When the folks at Cheribundi reached out to me with info and an offer of samples they, nor I, understood the serendipity of the action.
They are, of course, touting the powerful anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits of pure cherry juice. The tart cherry juice comes with claims of a better night’s sleep, better muscle recovery and an energy boost.
I was, unknown to them, dealing with an inflamed shoulder and knee, spending more time tossing and turning than dozing and languishing after twice weekly lifting and cardio sessions.
According to the company, Cheribundi’s popularity isn’t based on hype or stunts -- it’s based on more than 50 scientific research studies performed on tart cherries. The athlete-favored product, made from American-grown tart cherries, contains robust natural antioxidants, which are linked to a broad range of powerful health benefits including anti-inflammation, heart and cardiovascular health, pain relief, exercise recovery and even arthritis alleviation.
“More than 120 professional and NCAA sports teams drink Cheribundi,” said CEO Steve Pear. “This time of year is all about statistics and odds and ending the season with a big win. It’s clear by the numbers that Cheribundi is a winner – in this year’s college football bowl games and in some of the most prized championships in several other sports.”
In fact, Cheribundi is the common thread that ties together all of 2015’s championship teams, including: Super Bowl champs the New England Patriots, Stanley Cup winners the Chicago Blackhawks, NCAA men’s basketball tournament champions the Duke Blue Devils, and the U.S. women’s national soccer team who beat Japan 5-2 to win the 2015 World Cup.
If it’s good enough for a bunch of pro athletes, I figured I could play along. I certainly answered “yes” to Cheribundi’s Seven-Day Challenge question:
Do you have aches and pains, trouble sleeping, slow muscle recovery, or simply looking to feel more energetic and alive?
Why seven days? Tart cherries have one of the highest ORAC rates (Oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) is a method of measuring antioxidant capacities in biological samples in vitro) among all superfruits, offering a high dose of anthocyanins, a specific class of antioxidants shown to battle free-radicals and repair cell damage inside the body. Drinking 8 ounces of tart cherry juice for seven days has been shown to increase the body's anthocyanin level needed to achieve the maximum health benefits and feel your best.
Cheribundi is not a bitter pill to swallow. The tart cherry juice is refreshing and goes down easy – especially chilled. Each 8-ounce serving is made from 50 cherries. A check of the ingredients label found only cherries and apple juice form concentrate on the list. The portion is 130 calories with 32 grams of carbs – 28 of which come from natural fruit sugars.
So it went for seven days. Did I feel better? Did I sleep better? I thought so, but my inherent skeptic was unconvinced. I stopped after seven days, went two weeks and did the 7-Day Challenge again – this time focused on my feelings and actual notation sleep habits.
My skeptic has been put to rest. I don’t need a nutritionist or a sports medicine doctor to tell me how I feel. The joint pain is lessened or eliminated. I go to sleep effortlessly and achieve a deep, restful sleep. It is rewarding to know that such a simple, all-natural juice can have such a powerful, noticeable influence over my well-being. I continue enjoying 8 ounces of Cheribundi every day. My favorite grocer stocks the juice in 8-ounce and 32-ounce bottles.
Take the challenge yourself. In the meantime, read up on the science behind Cheribundi. On the company website, you can also sign up to take your own 7-Day Challenge and get coupons for Cheribundi Tart Cherry juice.