A glass of tart cherry juice can reduce post-race respiratory tract symptoms after a marathon, says a new study.
Post-race sniffles are a common problem among endurance athletes. The study found that Montmorency tart cherry juice reduced upper respiratory tract symptoms associated with marathon running in study participants.
The team, led by Glyn Howatson at Northumbria University and Lygeri Dimitriou at Middlesex University, found that marathon runners, who consumed the tart cherry juice had lower markers for inflammation than a placebo group at 24 and 48 hours post-marathon and had no reported incidences of upper respiratory tract symptoms (URTS) up to 48 hours after the race.
For the runners who did not drink the tart cherry juice, 50 percent suffered from URTS.
Howatson said that many athletes can suffer from colds and sore throats following strenuous bouts of exercise, like marathon running and triathlons.
This is the first study to provide encouraging evidence of the potential role of Montmorency tart cherries in reducing symptoms associated with the development of exercise-induced respiratory problems.
He added that researchers should be looking at all the potential ways they can help athletes recover from strenuous exercise, and protection of the respiratory system is another dimension.
The authors conclude that the results of this pilot study offer an important new opportunity for research, building on the existing body of evidence providing support for the use of Montmorency tart cherry juice in exercise recovery.
They suggest future work should examine the prevalence of URTS beyond 48 hours post-marathon.
The study appears in International Society of Sports Nutrition Journal.