Recovery is a vital part of any training routine – it is, after all, when the physiological changes in your body, brought about by exercise, actually take place.
While it can be tempting to just clock mile-after-mile or constantly hit the climbs if you’re trying to improve your performance on the bike, without adequate recovery, it will count for nothing and you will quickly become fatigued.
To get more out of your recovery means to get fitter, quicker, but how can you do that? Cherries are one answer. Yes, cherries – good for more than just topping cakes and decorating cocktails.
USA-grown Montmorency Cherries are earning a popular spot in the post-exercise regime of many athletes, not just cyclists, and they’re said to offer a range of natural benefits.
The tart cherries are believed to decrease inflammation and oxidative stress, which in turn promotes faster recovery – with studies to back it up.
For the science buffs, it’s thanks to the high levels of polyphenols contained in cherries. In layman’s terms, it helps stop the muscles from aching.
Likewise, anthocyanins – linked to reducing inflammation – are as plentiful in cherries as they are in some well-known pain medications.
Tart cherries are also believes promote a better night’s sleep, and catching some zzz’s is a crucial part to the recovery cycle, giving your body the rest it needs to repair and recuperate after a hard day’s training.
Should you be heading to find your nearest tart cherry supplier, right now? And can we expect to see the professional peloton sipping cherry juice from their bidons?
A Northumbria University study, led by sports scientists Glyn Howatson and Phillip Bell, concluded that cherry juice as part of a pre-event day nutrition strategy helped accelerate recovery and maintain muscle function.
And the pros are already well-versed in the benefits, with Rod Ellingworth’s book, Project Rainbow, confirming British Cycling and Team Sky’s soigneurs include cherry juice in their riders’ diets.
It’s not just in juice where you can add tart cherries to your nutrition routine. While www.choosecherries.com recommends a ten-ounce glass of juice pre-workout, you can also carry dried tart cherries in your musette or jersey pocket, or have a tart cherry smoothie as a recovery drink.