A new research study out of Spain is promoting the benefits of watermelon in improving exercise recovery. Scientists studied the effects of watermelon juice, which is high in the amino acid L-citrulline. They determined that when consumed in its natural, unpasteurized form, watermelon juice helped to reduce muscle soreness and heart rates following exercise. The effect was significant when compared to both pasteurized watermelon juice and a placebo drink.
The specific mechanism of action has yet to be identified; however, it likely has to do with L-citrulline’s removal of lactate. The more efficiently lactate is removed, the quicker the body recovers from exercise. Previous studies have determined the benefits of L-citrulline supplementation on lactic acid removal.
While watermelon makes for a great treat on a warm day, be sure to add some to your post-exercise meal.