A couple of weeks ago, THIS arrived on my doorstep:
A very elegant box with a beautifully-packaged selection of tart cherry juice drinks from Cheribundi. According to the company’s site, Cheribundi was created after the discovery that “snacking on Montmorency tart cherries eased a regular person’s back pain. This anecdotal cure was researched by food scientists at Cornell University who not only uncovered the benefits of tart cherries, but also developed a proprietary juicing process so all the cherry-goodness and nutrients could be delivered in a great tasting juice.”
So what’s the deal with tart cherry juice? It’s chock full of antioxidants, which fight free-radicals and repair cell damage inside the body. It has natural anti-inflammatory properties, which is why athletes like it so much.
Cheribundi claims that their product will improve sleep and athletic recovery and lessen aches and pains. In fact, studies found decreased oxidative stress in healthy older men and women, significantly less strength loss among 14 male student athletes, and an increase in antioxidant status and more rapid recovery of strength in 20 London Marathon runners. The studies were based on consumption of 8 – 12 oz of Cheribundi twice a day.
In no particular order, here are the drinks and their nutrition facts per 8oz serving:
I’m a big fan of tart cherry juice and often add it to my smoothies. But I wasn’t sure I would like drinking it straight from the bottle. I started with the Ginger Cherry. You could definitely taste the ginger – subtle but not overbearing, it allowed for the tart cherry flavor to come through. The Tru Cherry was obviously the same but without the ginger, and the Skinny Cherry, with about 2/3 the calories and sugar of the other drinks (it contains Reb A, a natural stevia leaf sweetener), didn’t taste any different. I tasted the drinks straight from the bottle, refrigerated, of course, and also over ice. I liked them both ways.
The Whey Cherry was also a hit, and with an almost 4:1 carb to protein ratio, is perfect as a post-workout drink. The only drink I didn’t care for was the Cacao Cherry. Mind you, I don’t like chocolate-covered strawberries, chocolate cherries, or any combination of chocolate and fruit. Much like people who don’t like to mix sweet and savory (e.g., pineapple on pizza), I prefer to eat my chocolate separate from my fruit. So I don’t think this drink was going to be a winner for me.
So, what don’t I like? Because, you know, it wouldn’t be a racingtales review without a gripe or two. Well, I’m not a huge fan of the name…Cheribundi…kinda reminds me of cherubs (not a fan) and Al Bundy…unappealing combination. It’s just too cutesy for me. But I can live with it. One thing that confused me was the labeling. Ginger and Tru are labeled “cherry juice” and Whey, Skinny, and Cacao are “cherry juice drink.” What’s the difference? I’m thinking that once you add something it is no longer a “juice” but a “juice drink,” but that doesn’t explain why Ginger is a “juice.” Also, I was confused at first by the name under “cheribundi” and the name at the bottom:
Here we have “TART CHERRY JUICE DRINK” under “cheribundi” and “Whey Cherry” at the bottom of the bottle. You have to read both descriptions to know what you’ve got. Now that I’m familiar with the product I get it, but at first glance I was a bit confused.
But my complaints are minor and are outweighed by the compliments. I think this is a great supplement to an athlete’s diet to keep the motor running smoothly. Note that it’s not a recovery drink (except for the Whey Cherry) but if you drink it along with some protein or add it to a smoothie with some protein powder, you’ve got a potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory recovery drink!
Note that Cheribundi is a TART drink…so if tart’s not your thing, you may not like them. If that’s the case you may prefer to put the juice in a smoothie: all the benefits, none of the taste.
Do you drink tart cherry juice?
What’s your favorite natural anti-inflammatory?