It is a well established practice among endurance athletes to use pain relievers, NSAIDs in particular, during competition to prevent or reduce pain. Unfortunately there are known adverse effects associated with the use of these type of pain relievers.
Did you know though that cherries can be used to reduce the inflammation that causes that pain? In fact it can even reduce strength loss following exercise. In a study published on the NCBI, National Center for Biotechnology Information, a double blind study was reviewed in which the efficacy of using tart cherries to reduce symptoms of exercise-induced muscle pain among endurance athletes, like runners. The study concluded that there was, in fact, a benefit.
This is due to the high levels of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds in the cherries. The study mentions that these properties are often referenced as beneficial for many other conditions in “lay publications.”
The good news is that another study was done on the use of Cherries to treat Gout, a form of arthritis caused by uric acid and resulting in inflammation. In this large study, they “found that cherry intake was associated with a 35% lower risk of recurrent gout attacks, and cherry extracts showed a similar inverse association. These associations were independent of other risk factors including time-invariant factors such as genetics, sex, race, and education.”
It should be noted that while sweet cherries are more enjoyable, the most potent inflammation-fighting cherries are the tart variety.
Food for thought…..
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