London (Agencies): In case you are a fitness freak then regular consumption of cherry juice can help you great deal in cutting down muscle damage caused by exercise, a new study has claimed.

Researchers at London South Bank University found that cherry juice constitutes powerful antioxidant compounds that help reduce athletes' muscles damage and allow them to recover more quickly.

The researchers for their study gave one ounce of an antioxidant-packed cherry juice concentrate to 10 trained athletes twice daily for seven days before and after an intense round of strength training.

It was deduced that the athletes' recovery after the cherry juice concentrate was significantly faster compared to when they drank other juices without the same nutrient content of cherry juice.

After drinking cherry juice, athletes returned to 90 per cent of normal muscle force in 24 hours, compared to only 85 per cent of normal at the same time point without cherry juice, according to a daily.

This considerable difference could affect an athlete's next performance, said the researchers, who credited the benefits to anti-inflammatory, antioxidant compounds in the red fruit called anthocyanins which is also responsible for cherries' bright red colour.

Dr Wendy Bazilian, a registered dietitian and expert on super nutrients, said: "Cherries are what I call the ultimate superfood.

"Not only are they a perfect complement to a training routine since they are available year-round in dried, frozen and juice forms, but they taste great."

 According to her, some of the popular ways to include cherries in the diet range from topping dried cherries in oatmeal to enjoying a smoothie of cherry juice and low-fat yogurt.

Apart from being beneficial for recovery after exercise, researchers also suggest cherries could reduce inflammation which is linked to heart disease and arthritis.

The research was published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.