Best Tart Cherry Juice: According to a Performance Dietitian

Are you looking for a delicious way to improve your health? Look no further than tart cherry juice! Packed with numerous health benefits, this delicious beverage has gained popularity among athletes and fitness enthusiasts alike.

Hey, I’m Jenn, a Registered Dietitian who has a passion for helping individuals fuel, think, and move towards the best versions of themselves without sacrificing their relationship with food. If you want practical, evidence-based nutrition advice to improve your performance and wellness — Learn how I can help

So, let’s dive into the world of tart cherry juices and explore some top choices that will surely leave you feeling rejuvenated and revitalized.

Health Benefits of Tart Cherry Juice

Whether you’re an athlete seeking faster recovery or simply someone who wants to enhance their overall well-being, incorporating tart cherry juice has shown to be beneficial. Here are some of the health benefits it provides:

Improved sleep quality:

If you struggle with getting a good night’s sleep, tart cherry juice might be just what you need. It naturally contains melatonin, a hormone that regulates our sleep-wake cycle. Drinking this juice before bed has been found to increase melatonin levels in the body and promote better sleep quality.

Enhanced exercise recovery:

For athletes or fitness enthusiasts looking to optimize their recovery process after intense workouts, tart cherry juice can be highly beneficial. Its potent antioxidant content helps reduce muscle soreness, inflammation, and oxidative damage caused by strenuous exercise. This aids in faster recovery time while improving overall athletic performance. 

To promote recovery, research finds the best dose is 250-350 mL (30 mL concentrate) twice daily for 4-5 days before an athletic event or for 2-3 days afterwards. 

Anti-inflammatory properties:

Tart cherries contain powerful antioxidants called anthocyanins, which have been shown to reduce inflammation in the body. 

Health Benefits of Tart Cherry Juice

When is the Best Time to Drink Tart Cherry Juice

Before bedtime:

Tart cherry juice contains melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep-wake cycles. Consuming this juice about 30 minutes to an hour before bedtime may improve sleep quality and duration by enhancing overall sleep patterns.

Post-workout recovery:

After an intense workout session, tart cherry juice can aid in muscle recovery due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Drinking a glass of this vibrant red liquid immediately after your workout helps reduce inflammation and enhances the recovery process.

Things to Look for When Buying Tart Cherry Juice

Not all tart cherry juices are created equal, and it’s important to know what to look for when making your purchase. Here are some key factors to consider before buying:


When purchasing, make sure it is 100% pure and not mixed with other fruit juices or additives. Some products on the market may contain cheaper filler juices like apple or grape to cut costs or improve taste. While these blends might still offer some benefits, the potency and concentration of beneficial compounds found in pure tart cherry juice will be higher.

No Added Sugar: 

Many commercially available fruit juices are loaded with added sugars or artificial sweeteners. Check the label carefully to ensure that your chosen product doesn’t contain any added sugars.


Tart cherry juice comes in various concentrations, ranging from concentrates that require dilution to ready-to-drink bottles. Concentrates provide flexibility in terms of serving size and allow you to adjust the strength according to your preferences. On the other hand, pre-diluted juices offer convenience but may lack customization options.

Type of Tart Cherry: 

There are various types of tart cherries available, such as Montmorency and Balaton. Montmorency cherries tend to be the most common variety used in commercial tart cherry juice due to their high antioxidant content and distinct flavor. Balaton cherries have a sweeter taste and may be preferable if you prefer a milder flavor.

Best Tart Cherry Juice Options 

To help you find the best options available in the market, here’s a list of some of the best options recommended by a dietitian:

R.W. Knudsen Family Just Tart Cherry Juice:

A trusted brand in the world of fruit juices is R.W. Knudsen Family. Their “Just” line features 100% pure tart cherry juice with no sugar added or preservatives included. With its tangy flavor profile and abundance of antioxidants, this product is perfect for both sipping on its own or incorporating into smoothies and recipes.

R.W. Knudsen Family

Cheribundi Tart Cherry Juice:

Cheribundi is made from Montmorency cherries that are grown domestically in Michigan and New York. For convenience, Cheribundi developed tar cherry concentrate shot pouches equivalent to 40 tart cherries. These are perfect for travel and on the go. 


Cherry Bay Orchards Tart Cherry Juice Concentrate:

Made from Montmorency cherries, this concentrate offers a potent dose of antioxidants and natural melatonin. It can be mixed with water or added to smoothies for convenient consumption.

Cherry Bay Orchards tart cherry juice

HumanN Tart Cherry Gummies:

Humann teamed up with a team of doctors to formulate tart cherry gummies that contain 16 ounces of tart cherry juice per 2 gummies. That is equivalent to 100 tart cherries.  Good news for athletes and other consumers, these gummies are NSF Certified for Sport, meaning they are third party verified to be safe. 



In conclusion, tart cherry juice offers a plethora of health benefits that make it a valuable addition to your daily routine. From reducing inflammation and improving sleep quality to boosting athletic performance, the positive effects of are hard to ignore. 

When choosing a tart cherry juice, be sure to look for options that are made from 100% pure cherries without any added sugars or artificial ingredients. Additionally, consider factors such as taste preference and packaging size when making your selection. 

Remember to consult with a registered dietitian or healthcare professional before making any significant changes to your diet. While tart cherry juice can offer various health benefits, it is essential to consider factors such as personal dietary needs and potential interactions with medications.

If you want to learn more on how tart cherry juice can fit into your nutrition plan, schedule a free 15 minute discovery call today!

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Registered Dietitian Nutritionist | Website | + posts

Jenn Schmidt is a licensed and board-certified Registered Dietitian Nutritionist based in Minnesota. Her specialty is in performance nutrition and wellness, which focuses on helping individuals fuel, think, and move towards their best selves without compromising their relationship with food. Jenn is passionate about all things food-related and enjoys making complex science easy to understand for her clients and readers.

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