Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Cherry Juice or Pickle Juice?

Most runners know that running long distances usually comes with some soreness, but very few runners understand what is going on in their muscles and joints that make them sore or know how to deal with the problem.  A recent article in the Wall Street Journal explained why long distance runners get pains and tightness in their legs and muscles.  The article also provided runners with two surprising, but effective remedies to help combat their pain: cherry juice and pickles.

Experts say that pain and tightness in the legs usually occur because there is some micro-tearing going on inside of the muscles, which can’t function well under such high levels of stress. When this happens, the insides of the muscles become inflamed, causing pain and soreness. This is where the cherry juice helps. Cherry juice is rich in antioxidants, which fight some of the muscle inflammation from the micro-tears that cause pain.  Several studies have shown that runners who drink the equivalent of 45-50 cherries (one serving of Cheribundi) before, during, and after a race, experience less pain and inflammation than those who do not.  Over 90 professional sports teams and hundred of professional athletes drink Cheribundi to reduce pain, train harder, and recover faster.

In addition to hurting from micro-tears, muscles begin to become soar and stop functioning like they should when they no longer have the proper amount of electrolytes, which conduct electrical impulses that enable muscle cells to contract. This is where the pickle juice comes in. Electrolytes are formed in sodium, and while sports drinks have electrolytes, pickle juice has about as much concentrated sodium as any liquid that athletes have been able to stomach during intense exercise.

Although pickle juice isn't widely available at most marathon water stations, drinking it is not a new strategy. The Philadelphia Eagles drank it during a 2000 game against the Dallas Cowboys when it was 109 degrees. The Eagles won.

Sources: WSJ Online 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Slim Down for Summer with America's Superfruit

If you’re looking to slim down and eat well this summer, try adding tart cherries to your diet. Research shows that adding tart cherries to your diet can prevent weight gain and even encourage weight loss.

In a study conducted by the University of Michigan, researchers found that tart cherries have significant weight management benefits, including reduced triglyceride and cholesterol levels.

Tart cherries are high in anthocyanins, a highly potent type of antioxidant that promotes healthy oxidation of fat (fat burning).  These antioxidants may help prevent fat storage in the liver, one of the most dangerous places to store fat because the liver produces triglycerides. When less fat is stored in the liver, the liver doesn’t produce as many triglycerides or release inflammatory substances, resulting in lowering the body’s triglyceride levels.  All of these changes help protect you from weight gain.

Tart cherries are also high in fiber, which will keep you feeling full longer. According to a recent study in the Journal of Nutrition, you can prevent weight gain and encourage weight loss by adding more fiber to your diet.  In this study, Researchers followed the eating habits of women for two years and found that those who increased their fiber intake generally lost weight. During the study, they discovered that increasing fiber intake by 8 grams for every 1,000 calories resulted in about 4 ½ pounds of weight loss.

There are many ways you can add 8 grams of fiber to your diet. My trick is drinking a Cheribundi smoothie every morning for breakfast. I mix a frozen cherry puree packet with a cup of frozen berries, a banana, and a splash of apple juice. Cheribundi smoothie packs have helped me boost my fiber intake before I even start my workday. Click here to learn more about the benefits of tart cherries. 

Sources: Sources: University of Michigan Health System, The Journal of Nutrition, National College of Natural, Health and Science’s Library UCD