Just like many fruits, all cherries are a smart pick—packed with antioxidants, low in calories and rich in hydrating powers. But can its juice actually stack up? Science says yes, absolutely.
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This sour juice is made with ruby-hued cherries that contain 20 times more vitamin A and five times the level of antioxidants as sweet cherries. Get this: An 8-ounce glass of the juice is equivalent to eating about 100 tart cherries!
The Many Health Benefits of Tart Cherry Juice
Each 8-ounce glass offers the following macro- and micronutrients, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) FoodData Central nutrition database:
- 159 calories
- 1.5 grams of fat
- 1 gram of protein
- 37 grams of carbohydrates
- 33 grams of sugars
- 35 milligrams calcium
- 433 milligrams potassium
Tart Cherry Juice Is an Antioxidant Champion
As a whole fruit, cherries deliver a wide range of health benefits, including lowering your risk for certain cancers and acting as a natural anti-inflammatory. So it’s no surprise that the juice is no slouch either, thanks largely to the hefty dose of antioxidants we mentioned earlier. It’s especially high in anthocyanins, a powerful flavonoid that gives dark fruit their hue. On an average day, an American consumes 12.5 milligrams of anthocyanins, and a single 8-ounce cup of tart cherry juice offers about 60 milligrams.
Tart Cherry Juice Helps Lower Blood Pressure
Drinking tart cherry juice has been found to help lower blood pressure, according to a 2018 study done on seniors—and significantly, women and men were both included in the study.
Tart Cherry Juice Helps Improve Sleep
As demonstrated in this 2018 study, the juice improves sleep time and efficiency by increasing tryptophan availability.
Tart Cherry Juice Reduces Post-Workout Soreness
In a 2015 study done on trained athletes with a high-intensity cycling regimen, tart cherry juice reduced post-workout muscle soreness, accelerating recovery by reducing inflammation.
Tart Cherry Juice Can Even Ease Symptoms of Arthritis
In multiple preliminary studies, the juice appears to ease symptoms of two different kinds of arthritis. It provided relief for people with mild to moderate osteoarthritis in their knees. Meanwhile, it also helped older adults suffering with gout, an inflammatory condition caused by too much uric acid in the body; tart cherry juice lowers uric acid levels.
How Much Tart Cherry Juice Should We Drink?
Even though it does offer a range of health benefits, you don’t want to overdo it. Here’s why:
Even though it doesn’t taste uber-sweet, each cup of unsweetened tart cherry juice still packs in 33 grams of sugar. Although it might not taste very sweet, that’s close to the amount of sugar you’d find in a 12-ounce can of Sprite. And although the juice has many benefits, one thing it loses compared to whole fruit is its gut health-boosting, appetite-squelching fiber.
To score the biggest nutritional benefits, it’s ideal to vary your sources of anthocyanins and other antioxidants. In other words, don’t sip tart cherry juice alone — mix up your superfoods!
With all of this in mind, we recommend sticking to 2 to 4 ounces of tart cherry juice per day, which you can stretch with club soda or sparkling water if desired.
Where to Buy Tart Cherry Juice
Most supermarkets and health food stores stock tart cherry juice. Before you check out, read the label (on the actual bottle or the online screenshot) to ensure that it’s 100% tart cherry juice with zero added sugars. Here are three varieties you can get delivered to your door:
- Indian Summer Montmorency Tart Cherry Juice ($3.88 for 46 ounces, walmart.com)
- R.W. Knudsen Family Organic Just Tart Cherry Juice ($8.29 for 32 ounces, target.com)
- Cheribundi 100 Percent Tart Cherry Juice ($29 for 12 8-ounce bottles, cheribundi.com)