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Body Building and Weight Lifting– Cherry Juice could relieve Muscle Damage Pain

June 22nd, 2006

Body Building and Weight Lifting– Cherry Juice could relieve Muscle Damage Pain


According to a study published in the today’s online edition of the British Journal of Sports Medicine, drinking cherry juice may help prevent the pain in the repair of muscle caused by weight lifting.

Declan Connolly, associate professor of education and director of the human performance laboratory at the University of Vermont along with colleagues from New York’s Nicholas Institute of Sports Medicine and Athletic Trauma and Cornell University all worked together to test a specially made highly-concentrated tart cherry juice blend which they tested in a randomized, placebo-controlled study.  The study had 14 male college students participate in this study.


"The anti-inflammatory properties of cherry juice have been examined before, but the focus of this research was on a new area – muscle damage repair," said Connolly. "Only two species of mammals suffer this type of muscle damage – horses and humans."

The participants were asked to drink cherry juice or a juice that contained no cherries twice a day.  They were to drink the juice three days prior to exercise and to continue four days afterwards.  The 12 ounce cherry juice drink contained the equivalent of 50 to 60 cherries.  They blended the cherries with store bought apple juice.

The exercise that the participants performed was typical of muscle building.  They had them flex and tense one arm 20 times.  The muscle tenderness, motion and strength were monitored for each of the days leading up to the exercise and for the days following.  The participants were asked on a scale of 1 to 10 how sore their muscle was.


Two weeks later, they repeated the study again and switched the groups so that the participants that had the placebo the first time had the cherry juice the second time around and vice versa.  They also used the other arm to test for muscle soreness.

Muscle strength loss was seen more in those that had the placebo juice.   The placebo group had a 22 percentage points lost compared to only 4 percentage point for those that drank the cherry juice.

In those that had the cherry juice had a slight improvement in strength after 96 hours.  The pain was still present in both groups; however the cherry juice groups reported significantly lower pain scores.  The average pain scores of the placebo group were 3.2 while the cherry juice group scored at 2.4.  Pain peaked at 24 hours for the cherry juice group, while the placebo group lasted to 48 hours.


Connolly wants to continue the study of cherry juice in muscle damage repair.  He also believes that arthritis might be worth studying with cherry juice.  Race horses could possibly be helped to with future research.

"Current anecdotal evidence suggests the drink may be effective in treatment of arthritis and gout, and thus offer a potentially safer alternative than prescription drugs," said Connolly.

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Nicole Wilson
Best Syndication

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