Study Shows Tart Cherry Juice Aids In Post-Marathon Recovery

The red fruit win again in aiding hard-working runners in recovery—but this time it's avoid the sniffles, not muscle cramps.


It’s been said over and over that tart cherry juice are pretty effective in muscle recovery after a lot of exercise. In addition to that, a study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition also found that the the drink helps ward off post-marathon upper respiratory tract symptoms. Ever get a post-run runny nose? Drink up.

The team from the U.K. discovered that runners who downed a glass of the tart stuff showed fewer signs of inflammation 24 to 48 hours after their race. In addition, zero(!) reported any upper respiratory symptoms at all (thanks to lower inflammation). Compare that to the placebo group that resulted in 50 percent experiencing those gross cold signs.

“Many athletes can suffer from colds and sore throats following strenuous bouts of exercise, like marathon running and triathlons. This is the first study to provide encouraging evidence of the potential role of Montmorency tart cherries in reducing symptoms associated with the development of exercise-induced respiratory problems,” said Glyn Howatson at Northumbria University, one of the leaders of the study. “We should be looking at all the potential ways we can help athletes recover from strenuous exercise, and protection of the respiratory system is another dimension.”

During the study, 20 casual marathoners drank two servings of either the juice or a placebo bevvie twice a day for eight total days—five before, on race day and two days after. Indicators of stress, inflammation, mucosal immunity and upper respiratory tract symptoms were measured four times, including the day before the marathon, immediately after, and at 24 hours and 48 hours post-marathon. The conclusion of this pilot study suggests a relevant new area to study—beyond 48 hours after a marathon—building on the existing body of evidence providing support for the use of Montmorency tart cherry juice in exercise recovery.

Related: The Best Way To Reap The Benefits Of Tart Cherries