Over the last few years, I had noticed numerous articles stating the benefits of using cherry juice to help speed recovery in endurance athletes. Cheribundi claims that their products can help improve sleep quality, reduce exercise-induced oxidative stress, and help promote healthy inflammation response. They had just launched the Cheribundi 7-Day Challenge, and I was very interested and wanted to try them out myself. 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 their products to last me longer than the seven days.

Included the box were the Smoothie Packs. After having tried the variety of juices, I was anxious to give these smoothie packs a try. Each bag contains four packs. The ingredients, or should I say ingredient, couldn’t be simpler: organic tart cherry puree. Each pack is just 50 calories and can be enjoyed best when frozen.

You can add the frozen puree to any fruits and veggies to make your smoothie. The bag suggests using bananas, stone fruits, berries, veggies, protein powder, juice or milk and then sweeten to your liking. Combine everything in a blender and mix unitl smooth. I decided to try mine more like a soft serve, or “acai bowl,” by blending the frozen pouch of cherry puree with some frozen banana chunks and nonfat Greek plain yogurt. No sweetener was necessary due to the high sugar content of the cherry puree and bananas. I served it in a bowl with some blueberries, raspberries, and granola. It was so satisfying; it seemed more like a treat than a healthy recovery meal!

Nutrition Facts per pack: 50 calories, 0g Fat, 90mg Potassium, 0mg Salt, 12g Carbohydrates, 2g Dietary Fiber, 10g Sugars, 1g Protein. 

Personally, I get tired of protein shakes, and I like this new option to make more of a frozen treat, almost like a soft serve or sorbet. The flavor is definitely present with the sweetness and tartness of the cherries, without overwhelming the flavors of any additional ingredients you may add.

After taking the 7-Day Challenge and drinking 8 oz. of cherry juice every day for seven days, I have learned how beneficial tart cherry juice is for recovery. When consuming cherry juice or the puree, I noticed I began to sleep better and recover much faster. No more waking up sore from the previous day’s workout. As an endurance athletes, it is so important for us to recover quickly so we can get back out there to our training program.  With that being said, I have now included Cheribundi juice and Smoothie Packs into my marathon training routine.

You can find Cheribundi Smoothie Packs at Whole Foods and Wegmans.

Want to take the Cheribundi 7-day challenge? Find out more at www.cheribundi.com.