Their is a lot of research showing support that drinking tart cherry juice as a very effective muscle recovery aid. It appears that using it during your pre- and post-workout training, that it can provide a powerful tool for recovery by reducing soreness and restoring strength more quickly. Tart cherry juice has been shown to have a positive effect on boosting your natural melatonin levels so you can sleep better. As you already know sleep is a key to faster recovery and growth.
How does tart cherry juice help you recover faster with less overall soreness? The reason is likely due to the fact that tart cherries contain flavonoids and anthocyanins that induce strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.
You can find plenty of studies on Pubmed to support the use of tart cherry juice, but these three studies will probably interest you most:
Bowtell JL, et al. Med Sci Sports Exerc. Aug 2011
What it showed: 10 well-trained athletes consumed tart cherry juice 7 days before and until 2 days after a bout of leg extensions for 10 sets of 10 reps. Subjects restored strength faster and measures of protein carbonyls (a marker of oxidative stress in aging and disease) were reduced.
Howatson G, et al. Scand J Med Sci Sports. Dec 2010
What it showed: 20 subjects consumed tart cherry juice 5 days before and until 2 days after a marathon run. Three markers of inflammation (interleukin-6, C-reactive protein, and uric acid) were reduced, and strength was restored more quickly.
Connolly DA, et al. Br J Sports Med. Aug 2006
What it showed: 14 male college students drank tart cherry juice twice a day for 8 days. They performed a workout on the fourth day. Strength loss and pain were reduced.
It appears that you don’t need too much tart cherry juice to get a favorable effect. These studies vary in the amount that you need to drink. Some were as low as a few ounces per day, while other were as high as 24 ounces per day.
via Chad Waterbury