Between competing for the US Women's National Team in the run-up to the 2023 World Cup and vying for a Champions League title with French powerhouse Olympique Lyonnais, Lindsey Horan has been plenty busy jetting around the world to play the highest-level soccer in the women's game.
But all of that travel and top-notch competition takes its toll on the body, especially as Horan returns from a knee injury that took her off the pitch for several months.
Somewhat surprisingly, she found a solution in cherries. Yes, the fruit.
The world-class midfielder recently partnered with Cheribundi, a wellness brand that fuels athletes with products derived from tart cherries. But she's "known about Cheribundi for quite a while now," as Horan and the USWNT have used the company's products "as a recovery method even since the past World Cup."
"Obviously it was something that I was keen on just because of how much we've used it and how much I know it helps with my recovery," Horan told Insider. "So I think it was very exciting partnership for me. I think those are the best ones for us athletes — that we actually like buy into. It's not always the case, so this is just a really exciting partnership for me."
Horan has been ramping back up for both club and country in recent weeks, and Cheribundi has been instrumental in aiding her recovery as she's "coming out of this injury with my knee." Tart cherry juice is known to reduce inflammation, protect against blood vessel ruptures, and offer other benefits that help accelerate the healing process and prevent future injuries.
Unlike many other sports drinks and recovery agents, Cheribundi markets itself as all-natural and produced directly from fruit. Horan says it's easy to "feel better" about using their products to fuel up without compromising on efficacy.
"Mentally, it's just good to know that what you're putting into your body is all natural," she added. "This is one product that is actually fueling you in the right way and rebuilding and helping enhance recovery and quicken it as well."
Horan and her teammates also often found themselves using the cherry juice to aid with their rest, as well as recovery.
"One of the biggest methods was when we're sleeping," Horan explained. "We used it as our melatonin for the night, and I think our whole team was drinking the drinks before we went to bed. So that was one of the biggest uses for me."
"I'm probably one of the players that needs the most recovery of anything because of these flights that I'm taking back and forth from the US and France," she added. "So this partnership came at such a great time for me."
Horan has a busy stretch ahead of her that's sure to involve plenty of international travel. Lyon is through to the Champions League semifinals, so the Colorado native will spend the next few weeks looking to best OL's rival — Paris Saint-Germain — in a two-leg faceoff in France. Should her side win the aggregate, Horan and company will face the winner of Barcelona-Wolfsburg in the May 21 Champions League Final in Turin, Italy.
A month later, she'll likely find herself on the pitch stateside as the USWNT faces Colombia in a pair of late-June friendlies. The national team heads to Mexico for 2023 World Cup and 2024 Olympic qualifying just a few weeks after that, and the preparation for next summer's World Cup will only ramp up from there.
"Cheribundi is ultimately the best thing that could have happened in this time period, just because leading into the World Cup, I'm gonna need that," Horan said. "It's gonna be crucial for me to be the best form of myself and the best player I can be hopefully going into this World Cup and making that team."
Article by Meredith Cash for Insider