Friday, April 27, 2012

Food Facts Friday: Tart Cherry Juice

After Wednesday's workout, I had an aching pain in my left butt cheek ...and no, it wasn't my kids, this time! This pain went down the back of my leg, knarled up in the back of my left knee, stayed there, and oddly reappeared in the heel of my left foot. As the day went on, the pain made my left hammy tighten up so much that I couldn't bend over to touch my knees, never mind my toes.
What the heck?
Where did this come from?
So, later that afternoon, I ran to my chiropractor. I freak out when I get any sort of pain: in my feet, ankles, knees, quads, hammies, butt, back, neck, shoulders, head - those are all the parts that I've had some pain, over the last few months. I just think, if something interferes with my running, I will go 'full-crazed'.
And with each ache, and pain, I've gone, well ...crazy! 
Okay, half-crazy! 
Hey, if the name fits ....

My chiropractor said it sounded like sciatic pain.
My chiropractor, Dr. L., and his wife own a family practice. I love them both - they are one of those really cute couples - and they love, love, love their patients. Just one of those practices, that when you go in, everything from A to Z, is done to make you feel good, better or best as possible. Well, this past Wednesday, I was hoping for at least, a 'best as possible'. I don't like medicine, I have to take some for my Crohn's, or else it gets really ugly, but other than that, I like to use food as my medicine, running for stress and Dr. L for pain!

So, there I was, with Dr. L. adjusting my back - and hey, it was not fun! It friggin'
I'm not kidding!
The muscles up and down my spine were tight as a drum. He really had to press to align my back. And after that, he adjusted my neck and the room was spinning - I got really dizzy and light headed. I haven't been to get adjusted for a few months, and I have been ignoring all my recent aches and pains 'cause I haven't had any time. It seems as if they caught up to me.

I plan on going back to Dr. L. next Wednesday - I do feel a bit better. This morning I was able to bend over and touch my ankles, with just a bit of discomfort.

In the meanwhile, I am going to start drinking tart cherry juice. There has been tons of research out on this, lately:

like this ...

... and this ..

Running can cause acute muscle damage, which results in inflammation. This inflammation can negatively affect how much power and force a runner produces. Since tart cherries are rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents, they can reduce muscle damage and pain during strenuous exercise (i.e., running).

One study suggests drinking tart cherry juice for 
7days prior to and during a strenuous running event
to minimize post-run muscle pain.

Okay, but what if the damage is already done, or occurs over a period of time, and ignored, like I did for the last several weeks?
Turns out, it's actually not too late.
You can put the cart before the horse when it comes to tart cherries!
Research shows that tart cherries can help reduce pain and inflammation associated with osteo-arthritis and fibromyalgia!
If tart cherry juice can help with chronic pain,
where do I sign? 
How much? 
How often?
Looks as if researchers suggest:
One X 10.5 ounces of tart cherry juice per day, for 7 days, before strenuous exercise, to minimize post-exercise muscle soreness
One X 10.5 ounces of tart cherry juice per day, for three weeks, to reduce pain and minimize muscle soreness
Two X 10.5 ounces of tart cherry juice per day, for 10 days, to help reduce chronic pain and muscle soreness.

There are about 45 tart cherries per 10.5 ounces of tart cherry juice and about 260calories per 10.5 ounces of tart cherry juice - so, if you are concerned about calories, one 10.5 ounces of tart cherry juice can be used to replace a snack and/or a recovery drink.
This is my favorite!
Here's to some pain relief:
Bottoms up! 
And ...
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