European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 118, Issue 12, pp 2523–2539 | Cite as

The effects of Montmorency tart cherry juice supplementation and FATMAX exercise on fat oxidation rates and cardio-metabolic markers in healthy humans

  • Terun DesaiEmail author
  • Lindsay Bottoms
  • Michael Roberts
Original Article


Montmorency tart cherries (Prunus cerasus L.) are rich in anthocyanins, compounds capable of augmenting fat oxidation and regulating metabolic dysfunction. The present study examined whether Montmorency tart cherry juice (MTCJ) supplementation could augment fat oxidation rates at rest and during FATMAX exercise, thus improve cardio-metabolic health. Eleven, healthy participants consumed MTCJ or placebo (PLA) twice daily, in a randomised, counterbalanced order for 20 days. Participants cycled at FATMAX for 1-h pre-, mid- (10 days) and post-supplementation whilst substrate oxidation rates were measured. Before exercise anthropometrics and resting metabolic rate were measured. Blood pressure, serum triglycerides, cholesterol, HDL, total antioxidant status (TAS) and glucose were measured immediately before and after exercise. No significant differences between conditions or interactions were observed for any functional and blood-based cardio-metabolic markers or fat oxidation during exercise or rest (P > 0.05). Pre-exercise TAS (P = 0.036) and HDL (P = 0.001) were significantly reduced from mid- to post-supplementation with MTCJ only. Twenty days’ MTCJ supplementation had no effect on fat oxidation; therefore, it is unnecessary for individuals in this participant cohort to consume MTCJ with exercise to improve cardio-metabolic biomarkers.


Anthocyanins Exercise Polyphenols Cardiometabolic Health Fat oxidation 



Blood pressure




Calorie restrictive mimetic


Diastolic blood pressure


Energy expenditure


Heart rate


Maximal fat oxidation


Montmorency tart cherry juice


New Zealand blackcurrant extract




Plasma volume change


Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor


Respiratory exchange ratio


Resting metabolic rate


Ratings of perceived exertion


Systolic blood pressure


Total antioxidant status

\(\dot {V}{O_2}\hbox{max}\)

Volume of maximal oxygen uptake

\(\dot {V}C{O_2}\)

Volume of carbon dioxide production

\(\dot {V}{O_2}\)

Volume of oxygen uptake



The authors would like to thank the participants for partaking in the study and to Camilla Holland and Neil Willmore for technical assistance. The authors would like to acknowledge the Cherry Marketing Institute for providing the tart cherry concentrate. This research was funded by the University of Hertfordshire Diamond Fund.

Author contributions

TD, LB and MR conceived and designed the experiments; TD performed the experiments; TD, LB and MR analysed the data; TD, LB and MR wrote the paper.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychology and Sports Science, School of Life and Medical SciencesUniversity of HertfordshireHatfieldUK

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