Cherry Juice Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

Cherry juice nutrition facts

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Cherry juice, particularly tart cherry juice, has gained popularity in recent years, with many people hoping to gain substantial health benefits from drinking it. But check labels carefully when buying it. Some brands include sweeteners or blend cherry juice with other juices.

Cherry juice may provide some of the health benefits that whole cherries provide, but the juice does not provide any fiber and is likely to be higher in sugar because it is concentrated or combined with other ingredients. If you enjoy juice in moderation, cherry juice can be included in a nutritious eating plan.

Cherry Juice Nutrition Facts

A one-cup serving of tart cherry juice provides 159 calories, 0.8g of protein, 36.9g of carbohydrates, and 1.5g of fat. Tart cherry juice is an excellent source of vitamin C, fiber, and potassium. This nutrition information is provided by the USDA.

  • Calories: 159
  • Fat: 1.5g
  • Sodium: 10.8mg
  • Carbohydrates: 36.9g
  • Sugars: 32.8g
  • Fiber: 0g
  • Protein: 0.8g
  • Thiamin: 0.16mg
  • Copper: 0.1mg
  • Potassium: 433mg
  • Iron: 1.1mg
  • Manganese: 0.16mg

Carbs

Most of the calories in tart cherry juice are carbohydrates. There are 36.9 grams of carbs in the juice, 32.8 grams of sugar, and no fiber.

The glycemic index of cherry juice has not been recorded, but the glycemic index database of the University of Sydney lists the glycemic index of cherry and apple juice at 43. Foods or beverages with a glycemic index of 55 or less are considered low-glycemic foods.

Fats

There is very little fat in a serving of cherry juice. A cup provides 1.5 grams of fat.

Protein

Tart cherry juice provides a very small amount of protein, about 0.8 grams per serving.

Vitamins and Minerals

Cherry juice contains 0.16mg of thiamin, about 13% of the daily value determined by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. It also contains 0.11mg of copper (12% of DV), 433mg of potassium (9.2% of the DV), 1.13mg of iron (6% of the DV), and 0.16mg of manganese (7% of the DV).

Cherry juice also provides 29.6mg of magnesium (7% of DV), 1.13mg of iron, (6% of the DV) , and 0.1mg of vitamin B6 or about 5.9% of the daily value. You'll also benefit from small amounts of zinc, phosphorus, and magnesium.

Calories

A one-cup serving of tart cherry juice provides about 159 calories.

Summary

Cherry juice provides calories mostly in the form of simple carbohydrates. A one-cup serving is a good source of certain micronutrients including thiamin and copper, and also provides potassium, magnesium, iron, and vitamin B6.

Health Benefits

There are several health benefits associated with cherry juice. Many of them are related to its anti-inflammatory potential. Research is ongoing to understand the different ways that cherries, cherry juice, and other forms of cherry might affect the body.

Improves Muscle Recovery

A few studies on runners have suggested that the consumption of cherry juice before, during, and after running may help reduce muscle damage and speed recovery.

A 2010 study involved 54 healthy runners who consumed either a 355-milliliter bottle of tart cherry juice or a placebo cherry drink twice daily for seven days prior to a running event and on the day of the race. After the event, both groups reported increased pain, but the cherry juice group reported a significantly lower level of pain.

In another smaller study, 20 recreational marathon runners drank either cherry juice or a placebo in the five days 5 days before, during, and for 48 hours after running a marathon. Several different muscle damage markers were measured in both groups. Isometric strength recovered faster in the cherry juice group and inflammation was also lower in that group.

Researchers who conducted the small 2010 study concluded that "cherry juice appears to provide a viable means to aid recovery following strenuous exercise by increasing total antioxidative capacity, reducing inflammation, lipid peroxidation and so aiding in the recovery of muscle function."

More recent literature reviews have also suggested that tart cherry juice may aid recovery in athletes. There have also been a few small studies suggesting that powder made from Montmorency cherries may be as effective as tart cherry juice to reduce inflammation, muscle damage, and muscle soreness following resistance training.

Reduces Inflammation

Several studies have suggested that the consumption of tart cherry juice may help reduce inflammation and improve antioxidant defenses, especially in older adults. Cherries contain anthocyanins which act as antioxidants and help to fight inflammation and repair oxidative damage. Cherry juice and cherry powder supplements are also believed to provide these benefits.

A small study published in 2019 investigated the role of tart cherry juice on markers of inflammation and oxidative stress in 37 men and women between the ages of 65 and 80. Study participants drank either tart cherry juice or a control drink every day for 12 weeks. Researchers found that those who consumed the tart cherry juice showed improvement in several biomarkers of inflammation and oxidative stress.

May Improve Heart Health

Researchers are studying the ability of tart cherry juice to reduce systolic blood pressure and LDL ("bad") cholesterol, both risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

The researchers who conducted the 2019 study (mentioned above) conducted another study to understand how cherry juice affects blood pressure and cholesterol. Again, the study was small, involving 17 men and 20 women between the ages of 65 and 80 years. Study participants drank either tart cherry juice (480 milliliters) or a control drink every day for 12 weeks.

At the end of the study, the cherry juice group showed lower levels of systolic blood pressure and LDL cholesterol. Study authors believe that the heart-health benefits may be due to the anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory properties of cherry juice, but they note that larger and longer follow-up studies are needed to confirm these findings.

It should be noted that not all studies investigating the relationship between heart health and cherry juice have found a benefit. Another study involved 47 healthy adults aged 30 to 50 years old who consumed cherry juice concentrate for six weeks.

At the end of the study, researchers found no improvement in arterial stiffness, C-reactive protein, systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, total cholesterol, or high-density lipoprotein cholesterol. Study authors concluded that the juice provided no benefit regarding risk markers for cardiovascular disease, but did provide a minor increase in antioxidant status.

May Support Better Sleep

There are many anecdotal reports of people getting a better night's rest after consuming tart cherry juice. Tart cherries are known to contain a relatively high content of melatonin, a substance with sleep-regulating properties.

A small study investigated how cherry juice might improve the sleep of older adults. Researchers used a proprietary tart cherry juice blend and compared it to a placebo. Results showed that cherry juice reduced the severity of insomnia, but did not improve sleep latency, total sleep time, or sleep efficiency compared to placebo.

However, another study involving 20 participants who drank tart cherry juice concentrate for seven days found that melatonin levels increased. Those levels may be helpful in improving sleep duration and quality in healthy people, and may be helpful for those with disturbed sleep patterns.

May Help Treat Gout

Gout is an inflammatory condition that affects 8.3 million people in the United States. It occurs when there is a build-up of uric acid in the body and deposits of uric acid crystals form in joints and tissues. The risk for gout increases with age. You are also at higher risk if you are overweight or obese.

There is some evidence that consuming pure tart cherry juice may be able to reduce serum urate levels in overweight and obese adults. A study conducted in 2019 found that when 26 overweight or obese men and women consumed 240 milliliters of tart cherry juice every day for four weeks, they showed improvement in uric acid levels when compared with placebo.

A research review published in 2019 also evaluated the relationship between cherries and reduced uric acid levels in the treatment of gout. Study authors concluded that there was an association between cherry intake and a reduced risk of gout attacks. They also noted, however, that there was a lack of relevant studies and that the study methods varied widely.

Allergies

People with pollen food allergy syndrome (PFAS), also known as oral allergy syndrome (OAS), should avoid cherry juice as cherries are a common trigger. Specifically, birch pollen allergies are often triggered by cherries and several other fruits and nuts. Symptoms may include an itchy mouth and ears, scratchy throat, and swelling of the lips, mouth, tongue, and throat.

Keep in mind that many cherry juice products contain ingredients other than cherry juice. Always read the ingredients list carefully if you have any food allergies.

Adverse Effects

Cherry juice is likely safe for most people. If you are watching your sugar intake, be sure to read ingredient labels, as sugar may be added to many products.

There is some concern that eating cherry pits can cause harm. Cherry pits contain amygdalin, which is converted to cyanide in the body. The amount of amygdalin in cherries can vary widely. But small unintentional ingestions of cherry pits generally do not cause harm. But it's best to avoid swallowing, crushing, or chewing the pits.

Many home recipes for cherry juice involve putting whole cherries into a blender, which may lead to some parts of the pit getting into the final juice product. If you make your own juice at home, you may want to pit cherries before blending.

Varieties

There are many different types of cherries, but cherry juice is usually made from sweet cherries (usually bing cherries) or from tart cherries (usually Montmorency cherries). Especially if the juice is made from the tart variety, it might be blended with apple juice, grape juice, or another product to add sweetness.

Many cherry juice brands make their product from concentrate. That means that all of the water is extracted from the fruit, leaving just a thick syrup. The syrup is cheaper to package and ship making it less expensive for juice makers. Before bottling, water is re-added to the concentrate.

Some people prefer buying juice "not-from-concentrate" because they prefer food that is less processed. Certain additives (like sugar) may be added to the concentrate to improve flavor or shelf life.

When It’s Best

Cherries are in season during the summer, but cherry juice is widely available year-round in most supermarkets.

Storage and Food Safety

Always look for juice that has been pasteurized. According to the FDA, if the juice has not been pasteurized or otherwise treated it may contain harmful bacteria. If juice has not been treated, the FDA requires that it carry a warning label. However, that rule does not apply when the juice is sold by the glass in restaurants, farmers’ markets, roadside stands, or juice bars.

Cherry juice manufacturers suggest that you refrigerate juice after it has been opened. Properly refrigerated juice will usually stay fresh for about 9 to 12 days. You can also freeze cherry juice to keep it for later use.

If you make your own juice at home, use good food handling practices:

  1. Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and warm water before and after making the juice.
  2. Wash your cherries under running water without the use of soap, detergent, or a commercial produce wash.
  3. Cut away any damaged or bruised areas and throw away cherries that look rotten.
  4. Dry the cherries after washing with a clean cloth towel or paper towel to further reduce bacteria that may be present on the surface.

How to Prepare

You can make your own cherry juice at home, but it can be somewhat time-consuming depending on the method you choose. But making your own juice allows you to use the cherry variety (or blend of varieties) that you prefer.

Begin by washing and stemming your cherries. You'll need about 1.5 pounds of cherries for each liter of juice. Place the cherries into a deep pot with about 2.5 cups of water and bring to a boil. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, then drain using a sieve. Press the fruit to release as much juice as possible.

If you choose to add sugar or other ingredients, return the juice to the pot and reheat before adding them. It may take 10 minutes or more for sugar to dissolve in the juice.

Recipes

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19 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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