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Sports (Basel). 2019 Apr 5;7(4). pii: E84. doi: 10.3390/sports7040084.

Cherry Gel Supplementation Does Not Attenuate Subjective Muscle Soreness or Alter Wellbeing Following a Match in a Team of Professional Rugby Union players: A Pilot Study.

Author information

1
Institute of Cellular Medicine, Newcastle University, Newcastle, NE2 4HH, UK. Joe.kupesarevic2@newcastle.ac.uk.
2
Newcastle Falcons R.F.C., Kingston Park, Newcastle NE13 8AF, UK. kevin.mcshane@newcastle-falcons.co.uk.
3
Institute of Cellular Medicine, Newcastle University, Newcastle, NE2 4HH, UK. tom.clifford@newcastle.ac.uk.

Abstract

This study examined the effects of sour tart cherry juice (TC) on muscle soreness (MS) and wellbeing following a rugby union match in professional players. In a crossover design, 10 players from a senior squad in the top tier of England consumed either 2 × 30 mL servings of TC or an isocaloric cherry-flavoured control gel (CON) two days before, the day of, and two days following an 80 min match. Subjective wellbeing and MS were measured before the match (Pre), and for three days following the match (M+1, M+2, and M+3, respectively). MS was elevated from Pre at M+1 (CON, 111 ± 37 mm vs. TC 94 ± 41 mm) and M+2 (CON, 81 ± 35 mm vs. TC 72 ± 36 mm) (time effect; p = 0.0001; ηp² = 0.821) but there were no differences between TC and CON at either time point post-exercise (p = 0.807; ηp² = 0.035). Wellness scores were ~15% lower at M+1 (p = 0.023; ηp² = 0.638) but there were no differences between the two conditions at any time point (p = 0.647; ηp² = 0.160). In conclusion, tart cherry juice did not attenuate soreness or alter wellbeing in a team of professional rugby union players following a competitive match.

KEYWORDS:

anthocyanins; exercise recovery; intense exercise; muscle pain; polyphenols; rugby

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