According to a study published ahead of print in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, cherry juice can reduce muscle pain induced by exercise.
Fourteen volunteers were asked to either drink fresh cherry juice blended with commercial apple juice twice a day for three days before exercise and for four days afterwards, or to drink a dummy mixture containing no cherry juice. The blend comprised 12 oz of liquid, equivalent to the juice from 50 to 60 cherries.
The exercise which causes the maximum damage to the muscles was classified as "eccentric", such as in hill walking or weight lifting.
Muscle tenderness, motion, and strength were assessed on each of the days before and after exercise, using standard pieces of equipment designed for the purpose.
The research revealed that there was a significant difference in the degree of muscle strength loss between those drinking the cherry juice blend and those taking the dummy mixture.
Muscle strength improved almost after 96 hours in those drinking cherry juice, and the average pain score was significantly less in those drinking cherry juice.
The research also showed that the pain a person experiences after rigorous exercise can also be reduced significantly among people who drink the cherry juice.