Whether you are a gym at or just an occasional customer, there is no shortage of advice when it comes to fitness nutrition. Your post-workout snack, they’ll tell you, is almost as important as your workout itself. While there are many post-workout supplements available, researchers have found that watermelon juice can actually help hydrate and relieve muscle soreness in ways that other solutions simply can’t. The amino acid L-citrulline is able to cut your recovery time and boost your athletic performance.
Published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, the research looked at the effects of watermelon juice, watermelon juice enriched with additional L-citrulline, and a control drink on athletes. Volunteers were given the drinks one hour before they worked out. Both those who received the watermelon juice and the juice with additional L-citrulline experienced less soreness following their workouts. And those who received the juice without additional L-citrulline seemed to do even better.
These are just some of many health benefits of watermelons.
Prior research had already shown watermelon juice had antioxidant properties and the ability to potentially enhance performance and increase muscle protein, but this latest study just affirms its value in any fitness program.
The naturally occurring L-citrulline seemed to be the most bio-available, according to the researchers. Because it can be more quickly used by the body, it’s able to speed the process of lactic acid removal in the muscles. Lactic acid is what causes muscle soreness.
For those of us who like to workout on a regular basis, muscle soreness is a sign of a job well done. But having natural solutions to improve our recovery time means we can get back into the gym more quickly. Watermelon juice is widely available and very affordable—particularly during this time of year.
In addition, watermelon has a whole host of other fitness-related benefits. Previous studies have linked watermelon consumption to weight loss and vascular health. It can help fight heart disease by preventing cholesterol build-up in the arteries. And because it’s mostly water, it’s a great way to hydrate before and after your regular workouts.