New and old studies have increasingly shown that tart cherry extract can aid in a surprising number of categories, including muscle recovery, inflammation, and sleep quality.
The supplement has long been studied by both scientists looking to better understand the role of food in relation to health as well as health fanatics looking to gain an edge.
“Whether in pill, powder or liquid form, the goal of dietary supplements is often the same: to supplement your diet to get enough nutrients and enhance health,” says Jeffrey Millstein, a doctor at Penn Internal Medicine Woodbury Heights.
Aid in Sleep
Numerous studies now claim that tart cherry extract, a product of tart cherries, aids in muscle recovery from strength and endurance work by reducing inflammation and is also high in melatonin, a hormone crucial for regulating the sleep-wake cycle. With studies supporting its numerous beneficial health effects, more people may want to begin incorporating tart cherry extract into their diet.
Sleep is progressively receiving more attention in the public eye, as more and more people are realizing that sleep is the base of almost all human functioning.
“Sleep is the single most effective thing we can do to reset our brain and body health each day,” says Dr Matthew Walker, author of Why We Sleep.
Melatonin is a key hormone in the sleep-wake cycle, increasing throughout the day and eventually resulting in the sleepy feeling most people experience before bed. Tart cherry juice has levels of melatonin that, if taken before bedtime, can help the user fall asleep more quickly and stay asleep longer. While many people take melatonin gummies, taking naturally produced melatonin from real food appears to be the safer and more effective way to introduce melatonin into the body. Overly high levels of melatonin can result in headaches, stomach aches, nausea, and more.
“Nearly 90 percent of melatonin gummy brands don’t contain the amount of melatonin indicated on the label, according to a new lab analysis published by JAMA,” writes Becky Upham of Everydayhealth.com.
Supplementing your diet with melatonin from tart cherry extract before bedtime is a much safer alternative to melatonin gummies. Tart cherry extract ensures that the levels of melatonin remain in a safe range and can be best used by the body.
Aid in Body Function
The tart cherry extract can also help in the field of athletics. Muscle soreness and inflammation can impede athletic performance and delay recovery. The rich antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of tart cherry extract offer promising solutions.
“Tart cherry lessens pain and accelerates strength recovery after exercise and decreases blood markers of inflammation/oxidative stress. These improvements occur in both strength and endurance exercise,” writes Kenneth C. Vitale and colleagues in a 2017 study published online in the National Library of Medicine.
How you should use Tart Cherry Extract
Increasing the consumption of tart cherry extract is an accessible and straightforward way for the average person to enjoy its advantages. This can be done through tart cherry juice, available at most stores that sell food, and through powder and pill form, both of which are available for online order. By integrating tart cherry extract into your lifestyle, you can potentially experience improved sleep quality and expedited muscle recovery without disrupting your circadian rhythm.
However, remember that the best way to remain fully healthy doesn’t lie in supplementation but rather in maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle.
Supplements are meant to be supplementary — meaning they enhance benefits already provided by eating a well-rounded diet,” says Dr. Millstein, a doctor at Penn State.
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