Watermelon is a rare food source of Citrulline, an amino acid and an antioxidant. It has been studied to see if watermelon can reduce the effects of exercise-induced acidosis and improve recovery; however studies of Citrulline supplements and watermelon juice in humans have shown mixed results. More research is required to clarify the effect of watermelon or Citrulline on exercise and post-exercise muscle soreness.
Below are my tips for people who would like to try using watermelon juice for relieving post-exercise muscle soreness:
- The bottom line is watermelon is a healthy food, and it is a good source of carbohydrate and fluid.
- A minimum of 500 ml of natural watermelon juice, which provides 1.17 g of Citrulline, is needed for its possible effect on alleviating muscle soreness.
- Walker TB, Zupan MF, Rutter MJ, Vojta CN. AFRL-RH-BR-TR-2010-0068. Does citrulline malate enhance physical performance? Air Force Research Laboratory, Human Effectiveness Directorate. October 2010.
- Pérez-Guisado J, Jakeman PM. Citrulline malate enhances athletic anaerobic performance and relieves muscle soreness. J Strength Cond Res. 2010;24:1215-1222.
- Tarazona-Díaz MP, Alacid F, Carrasco M, Martinez I, Aguayo E. Watermelon juice: potential functional drink for sore muscle relief in athletes. J Agric Food Chem. 2013 Jul 29.