Watermelon may seem like just a summer fruit that you should enjoy at the foot of a swimming pool. But it actually has a lot more health benefits than you may have thought.
A research paper published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry proved that refreshing glass of watermelon juice can help relieve your post-workout muscle soreness.
How Does it Relieve Muscle Soreness?
The key nutrient that watermelon contains that protects your muscles from strain and soreness, is the dietary amino acid, L-Citruline. Which has given the fruit quite a reputation amongst athletes, as it will not only help minimize your post-workout pain but improve athletic performance overall. So if you don’t have a juicer yet, now is the time to get one.
How Can You Get the Best Results?
- A study done showed that cyclists who drank watermelon juice, one hour before their workout had reduced their muscle pain the next day, in comparison to those who didn’t. So make sure to have your juice before you start exercising.
- The rind of the watermelon actually has more L-Citruline than the pulp. And if you stick to organic produce, you’ll be able to include it in your juice too.
- Juice one-third of watermelon for each juice you make. This contains approximately 1g of L-Citruline, which is just enough to reach optimal physical performance during and after a workout.
TOP TIP: When juicing, you should keep the peel on if it is organic and add a little fresh lime juice for flavor.
FAST FACT: It is both a fruit and a vegetable. As it has an entirely edible rind and is genetically linked to cucumbers, pumpkin and squash.
What Other Health Benefits Are There?
- It has more lycopene than tomatoes
Tomatoes are known to have an abundance of the powerful antioxidant, Lycopene. However, watermelon actually has 1,5 times more of it. The main benefit to this is that it has a great ability to protect your body against free-radical activity and prevent the development of various cancers.
- It can reduce your chances of having a heart attack
Studies have shown that watermelon can reduce your blood pressure by helping your blood vessels to relax and increase blood flow around your body.
- It’s an anti-inflammatory packed with nutrients
Not only does it contain lycopene which is a fantastic anti-inflammatory antioxidant. But it also has cucurbitacin E and tripterpenoid. Two other essential nutrients for pain and inflammation management. Other nutrients it has include: Vitamin A, C, B6, Potassium and Magnesium.
FAST FACT: Watermelon is 91% water. This means that if you are having a beach day. It can help you stay hydrated. However, you shouldn’t use it as a complete substitute for water.
How to Pick the Perfect One
There is nothing worse than slicing into a watermelon and finding yourself riddled with disappointment as you see a dull and flavorless pulp. So, here’s a couple of pointers to remember next time you go shopping, and you want to choose the perfect one:
- It needs to be quite heavy for its size
- The rind should be very smooth and nicely rounded around the tips
- It should have a nice hollow sound if you knock it.
A controversial method includes dropping it on the floor, however, whether you choose to test this method is entirely up to you…
- You need to keep it refrigerated until it’s time to open it up. It always retains more flavor this way.
- If you want to eat the nutrient-filled rind, make sure to go for an organic option at the store. However, if the flavor doesn’t appeal to you, the health benefit does. You can use a little lime juice to give it a more pleasant taste.