Top 3 Benefits of Tart Cherry Juice, Sweet Vs Sour


What are the nutritional benefits of cherries and the difference between tart vs sweet?

Each type has its own list of healthful properties. Sweet dark red cherries are usually the ones most people are familiar with as a raw fresh fruit, but sour tart cherries are also a long-time cooking favorite in some cultures.


In recent times, however, cultivars from this tart species Prunus cerasus or "sour cherry" have made their way onto the worldwide health scene.

Available in the form of tart cherry juice and powdered concentrates or supplement extracts, the tart cherry is reported to have condensed superfruit attributes compared to the common sweet cherry, cultivated from the Prunus avium species.

We will soon discuss the top 3 benefits of tart cherry juice, but first, let's go over the list of sweet cherry nutrition for those who enjoy this common fruit when it's in season.

Sweet Cherry Nutrition Benefits

The most obvious benefit of sweet cherry stone fruit is its taste. When firm and ripe to perfection, cherries like the common Bing cultivar make a delicious energizing pre-workout breakfast food.

Eight to ten cherries consumed alone as the first meal of the day are a great way to encourage morning-time bowel elimination.

Sweet cherries contain some nutrient content, but their main attributes come from two things: FIBER and ANTIOXIDANTS primarily VITAMIN C, BETA-CAROTENE, ANTHOCYANINS and other PHENOLS.

We personally eat cherries alone rather than combined within a meal as they can cause digestive upset when consumed with other foods.

Research on Sweet Cherries

Some research on cherries from the sweet Prunus avium species indicates its antioxidative potential coming from its main phenolic compounds.

These include anthocyanins, ferulic acid, gallic acid, quercetin, syringic acid and coumaric acids. The concentration of these components is known to increase as the fruit ripens.

Tart Cherry Vs Sweet Cherry

The first obvious difference between tart cherry and sweet cherry is the TASTE. Tart cherry contains much less sugar content and has a sour mouth-puckering taste, being more acidic with a lower pH.

Sweet cherries are typically darker when ripe while tart varieties, like the popular Montmorency cultivar, usually remain a brighter ruby-red or crimson color.

However, the MAJOR DIFFERENCE when it comes to tart cherries is that the nutraceutical phenolic components are much more concentrated.

Tart cherry juice, powdered concentrates and extract supplements have become particularly well-known in recent years for three main things.


3 Top Tart Cherry Benefits

1) Tart Cherry Juice for Sleep Support
2) Tart Cherry for Gout
3) Tart Cherry Juice for Muscle Recovery

1) Tart Cherry Juice for Sleep Support

Tart cherry juice has become a widely advertised way to induce a good night's sleep, even for children. It is top among the fresh pressed juices for this researched quality.

In some scientific reports on older adults, its sleep-regulating influence was proposed to be from an increase in MELATONIN, a hormone essential for regulating the human sleep-wake cycles. Tart cherries benefits in this regard are also believed to be due to its ANTI-INFLAMMATORY compounds like procyanidins and anthocyanins.

More accurately, pure tart cherry juice derived from the Montmorency cherry is shown to enhance the bioavailability of TRYPTOPHAN which subsequently boosts melatonin production.

This evidently works not just solely on its own but in combination with its other nutritive components that affect inflammatory markers related to sleep cycles, an attribute potentially supportive to those with insomnia.

How much do you need to take? From our research, we found that on average most adults would need to consume two 8-ounce glasses of the unsweetened 100% juice a day or the equivalent of 480 mg of tart cherry powder.

It definitely might be something worth experimenting with if you tend to have nightly episodes of of sleeplessness.

The pure undiluted unsweetened juice is pretty palatable not completely sour as one might expect.


2) Tart Cherry for Gout

Ever since the first studies in the early 1950s (*), the consumption of cherries has been associated with benefits for those with gout. (Source)

Gout is a type of inflammatory arthritis triggered by the buildup of uric acid in the bloodstream which can crystalize and cause painful joints, often in the toes and fingers.

Because tart cherries are considered far more condensed sources of nutrition with an estimated 2-5 times or greater the antioxidants of the sweet variety, 100% tart cherry juice is often utilized for its therapeutic influence when it comes to hyperuricemia or gout-related issues.(*)

3) Tart Cherry Juice for Muscle Recovery

The third studied benefit of tart cherry juice or supplements is for reducing muscle soreness after exercise or athletic training.

It is worth pointing out, however, that tart cherry juice intake of 16 ounces or 480 mg of the powder must be consumed at least 7 days before as well as during things like strenuous running, according to science.

Again, the antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds in tart cherry juice are beneficial for not only muscle strength recovery after exercise but also may be helpful for exercise tolerance in general.

Best Types to Purchase

The biggest thing when it comes to tart cherry vs sweet cherry and their nutritional benefits is that you consume them in their RAW state to avoid diminishing major nutrients.

Juice concentrates should therefore only be cold-pressed or minimally processed using flash pasteurization techniques.

Most quality dried powders and capsules made from Prunus cerasus fruit are standardized to contain 480-500 mg per serving. Tart cherry extracts are also widely available and very concentrated averaging 1,000-3,000 mg or more per serving.


Tart cherry juice may cause loose stools. Consult your healthcare professional prior to use if you are pregnant, nursing, have a serious health condition and/or are taking any medications.


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