Here’s another weapon to add to your endurance training recovery arsenal: cherries. Marathon Runners Should Pick Cherries for a Speedy Recovery comes from Science Daily and it profiles a recent study out of Northumbria University in England. Marathoners who ran the London Marathon were split into two groups. Twenty marathon runners drank either a tart cherry blend juice or a placebo drink twice a day for five days before taking part in the London Marathon and for two days afterward. The story summarizes the research findings as follows:
“The findings indicated that the group who drank the cherry juice recovered their strength more rapidly than the control group over the 48-hour period following the marathon. Inflammation was also reduced in the cherry juice group, as was oxidative stress, a potentially damaging response that can be caused by strenuous physical activity, particularly long distance endurance exercise.”
It might be reasonable to conclude that cherries could aid cyclists, swimmers, cross-country skiers and maybe strength & power athletes as well. More research will be needed to confirm this guess. In any event, adding cherries to any or all of your recovery strategies may be a simple and tasty idea. (For more recovery methods, check out recovery nutrition, cold water immersion, and caffeine.)
Sounds like good news! However I can see it now… Sports nutrition stores will soon be stocking and promoting cherry juice extract–in a pill!! The stuff will cost more than cherries and probably won’t work. Warm weather is coming and cherries will soon be in the grocery stores. Buy ’em and eat ’em.