A recent study has found a possible post-race remedy for marathon runners looking to quell the  inflammation that follows a 26-mile run: tart cherry juice.

Post-race, some runners often come down with a case of the sniffles. Study leader Glyn Howatson thinks kicking back with a cool glass of tart cherry juice leading up to and after the race will help reduced upper respiratory tract symptoms.

Howatson and his team of researchers followed two groups of runners before and after a marathon to see if they started coming down with symptoms of inflammation. One group was given cherry juice, while the other drank a placebo. Both groups were told to drink their respective drinks twice a day for five days leading up to the race and two days after. Each serving amounted to 236 ml of liquid and, for the group consuming the cherry juice, their drinks contained the equivalent of 50 to 60 whole Montmorency tart cherries.

While both groups displayed the marker for inflammation directly after the race, the group given juice showed lower markers for inflammation a day later, compared to the placebo group. After 48 hours none of the juicers showed upper respiratory tract symptoms. As for the runners that consumed the placebo, 50 percent came down with symptoms.

Howatson commented in a press release, saying:

"Many athletes can suffer from colds and sore throats following strenuous bouts of exercise, like marathon running and triathlons. This is the first study to provide encouraging evidence of the potential role of Montmorency tart cherries in reducing symptoms associated with the development of exercise-induced respiratory problems.”

The authors are hoping to continue their studies to build upon the body of research on post-run recovery to support the benefits of cherries.

Read more at EurekAlert!

Photo Credit: RAJESH JANTILAL / Stringer