Need a boost in the gym? Drinking watermelon juice could relieve muscle soreness
- The amino acid L-citrulline in watermelon can cut an athlete’s recovery time and boost their performance
- The chemical speeds up the process of lactic acid removal from the muscles which reduces soreness
It is believed that the amino acid L-citrulline, which is found in watermelon, can cut an athlete’s recovery time and boost their performance.
Watermelon juice has long been popular with sportspeople but scientists have now given them an excuse to continue indulging in the summer favourite.
In a report published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, the researchers explained that there had already been research to show that watermelon juice had antioxidant properties and the potential to increase muscle protein and enhance athletic performance.
However, this was the first time that scientists had explored the effectiveness of watermelon juice that is enriched with L-citrulline.
The team, led by Encarna Aguayo at the Technical University of Cartagena, in Spain, tested natural watermelon juice, watermelon juice enriched in L-citrulline, and a control drink containing no L-citrulline.
The drinks were given to volunteers an hour before exercise.
Both the natural juice and the enriched juice relieved muscle soreness in the volunteers.
L-citrulline in the natural juice (unpasteurised), however, seemed to be more bioavailable — in other words, it was in a form the body could better use.
It is believed the juice has this effect because the naturally occurring chemicals in it speed up the process of lactic acid removal.
This is important because lactic acid build-up can cause a burning sensation in the muscles and make them sore.
The study, by Purdue University in the U.S., found the fruit halved the rate at which 'bad' low-density lipoprotein, or LDL, accumulated in mice.
LDL is a form of cholesterol that leads to clogged arteries and heart disease.
The researchers also found eating watermelon regularly helped to control weight gain and resulted in fewer fatty deposits inside blood vessels.
They also believe the secret to watermelon’s health-boosting properties lies in the citrulline contained within the juice.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2394321/Drinking-watermelon-juice-relieve-muscle-soreness.html#ixzz2c3cquWNe
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