Tart Cherry Concentrate May Improve Endurance Exercise Performance: Study

Tart cherry concentrate may improve endurance exercise performance, according to a research, published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition. The study examined 10 previously published studies on tart cherries and exercise recovery involving a total of 127 males and 20 females.

Recovery Benefits of Tart Cherry Concentrate
  • The recovery benefits of tart cherry concentrate are well researched, yet evidence on performance enhancement is scarce and results have been mixed.
  • The results of this meta-analysis found that tart cherries did help improve performance.
  • The latest study gained greater insight into the potential mechanism responsible for this benefit.

According to Chilibeck and his team, most of the participants were endurance-trained individuals, including cyclists, runners, and triathletes. After pooling results from the studies, the review research concluded that tart cherry concentrate in juice or powdered form significantly improved endurance exercise performance when consumed for seven days to 1.5 hours before cycling, swimming, or running.

Nine of the 10 studies involved longer-term tart cherry consumption around two to seven days prior to exercise and one involved same-day supplementation, the scientists added. The dosages varied across studies, and included 200 to 500 milligrammes per day (mg/day) in capsule or powder form, 60 to 90 millilitres per day (mL/day) of tart cherry juice concentrate diluted with 100 to 510 mL water, and 300 to 473mL/day of tart cherry juice.

Physical performance measurement differed across studies, and included distance on a shuttle swimming test, time to exhaustion during high-intensity cycling, total work performed during cycling, time it took to cover 10 kilometres (km), 15 km and 20 km, and the time to complete a full or half marathon, the current research noted. Pooled results across these 10 studies suggested a significant improvement in endurance performance with tart cherry concentrate, with two of the studies reporting significant performance-enhancing effects on their own.

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