The Top Tart Cherry Benefits

The Top Tart Cherry Benefits

What Is Tart Cherry?

Tart cherry, also known as sour cherry or Prunus cerasus, is a fruit that is closely related to sweet cherries. Tart cherries are much smaller than the more common sweet cherries. This has earned them another popular name, the “dwarf cherry.” As the name would suggest, tart cherries are also significantly more sour than sweet cherries. It is believed that tart cherries originated in either Eastern Europe or Iran where Prunus avium (sweet cherries) and Prunus fruticosa formed a natural hybrid, which stabilized and resulted in an entirely new species.

Tart cherries were incredibly popular amongst the Romans and Persians, who brought the tart cherries with them to Britain. The British, in turn, were also very fond of these tiny sour cherries. So much so that they brought the cherries with them to America. Specifically, the British brought the tart cherries over to Virginia where they were cultivated on a large scale. Tart cherries are also still very popular in Iran where they are used in various dishes such as albaloo polo which is a rice dish that incorporates tart cherries.

Now that we know a bit more about the history and use of tart cherries, let’s get to why we are interested in these tiny sour fruits! Tart cherries are chock full of a class of compounds called “Anthocyanins” which have some pretty significant effects. However, you would have to eat quite a lot of tart cherries to experience the benefits that the Anthocyanins produce. Luckily, with modern technology, we can extract high amounts of Anthocyanins from tart cherries!


Anthocyanins are widely expressed in various fruits and vegetables. In fact, it is one of the main pigment groups in many fruits and vegetables. In tart cherries, the vibrant red color can be traced back to its specific anthocyanin content, which consists of:

– Cyanidin-3-glucosyl rutinoside
– Cyanidin-3-glucoside

These three compounds also produce the bulk of tart cherry’s benefits and so it is essential to standardize a tart cherry supplement to its Anthocyanin content. Unfortunately, the bulk of tart cherry extract supplements on the market are currently not standardized to an Anthocyanin content. We sought to bring change to this and standardized our tart cherry extract to an impressive 10% Anthocyanin content.

To put this high Anthocyanin content into perspective, a single 250mg dose of our tart cherry supplement would yield the Anthocyanin content of approximately 25-50 grams of actual tart cherry. Even better, with our tart cherry extract, you know exactly how much Anthocyanin you are getting per dose; whereas the Anthocyanin content in tart cherries can vary quite a bit. If you want consistent tart cherry benefits, then you need to give our tart cherry supplement a shot! Speaking of tart cherry benefits, what exactly are they?


Tart Cherry May Help Support Exercise Recovery*

One of the most well-known tart cherry benefits is its effects on exercise recovery. This tart cherry benefit can be traced back to its Anthocyanin content. During exercise, our muscles are much more metabolically active while also undergoing significant amounts of stress and minor damage. Combined, these outcomes of exercise lead to elevated levels of oxidation and inflammation post-exercise. This is, for the most part, a good thing and is what allows us to adapt to these stressors which enables us to develop stronger and more metabolically efficient muscles. This process is called exercise adaptation and is very important to achieving overall exercise goals. Take away inflammation and oxidation and this process doesn’t work anymore. Limit oxidation and inflammation, the process does not work as well, but there may be some added benefits. This is where tart cherry comes in.

Does Tart Cherry Negate the Beneficial Effects of Exercise?

You may have heard that taking a supplement like tart cherry can negate the effects of exercise. This is partially true but depends heavily on timing. As we discussed above, taking a tart cherry supplement right after a workout can help speed up recovery by blunting exercise-induced oxidation and inflammation. However, if we took a tart cherry supplement right before a workout, then we may be limiting exercise-induced oxidation and inflammation from occurring at all.

This may impact the effects of exercise and that is why we would recommend against taking a tart cherry supplement before or during exercise. Taking a tart cherry supplement post-exercise is a great idea though, and the longer you wait after your workout, the more you can allow your body to adapt to the effects of exercise at the expense of slower recovery. All that being said, this only applies to athletes who are actively training with the intent to get stronger, fitter, and faster. The script flips when we consider trained athletes that are competing.

Tart Cherry for the Competitive Athlete

For the competing athlete, we would advise following the opposite recommendation for training. Instead, we would recommend taking a tart cherry supplement before or during a competitive event. The reason for this dosing schedule is that during a competitive event; we are trying to squeeze out every last drop of performance and we are not hoping to walk away from the competition stronger than before. After all, that is what training is for. With a competitive event, we want to minimize the amount of exercise-induced oxidation, inflammation, and muscle damage so that we can compete in multiple events in a day or perhaps even multiple events over the course of a couple of days.

One of the best ways to do this is by taking a tart cherry supplement before or during a competition so that you can support balanced levels of oxidation and inflammation which may help you recover much quicker after a competitive event. In fact, various studies have indicated that taking a tart cherry supplement before or during endurance exercise may help promote overall performance! This can likely be traced back to tart cherry supporting balanced levels of oxidation and inflammation during the endurance exercise.

Tart Cherry May Help Support Balanced Oxidation and Inflammation Levels*

As we talked about above, a tart cherry supplement may help support exercise recovery by helping to support balanced levels of oxidation and inflammation. So why do we bring it up again? Well, tart cherry not only helps us recover from exercise but its oxidation and inflammation-balancing effects can also help with a whole host of other things!

Pain Management:

Pain is one of the main things that tart cherry may be able to help with. The majority of pain is the result of a combination of elevated oxidation and inflammation. So, supporting balanced levels of oxidation and inflammation with tart cherry may help support pain management.

Skin Health Benefits:

Oxidation and inflammation also play a large role in skin health as the skin is particularly susceptible to the effects of oxidation and inflammation. By taking a tart cherry supplement, the effects of oxidation and inflammation upon the skin may be dampened. This can have many skin health benefits such as supporting collagen synthesis and structure. Collagen is a large component in our skin and gives it the majority of its strength, volume, and elasticity. Collagen, however, is also quite sensitive to the effects of oxidative damage. Supplements that help support balanced levels of oxidation are very popular for internal skin care. Tart cherry is no exception and due to its fantastic effects on supporting balanced oxidation levels, it can be a great option for supporting skin health. Not only does tart cherry benefit the oxidative processes in our skin, it also may help balance inflammation in the skin!

Brain Health Support:

Last but not least: the brain! The brain is metabolically active which results in the formation of compounds that produce oxidation. Due to this, our brains are usually very capable of balancing oxidation levels. However, a little extra help from tart cherry can go a long way to promoting brain health. By balancing oxidation in the brain, tart cherry has been found to help the brain regulate the effects of oxidation while also helping to promote cognitive function. We will touch more on this subject later in the blog. What’s important to understand in this section is that tart cherry may help support the brain from oxidation, which in turn, will help support general brain function.

Tart Cherry May Help Support Balanced Levels of Uric Acid*

Uric acid is a somewhat poorly understood compound that is naturally present in our bodies, yet it appears to play both a positive and negative role throughout the body. Uric acid appears to be very good at supporting balanced levels of oxidation, yet at the same time it can contribute quite significantly to joint pain.

Negative Impact on Cognitive Function:

Uric acid seems to have quite a negative impact on overall cognitive function. Individuals with high-serum uric acid levels appear to score lower on cognitive tests such as verbal fluency and working memory. In fact, it has been shown that uric acid may promote inflammation in the hippocampus.

Effects on the Hippocampus:

The hippocampus is one of the most important areas of the brain for cognitive function and mood. The hippocampus is also particularly sensitive to the effects of inflammation. With inflammation in the hippocampus, uric acid may have an impact on overall cognitive function.

Tart Cherry’s Influence:

Luckily, tart cherries have a unique effect on uric acid. Tart cherries appear to regulate the formation of uric acid by blocking the activity of an enzyme called xanthine oxidase. One of the main functions of xanthine oxidase is to break purines down.

Regulating Uric Acid Levels:

The end product of this function results in the formation of uric acid. Tart cherry, by limiting the activity of xanthine oxidase, may regulate uric acid levels. This may help regulate the formation of monosodium urate monohydrate crystals as there will be less available uric acid in our bodies.

Supporting Joint, Kidney, and Cognitive Health:

This effect alone may help support joint and kidney health. Furthermore, as we talked about earlier, uric acid may also hamper cognitive function. By taking a tart cherry supplement we may help support cognitive function.

Tart Cherry May Help Promote Cognitive Function*

Last but not least: cognitive function. We left this one till the end because it requires us to draw from all of the above sections. Unlike certain supplements like caffeine, which produces an acute cognition-promoting effect, tart cherry needs some time to produce its cognition-promoting effects.

Role of Oxidation:

Let’s start with oxidation. Oxidation plays a major role in the brain due to it being a highly active organ. Our neurons are particularly sensitive to the effects of oxidation, which is also part of the reason why our brains are usually quite proficient at supporting balanced levels of oxidation.

Impact of Inflammation:

Inflammation, much like oxidation, is very common in the brain. Oftentimes, our brains own defenses against this inflammation are enough. However, like oxidation, when inflammation goes unchecked in the brain it may hamper overall brain activity.

Last but not least: uric acid. As described in the section above, it has been observed that uric acid has a generally undesirable effect on general brain health and cognitive function. By helping to support lower levels of uric acid, tart cherry may produce a very unique cognition-promoting effect that is not found in many other supplements. In our opinion, this is what may make tart cherry a capable, cognition-promoting supplement that can work well in the context of an advanced cognition stack! See further below for some tart cherry stack suggestions

Also read our blog on Modafinil

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