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The Best Juice to Sip on To Reduce Inflammation, Says Dietitian

This unexpected juice is highly recommended for sports recovery and reducing inflammation in the body.

Red Fruit Juice Pouring in a Drinking GlassStefania Pelfini, La Waziya Photography/Getty Images

Grab this juice on your next grocery run

Even though some juices on the market are loaded with added sugars and may not be completely good for your health, other juices can actually benefit your health in numerous ways. For instance, although it may not be a popular choice, tart cherry juice is known to reduce inflammation in the body and aiding with muscle recovery after a workout.

If you struggle with inflammation, you know how dangerous it can be; according to Harvard Medical School, chronic inflammation is linked to heart disease, diabetes, cancer and arthritis as well as diseases like Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis. Anything that can offers relief can be a big help, so Jessica Isaacs, RD, CSSD, with Cheribundi, spoke to The Healthy @Reader’s Digest about the specific ways drinking tart cherry can benefit your workouts, muscle recovery, and overall inflammation.

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Closeup of unknown indian tennis player suffering from knee injury in court game. Ethnic fit professional in pain while holding and rubbing leg after match. Sporty man standing alone in sports clubPeopleImages/Getty Images

How does tart cherry juice reduce inflammation?

“Tart cherry juice contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory polyphenol compounds—micronutrients that occur naturally in plants—that have been shown by research to accelerate recovery from strength-based exercise, attenuate muscle inflammation and soreness, as well as improve markers of muscle [breakdown],” says Issacs.

Issacs also points to two other studies to prove her point. One comes from the Journal of the International Society of Sports Medicine which shows how tart cherry juice reduces oxidative stress (which causes inflammation in the body) and muscle and cardiac damage following resistance training. The other is from the European Journal of Sports Science which concludes that tart cherry concentrate can also reduce the effects of muscle damage and improve recovery for females.

But does tart cherry juice also work for inflammation not associated with a workout? Yes! Because of the rich nutrients and antioxidants prevalent in this juice, it can help reduce joint pain and inflammation, reducing arthritis symptoms. Tart cherry juice has also promotes better brain health, aids your sleep, and even strengthens the immune system by reducing the risk of infection.

Drinking tart cherry juice is one of the many ways to get antioxidants into your diet, which helps with delaying certain types of cellular damage and reducing the risk of developing a chronic disease, Issacs explains.

Eat This Fruit Every Day for a Longer Life, Says Science

clear glass with iced cherry juice with fresh cherriesAlena Gusakova/Getty Images

Here’s how much tart cherry juice to consume

To reap the most benefit from tart cherry juice, Issacs recommends consuming tart cherry juice an hour post-exercise alongside your workout recovery meal.

“The easiest way to consume enough tart cherries to elicit the benefits associated with reduction of inflammation would be to consume 8 to 12 ounces of a tart cherry juice, a 1-2 oz tart cherry juice concentrate, or pill form of a powdered tart cherry juice,” she says. “These benefits would also apply to fresh or frozen tart cherries, however, the quantity that would need to be consumed to maximize these benefits would be at least 2 cups of cherries, consumed two times a day.”

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Kiersten Hickman
Kiersten Hickman is a journalist and content strategist with a main focus on nutrition, health, and wellness coverage. She holds an MA in Journalism from DePaul University and a Nutrition Science certificate from Stanford Medicine. Her work has been featured in publications including Taste of Home, Reader's Digest, Bustle, Buzzfeed, INSIDER, MSN, Eat This, Not That!, and more.