Tart Cherry Juice Benefits for Athletes: How to Boost Performance

If you are looking for a natural drink that can give you an edge in your sport, you may want to try tart cherry juice. Tart cherry juice benefits for athletes are numerous and impressive. 

In fact, tart cherry juice is packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties that can help you train harder, recover faster and stay healthy.

Benefits of tart cherry consumption include improving your endurance, speeding up your recovery, supporting your sleep and strengthening your immune system. 

In this post, we’ll explore how tart cherry juice can support your sports nutrition plan soccer player diet boost your endurance, reduce muscle soreness, support healthy sleep and strengthen your immune system. 

Tart Cherry Juice Benefits for Athletes

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How tart cherry juice boosts your endurance and stamina

When you exercise, your body uses oxygen to produce energy. The more oxygen you can use, the longer and harder you can perform. 

Tart cherry juice can help you use oxygen more efficiently by providing antioxidants that protect your cells from damage. (1) One study found that tart cherry juice increased time to exhaustion and peak oxygen uptake during cycling. 

This means that drinking tart cherry juice can help you train harder and improve your endurance.

How tart cherry juice speeds up your recovery and reduces muscle soreness

After a tough workout or game, you may feel sore and tired. This is because your muscles are damaged and inflamed. It impacts your ability to train consistently and perform at your best. 

Tart cherry juice can help you recover faster by reducing inflammation and muscle damage. (2)

Drinking tart cherry juice can help you recover faster and reduce muscle soreness by decreasing inflammation and oxidative stress in your muscles.This is because tart cherries contain anthocyanins, flavonoids that have anti-inflammatory effects.

Tart cherry juice can also improve blood flow and oxygen delivery to your muscles, which can enhance your endurance and performance.

Therefore, drinking tart cherry juice can help you heal faster and get ready for your next challenge.

How tart cherry juice supports your quality sleep and healthy sleep cycle

Another important factor for athletic performance and recovery is sleep. Getting enough quality sleep can help you feel more energized, focused, and motivated. It can also boost your immune system, memory and mood. 

However, many athletes struggle with falling asleep or staying asleep due to stress, anxiety or irregular schedules. Tart cherry juice can help you sleep better by increasing your melatonin levels. 

Melatonin is a hormone that regulates your sleep cycle and helps you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. A study found that tart cherry juice increased sleep time and sleep efficiency in healthy adults. 

This means that drinking tart cherry juice before bed can help you fall asleep faster. You’ll also stay asleep longer and wake up refreshed and ready for your next training session.(3)

How tart cherry juice strengthens your immune system

Athletes need a strong immune system to stay healthy and avoid getting sick. Tart cherry juice can boost your immune system by providing antioxidants that fight oxidative stress and inflammation. 

Oxidative stress and inflammation can weaken your immune system and make you more prone to infections.

Tart cherry juice supports brain health and function

As an athlete, you need more than just physical strength and stamina. You also need mental clarity, concentration and creativity. Tart cherry juice can support your brain health and function by reducing oxidative stress and inflammation in your brain cells. (4)

Oxidative stress and inflammation can impair your cognitive abilities, such as learning, memory, attention and problem-solving. Tart cherry juice can also improve your mood, stress levels and anxiety by modulating neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine. 

These are chemicals that affect your emotions, motivation and reward system. By drinking tart cherry juice regularly, you can enhance your mental performance and well-being.

How athletes can use tart cherry juice

If you want to enjoy the benefits of tart cherry juice for athletes, here are some tips on how to use it:

  • Choose 100% pure tart cherry concentrate (2 tablespoons) or powder (480 mg) such as cherry juice capsules since these have no added sugar.
  • Drink 8 ounces of tart cherry juice twice a day: once in the morning and once before bed.
  • Start drinking tart cherry juice 4 to 5 days prior to a major event or competition and continue for 2 to 3 days after to promote recovery. (5)
  • Alternatively, drink tart cherry juice on the days when you have a hard or long training session or when you feel sore or tired.
  • Experiment with different doses and timings to find what works best for you.

It’s always best to work with a sports dietitian or make sure you speak to your medical provider. If you choose cherry juice capsules, check out our post and recommendations for finding a supplement that is third party tested.


Tart cherry juice is a natural and delicious way to improve your athletic performance and speed up your recovery. With its antioxidants, anti-inflammatory properties, and sleep-enhancing benefits, it’s a fantastic addition to your training routine. 

By incorporating tart cherry juice into your life, you can boost your endurance, recover faster and sleep better.

So, grab a glass of tart cherry juice today and get ready to take your athletic journey to new heights!

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