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Tart Cherry Juice vs Capsules: What’s Right for You?

Do you have questions about tart cherry juice vs. capsules?

Read on to learn more about these options and which one is right for you!

What is Tart Cherry Juice?

Tart Cherry Juice in a glass next to a bowl of cherries.

Tart cherry juice comes from the Montmorency cherry. This type of cherry is known for its sour taste, hence its name “tart”.

The juice is extracted from crushing and pressing the Montmorency cherry.

These cherries are rich in various nutrients including antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that support healthy aging!


In addition, they contain high levels of anthocyanins, which give the cherry its vibrant red color.

Anthocyanins fight inflammation which promotes healthy skin and decreases your risk of chronic disease!

Tart cherry juice is found in both concentrated and ready-to-drink options. You can drink it on its own or add it to smoothies, desserts, and sauces.

How is it different from cherry juice?

Traditional cherry juice comes from the Bing, Rainier, and Lambert varieties of cherries.

While sweet cherries offer health benefits, tart cherries contain higher levels of beneficial nutrients. In addition, tart cherries are lower in sugar.

Benefits of Tart Cherry Juice

1. Anti-Inflammation

As mentioned above, tart cherries are high in antioxidants, particularly anthocyanins. These compounds are strong anti-inflammatory agents.

For this reason, cherries may provide relief for conditions like gout, arthritis, and muscle soreness.

2. Improved Sleep

Tart cherry juice contains melatonin, the hormone that helps regulate your sleep-wake cycles.

There is evidence that tart cherry juice may increase sleep and sleep quality.

Researchers also think the amino acid, tryptophan, may play a role in tart cherry juice’s sleep effects.

Tryptophan helps the body make melatonin and is well known for inducing sleepiness after a turkey-filled Thanksgiving meal.

Man sleeping representing the potential benefit of improving sleep from tart cherry juice.
Tart cherry juice may increase sleep and sleep quality.

3. Exercise Recovery

The anti-inflammatory effects of tart cherry juice make it a popular choice among athletes.

Taken before or after intense exercise, tart cherry juice may reduce exercise-related muscle damage, inflammation, and soreness.

These effects may decrease recovery time and potentially enhance athletic performance.

2 woman sharing a high 5 after a workout
Tart cherry juice may decrease recovery time after exercise.

4. Brain Health

The antioxidants found in tart cherries may protect the brain and improve cognitive function.

A 2019 study demonstrated that a daily intake of Montmorency tart cherry juice may help improve subjective memory and cognitive abilities in older adults.

Brain lit up inside a light bulb representing the cognitive benefits of tart cherry juice.
Brain Benefits

Benefits of Tart Cherry Capsules

Tart cherry capsules are a concentrated source of tart cherry extract in a supplement form.

Below are the benefits of the capsules:

1. Convenience

Capsules are a convenient option for incorporating the nutrients in tart cherry juice into your wellness routine.

They are portable and don’t require refrigeration or preparation.

2. Alternative to the Taste of Juice

The capsules offer an alternative for individuals who can’t tolerate the sour taste of the juice.

The benefits of tart cherry juice are best achieved through consistency. Those who don’t like tart cherry juice may find it difficult to drink it regularly.

female hand holding a capsule; tart cherry juice vs capsule
Capsules offer an alternative to the juice’s sour taste.

3. Controlled Dosage

The tart cherry capsules have an advantage when it comes to dosing.

Each capsule contains a specific dosage of tart cherry extract, which ensures consistency.

Determining the exact amount of components in tart cherry juice is not possible. We can only estimate with juice.

4. No Added Sugar or Calories

One cup of tart cherry juice contains 160 calories and 32 grams of natural sugar.

This can add up depending on the volume of juice you plan to drink, The added calories could potentially interfere with maintaining a healthy weight.

The amount of naturally occurring sugar in tart cherry juice will also impact glucose levels.

Therefore, juice is not recommended for individuals with diabetes or prediabetes.

Woman in a hat drinking cherry juice through a straw
The calories in tart cherry juice can add up.

Tart Cherry Juice vs Capsules: Which is Right for You?

Follow the steps below to determine which option is right for you:

  1. Identify your individual health goals.
  2. Talk to your healthcare provider.
  3. Determine if you like the taste of tart cherry juice.
  4. Ask yourself which option is most convenient for you.
Woman contemplating between tart cherry juice vs capsules
What’s right for you?

First off, determine what benefits you are looking for from tart cherries. This will influence the amount of juice or capsules you take.

See the chart below for recommended dosages according to desired health benefits.

Next, discuss the addition of tart cherry juice with your healthcare provider.

Woman discussing tart cherry juice vs capsules with her healthcare provider
Talk to your doctor before adding a tart cherry supplement.

Love cherries? Check out “How to Reap the Health Benefits of Rainier Cherries“!

Taste & Convenience

As discussed above, the sour taste of the juice can be a significant barrier to drinking this tart juice. You’ll want to ensure you can tolerate the taste of the juice.

Finally, how convenient is each option for you? You know yourself better than anyone else.

Which one will promote consistency, juice or capsules?

Man taking a tart cherry capsule
Capsules are a convenient option.

Amounts & Dosages

The recommended amounts of both tart cherry juice and tart cherry extract will vary.

Individuals’ needs, health conditions, and goals will contribute to these variations.

Below are some general guidelines based on specific health goals.

You should consult with your healthcare provider before adding tart cherry juice or extract to your wellness routine.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Dietary Supplements says there are no safety concerns with drinking up to 16 ounces of tart cherry juice once per day for up to 2 weeks (or 480mg of tart cherry extract).

Tart Cherry Products

Takeaways from Tart Cherry Juice vs. Capsules

Tart cherry juice offers several health benefits that you can get through both juice and a dietary supplement.

The choice between tart cherry juice vs. capsules comes down to personal preferences and specific health needs.

Consult with your healthcare provider prior to adding tart cherry juice or capsules to your wellness routine.


Hungry for More?

Check out the Age-Defying Dietitian’s Blog for more healthy aging content.

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*Please note this blog post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases.

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