Cherry juice may prevent muscle damage pain

June 22, 2006

The familiar "no pain, no gain" phrase usually associated with exercise may be a thing of the past if results from a study on cherry juice published June 21 in the online version of the British Journal of Sports Medicine prove true in future research.

Historically, a number of approaches to prevent exercise-induced muscle pain and damage have been examined, but few have been effective. Declan Connolly, associate professor of education and director of the human performance laboratory at the University of Vermont and colleagues at New York's Nicholas Institute of Sports Medicine and Athletic Trauma and Cornell University, evaluated the efficacy of a fresh, highly-concentrated, specially- processed tart cherry juice blend in preventing the symptoms of muscle damage in a randomized, placebo-controlled study in 14 male college students.

"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 study participants were asked to either drink a bottle of the cherry juice blend twice a day for three days before exercise and for four days afterwards, or to drink a placebo juice containing no cherries. The 12-ounce bottle of juice contained the liquid equivalent of 50 to 60 tart cherries blended with commercially available apple juice.

The participants performed a type of muscle-damaging exercise - flexing and tensing one arm 20 times - that creates contractions in which the muscle is lengthened. 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. Study participants rated their muscle soreness on a scale of one to ten. The whole process was repeated all over again two weeks later, with those who had taken the placebo juice taking the cherry juice blend instead, and vice versa. The other arm was also used.

There was a significant difference in the degree of muscle strength loss between those drinking the cherry juice blend and those taking the placebo juice. This fell by 22 percentage points in those drinking the placebo juice, but only by four percentage points in those drinking cherry juice. Muscle strength had slightly improved after 96 hours in those drinking cherry juice. The degree of soreness differed little between the two groups, but the average pain score was significantly less in those drinking cherry juice. Average pain scores came in at 3.2 for those drinking the placebo juice and 2.4 for those drinking cherry juice. Pain also peaked at 24 hours for those drinking cherry juice, but continued to increase for those on the placebo juice for the subsequent 48 hours.

According to Connolly, next steps include identifying funding sources and collaborators to continue study of the cherry juice's effectiveness in muscle damage repair and possibly arthritis, as well as research involving race horses.

"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.
-end-


University of Vermont

Related Arthritis Articles from Brightsurf:

Physical activity and sleep in adults with arthritis
A new study published in Arthritis Care & Research has examined patterns of 24-hour physical activity and sleep among patients with rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and knee osteoarthritis.

Is rheumatoid arthritis two different diseases?
While disease activity improves over time for most rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients, long-term outcomes only improve in RA patients with autoantibodies, according to a new study published this week in PLOS Medicine by Xanthe Matthijssen of Leiden University Medical Center, Netherlands, and colleagues.

Does the Mediterranean diet protect against rheumatoid arthritis?
Previous research has demonstrated a variety of health benefits associated with the Mediterranean diet, which is rich in olive oil, cereals, fruit and vegetables, fish, and a moderate amount of dairy, meat, and wine.

Reducing corticosteroid use in rheumatoid arthritis
Is the long-term use of glucocorticoids essential in people with chronic inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, or can early discontinuation prevent characteristic side effects?

Psoriasis onset determines if psoriatic arthritis patients develop arthritis or psoriasis first
In a new study presented at the 2019 ACR/ARP Annual Meeting, researchers found the age of psoriasis onset determines whether arthritis or psoriasis starts first in people with psoriatic arthritis.

The ACR and the Arthritis Foundation present new guidelines offering therapeutic approaches and treatment options for juvenile idiopathic arthritis
Today, the American College of Rheumatology (ACR), in partnership with the Arthritis Foundation (AF), released two guidelines on juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA).

Does alcohol consumption have an effect on arthritis?
Several previous studies have demonstrated that moderate alcohol consumption is linked with less severe disease and better quality of life in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, but a new Arthritis Care & Research study suggests that this might not be because drinking alcohol is beneficial.

Prospect of a new treatment for rheumatoid arthritis
An international research group led by Charité -- Universitätsmedizin Berlin has completed testing a new drug to treat rheumatoid arthritis.

Can rare lymphocytes combat rheumatoid arthritis?
Immunologists at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg have demonstrated that ILC2, a group of rare lymphoid cells, play a key role in the development of inflammatory arthritis.

Which pain medication is safest for arthritis patients?
In a recent Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics study, arthritis patients taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for pain plus a stomach acid-reducing medicine called esomeprazole had infrequent gastrointestinal side effects.

Read More: Arthritis News and Arthritis Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.