Saturday, July 17, 2010


Juices from pomegranate, cherry and other colorful fruits improve recovery and decrease muscle soreness in athletes.

Sports drink recipes may help paddleboaters and other athletes to play hard, train hard and recover quickly from delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS).

Nancy Clark at MomsTeam reports that: "When compared to a placebo, antioxidant-rich pomegranate juice improves recovery and decreases muscle soreness after muscle-damaging exercise in trained men. The same holds true for other colorful, antioxidant-rich juices such as grape, blueberry or cherry." (Sports Drink ... - MomsTeam 10july2010) "Some preliminary evidence suggests that drinking tart cherry juice may help to reduce muscle pain after vigorous exercise." (Tart Cherry Juice as a sports drink - BRT Insights 01oct2009) See also a study on cherries that found "athletes who drank the juice recovered faster after Marathon running" (Marathon runners should pick cherries for speedy recovery - ScienceDaily 03april2010.) Untrained athletes, weekend warriors and fitness enthusiasts sometimes also need help for their aching muscles. Kayakers, rafters, canoeists & innertubers may want to include these juices in their hydration plans, both on and off the river.

It will be interesting to learn if the muscle recovery benefits are provided by homemade sports drinks made from many other colorful fruit juices such as watermelon, plum (prune), cranberry, raspberry, strawberry. All of these fruits rank highly when tested for antioxidants, but I haven't found any direct tests of their ability to reduce delayed onset muscle soreness after exercise.

Homemade Hydration Drink Recipes made from Colorful, Antioxidant-rich Fruit Juices.

At the store read the labels carefully when purchasing fruit juices. Watch out for 100% juice that is a blend of apple or other less colorful juices. Thompson seedless grape juice does not provide the same benefits as the purple grape juices. Watch out for cheap juice cocktails and juice drinks that may contain little fruit juice with a lot of junky refined sugar added.

The 100% pomegranate, blueberry and cherry juices cost more than some other juices, but they may be worth it for the athlete suffering from sore muscles! Typically these juices need to be diluted considerably when making my Hydration Fruit-Ade homemade recipe, so the costs can be spread out over large volumes of sports drinks for good hydration throughout the day. The best value on antioxidant-rich juices in my local stores may be the purple grape juices. Straight out of the bottle these juices are a thick, excessively sweet syrup that only a child can enjoy, but when properly diluted in the Fruit-Ade sports drinks they make a great-tasting sports drink for adults.

More about:
Grape juice sports drink DIY recipe for reducing delayed onset muscle soreness in athletes - BRT Insights 21aug2010.
Sports Nutrition: Antioxidants help reduce post-exercise muscle soreness - pponline.
Sports Drinks for Hydration of Paddleboaters - BRT Insights 14sept2009.
Paddle boaters need good hydration for optimum performance - BRT Insights 09sept2009.
Food & Drink for Outdoor Activities - BRT Insights.
Why the Color of Your Food Matters - iVillage Health 05nov2009.

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