By Jenna Haines Men's Fitness
Watermelon sometimes gets a bad rap for being high in sugar, but the fruit has some hefty health benefits, especially for athletes.
A recent study from the Universidad Politécnica de Cartagena in Spain tested the effects of watermelon juice on post-exercise muscle soreness. Volunteers were given one of three juices—natural watermelon juice, watermelon juice enriched with L-citrulline (an amino acid naturally found in watermelon), or a placebo drink—an hour before exercise. Both the natural and enriched watermelon juices were found to help reduce the recovery heart rate and the level of muscle soreness.
So how can you experience this recovery magic outside the lab? Volunteers were given 500ml of juice, which means you only have to consume a little more than two cups of watermelon an hour before you head to the gym for optimum benefits. And we have some suggestions on how:
Cube it up:
Cut up a watermelon into small cubes and place the pieces into plastic bags in the fridge. The easy accessibility will increase the likelihood that you’ll get your pre-workout munch on.
If you’re no stranger to the blender, add watermelon to your favorite concoction. The watery texture of the fruit makes it easy to liquefy without the help of a high-powered juicer.
Take it up a notch with this grilled watermelon shrimp ceviche recipe. Marinate the shrimp in advance, and this recipe takes very little time to prepare. Added bonus: extra protein.