Body Building and
Weight Lifting– Cherry Juice could relieve Muscle Damage Pain
June 22nd, 2006
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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