Much like a well-placed chip shot in golf, tart cherry supplements offer a direct path to your health and wellness goals. So which is the true champion: tart cherry gummies, juice, or pills?
Each tart cherry product promises to help with inflammation, workout recovery, and joint pain. But do they actually work? And, more importantly, how do they taste?
Let’s explore the science behind this showdown to find out.
What is Tart Cherry?
Montmorency tart cherries (Prunus cerasus) are specially cultivated for their tart or sour taste. As their name implies, tart or sour cherries taste tangier than sweet cherries like Bing or Rainier.
These fruits may be small, they are mighty. Tart cherries contain:[*]
- Over 70 types of antioxidants. These neutralize harmful free radicals to protect your cells from damaging oxidative stress.
- Every essential amino acid. These fundamental “building blocks” of protein are necessary for your overall health and well-being.
- Potassium: a critical electrolyte for nutrient absorption, muscle support, and optimal hydration levels.
- Vitamin A, which isn’t just beneficial for maintaining healthy vision. It also supports your immune system and promotes glowing skin cell regeneration.
Let’s dive into this impressive nutritional profile and how it’s cause all the health hype behind tart cherries.
What are the Health Benefits of Tart Cherry?
Tart cherries know how to hit the nutritional fairway. Studies show tart cherries can help you:
Lower Inflammation & Oxidative Stress: Happy Cells, Healthy Life
Packed with antioxidants, tart cherries may help drive away inflammation-causing free radicals (your body’s #1 enemy).
Chronic inflammation and oxidative stress beat up your cells, destroying your tissues and mutating your DNA in the brawl.
Ravaged cells increase your chances of developing nasty diseases like cancer[*], metabolic conditions such as heart disease, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and hypertension (i.e., high blood pressure)[*], arthritis and other autoimmune diseases[*][*], and neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and dementia[*]
Sour cherries are a rich source of anthocyanins, one of the most potent antioxidants. So researchers say tart cherries may:[*][*] lower inflammation and reduce oxidative stress, significantly increase DNA repair activity (to heal oxidative cell damage), decrease blood pressure, and reduce LDL cholesterol in older adults
Happier, damage-free cells translate to a healthier you on the leaderboard of life.
Slash Muscle Soreness & Optimize Exercise Recovery
You can also blame inflammation and oxidative stress for your soreness and post-exercise muscle damage.[*] But tart cherries have your back (and your quads and biceps!).
As the ultimate post-workout recovery food, they help[*][*][*] improve muscle function, decrease muscle damage, speed up muscle recovery, and reduce muscle soreness and post-workout pains up to 3x better than a placebo.
In one meta-analysis, scientists learned that taking either tart cherry powder or juice for anywhere from seven days to just 1.5 hours before working out significantly improved exercise endurance and performance.[*] So researchers have started to use the term “precovery" when recommending daily tart cherry supplements for active lifestyles.[*]
Support Healthier Joints
Do your joints creak louder than the doors in a haunted house? Tart cherries might be the WD-40 they need. According to studies, tart cherries may[*][*]decrease inflammation that causes joint soreness, stiffness, and pain, improve symptoms of knee osteoarthritis (aka “wear and tear” arthritis), and lower uric acid in or around the joints (an intensely painful symptom of inflammatory arthritis like gout), leading to fewer flare-ups.
Boost Your Mental Performance
Inflammation and oxidative stress also drive cognitive impairment. Scientists gave older adults 16 ounces of tart cherry juice for 12 weeks. Consuming tart cherry juice yielded:[*]
- Longer attention spans
- Higher memory scores
- Stronger learning skills
So now that you know all the health benefits of tart cherries, which sour cherry product should you add to your sustainable wellness routine?
Tart Cherry Juice or Pills vs. Tart Cherry Gummies
Step up to the tart cherry showdown as we compare the pros and cons of tart cherry juice, tart cherry pills, and tart cherry powder.
Tart Cherry Juice
If you prefer to sip your way to well-being, tart cherry juice may seem like the nectar of the health gods. But it may be incredibly flavorful, cloyingly sweet, or super sour, depending on your tastebuds.
- Helps you get more fruit into your routine. Health experts and registered dietitian nutritionists (RDNs) recommend tart cherry juice because it provides a bit of liquid hydration and fruit from a whole source.
- Accessible. You can easily buy tart cherry juice at most larger health food retailers and online.
- High in sugar. You may see 15 to 35 grams of sugar per serving of tart cherry juice. It’s definitely not a low-sugar or low-carbohydrate food.
- Inconvenient. No one wants to carry a heavy bottle to get the benefits of tart cherry juice. It must also be refrigerated once open, so it’s not super portable.
- Less concentrated. Most tart cherry juice is diluted with water, so you must drink more to feel its effects. It can be hard to know exactly how much of the juice is real tart cherry, and how much is flavorings and other additives, so you need to take great care if going this route to avoid a drink that’s little more than Kool Aid!
Tart Cherry Pills
A staple on health and wellness shelves, you can find tart cherry pills and tart cherry powder capsules nearly everywhere. They don’t usually taste like anything.
- Convenient. They’re easy to pack and store, but still need water to wash them down.
- Easy portions. Each pill is evenly portioned with tart cherry extract, so you know how much you’re getting.
- Swallowing pills can be nasty, especially considering their size and how many you need to take.
- They may be full of fillers, preservatives, and GMO ingredients. You’ll find everything from lubricants and anti-caking agents to bulking compounds, binders, and disintegration agents (to help your body break the pills apart).
- Animal-derived outer casings. Many capsules are not vegan or vegetarian.
Tart Cherry Gummies
Tart cherry gummies are the candy-like heroes of the health world. Our Recovery Gummies™ are a delicious juicy hibiscus cherry flavor.
- Undeniably enjoyable. With their chewy consistency and yummy blend of sweetness and tanginess, you may have to stop yourself from devouring the whole pack of Recovery Gummies™ once.
- Super convenient. Stash your gummies in your gym bag, desk, or backpack — they’re small and easy to snack on anywhere.
- Some gummies may be high in added sugar and low in tart cherry juice concentrate or extract.
- May contain animal-derived gelatin. Look for vegan or vegetarian gelatin-based gummies (like ours!) if you’re plant-strong.
For Wellness Recovery Gummies™: Sweetness with a Side of Science
Recovery Gummies™ are concentrated tart cherry magic in a pouch. They’re the ultimate champions in this tart cherry face-off because we craft them with:
- 15x Concentrated tart cherry extract. Meet our rockstar ingredient: VitaCherry® Sport. This high-quality proprietary blend of tart cherry extract was specially formulated for athletic and sports performance. One serving of Recovery GummiesTM provides the equivalent of 2,400mg of tart cherry thanks to its 5:1 concentrate.
- Glucose: your brain’s primary fuel source. It’s required by all cells in your body to produce energy, so you’ll enjoy a rapid mental and physical pick-me-up.
- Electrolytes. We use two key electrolytes for muscle support, optimal hydration, and nutrient absorption: potassium and sodium.
- A higher melting point. Never worry about having a melted, gooey mess on the links, at the beach, or in your pocket.
- None of the bad stuff. Unlike other tart cherry gummies, our delectable chews are 100% vegan, gluten-free, preservative-free, and non-GMO. With only 2 grams of sugar per serving, they won’t sabotage your health goals.
Our chewy champs perfectly balance flavor, convenience, and nutritional awesomeness.
A Tasty Triumph for Your Health
The science-backed benefits of tart cherries are easy to score with the right juice, pills, or gummies. Each option adds antioxidants to your wellness game to support workout recovery, supple joints, brain power gains, and more.