I read about the challenge on Instagram where Cheribundi claims that their products can help improve sleep quality, reduce exercise-induced oxidative stress, and helps promote healthy inflammation response. Needless to say I was very interested. In the past, I had read about tart cherry juice being beneficial to endurance runners to aid in recovery. Cheribundi was available at my local health food store, and I had tried it before, just not over the span of seven days. I contacted them and was shipped a nice sample box of Cheribundi products to last me longer than the seven days.
I tried the Cheribundi Tart Cherry Juice in the 8 fl. oz. bottle. It was the middle of the afternoon when I usually need a little something for a pick-me-up. I figured why not give the cherry juice a try? The flavor was intense; a lot of tartness and sweetness coming from those 50 cherries per bottle! For some, it may be a bit too sweet and too high in sugars at 28g, but for me, I liked it! The potassium and carbs gave me that burst of energy I was looking for. Being 130 calories, which is quite high for 8 oz., I opted to make this my afternoon snack and paired it with some nuts. You need to watch those calories you drink otherwise they may be added to your hips at the end of the 7 Day Challenge!
Today I got up and wanted to get out the door ASAP before the sun came out along with the heat, so I drank another 8 oz. bottle of Cheribundi Tart Cherry Juice and ran out the door. I was able to get a nice easy five miles in. I felt great, had plenty of energy to get through the five miles and up a half-mile long hill. The juice performed well as a pre-run fuel being high in carbs at 32g. The juice performed well for a short run, but it would not have sustained me for longer than an hour. I was very depleted when I returned home and hungry!
Time to try a different juice blend, Tart Cherry Rebuild. This differs from the plain Tart Cherry Juice in that they have added apple juice and whey. Each 8 oz. bottle is 160 calories and has 8g of protein. As a personal trainer and running coach I know the importance of protein and when you need it the most - post resistance training. I drank it after an upper body and core resistance-training workout. It still had the same sweet tart flavor and the texture was a little thick due to the added protein, but smooth. It didn’t taste like the typical whey protein powdery drinks. The bottle suggests you always shake well and it blended up quickly and easily. I always drink Cheribundi chilled.
I attended a 1-hour spin class that evening and I had plenty of energy and stamina to last the entire hour without feeling depleted, and I wasn’t sore from my earlier workout that morning either!
Improved sleep - I was falling asleep faster, and I was also able to stay asleep.
Faster Recovery - my body recovered well after each workout without much muscle pain.
Now I really put it to the test! I attended the first day of the Idea World Fitness Convention, which meant multiple workouts each day and early morning wakeup calls. My day started at 5:00 AM without any muscle pain from the previous day’s resistance training and spin class, which was good because I had to be at my first session, yoga at 7:15 AM and then an afternoon Piyo class. I hadn’t done a yoga class in a while so I was a little out of practice, but my body was ready for the challenge.
During our lunch break, I decided to try the Tart Cherry Jasmine Tea Refresh. It was a refreshing green tea (my favorite) with tart cherry juice, water, sugar, and jasmine flowers. 80 calories total for a 16.9 fl. oz. bottle. I loved the flavor, so light and refreshing with just the right amount of sweetness. This is unlike the Tart Cherry Juice, which is very tart and sweet. You can still taste the tart cherries, they just aren’t as strong. I really enjoyed the Refresh, it tasted like a special treat!
After sitting for hours, which can get painful for any runner, I was ready to try Piyo.WOW, was this a tough workout with the founder Chalene Johnson. I was able to keep up with the class, something I had never tried before, and I was feeling energized after having the Refresh as my lunch and afternoon beverage.
I will have to say, I am tired from these early morning wakeup calls, but Cheribundi is helping me sleep better, and I don't have any aches and pains from the Piyo and Yoga class from the day before. During one of our sessions at the Idea World Fitness Convention, a representative from a major yogurt company was speaking to us about diet and exercise. They were sharing the importance of adding tart cherry juice to their athletes’ diets, mainly football players, because they contain phytonutrients and anthocyanins, which have powerful antioxidant properties and block inflammation-causing enzymes reducing pain felt with the body. I was thrilled to hear this information and from professional athletic trainers.
Today I tried the Tart Cherry Juice Light. It contains 40 cherries (instead of the usual 50 per bottle) and less sugar. If you are watching your calorie intake, you may want to consider this version at only 80 calories compared to the 130 calories for the regular Tart Cherry Juice. The ingredients are: Tart Cherry Juice, Water, Reba A (Natural Stevia Leaf Sweetener) making the flavor a little less strong in cherry flavor and a little less sweet.
After three long and busy days at the Fitness Convention, I was ready for some Restore by Cheribundi. My last workout of the day was a 55-minute Kettle WorX class, and I needed some electrolytes. Tart Cherry Restore contains cherry juice with the added benefit of electrolytes and vitamins. I found the juice to be a little less sweet and more refreshing than the regular juice. I had been doing 2-3 workouts everyday while at this convention and the cherry juice had really helped me recover faster, so I was able to keep up with the classes without muscle soreness getting in the way. Cheribundi has a nice selection of products depending on your need. After a hard workout, you will wany to grab the Restore!
After a busy week, I decided it was time to try the Tart Cherry Relax. It combines tart cherries' natural melatonin to help you sleep more deeply and an added extract that promotes relaxation. It revitalizes the body with phytonutrients and anthocyanins. Ingredients: tart cherry juice, water, L-Theanine (tea extract) Reba A (stevia leaf sweetener). I was able to relax and settle my mind so I could fall asleep quickly and stay asleep all night. I woke up feeling like I had a good sleep without any groggy feeling.
In conclusion, I discovered that just by adding as little as 8 oz. of Tart Cherry Juice once a day for seven days I can enjoy the benefits of improved sleep by increasing the quality and duration of sleep plus reducing the time it takes to fall asleep, faster recovery by reducing pain and muscle soreness, and decreased the amount of time it takes to regain muscle strength.
I enjoyed trying all the different types of Cheribundi Cherry Juice products that are available making it nice for the consumer to choose when to use them (before or after a workout). The only warning is they are good, and by that I mean you may find yourself liking them so much you that they’ll become a regular treat, so just be aware they tend to be high in calories. Be sure to consider the additional calories when doing the 7-day challenge and adjust your diet accordingly, otherwise you may end up gaining weight.