Watermelon Winner

This week, my roommate invited me to come play a friendly game of soccer because they were down a player. I’m not the best at soccer, but what the hell, why not?
And then, because I’m such an athlete, the fencing team tells me there’s a competition on this weekend and I should compete. Beats sitting at the computer, right?

Boy, was that a mistake. My muscles are screaming in agony! I’m literally staggering around campus like a zombie, slowly shuffling my way towards my destination, but it turns out there’s something that can alleviate this pain.

No, it’s not morphine. It’s an amino acid called L-citrulline and unless you’re fluent in Latin, you’ll never guess where it’s found in abundance.

Watermelon. Yup – watermelon. That big, green, oval shaped ball of sweetness is the answer to all my muscle aching woes.

L-citrulline is a natural antioxidant that accelerates the removal of lactic acid from muscles, which allows for more intense periods of training and helps muscles to recover faster from their ordeal.

Scientists from the Technical University of Cartagena, Spain, wanted to see if watermelon juice could be used as an alternative to popular sports drinks, like Powerade and Gatorade.

The study, published in the Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry, found that people who drank natural watermelon juice before exercising reported feeling less sore the following day compared to those who drank a placebo.

Now, before you go out and storm the supplements store for L-citrulline tablets, you should take note that cells absorbed L-citrulline a lot more readily when it was straight from the source. The supplement mixed with water was not as effective.

That means that L-citrulline works best in its organic form; straight from the watermelon. Just take a watermelon, shove it in a juicer and revel in its sweet glory.

So there we have it. Instead of tanking up on protein shakes before a big workout session, why not try a nice big glass of watermelon juice? It could do wonders for your muscles!

You can read more about the properties of L-citrulline here with the original research article:
http://pubs.acs.org/doi/pdf/10.1021/jf400964r