In one of many cherry juice studies 14 male college students drank 12 ounces of a cherry juice blend (fresh tart cherries blended with apple juice) or a placebo (Kool-Aid-type) twice daily for 8 consecutive days.
On the fourth day, they did bicep curls. A lot of curls: 2620 maximum contractions.
“Strength loss averaged over the four days after eccentric exercise was 22% with the placebo but only 4% with the cherry juice.” Muscle tenderness and range of motion were unchanged.
The juice provided at least 600 mg of phenols–plant chemicals probably responsible for the pain prevention and strength retention. It’s the equivalent of about 60 cherries.
Tart cherries have a brief season: usually just July in Michigan, where the U.S. supply comes from…and where you can buy them on the roadside, pitted and swimming in what is still sweet, staining delicious fresh Tart Cherry Juice. Yum.