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Cherry On Top

By New You Editorial
Posted On Apr 05, 2011

First there was pomegranate. Then came acai and goji berries. But today’s antioxidant rising star? Cherries. Especially if your a guy who likes to workout.

Turns out, cherries contain high levels of polyphenolic compounds (flavonoids and anthocyanins) that provide both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, according to a recent study report out of the Sports and Exercise Science Research Centre at London South Bank University (UK).

There, Joanna Bowtell and colleagues studied 10 fit men who consumed either a cherry juice or a gatorade-like isoenergetic fruit concentrate beverage (control drink), for one week before and for two days after a series of single leg knee extensions. The study researchers observed that the knee extension muscle function recovered significantly faster in the group drinking cherry juice compared with those in the control group. Their hypothesis? The muscle recovery benefits may be linked to the antioxidant activity of the cherry juice. Their logic is thus: During intense exercise levels of oxidative stress rise and potentially cause damage to muscle tissue. But the antioxidant power of the cherry juice might just balance those oxidative stress levels and help to prevent muscle tissue damage.

Bowtell, Joanna L.; Sumners, D. Paul; Dyer, Amy; Fox, Patrick; Mileva, Katya N. “Montmorency Cherry Juice Reduces Muscle Damage Caused By Intensive Strength Exercise.” Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 12 January 2011

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