Back to blog
Tart Cherries and Their Benefits on Recovery, Performance, and Overall Health

Tart Cherries and Their Benefits on Recovery, Performance, and Overall Health

Back to blog

Tart cherries, scientifically known as Prunus cerasus, are vibrant gems in nature's treasure chest, native to Europe, North Africa, and West Asia. Beyond their delightful flavor, tart cherries are celebrated for their health benefits, particularly due to their antioxidant richness and healing properties. 

These superfood fruits have become a staple in the regimens of athletes for recovery and regeneration and are also increasingly recognized for their potential to enhance longevity and cellular anti-aging processes.

Below, we'll explore the many health benefits of tart cherries and their connection to enhanced recovery and overall health. 

The Tart Cherry: Its Effects on Recovery and Overall Health

If you've ever visited Turkey, Greece, or Cyprus, you've likely encountered the rich flavors of tart cherries, which are a staple in many local dishes and beverages. What makes tart cherries so special? Here's more about their antioxidants and how they can help defend against aging and cellular damage:

Rich in Antioxidants, Including Anthocyanins and Quercetin:

Tart cherries are packed with anthocyanins, the flavonoids that give cherries their deep red color, and are known for their potent antioxidant properties that help neutralize harmful free radicals (1). 

Quercetin, another powerful flavonoid in tart cherries, supports immune function, has anti-inflammatory properties, and boosts cellular energy, enhancing overall physical performance (2). 

Studies suggest quercetin also stimulates pathways like AMPK/mTOR and SIRT1, which support cellular health and longevity (3).

Great Source of Vitamins and Minerals:

Tart cherries are rich in essential nutrients, including:

  • Vitamin A (as beta-carotene), which supports vision and immune health.
  • Vitamin C, which aids in immune defense and collagen synthesis.
  • Vitamin K, which is crucial for blood clotting and bone health.
  • B vitamins that play roles in energy metabolism (4).
  • Minerals like potassium, which supports heart and muscle function, and manganese, which is essential for bone health and antioxidant defenses (5).

High in Dietary Fiber and natural Melatonin:

Like most other fruits, especially berries, tart cherries provide dietary fiber, promoting digestive health and supporting a healthy gut microbiome (6). 

They're also unique in the way they provide naturally occurring melatonin, which is a compound that helps enhance sleep quality by regulating the sleep-wake cycle (7).

Benefits of Tart Cherries for Recovery, Performance, and Overall Health

Tart cherries are not just delicious—they're also a powerhouse of health benefits, especially for those leading active lifestyles. They can help aid in exercise recovery, performance, and metabolic health, making them a vital addition to any diet.

Let's look more closely at how tart cherries support well-being:

Aid in Muscle Recovery:

Tart cherry supplements aid muscle recovery by reducing inflammation through decreased levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines, including C-reactive protein and Il-6 post-exercise (8). A pro-inflammatory cytokine is a type of signaling protein released by cells, primarily to promote inflammation and coordinate the body's response to infection and injury.

Tart cherry can also minimize exercise-induced muscle pain (9) and lower oxidative stress, boosting recovery by enhancing the body's antioxidant defenses (10, 11, 12).

Possess Anti-Inflammatory Effects and Help Fight Oxidative Stress:

Tart cherries’ anthocyanins which are known for their anti-inflammatory properties that may help mitigate chronic diseases (14). 

In one study, tart cherry juice significantly reduced inflammation markers (15). The fruit's antioxidants, including quercetin, protect against oxidative stress, improving cardiovascular health and cellular longevity (16, 17).

Can Help Enhance Sleep, Energy, and Performance

Tart cherries are valued not just for their antioxidants but also for their natural melatonin content, which helps improve sleep quality—a key factor in recovery and longevity (18). Melatonin production can decline with ging, however mintenance of normal levels is crucial for longevity.

Compounds found within tart cherry, including melatonin and antioxidants, have been shown to enhance endurance, reduce inflammation, and improve blood flow, significantly enhancing training efficiency and recovery (17) (18) (19).

Tart cherry can also help control glucose spikes by slowing the absorption of glucose due to its low glycemic index, which prevents rapid increases in blood sugar levels. Additionally, its anti-inflammatory properties can enhance insulin sensitivity, further aiding in glucose regulation.

Tips for Incorporating Tart Cherries into Your Diet

Tart cherries are easy to consume on a regular basis and are available in dried forms that make them more shelf stable.

Simply add tart cherries into your routine through smoothies, snacks, or juice, or explore international cuisines that feature this versatile fruit.

Tart cherry supplements are also an effective way to enjoy the benefits of this fruit everyday, although they can be expensive and you may have to take several servings for noticeable results. 

Here's more about how to consume tart cherries:

  • Tart Cherry Smoothie: Blend tart cherry juice or frozen cherries with yogurt, spinach, and banana for a delicious and nutritious smoothie.
  • Restorative Snacks: Combine dried tart cherries with nuts or seeds and use it as sugar-free snacks.
  • Tart Cherry Juice: Drink a glass of refreshing 100% tart cherry juice after a workout or as an evening relaxing ritual. Always choose unsweetened juice and preferably brands that are organic.
  • Tart cherry supplements: For extra convenience, consider taking tart cherry in supplement form. Jung+ Advanced Sleep Repair, a thoughtfully crafted formula to support sleep quality and energy, features tart cherry extract in combination with other ingredients known to promote restorative sleep and relaxation, including L-theanine, GABA, glycine, magnesium, vitamin B6, L-tryptophan, taurine, and zinc. 

Key Takeaways on Tart Cherry Benefits for Recovery, Longevity,  and Health 

Tart cherry offers a comprehensive recovery solution, combining anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and sleep-enhancing properties in one natural package. Whether through dietary inclusion or supplementation such as Advanced Sleep Repair, integrating tart cherry into your wellness routine can significantly enhance your recovery and overall health. 

A small yet potent addition to your daily routine, tart cherries can make a remarkable difference in your wellness and recovery after hard training, and they can help support metabolic and cellular health as you age.


  1. Cherry Antioxidants: From Farm to Table (2010). Molecules.
  2. Quercetin transiently increases energy expenditure but persistently decreases circulating markers of inflammation in C57BL/6J mice fed a high-fat diet (2008). Metabolism: clinical and experimental.
  3. Quercetin induces pro-apoptotic autophagy via SIRT1/AMPK signaling pathway in human lung cancer cell lines A549 and H1299 in vitro (2021). Thoracic Cancer.
  4. Review of Analytical Methods and Reporting of the Polyphenol Content of Tart Cherry Supplements in Human Supplementation Studies Investigating Health and Exercise Performance Effects: Recommendations for Good Practice (2021). Frontiers in Nutrition.
  5. [Sour cherry juice nutritional profile] (2015). Voprosy Pitaniia.
  6. The Health Benefits of Dietary Fibre (2020). Nutrients
  7. Effect of tart cherry juice (Prunus cerasus) on melatonin levels and enhanced sleep quality (2012). European Journal of Nutrition
  8. Tart cherry and pomegranate supplementations enhance recovery from exercise-induced muscle damage: a systematic review (2021). Biology of Sport.
  9. Efficacy of a tart cherry juice blend in preventing the symptoms of muscle damage (2006). British Journal of Sports Medicine.
  10. Broad Spectrum Polyphenol Supplementation from Tart Cherry Extract on Markers of Recovery from Intense Resistance Exercise (2021). Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.
  11. Effects of Acute Tart Cherry Juice Intake on Recovery after Intermittent Exercise in Elite Female Field Hockey Players (2022). Korean Journal of Sport Science
  12. Tart cherry extract improves skeletal muscle recovery by increasing type II MHC expression, MCP-1 and HGF secretion, and attenuating ROS production by neutrophils (2018). The Journal of Immunology.
  13. “Precovery” versus recovery: Understanding the role of cherry juice in exercise recovery (2022). Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports.
  14. Targeting Inflammation by Anthocyanins as the Novel Therapeutic Potential for Chronic Diseases: An Update (2021). Molecules
  15. Effects of Tart Cherry Juice on Biomarkers of Inflammation and Oxidative Stress in Older Adults (2019). Nutrients
  16.  Anthocyanins in Cardiovascular Disease (2011). Advances in Nutrition.
  17. Antioxidant Activities of Quercetin and Its Complexes for Medicinal Application (2019). Molecules.
  18. Melatonin in sleep disorders (2022). Neurología.
  19. Effect of Tart Cherry Concentrate on Endurance Exercise Performance: A Meta-analysis (2020). Journal of the American College of Nutrition.
Back to blog