
- Could aid post-workout recovery.
Supporting your muscles during the recovery phase of a workout is a priority for athletes. One key nutrient to support post-workout recovery is potassium. The amount of potassium in your body plays a role in your muscles’ cell function. (4) Since tart cherry juice is naturally high in potassium, it is a perfect remedy to replenish your body with this important nutrient.
Tart cherry juice has been shown to lessen pain and encourage strength recovery after exercise in both strength and endurance exercise. For an athlete who has already peaked in training and looking to improve recovery and faster return to competition, tart cherry juice may be beneficial. (5)
If you are a marathon runner, you may want to consider adding tart cherry juice to your nutrition plan. In two studies, runners who drank tart cherry juice before a race reported less pain. (6, 7) Marathon runners who drank tart cherry juice for a few days before a marathon and right before a marathon reported less muscle damage, soreness, inflammation and protein breakdown than runners who didn't drink the delicious drink. The cherry juice may help with recovery following strenuous exercise because it increases total antioxidative capacity and reduces inflammation.
- May block cancer growth
Many experts recommend a diet rich in fruits and vegetables to reduce the risk of developing certain cancers. This is in part due to the fact that many of these foods deliver polyphenols, antioxidants, and vitamins that may combat cancer development. Components found in tart cherry juice may specifically combat certain cells associated with various cancers, specifically of the breast and colon. (8)(9)
While some believe that “sugar feeds cancer”, there is no evidence to support that claim. Choosing a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, including tart cherry juice, is a recommendation that many health professionals can stand behind to reduce the risk of developing many cancers.
- Could support better short-term memory
Who doesn’t want better short-term memory?
Since tart cherry juice has been shown to play a positive role in hypertension, inflammation and oxidative stress, it makes sense that drinking this juice may help slow the development of cognitive decline.
To highlight this effect, researchers evaluated older people who drank tart cherry juice vs. placebo. They found that those who consistently drank tart cherry juice had better memory scores, visual attention, and spatial working memory. In other words, those who drank tart cherry juice had better cognitive abilities. (10).
Drinking tart cherry juice may help support brain health in a safe way.
- Plays a role in improving heart health
Inflammation and oxidative stress are two factors which play a role in heart disease. Because cherries provide so many antioxidants, tart cherry juice may combat inflammation and oxidative stress.
Data has suggested that adults who drank tart cherry juice had lower levels of systolic blood pressure and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, both being results that are positive for heart health. (11)
One antioxidant that plays a role in blood pressure management is quercetin. Specifically, quercetin has been shown to decrease blood pressure in those suffering from hypertension. Since tart cherry juice contains this powerful antioxidant, drinking it may result in a decrease in your blood pressure. (12)
Drinking tart cherry juice is a delicious way to support your health in a natural and safe way. Drink Simple makes it, well, simple to incorporate tart cherry juice into your diet.
Choosing to drink Drink Simple Tart Cherry Watermelon Water gives you a “one-two punch” of goodness. You get the benefits of organic tart cherry juice while enjoying the taste and health features of organic watermelon water with no added sugars, flavors, or preservatives!
Grab a bottle of Drink Simple Tart Cherry Watermelon Water to support your health, no matter what stage you are in.
You can find Tart Cherry Watermelon Juice in retailers across the country. Check out our store locator to see where you can purchase it!
Written by: Lauren Manaker