Tart cherry juice may improve sleep thanks to its melatonin and tryptophan content. It’s also rich in nutrients and antioxidants to boost exercise recovery and support overall health.
You may have heard whispers in the realm of social media — that’s you, TikTok — about the magical powers of tart cherry juice. But does cherry juice help improve sleep? According to some small-scale studies, this ruby elixir has been linked to better sleep quality and even longer snooze sessions. But before you get too excited, consider that the research on cherry juice and sleep is pretty limited.
So, while the evidence is far from rock-solid, continue reading as we explore the potential wonders of tart cherry juice for sleep. Grab your sleep mask, and let’s go!
When it comes to sleep, one name that often pops up is melatonin. But what is this sleep medicine exactly? Yes, it’s a supplement, but it’s also a critical and naturally occurring hormone that controls the timing of your sleep-wake cycle.
When it gets dark, your brain gets a memo to produce melatonin, giving you a gentle nudge toward sleepiness and signaling to your body that it’s time to wind down and prepare for some much-needed rest.
Tart cherries contain a small amount of melatonin. While the melatonin content in tart cherries can vary wildly, you can expect 30 ml of juice concentrate, containing the juice of around 100 cherries, or 3 cups, and diluted with 200 ml of water to boast approximately 43 mcg of melatonin. So compared to supplements that contain 3 to 10 mg, it’s a minuscule amount.
So, if you’re sipping on a glass of tart cherry juice before bedtime, you’re getting a touch of melatonin goodness along with its delicious flavor.
Tryptophan is an essential amino acid your body can’t produce naturally, meaning you must get it from external sources like food. Now, here’s the kicker: Once tryptophan enters your body, it undergoes a fascinating transformation. It gets converted into serotonin, a neurotransmitter known for its role in regulating mood and promoting feelings of calmness and well-being. But the tryptophan story doesn’t end there, my sleepy friend.
Serotonin takes another turn and transforms into melatonin. So, tryptophan becomes the essential building block for both serotonin and melatonin, playing a vital role in promoting relaxation and regulating your sleep-wake cycle.
And the link to tart cherries? Well, while tart cherries are not particularly rich in tryptophan compared to other food sources, they still offer a touch of this dreamy amino acid. Studies show that 100 g of tart cherries, or 2 cups, contain around 9mg of tryptophan, while supplements contain around 500 mg. So, while tart cherries contain tryptophan, like melatonin, it’s not an overwhelming amount.
But despite these trace amounts of melatonin and tryptophan, can tart cherry juice before bed help you sleep better? Maybe. Here’s what’s known.
Say goodbye to those pesky sleep disturbances because tart cherries are here to save the night — possibly! These delicious fruits pack a powerful punch of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that can work wonders in calming the storm of chronic inflammation.
How? Well, the potent antioxidants in tart cherries help neutralize pesky free radicals that wreak havoc in your body. These free radicals are like little troublemakers causing inflammation and oxidative stress that can trigger conditions like painful arthritis, gout, and muscle soreness.
These conditions can disrupt your peaceful slumber, leaving you tossing and turning all night long. But by sipping on some tart cherry juice as part of your sleep routine, you’re inviting a wave of soothing antioxidant warriors into your body, ready to calm down the unruly forces that impact sleep.
Imagine you’re in bed, embarking on your sleep journey. The clock starts ticking as you drift off into dreamland. Now, a nifty little metric called sleep efficiency considers both the time you spend actually sleeping and the time you spend trying to fall asleep or get back to sleep if you wake up.
So, let’s say you spend 8 hours in bed, but due to restlessness or occasional awakenings, you only sleep for 7 hours. In this scenario, your sleep efficiency would be calculated by dividing the time spent asleep (7 hours) by the total time in bed (8 hours). In this case, your sleep efficiency would be 87.5 percent.
In a nutshell, sleep efficiency helps you understand the efficiency of your designated sleep time. A higher sleep efficiency percentage means you’re making the most of your time in bed by spending a significant portion of it asleep. In contrast, a lower percentage may suggest that you’re experiencing more difficulty falling or staying asleep.
And guess what? Drinking tart cherry juice may help boost sleep efficiency. In one 2012 study, for example, 20 participants drank tart cherry juice or a placebo before eating dinner for a week.
Those who drank the tart cherry juice had increased melatonin levels in their pee compared to the placebo group and a significant increase in sleep efficiency.
If you’re on a mission to crush your workouts and enjoy a restful night’s sleep, tart cherry juice might just be your secret weapon for a speedy recovery and dreamy slumber. This ruby elixir has gained accolades for its potential to aid in workout recovery, and here’s how it can work its magic on your sleep.
When you engage in intense exercise, your muscles endure wear and tear, resulting in damage and inflammation. But fear not because tart cherry juice is here to rescue your tired muscles and return them to their usual, vibrant state.
Studies suggest that the powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds found in tart cherries can help reduce exercise-induced muscle damage, inflammation, and oxidative stress. This could mean less discomfort and a quicker recovery process, allowing you to bounce back stronger than ever.
Sipping on some tart cherry juice gives your body a dose of nature’s recovery elixir. As it goes to work, this juice helps soothe those achy muscles, calm the inflammation, and neutralize those annoying free radicals.
Now, here’s where the sleep connection comes into play. When your body is in a state of discomfort and inflammation from intense exercise, it’s challenging to wind down and find the Zen you need to catch some zeds. But with tart cherry juice on your side, you’re providing your body with the tools to speed up recovery and create a more relaxed state for the best sleep.
Tart cherry juice isn’t just a one-trick pony. Beyond its potential as a sleep hack, helping you sleep better, this crimson tonic offers an array of other exciting benefits. They include:
- Rich in nutrients: Tart cherry juice is packed with essential nutrients like vitamins A and C and minerals like potassium and magnesium.
- Antioxidant content: Tart cherries are bursting with powerful antioxidants, including anthocyanins and polyphenols, which help combat oxidative stress and neutralize harmful free radicals.
- Joint health support: The anti-inflammatory properties of tart cherries may contribute to improved joint health, reducing discomfort and promoting mobility. Some studies also show that tart cherry juice may help with gout, a form of arthritis that causes attacks of swelling and intense pain.
- Heart health boost: Studies suggest that tart cherry juice may positively impact cardiovascular health by supporting healthy systolic blood pressure and lowering bad ‘LDL’ cholesterol levels.
- Immune system support: The immune-boosting properties of tart cherries, thanks to their rich vitamin C and antioxidant content, may help fortify your body’s defense against pesky invaders. A study examined the effect of the juice or a placebo on upper respiratory tract symptoms that can appear in marathon runners after a race. Half of those given the placebo developed upper respiratory tract symptoms, but guess what? None of those in the tart cherry juice group became ill.
So, it seems that popping cherry juice before bed may act as a sleep aid, helping you drift away to sleeps-ville and stay asleep once you’re there! And while the research is still limited, the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of tart cherries hold promise in reducing sleep disturbances, promoting muscle recovery, and supporting overall health.
The melatonin and tryptophan content in tart cherries contributes to their potential sleep benefits. At the same time, their rich antioxidant profile offers a range of additional perks, from joint health support to immune system boost and beyond.
So, whether you’re seeking a peaceful slumber or recovering from intense workouts, tart cherry juice might be the fruity ally you’ve been searching for.