Tart Cherries: Leading The “Whey” To Rapid Recovery

In 2012, University of Wisconsin strength and conditioning coordinator John Dettmann, MSCC, paid a visit to Door County, Wisconsin, with a specific purpose in mind: recovery. He was not interested in the typical rest and recovery to be found in Door County, a region known for its laid-back vibe, quaint atmosphere, and goats grazing on restaurant rooftops.

Rather, Dettmann was interested in muscle recovery, which can be derived from the variety of cherries for which the region is known: Montmorency Tart Cherries.

“Tart cherries are important because of the antioxidant properties they contain,” says Jeremy Paszczak, director of marketing for Rapid Performance Products, makers of Rapid Red and Rapid Whey, two recovery beverages designed to specifically speed muscle recovery while providing anti-inflammatory benefits. “Tart cherries are unique in that they actually have essentially a double-dose of antioxidants.”

Dettmann knew that tart cherries could make a profound impact upon the student-athletes’ recovery regimen. He provided a list of criteria he expected in this cherry-based recovery drink. The beverages must contain no more than five ingredients and the end product must taste good. If it didn’t taste good, athletes wouldn’t drink it.

Rapid Performance Products brought the Wisconsin Center for Dairy Research into the equation. K.J. Burrington, a food scientist at the center, specializes in whey protein. She developed a formula that would not only taste good while meeting the minimal-ingredient requirements,  but the recovery beverage would also fit under the umbrella of NCAA compliance.

“John’s major influence on the product was speed; the speed of recovery for his athletes is the most important thing for him,” says Paszczak. “By helping student-athletes recover faster, coaches can help them improve performance. That’s where whey protein makes its greatest impact.”

Ingredients Matter

Anyone who’s ever tried to get a young adult to consume something that was “good for them” knows that it can be a challenging endeavor, especially when America’s snacktray is already crammed with caffeine-powered energy drinks and pumped full of saturated fats. They expect everything to taste great.

However, taste is one of the primary reasons athletes love Rapid Red and Rapid Whey as a recovery drink. Number 1, these two products are made from cherries, which are loaded with natural carbohydrates and inflammation-fighting antioxidants. Number 2, Rapid Whey actually includes a pure protein isolate that delivers significant branch-chain amino acids that are critical to muscle development.

“Of the nine essential branch-chain amino acids that the human body requires, none can be be produced naturally by the body; they must be consumed through diet,” says Paszczak. “Of the nine, valine, leucine and isoleucine are the three amino acids important for muscle development. All three of them are found in whey protein isolate.”

Burrington helped Dettmann and Rapid Performance Products create the right balance between the cherry juice and the whey protein Dettmann sought.

Tart cherries also contain naturally occurring melatonin, a hormone that kicks in when your body is ready to rest. So on top of being a power antioxidant that combats enzymes known to cause muscle and joint inflammation post-workout, tart cherry juice can naturally help athletes establish and maintain a consistent sleep cycle and get them the good night’s rest they need in order to get up and get back to grinding the next day.

“Our products are different from other recovery and protein drinks on the market,” says Paszczak. “We are all-natural. We’re not adding any artificial colors or flavors. We are not adding any ingredients that are unnecessary. That’s the beauty of tart cherry juice. We don’t have to. It’s that good.”

For more information about Rapid Whey and Rapid Red, contact Jeremy Paszczak. Rapid Performance Products are regularly tested and certified by Informed Sport to ensure NCAA compliance.


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Forestville, WI 54201
(800) 544-1003

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