A: I think you have an excellent point, and 2 cups cups of fruit juice every day may be a lot of carbohydrate for some people.
To summarize the study (1), it found that drinking 1 cup tart cherry juice in the morning and 1 cup again at night helped insomniacs over age 50 to sleep more, adding an average of 84 minutes of sleep time per night. That’s a lot of extra sleep! The authors of the study suggested the sleep benefit possibly came from the antioxidants, melatonin, or procyanidin B-2, which effectively boosts serotonin, the neurotransmitter that helps us feel relaxed and sleepy.
The good news for those of us watching our carbohydrate intake is that we could get all these nutrients from lower-carb food sources, if desired. Antioxidants are in all colorful plant foods, with above-ground veggies, herbs and nuts being the best low-carbohydrate choices. Melatonin is in numerous healthy foods, and low-carb superstars include mushrooms, eggs, cranberries and pistachio nuts (2). Low-carb food sources of the serotonin-boosting procyanidin B-2 include Ceylon cinnamon, apple peel, apple cider vinegar, grape leaf, zucchini and cocoa powder or unsweetened dark chocolate (3, 4).
I’d recommend getting these nutrients from foods, if possible, because supplements in general have a bad track record of purity, and often don’t have the same benefits found in the whole food sources.
- Losso JN, Finley JW, Karki N, et al. Pilot Study of the Tart Cherry Juice for the Treatment of Insomnia and Investigation of Mechanisms. Am J Ther. 2018;25(2):e194-e201. doi:10.1097/MJT.
0000000000000584 https://www. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/ PMC5617749/
- Meng X, Li Y, Li S, et al. Dietary Sources and Bioactivities of Melatonin. Nutrients. 2017;9(4):367. Published 2017 Apr 7. doi:10.3390/nu9040367 https://
- Rothwell JA, Pérez-Jiménez J, Neveu V, Medina-Ramon A, M'Hiri N, Garcia Lobato P, Manach C, Knox K, Eisner R, Wishart D, Scalbert A. (2013) Phenol-Explorer 3.0: a major update of the Phenol-Explorer database to incorporate data on the effects of food processing on polyphenol content. Database, 10.1093/database/bat070. http