Watermelon has got a bad rap for being chock-full of sugar. But a new study conducted by researchers from the Universidad Politécnica de Cartagena in Spain suggests that your favourite summertime staple is super beneficial when it comes to reducing muscle soreness.
Read on to learn more about the link between watermelon juice and reduced muscle pain as well as how you can reap the muscle-soothing benefits of watermelon at home.
The link between drinking watermelon juice and reduced muscle soreness
The study looked at a group of subjects who were experiencing muscle soreness from exercising. The researchers gave each subject one of three juices – natural watermelon juice, watermelon juice enriched with L-citrulline (an amino acid) or a placebo drink – one hour before exercise.
What the researchers found was that those who drank the natural and L-citrulline-enriched watermelon juices had reduced recovery heart rate and level of muscle soreness.
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How you can experience the muscle-soothing magic of watermelons outside the lab
For the study, the subjects drank 500 ml of watermelon juice, which means you only have to drink about two cups of watermelon an hour before hitting the gym for best results. Here are two suggestions on how:
Juice it: If you enjoy smoothies and have a blender, you can blend up a refreshing watermelon smoothie. Simply toss two cups of fresh watermelon, one cup of frozen strawberries, one frozen banana and 1 cup of almond milk into your blender, whiz on high-speed until smooth and then drink up.
Cube it up: Watermelon makes for a healthy and delicious pre-workout snack. Cut up a watermelon into small cubes then place them in Ziploc bags in your fridge. The accessibility will increase the likelihood that you’ll munch on them before heading to the gym.
In the summer you can also toss up a refreshing watermelon, mint and feta salad to munch on before exercising.
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