T Nation

Tart Cherry Juice: Muscle Gain or Loss?

Ok, so it would appear that NSAIDS may prevent muscle gains by blocking COX1 and COX2, both of which are responsible for protein metabolism ( see http://www.T-Nation.com/training/do-pain-pills-impair-muscle-growth, and http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_article/most_recent/the_shocking_truth_about_inflammation ). Recently, I have discovered Montmorency tart cherry juice concentrate, which has sufficient natural melatonin to induce sustained sleep (believe me, it works).

However, several articles I have read suggest that Montmorency tart cherries also reduce inflammation through the same mechanism as NSAIDS (COX1 & COX2 inhibition). See chiroinnovations.com/ibuprofen_or_tart_cherries.htm as an example. It is apparently more selective than NSAIDS (i.e. it will act in the area causing pain, and thus, not have the side effects associated with NSAIDS). HOwever, since the anti-inflammatory process is the same, should we conclude that Tart cherry juice will prevent muscle gains? Please note: I am a natural trainee, so muscle gains do not come easy.

Thanks in advance for your responses!

I’d say give it a try see if it works for you. I think you’d be better off buying a specialized supplement if you can afford to, such as Surge Recovery or Plasma. Tart Cherry Juice is fairly expensive for the quantities you would have to consume to achieve the benefits. To be fair, I’m not sure how much they recommend for the benefits but just something to keep in mind.

edit: I only skimmed the original post because I have ADD but I still stick with what I said, if you want to reduce post-workout muscle soreness stick to the supplements that help you recover quickest. I never noticed anything significant as far as DOMs reduction with Tart Cherry Juice but maybe I didn’t take enough.

Thanks, but I’m not using tart cherry juice for DOMS. I couldn’t care less about DOMS. I am using it for sleep, and I am concerned that the way in which it reduces inflammation is similar to drugs like Advil, which I understand can be detrimental to muscle building. By the way, tart cherry juice (the Montmorency kind), works wonders for sleep.

[quote]StevenF wrote:
I’d say give it a try see if it works for you. I think you’d be better off buying a specialized supplement if you can afford to, such as Surge Recovery or Plasma. Tart Cherry Juice is fairly expensive for the quantities you would have to consume to achieve the benefits. To be fair, I’m not sure how much they recommend for the benefits but just something to keep in mind.

edit: I only skimmed the original post because I have ADD but I still stick with what I said, if you want to reduce post-workout muscle soreness stick to the supplements that help you recover quickest. I never noticed anything significant as far as DOMs reduction with Tart Cherry Juice but maybe I didn’t take enough.[/quote]

While it does look like the tart cherry juice would blocking COX1 and COX2 you should probably look at it from the perspective that :

A) Most people who take NSAIDs are doing it for pain and thus are making sure that they are in their bloodstream all day long (take upon waking, throughout the day and again right before bed). And…

B) There is probably more benefit gained by being able to have sustained sleep than whatever amount of COX1 & 2 are blocked (probably less than the NSAIDS anyway) by you taking it before bed.

I would stick with the tart cherry juice if it is helping with sleep. I would kill for a good night’s sleep nowadays.

Thanks, these are all good points - I’ll stick with it.

By the way, not that you asked, but since you mentioned sleep (or lack thereof), I find that one cup of Greek Yogurt (plain 2%), a couple of tablespoons of wheat germ, and 1 or 2 tablespoons of Montmorency tart cherry juice concentrate work very well if taken right before bed (I stil have the TV on to settle down, but I’m usually out within an hour).

I also take 1-2 teaspoons of fish oil, but that is usually with my last big meal (the DHA in fish oil needs other fats to be absorbed - might work with the yogurt, but I have more fat in my last big meal). Yogurt has tryptophan which helps melatonin production, as does the DHA in fish oil. The cherry juice has melatonin, and finally, the wheat germ has a moderate amount of B6, which calms the nervous system (too much of this, like in ZMA, gives you weird dreams and tends to wake me up).

[quote]Icarus wrote:
While it does look like the tart cherry juice would blocking COX1 and COX2 you should probably look at it from the perspective that :

A) Most people who take NSAIDs are doing it for pain and thus are making sure that they are in their bloodstream all day long (take upon waking, throughout the day and again right before bed). And…

B) There is probably more benefit gained by being able to have sustained sleep than whatever amount of COX1 & 2 are blocked (probably less than the NSAIDS anyway) by you taking it before bed.

I would stick with the tart cherry juice if it is helping with sleep. I would kill for a good night’s sleep nowadays.[/quote]

I haven’t experienced the weird dreams aspect of ZMA. I would suggest taking ZMA and just get a melatonin pill. If you plan on supplementing it often, get the smaller dose, such as 300 mcg, so that your body doesn’t drop off it’s natural production. check out some of Dr. Kirk Parsley’s stuff. barbell shrugged has had him as a guest a few times and he has really good information regarding getting better rest.

To the contrary: Pre-workout melatonin intake has been shown to promote hGH release and elevate IGF-1 levels:

Interesting. Have you tried this? Can you lift as much? I’ve always boosted my melatonin at night to try to avoid feeling sleeping while lifting…

[quote]EyeDentist wrote:
To the contrary: Pre-workout melatonin intake has been shown to promote hGH release and elevate IGF-1 levels:

[/quote]

[quote]MarcF wrote:
Interesting. Have you tried this? Can you lift as much? I’ve always boosted my melatonin at night to try to avoid feeling sleeping while lifting…

[quote]EyeDentist wrote:
To the contrary: Pre-workout melatonin intake has been shown to promote hGH release and elevate IGF-1 levels:

[/quote]
[/quote]

Haven’t tried it myself. (I’ve never made much use of supplements.)

I use L-theanine for insomnia. I have epilepsy and L- theanine melatonin supplements can both create issues but L-theanine has way less. I take it as early as possible before bed and it lessens both the effect on my CNS and I don’t feel groggy. I have a lot more weird vivid dreams though…lol.

My dream is to have a land where I could grow cherries and whatever else I want

Years are passing by and I am not getting ahead and any closer to this goal

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You need a house with a yard and good sun.