Studies that show a product increases protein synthesis rates does not mean it will result in greater muscle growth. Acute supplementations with tart cherry, pomegranate, and blueberries have been shown to reduce muscle soreness and improve performance short-term. Still, this study found no long term benefits of polyphenols for increasing muscle mass or strength.
Tart cherry juice with whey and pomegranate had greater increases compared to the placebo group at 48 hours.
There were no differences in protein synthesis between the groups at the end of the study (late phase adaptation). There was no difference in muscle growth or strength gains between the two groups, although the protein polyphenol group tended to have more muscle growth.
A homemade whey protein powder/shake or whey casein blend protein with tart cherry and pomegranate may be beneficial for reducing muscle soreness and improving recovery.
THE BENEFITS OF TART CHERRY JUICE POST WORKOUT
Whey protein with milk or water after workouts is a staple for most bodybuilders. Other variations of post-work variations are whey protein with greek yogurt. You can make your own whey protein shake to build muscle with any whey protein concentrate/isolate powders. Some advanced whey protein powders have creatine and whey protein together.
Ocean spray tart cherry juice is a common tart cherry juice recovery beverage. Tart cherry juice post-workout can improve performance the following day. Tart cherry juice and pomegranate are rich in polyphenols which reduce free radical damage and can improve post-workout recovery.(1, 2)
OCEAN SPRAY TART CHERRY JUICE/POMEGRANATE JUICE/HOMEMADE WHEY PROTEIN POWDER
Previous studies have found that a polyphenol-rich protein drink consisting of 20 g of total protein (from a blend of whey, pea, and casein), 10 g of total carbohydrate, and 650 mg of pomegranate extract (211 mg polyphenols) resulted in a 35% increase in muscle protein synthesis, suppressed muscle inflammation, and resulted in a 30% improvement in muscle function after muscle-damaging eccentric exercise.(3, 4) If you are looking for a lower calorie version (i.e., lose weight) of tart cherry juice, look for unsweetened tart cherry juice/low sugar tart cherry juice.
Common ingredients in your grocery stores, such as tart cherries and pomegranate with whey protein isolate, can enhance muscle recovery. These results suggest that taking a protein polyphenol drink over a period of weeks may increase muscle growth through increased protein synthesis and reduced inflammation. Tart cherry and beet juice benefits can be numerous for athletes.
Subjects took part in a 10.5-week training program. They were randomly assigned to consume a protein-polyphenol supplement after exercise (20g protein + 650mg pomegranate extract) and before bed (18g protein + 480mg tart cherry extract) or an isocaloric maltodextrin placebo at both time points. The subjects in the study maintained a placebo group maintained protein at 1.2 -1.5 g/kg/day g/kg/bw.
The protein polyphenol group’s protein intake increased to 1.6 -2.2 g/kg/bw, which is the usual recommendation for increasing lean mass in athletes. The researchers divide the training program into two phases: an early-phase adaptation and a late-phase adaptation.