AW promotion: New research highlights how the nutrient-packed fruit can be a potent weapon in your training armoury

In recent years, U.S. Montmorency Cherries have attracted an increasing amount of attention concerning their many potential health benefits.

A considerable number of academic studies have been undertaken, with the majority concluding that this bright red, tart tasting and nutrient-dense fruit does indeed make a difference when it comes to sport and exercise.

In a bid to fully understand the bigger picture, however, research teams from both Northumbria University and St Mary’s University recently produced what is known as a Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis, which essentially means that they assessed all studies which met a set criteria to come up with an overall conclusion.

The findings have just been published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism and are unequivocal – you really can put a cherry on top of your training.

The evidence would suggest that U.S. Montmorency Cherries can be a potent weapon in your nutritional armoury. In a previous post we examined how they can speed up recovery. Here, we take a closer look at how the cherries can help an athlete when it comes to power.

When it comes to resistance and plyometric exercises, there is good evidence to suggest cherries can have a positive effect

“We’ve done some work on resistance exercise and cherry juice has had positive effects with both moderately trained and well-trained individuals,” says Professor Glyn Howatson of Northumbria University, one of the authors of the review.

“For the studies, a specific muscle group is effectively trashed using heavy eccentric contractions and you supplement these athletes for a few days before the trial and during the time they are recovering.

“They showed an improvement in recovery and also some changes in terms of the level of inflammation to the muscles.

“It has a real potential, not just on runners but also, when it comes to more pure resistance exercises in the gym or doing plyometric exercise – the kind of thing that track and field athletes would routinely do – there is some good evidence to suggest they [cherries] can have a positive effect.”

Given that the evidence also points to them providing improved quality of sleep, there seem to be few downsides to giving U.S. Montmorency Cherries a try. As Professor Howatson adds: “It may or may not work for individual people but at the very best you can expect to get some improvements in your recovery and, at the worst, you will have an extra portion of fruit and vegetables. 

“Tart Montmorency cherries are absolutely crammed full of goodies. You are getting a really high quality fruit in your diet you probably wouldn’t have otherwise had.

“It’s so easy to take and to include in your diet. You can put it in a yoghurt, you can put it on cereal or make smoothies with it – there’s all sorts of ways in which you can consume it.”

» For more information on the benefits of Montmorency Cherries and recipe ideas on how to help include in your diet, visit: choosecherries.co.uk

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