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Can Watermelon Relieve Post-Exercise Muscle Soreness?

Can Watermelon Relieve Post-Exercise Muscle Soreness?

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:

  1. The bottom line is watermelon is a healthy food, and it is a good source of carbohydrate and fluid.
  2. 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. 
The Nutritional Contents of 500g Fresh Watermelon: 150kcal;   38g carbohydrates;   2g fibre;   3.1g protein;   35mg calcium;   560mg potassium


  1. 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.
  2. Pérez-Guisado J, Jakeman PM. Citrulline malate enhances athletic anaerobic performance and relieves muscle soreness. J Strength Cond Res. 2010;24:1215-1222. 
  3. 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.


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