While sweet cherries are usually enjoyed fresh, tart cherries are most often consumed frozen, dried, or juiced. Tart cherry juice is derived from the fruit of the Prunus cerasus tree, native to Europe and Southwest Asia. Also known as Montmorency cherries, these sour fruits have become widely popular over recent years. Here in this article, we will take a look at the nutritional facts, health benefits, safety, and recommended dosage of tart cherry juice.
According to the USDA, an 8 oz serving of 100% tart cherry juice can provide you with the following nutrients (1).
Total lipid (fat)
Tart cherry juice is a good source of polyphenols and antioxidants (2). Rich in dietary fiber and low on the glycemic index, tart cherry juice makes for a healthy drink in several ways (3). Let’s delve deeper into its potential benefits in the next section.
Health Benefits Of Tart Cherry Juice
While some preparations of tart cherry juice may have added sugars, the unsweetened organic version can provide you with the following health benefits:
- May Increase Strength And Reduce Muscle Soreness
Tart cherry juice may benefit sportspersons, athletes, and physically active people in reducing muscle damage and soreness. Marathon runners who drank tart cherry juice before and on the day of the event, reported significantly less pain, soreness, or muscle damage compared to the others on placebo (4). In a similar study, drinking tart cherry juice for 2 days after the event, helped the marathon runners recover faster (5). Another study on athletes, also concluded that tart cherry juice improved the recovery of muscle strength (6).
While most studies report the beneficial effects of tart cherry juice, there are also a few studies that did not find any significant benefits (7). This warrants the need for further research.
- Could Help You Sleep Better
Organic tart cherry juice is a natural source of the hormone melatonin and its precursor tryptophan, which might help you deal with symptoms of insomnia and make you sleep better (8). Research indicates that people who drank two 8 oz servings of tart cherry juice every day for 2 weeks, reported an increase in their sleep duration by an average of about 84 minutes (9). Another study further suggests that tart cherry juice might be just as effective as valerian in reducing insomnia (10).
- May Reduce Symptoms Of Arthritis And Gout
Tart cherry juice is also known to be beneficial in reducing inflammation and joint pain, particularly in osteoarthritis (11). Drinking two 8-oz (240-ml) servings of sugar-free tart cherry juice every day was shown to slightly reduce the pain and stiffness of osteoarthritis after a duration of 6 weeks (12).
Studies also suggest that tart cherry juice might be beneficial for gout, a kind of inflammatory arthritis caused by the build-up of uric acid crystals. It is usually characterized by repeated episodes of intense pain and swelling. Drinking tart cherry juice seems to help reduce uric acid levels in obese and at-risk people (13), (14).
Traditional treatment of gout usually involves avoiding trigger foods, medications, and self-care. Studies have shown that drinking tart cherry juice regularly might help reduce the occurrence of these painful attacks by half (15), (16).
A review of studies citing the beneficial effects of tart cherry juice or cherry extract on gout and uric acid levels reported a reduced risk of gout attacks on cherry intake. However, due to a difference in methodologies used, the authors noted a need for further comprehensive studies (17).
- Might Promote Brain Health
Tart cherry juice is a good source of antioxidants and phenolic compounds that may help reduce oxidative stress and protect brain cells from possible damage (18), (19). The antioxidants in tart cherry juice may also help reduce symptoms of mild-to-moderate dementia and improve brain functioning in older adults (20). Tart cherry juice may also be helpful in reducing the pain caused due to nerve damage (21).
- May Help Support Heart Health
Studies have suggested that the antioxidants in tart cherry juice may help improve cardiovascular conditions. A regular intake of tart cherry juice might help reduce cholesterol, and systolic blood pressure ultimately supporting your overall heart health (22), (a class=”citation_class” href=”https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19857054″ target=”_blank” rel=”follow noopener noreferrer”>23).
Animal studies on mice have suggested that tart cherry juice might help reduce weight, blood cholesterol levels, and belly fat. However, further studies are warranted to establish the same for humans (24).
While we know the many benefits of tart cherry juice, we should also keep in mind that most of its benefits were reported only after the intake of a specific dosage for a certain duration. Let’s understand what amount of cherry juice ensures its health benefits while avoiding any possible risks of overdose.
Dosage And Safety
Most benefits of tart cherry juice were observed after seven to ten days of regular supplementing with 480 ml of the juice. While tart cherry juice is generally safe, higher doses might cause digestive issues for some people due to its high sorbitol (sugar alcohol) content (25).
Quercetin in tart cherry juice may also interact with certain blood thinner medications like Warfarin (26). In such cases, you should consult a doctor before adding tart cherry juice to your regular diet.
To Sum Up
Tart cherry juice is a nutrient-rich drink that might provide key health benefits when taken in regulated quantities. It is especially effective in reducing muscle damage and soreness and can thus be beneficial to sportspeople and athletes. With its melatonin content, it also helps you sleep better. To get the most out of its polyphenols and antioxidants, you should opt for organic unsweetened tart cherry juice.
- Tart cherry juice is rich in antioxidants and polyphenols.
- It helps reduce muscle soreness and aids in better sleep, along with its other health benefits.
- While usually safe, excess consumption may have side effects.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you drink tart cherry juice every day?
Yes, you can drink an 8 oz serving of tart cherry juice every day.
Is tart cherry juice bad for your kidneys?
Tart cherry juice contains a moderate amount of potassium and may not be recommended in chronic kidney disease or hyperkalemia (1), (27).
What is the best time to drink tart cherry juice?
You can have tart cherry juice daily morning or evening, and having it before bed would help you sleep better.
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- ORGANIC 100% TART CHERRY JUICE TART CHERRY
- Chemical profile and antioxidant capacities of tart cherry products
- Nutrients | Free Full-Text | A Review of the Health Benefits of Cherries | HTML
- Efficacy of tart cherry juice in reducing muscle pain during running: a randomized controlled trial
- Influence of tart cherry juice on indices of recovery following marathon running
- Montmorency cherry juice reduces muscle damage caused by intensive strength exercise
- Effect of tart cherry juice on recovery and next day performance in well-trained Water Polo players
- Effect of tart cherry juice (Prunus cerasus) on melatonin levels and enhanced sleep quality
- Pilot Study of the Tart Cherry Juice for the Treatment of Insomnia and Investigation of Mechanisms
- Effects of a tart cherry juice beverage on the sleep of older adults with insomnia: a pilot study
- (PDF) Efficacy of Tart Cherry Juice to Reduce Inflammation Biomarkers among Women with Inflammatory Osteoarthritis (OA)
- Randomized double-blind crossover study of the efficacy of a tart cherry juice blend in treatment of osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee
- Montmorency tart cherry (Prunus cerasus L.) concentrate lowers uric acid independent of plasma cyanidin-3-O-glucosiderutinoside
- Consumption of 100% Tart Cherry Juice Reduces Serum Urate in Overweight and Obese Adults
- Effectiveness of Cherries in Reducing Uric Acid and Gout: A Systematic Review
- An Internet Survey of Common Treatments used by Patients with Gout Including Cherry extract and Juice and other dietary supplements
- Effectiveness of Cherries in Reducing Uric Acid and Gout: A Systematic Review
- Sweet and sour cherry phenolics and their protective effects on neuronal cells
- Tart cherry juice decreases oxidative stress in healthy older men and women
- Consumption of anthocyanin-rich cherry juice for 12 weeks improves memory and cognition in older adults with mild-to-moderate dementia
- Tart Cherry Juice as a Treatment for Peripheral Neuropathy
- Tart cherry juice consumption reduces blood pressure in older adults
- Regular tart cherry intake alters abdominal adiposity adipose gene transcription and inflammation in obesity-prone rats fed a high fat diet
- Gastrointestinal Disturbances Associated with the Consumption of Sugar Alcohols with Special Consideration of Xylitol: Scientific Review and Instructions for Dentists and Other Health-Care Professionals
- REVIEW OF ANTIOXIDANTS IN FRUIT BERRIES AND ITS IMPACT IN IMMUNE SYSTEM
- Hyperkalemia – StatPearls – NCBI Bookshelf