The effects of a tart cherry beverage on reducing exercise-induced muscle soreness

Kim Beals*, Katelyn F. Allison, Matthew Darnell, Mita Lovalekar, Rachel Baker, David C. Nieman, Yoram Vodovotz, Scott M. Lephart

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Tart cherry juice contains a high level of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients. Limited research has investigated its potential to ameliorate symptoms of delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) caused by inflammation from eccentric exercise. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of investigation was to assess the effect of a tart cherry beverage (TCB) on delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). METHODS: Participants underwent assessment of the quadriceps for pain, muscle tenderness, thigh girth, flexibility, strength, and markers of muscle inflammation and damage at baseline, immediately following, and 24 h, 48 h, 96 h, and one week posteccentric fatigue protocol while consuming TCB (N = 15) or placebo (N = 14). Two-way mixed ANOVA assessed the effects of time, group, and interaction for all variables except pain, which was assessed using Wilcoxon rank sum tests (p < 0.05). RESULTS: No significant main effect of group and no significant interaction was demonstrated between group and time, but a significant main effect of time was revealed for thigh girth, tenderness, flexibility, and strength (p < 0.001-0.003). For pain, change over time from baseline to post-fatigue was higher in the TCB group (p = 0.008). No statistically significant main effect of time, group, or interaction effect between time and group was demonstrated for cytokine data. CONCLUSION: Results from this study provide important insights to methodological issues that will guide future studies using TCB including, dose of anthocyanins, muscle groups to study, fatigue protocols to use and length of supplementation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-63
Number of pages11
JournalIsokinetics and Exercise Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Tart cherries
  • anthocyanins
  • cytokines
  • delayed onset muscle soreness
  • polyphenols


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