Health supplements are extensively used globally to make up for the inadequacies in nutritional intake in regular diet. By virtue of being a health supplement or herbal formulation, most of the products are available easily over the counter. Consequently, the opportunity to use the wrong product or overuse a particular health supplement is relatively high. Tart cherry juice is one among the commonly used health supplements for the claimed health benefits. Here is a look at indepth details of the juice, including tart cherry juice side effects. This will help to separate fact from fiction and offer the right inputs for or responsible use.
Overview of the cherry and tart cherry juice side effects
Belonging to the category of Montmorency cherries, tart cherry is commonly known as sour cherries. An abundant source of antioxidants makes the sour cherries one among the most sought-after health supplements. Antioxidants are known for their extensive health benefits, including swift recovery from exercise related problems and sound sleep. Additionally, tart Cherry juice is also known to help reduce inflammation that is attributed to many conditions. The juice contains melatonin that is responsible for helping in the regulation of sleep.
Proven benefits from tart cherry juice
Before we take a look at tart cherry juice side effects, it is necessary to understand the proven health benefits of the juice, to assist in determining the various conditions for which it can be rightly used. One of the main reasons for side effects in medications or health supplements is incorrect usage. As an abundant source of vitamins, minerals, in addition to ingredients that help to tackle inflammation, tart cherry has proven health benefits for various conditions.
#1 Swift recovery from exercise related conditions
The juice is known to help individuals in Sporting activities elevate performance. This is attributed to the ability of the juice to help in recovery post exercise. Additionally, its qualities in helping reduce pain, assist individuals to push their performance. It is known to help individuals in sporting activities, by reducing the strength loss that is generally associated with the period immediately after training. By virtue of the low glycemic index associated with dark cherries, athletes are known to benefit from enhanced endurance. The increase in blood sugar level is relatedly low/gradual, and this is known to help improve performance. Additional qualities associated with dark cherries include the anti-inflammatory properties, apart from the antioxidative property of the cherry. Cherries are also known to improve the blood flow, which makes it an important health supplement for athletes and individuals in Sporting activities.
#2 Vital anti-inflammation properties
The presence of anthocyanins in tart cherry juice gives it potent anti-inflammatory properties. These compounds are vital in combating certain health conditions that are attributed to inflammation. For instance, individuals diagnosed with arthritis or other similar chronic conditions, are known to experience considerable relief as a result of the anti inflammatory properties of tart Cherry juice. Other conditions that can be managed with tart cherry juice includes individuals with various joint pain disorders.
#3 Combating oxidative damage
Individuals, especially the aged, are known to be affected by the consequences of oxidative damage. This is responsible for various conditions. The powerful antioxidant properties of tart cherry juice help boost the antioxidant defences thereby bringing down the extent of damage that is attributed to oxidative stress. The elderly are known to experience adverse impact of oxidative stress, that result in impaired cognitive functions. Cherry juice helps enhance cognitive functions in the elderly by reducing the impact of oxidative damage.
#4 Contributes to boosting sleep cycles and patterns
One of the most important aspects of good health is the need for sound sleep of the right duration. Individuals suffering from insomnia are known to benefit from tart Cherry juice, as it helps in experiencing sound sleep. This is attributed to the presence of tryptophan and melatonin in the cherry. By virtue of the increased bioavailability of the above amino acid and hormone respectively, individuals experience the benefits of sound sleep.
Commonly reported tart cherry juice side effects
With all the above information about potential health benefits of the sour cherry, it is now time to look at tart cherry juice side effects. Typically, the side effects of any health supplement or formulation is attributed to either the mechanism of action, incorrect use of the supplement, excess dosage, or active ingredients. Tart cherry juice, as can be seen from the above information, contains potent ingredients that are responsible for the outlined health benefits. The downside of the presence of potent ingredients is the possible undesirable effects of the ingredient. Here is a compilation of the commonly reported tart cherry juice side effects.
#1 Increase in sugar levels
A sudden increase in sugar levels cannot be ruled out in individuals on the health supplement. This is mainly because of the presence of sugar in tart cherry juice. To compound matters further, manufacturers are known to sweeten tart cherry juice with additional sugar. Consequently, there is a possibility of diabetics witnessing a sudden increase in blood sugar levels. It is a necessary to consult the treating specialist or physician before including tart cherry juice in diets. Another option available for individuals to avoid tart cherry juice side effects is the use of capsule supplements, that do not contain added sugar.
#2 General precautions to avoid tart cherry juice side effects
As a natural product, tart cherry is not known to cause any adverse reaction in pregnant women or breastfeeding women. However, when the juice of tart cherry is consumed in concentrated form or in heavier volumes, there is the possibility of undesirable effects. It is therefore necessary to seek qualified medical advice prior to consumption of tart Cherry supplements. This will help individuals avoid the possibility of tart cherry juice side effects.
#3 Possible interactions with other drugs for formulations
The possibility of any medication or health supplement interacting with other medications or health supplements cannot be entirely ruled out. Tart cherry juice is not an exception and there is every possibility of drug interactions. For instance, individuals on medications typically prescribed for managing cholesterol or controlling blood pressure are advised to seek appropriate medical advice to consuming tart cherry juice. Similarly, individuals on medications for managing blood sugar levels are also advised to inform the treating specialist about the health supplement.
As mentioned above, there is the possibility of a gradual spike in blood sugar levels. Consequently, medication for controlling blood sugar may have lesser efficacy, and this may require a change in the dosage or frequency of the medication.
#4 Additional precautions that need to be followed
The fruit of the sour cherry is safe for pregnant or breast-feeding women when taken normally. However, it is not known if medicinal quantities of sour cherry fruit, or dietary supplements containing the sour cherry are safe. Individuals are known to assume that natural products and concentrates of natural products are the same. This is an erroneous assumption and can prove to be detrimental to health. Concentrates of natural products deliver more active ingredients, though the quantity may appear to be the same. Stay on the safe side and stick to sour cherry fruit in the right quantity.
The dosage depends on the specific condition that is being managed and various other factors. For instance, the age of the individual, pre-existing health conditions, medications being used as part of treatment regimen, and the specific condition that needs to be treated, need to be evaluated before determining the right amount of tart cherry juice. One of the most common errors on the part of individual is the assumption that all natural products are safe for consumption. This is entirely wrong; not all natural products are fully safe for consumption, and most importantly there is a limit to the quantity or frequency that can be taken. By virtue of being available in an unregulated environment, most natural products and health supplements end up being abused or consumed in excessive quantities.
Summary of precautions
Here is a summary of precautions that need to be followed to prevent tart cherry juice side effects. The juice has not been specifically tested or assessed when taken in combination with blood thinners. It is therefore necessary for individuals on medications like warfarin or other blood thinners to seek medical advice. One of the ingredients of tart cherries includes sorbitol, and attributed to certain aggravating effects. Sorbitol, belonging to the category of sugar alcohol, is known to trigger certain symptoms that aggravate irritable bowel syndrome. It is also known to have an effect on individuals with fructose malabsorption. Sorbitol is known to result in in the formation of gas/bloating, and could also result in an upset stomach. Additionally, it is also known to cause bouts of diarrhea in individuals with certain pre-existing conditions.
In addition to the above, tart cherry juice side effects include the possibility of a reduction in systolic blood pressure. This is typically experienced by individuals, who consume tart cherry juice frequently or include it as part of regular diet. There is also the possibility of tart cherry juice resulting in accumulation of potassium in individuals with existing kidney ailments. The juice is also reported to be linked to specific renal conditions. This is, however, extremely rare, it is not likely to be experienced by most of the individuals on the juice supplements.
The impressive range of health benefits attributed to tart cherry juice, may sometimes prompt individuals to replace other protein drinks with the juice of the tart Cherry. However, it is important to understand that other protein energy drinks have different roles and desired outcomes. It is therefore important to avoid use of the two products interchangeably. Sporting personalities considering tart cherry juice to boost performance, are advised to follow a loading phase prior to important events, and recovery phase after the event. There are clear differences in the dosage that is to be followed in the loading phase and the dosage during the recovery period. Typically, the juice is consumed twice a day during the loading phase and the recovery period. Remember, tart cherry juice contains fructose, and it is therefore necessary to follow dosage instructions diligently.