After decades of mysterious powders and pills being promoted in the health industry, the latest trend is a little different - whole foods. The power of natural ingredients is making headlines and delivering results without the unsavory side effects of artificial products.
The health and fitness pros are getting back to the basics by focusing on the incredible potential of natural foods. In particular, endurance athletes are turning to tart cherry juice to improve their performance. Here’s why:
Most people who have hit the gym are familiar with the aches and pains that come immediately after a tough workout. Studies show that tart cherries are capable of facilitating recovery after a workout and also reducing post-run pain.
Joint issues plague many endurance athletes. Drinking tart cherry juice can reduce joint pain without the side effects associated with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS).
Cramps are also a painful problem for endurance athletes. Potassium is a mineral that helps regulate fluid levels, keeping endurance athletes properly hydrated. Potassium also prevents muscle cramping - and is found in high levels in tart cherry juice.
Serious athletes know that sleep is key to recovery and improving performance. Anyone with a non-stop lifestyle has experienced how much one bad night of sleep can affect the next day. This effect of poor sleep is only amplified when your day includes intense demands on your body.
Tart cherry juice contains melatonin, a phytochemical that is important in the regulation of sleep cycles. Drinking tart cherry juice before has been shown to improve both sleep time and sleep efficiency.
Endurance sports are hard on your body. It’s not uncommon for athletes to pop a few pain pills before or after a hard day of training, though this habit is rarely advisable. Tart cherries have a high concentration of anthocyanin, a flavonoid with anti-inflammatory properties that are comparable to NSAIDs like ibuprofen.
Most workouts cause some level of inflammation, and this is a normal part of the process. When you’re training intensely over long periods of time, however, more serious damage can occur. Fighting inflammation on a day-to-day basis with tart cherry juice can help prevent issues with chronic inflammation and associated injuries.
For these reasons - and the great taste - athletes and non-athletes alike are turning to tart cherry juice for more enjoyable workouts and better sleep!