Sports Sleepcoach Blog

Back to blog
The Amazing Health Benefits of Montmorency Tart Cherries

The Amazing Health Benefits of Montmorency Tart Cherries

The cherries mainly benefit and improve two main areas: muscle recovery and sleep. Some athletes do already know the benefits of this product regarding sport endurance as most have been advised by coaches to include the fruit into their diets. However not everybody is aware of the health benefits. 

For athlete’s, recovery is the most important thing, so by maximising muscle improvements it gives them more potential to maintain a good physical health whilst training.

It is also so important they recover through sleep. If Athletes do not achieve enough sleep then this is when you notice a difference to not only their mental recovery but also the physical recovery, which could cost you crossing that finish line first.

Montmorency Tart Cherries are closely related to the sweet cherry you would find in your supermarket, but the Tart Cherry is very different. They are more acidic and have greater nutritional benefits. Almost all Tart cherries are grown in the U.S and harvested in the summer months.

(You probably won’t come across them fresh unless you live in one of the growing regions.) However, the cherries are available all year round, dried, frozen or juiced. Montmorency cherries have a unique sour-sweet flavour that is increasing in popularity, for both the flavour and the amazing health benefits.

The cherries contain high levels of substances known as Polyphenols (Polyphenols are abundant micronutrients in our diet, and evidence for their role in the prevention of degenerative diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular diseases is emerging.) These include flavonoids and anthocyanins, which are known to have anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory effects. With recent studies it has been proven that Tart Cherry Juice prevent symptoms of exercise induced muscle damage. Strength loss and pain were both also proved to have been improved after consuming the cherries. One study I researched involved an experiment of an athlete training intensely for a week by running every day and doing several additional work outs. He drank one tablespoon of Tart Cherries concentrate twice a day, once in the morning and once immediately post-run. The point of the experiment was to put himself through a training week that would normally create soreness and a lot of fatigue. Then he would be able to assess whether his Montmorency tart cherries lived up to the fact they aid recovery.

After the experiment he stated – “I never felt any muscle soreness. Not once.” And also “The big surprise: a nagging shoulder injury I’ve had for months improved dramatically, and last Thursday night was the first night in a long time that I slept through the night without any shoulder pain whatsoever.” 

He claimed that the cherries helped his soreness with an on-going health issue, but also he slept through the night, something that a lot of people struggle with. This could be due to the fact he had no pain from his workouts so his sleep was undisrupted, or that the melatonin levels benefited his sleep wake cycles making him sleep through. To read more on the experiment –

It is important that the athletes know about the health benefits the cherries offer so they can incorporate them into their diets, something so easy healthy and natural.

Sleep is something that is crucial to athletes and their recovery. The cherries naturally produce high levels of melatonin which is a hormone made by the pineal gland, (a small gland in the brain) the melatonin helps control your sleep and wake cycles.

Our body has its own internal clock that controls your natural cycle of sleeping and waking hours. In part, your body clock controls how much melatonin your body makes. Normally, melatonin levels begin to rise in the mid- to late evening, remain high for most of the night, and then drop in the early morning hours. 

Light affects how much melatonin your body produces. During the shorter days of the winter months, your body may produce melatonin either earlier or later in the day than usual. This change can lead to symptoms of seasonal affective disorder (SAD), or winter depression. Natural melatonin levels slowly drop with age. So making sure you get melatonin into your system is so important.

Including the cherries into your daily diet might sound easy, but it is incredibly hard to get your hands on them. If you are lucky enough to live in the regions that grow the cherries, then there are hundreds of ways to pack them into your diet. From baking pies to adding them to your fresh smoothies and juices. Here are some of my favourite suggestions 

Before adding tart cherry juice to your diet be aware that one 8-ounce serving of tart cherry juice contains 140 calories and 25 grams of sugar.

But for those who may struggle to find fresh cherries we have an alternative that is still 100% natural. Holland & Barrett’s sell a supplement called Cherry Active Ltd. The capsules are convenient, fast and a portable way of getting Montmorency cherries into your daily diet. The powder is made using a unique freeze-drying process to produce an additive-free, premium grade Montmorency cherry powder. 100% vegetarian shell. Take 1-2 capsules a day, with or without food.


Or if you’d prefer something to drink that tastes good then they also do a cherry concentrate. Cherry Active Ltd Concentrate is pure and simple 100% concentrated Montmorency cherry juice with no added preservatives. Mix 30ml Cherry Active Concentrate with 240ml water or add to a smoothie, natural yoghurt or post-exercise shake.

Back to blog