Whether you deal with chronic pain or just find yourself hurting after an especially grueling workout, tart cherries or tart cherry juice can help. Tart cherries are a good source of antioxidants and phytonutrients, especially anthocyanins, which may help block some enzymes associated with inflammation, says Massey. Some studies have found that tart cherries may help with certain inflammatory conditions, such as arthritis.
Research published in 2010 suggests that consuming tart cherry juice may also help minimize post-run muscle pain, adds Massey. Researchers looked at 54 healthy long-distance runners and gave them either a placebo or about 1.5 cups of tart cherry juice to consume twice a day for seven days before and on the day of running about 16 miles. The researchers found that those runners who consumed the cherry juice reported significantly less muscle pain than the runners who took the placebo.