I have occasionally used CherryActive capsules for several years and more recently other similar products to aid sleep and to enhance recovery.
I’m fairly convinced that CherryActive can help calm my nerves and help me sleep the night before an event.
I’m very confident that taking high doses of naturally occurring antioxidants are what help me recover quickly after a hard day’s training or competing.
So the decision to buy these products is not as clear cut as it is with other purchase decisions such as performance enhancement with, for example, BeetActive.
Well, do YOU need to recover more quickly? Do YOU experience restrictive muscle soreness after competing/training?
If you are training 2 to 4 times a week then I suspect that these products will probably only make a peripheral difference to the effectiveness of your training.
If you are training for 10, 12, 18, or more (Mr IronMan!), hours a week then I strongly suspect that some mornings you dread waking up and creaking out of bed. For YOU these kind of antioxidant/anthocyanin can make a big difference.
I don’t claim to be a sports scientist although I have read some of the scientific papers on Montmorency cherries (MC) and their affect on inflammatory and oxidative stress eg JL BOTWELL et al, 2011. I’ve also read scientific papers from other manufacturers about other kinds of products (eg HR accuracy) and the MC scientific papers do look convincing rather than contrived or miss-representative. So that’s a good start.
Products like CherryActive 30ml contain the antioxidant power of 23 average fruit/veg portions and these antioxidants ‘mop up’ free radicals in the body. These free radicals can cause muscle damage over and above what you have already caused in your exercise and can slow recover rates.
Free radicals are also known to cause oxidative damage to immune cells increasing the risk of illness and hence periods of not training OR of not being able to compete.
Cherries (MC) contains melatonin and hence promote sleep. As athletes know when you are sleeping is when you are getting better. Exercise causes damage but during recovery adaptation/improvement happens. More sleep = more benefit from your training (probably).
This product MAY enhance performance too as some of the effects of Anthocyanins may alter endothelial function possibly increased endothelial nitric oxide synthase.
- Simple. Take one before you go to bed on as many days a week as you think appropriate. One day…or seven days.
There is MUCH university research out there which you can find on Google, I’ve alluded to one study above. Much research in the food and drug industries is funded by companies. So in general it should be treated with scepticism.
Try it yourself. It is safe and sporting-legal.
Unlike performance enhancing nutrition, it is VERY straightforward to determine if this stuff works or not. Just take one sachet the night before a massive race or the night before a massively hard session. Choose a session where you just know that you will ache either the following or subsequent day.
On either of those 2 days (depending on how you normally exhibit DOMS) it will be pretty obvious whether or not it has worked for you.
It’s a HUGE downside though. You might waste two quid 🙂
If you are taking this product for performance reasons then, despite the theory, I’m not so sure you will find them to be noticeably effective on your performance. Try BeetActive instead.
It can make you sleep.
It tastes nice IMO.
It comes in a sport shot pack with a tear off end or as a capsule.
The sport shot pack and capsules are both convenient.
You can buy as a single liquid dose to try it out. It is cheaper to buy a box in bulk.
As I said above I’ve taken it for several years now on and off. The sleep effect I would say works 50% of the time, the recovery effect I would say works close to 100% of the time. I can’t really comment if there is a performance effect on me. I’m not sure.
There may well be a general ‘health and well-being’ side to cherries but this blog doesn’t really go into that sort of thing.
In the end it is a natural product. I would say it is the same as all other similar products out there providing you look at the concentrations of active ingredients and the price. CherryActive appears to me to be the leading and most well-known CHERRY brand. Other fruit concentrates may well offer similar benefits at high levels of concentration.
www.cherryactive.co.uk – 20% off with promotional code 5K20
A 20% discount code / coupon for reader of this blog is 5k20. If you spend over £20 then there is free delivery and the unit price is brought down to less than £1.50 (August 2015).
That’s WAY cheaper than the alternatives which might cost you well over £2 in Holland & Barrett. The code also works for other products including the BEETACTIVE which has performance benefits for the athlete. (I get a commission in product not cash).