Could Tart Cherries Prevent Post-Run Respiratory Discomfort?

Could Tart Cherries Prevent Post-Run Respiratory Discomfort?

Enjoy going for a long run, but find it can produce a wheeze now and then? Consider reaching for cherry juice before your workout.

The primary type of cherries you’re probably most familiar with are of the sweet variety (Bing, Rainier, etc.). That’s because unless you live where tart (also known as sour) cherries are grown, you’ll likely only find them frozen or processed into juice. But, according to a recent study, this type may help you recover faster.

Tart cherry has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties, and the study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition reported that runners who consumed a tart cherry and apple drink blend before and after a marathon did not show symptoms of upper respiratory tract symptoms (URTS). Half of the runners who did not have the drink experienced URTS. The juice was equivalent to 100-120 whole cherries.

With a test group of 20 runners, the study noted a larger sample might be needed to produce more conclusive results, but the number pointed to positive outcomes for endurance recovery.

“Prolonged exercise, such as marathon running, has been associated with an increase in respiratory mucosal inflammation,” researchers noted in the study. That may be because tart cherries, such as Montmorency, Morello, and Amarelle, contain anthocyanins, a phytonutrient and possible natural recovery aid.


Hannah Rex is a Senior Content Manager at Openfit. She is an experienced digital editor and writer in the health, fitness, and nutrition verticals and an RYT 200. A lifelong athlete and former gymnast, she's also working towards her C.S.C.S certification. She spends her free time trying new workout classes, looking for cozy coffee shops, and camping. Find her on LinkedIn and Instagram.