Effects of montmorency tart cherry (L. Prunus Cerasus) consumption on nitric oxide biomarkers and exercise performance.
Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2018 Jul ;28(7):1746-1756. Epub 2018 Apr 16. PMID: 29566443
K M Keane
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of Montmorency tart cherry juice (MC) on nitric oxide (NO) biomarkers, vascular function, and exercise performance. In a randomized, double-blind, placebo (PLA)-controlled, crossover study, 10 trained cyclists (mean± SD; V˙O59.0 ± 7.0 mL/kg/min) acutely ingested 30 mL of either MC or PLA following dietary restrictions of polyphenol-rich compounds and completed 6-minutes moderate- and severe-intensity cycling bouts 1.5 hour post-ingestion on 2 occasions for each experimental condition. The severe-intensity cycling test was continued to exhaustion on 1 occasion and immediately followed by a 60-seconds all-out sprint on the other occasion. Blood pressure, pulse wave measures, tissue oxygenation index, and plasma nitrite concentration were assessed pre- and 1.5 hour post-ingestion. Time to exhaustion was not different between conditions (P > .05), but peak power over the first 20 seconds (363 ± 42 vs 330 ± 26 W) and total work completed during the 60-seconds all-out sprint (21 ± 3 vs 19 ± 3 kJ) were 10% higher in the MC trial compared to the PLA trial (P < .05). Systolic blood pressure was 5 ± 2 mm Hg lower 1.5 hour post-MC supplementation compared to PLA supplementation (P < .05). There were no differences in pulse wave measures, plasma nitrite concentration, or tissue oxygenation between the MC and PLA trials (P > .05). These results suggest that acute supplementation with MC can lower blood pressure and improve some aspects of exercise performance, specifically end-sprint performance, in trained cyclists.