Tart Cherry Supplements: Benefits and Side Effects


Tart Cherry Supplements – Is this the new Raspberry Ketone?

Over the years, the supplement industry has numerous successes but also quite a lot of failures when introducing new products into the market.

Most of the time supplements improve over the years, honing in on what works and getting rid of what doesn’t. But every now and then, ineffective ingredients get the spotlight – and the only people that benefit are the companies that create them.

And we’re afraid that Tart Cherry might be no different.

The Warning Signs

‘It works because it’s unusual.’

These are usually over-hyped nutrients solely promoted because of their ‘unusualness’, as it makes for a good angle in the news.

There’s been several good examples of this over the last few years – ineffective supplements can sell successfully if they gather enough momentum when the right media outlets pick them up – and many are still sold today.

This is why we think Tart Cherries are the next big (but bad) thing.

What is Tart Cherry?

Tart cherries are a not like regular cherries you find in the super market – they’re far too delicate to import fresh.

They’re a fruit that most people will never experience fresh by how easily they damage – exotic enough for you?

Portraying tart cherries as a rarity is a great angle for PR and a successful way to sell a cheap and ineffective supplement.

The news on Tart Cherries suggest supplementing this nutrient may:

  • Increase muscle recovery
  • Slow strength decline post workout
  • Improve joint health
  • Reduce inflammation

It sounds positive but the ways that they’ve discovered this information are beyond suspicious.

Why? How it’s funded.

The Studies

The main study [1] that’s currently backing Tart Cherry Supplements only relates to a particular brand of the supplement: CherryPURE.

The study suggests supplementation of CherryPURE provides the short term benefits of reduced muscle soreness and less of strength drop during post-workout recovery.

It sounds great but unfortunately this study wasn’t independent – it was funded by Anderson Global Group – the owners of CherryPURE.

This isn’t the first time a company has tried to push cherry formulated products to the health market. Tart Cherry juice CherryPharm has also been funded to say that it may help with the treatment of insomnia adults. [2]

After some digging you quickly realize there’s very few studies out there that provide any insight that isn’t funded by a company that would benefit from you purchasing a cherry related product.

Other Examples

As we’ve said, there are plenty of supplements out there on the market at the moment that don’t have the scientific backing – but does have the backstory to sell well.

These are commonly found in more complex supplements like Testosterone Boosters and Fat Burners – here are the main ones you need to be concerned with:

Deer Antler Velvet

This is the layer over a deer antlers that give them their furriness – and also what lines the pockets of various supplement companies.

Originally thought to boost testosterone, and support overall hormone health, there was plenty of stories in the news a few years ago about the effectiveness of Deer Antler Velvet.

And why wouldn’t there be?

The specificity alone of this strange extract is enough to make anyone go:

‘Well it must work, why else would anyone go through all that trouble?’

And that’s exactly how they want you to think.

Whereas in reality it promises everything and delivers nothing.

That’s right. Numerous studies have shown time and time again that supplementing Deer Antler Velvet has no effect on your Testosterone levels and every effect on your bank balance.

One study involved supplementing 560mg of DAV on a daily basis for 10 weeks – there was no rise in T-levels among any of the 46 subjects. [3]

Whereas another study went even further involving 24 subjects was taken over 12 weeks with an even larger 1g daily dose – there will still no hormonal changes. [4]

And the largest study we’ve come across spanned across 11 weeks with 1.5g being used. Out of the 38 participants, no changes were noted in hormonal levels. [5]

This is just one of many examples.

Garcinia Cambogia & Raspberry Ketones

You’ve probably heard these nutrients mentioned with most mainstream fat burners or diet pills.

But don’t be fooled – they’re as ineffective as they are over-hyped.

It’s true – and the studies confirm it.

Raspberry Ketones is the worst offender here, mainly due to the glowing reputation it has, despite not helping you in any way.

Much like Deer Antler Velvet, it’s a very specific extract as well, with only

Touted as being a top ingredient for fat loss, the only studies that have shown Raspberry Ketones to have any effect has been with rats. Unfortunately all efforts to scale this up to human levels have been unsuccessful – yet you still find it in most fat burning supplements.

Garcinia Cambogia is a close second – believed to have appetite suppressing qualities, but again, nothing has been proven.

This is a tropical fruit found only in South East Asia – again pushing an exotic and unusual angle.

Although it was believed to stop hunger cravings, the nutrient has shown no such results.

A study that involved supplementing 2.4g of Garcina daily for a 12 week period in 89 subjects had no effect on the consumers attitude whatsoever [6].

Tart Cherry Supplements: Benefits and Side Effects Conclusion

After looking into the reports on Tart Cherry, I can confirm there are no side effects – the benefits on the other hand are yet to be determined.

With the majority of studies coming from the vendors of the supplement, it’s hard to decide whether these are studies worth listening to.

It could be argued that we may have to wait and see for future evidence regarding Tart Cherries, but with my past experience and knowledge of the supplement industry, it seems pretty clear that these will not deliver the benefits they’re going to be touted for.

If you want the best insights into what supplements work and what doesn’t I strongly suggest you check out the Best Fat Burning Ingredients and the Best Testosterone Booster Ingredientsto see what you should be looking for in your chosen supplement.


[1] Levers K, Dalton R, Galvan E, et al. Effects of powdered Montmorency tart cherry supplementation on an acute bout of intense lower body strength exercise in resistance trained males. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. 2015;12:41. doi:10.1186/s12970-015-0102-y.

[2] Pigeon WR, Carr M, Gorman C, Perlis ML. Effects of a Tart Cherry Juice Beverage on the Sleep of Older Adults with Insomnia: A Pilot Study. Journal of Medicinal Food. 2010;13(3):579-583. doi:10.1089/jmf.2009.0096.

[3] Syrotuik DG, MacFadyen KL, Harber VJ, Bell GJ., Effect of elk velvet antler supplementation on the hormonal response to acute and chronic exercise in male and female rowers, Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2005 Aug;15(4):366-85.

[4] Conaglen HM, Suttie JM, Conaglen JV., Effect of deer velvet on sexual function in men and their partners: a double-blind, placebo-controlled study., Arch Sex Behav. 2003 Jun;32(3):271-8.

[5] Sleivert G, Burke V, Palmer C, Walmsley A, Gerrard D, Haines S, Littlejohn R., The effects of deer antler velvet extract or powder supplementation on aerobic power, erythropoiesis, and muscular strength and endurance characteristics., Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2003 Sep;13(3):251-65.

[6] Mattes RD, Bormann L. Effects of (-)-hydroxycitric acid on appetitive variables. Physiol Behav.2000;71(1-2):87–94.