Could watermelon juice help you with sore muscles? Could it help improve athletic performance by enabling muscles repair faster?  Scientists Tarazona, Alacid, Carrasco, Martinez and Aguayo studied this topic in Murcia, Spain, and came to this conclusion.

The key ingredient that does the job is the amino acid L-Citrulline.  It has been used as a dietary supplement for decades and is believed to boost athletic performance.  L-Citrulline is abundant in watermelon, and juicing it will make a lot of it available without having to eat a whole watermelon!  Watermelon is an ideal source for L-Citrulline because it is more bioavailable, meaning that your body can take advantage of it better than if you consumed it as a dietary supplement.

Pickles, Cherry or Watermelon Juice – Sore Muscles Begone!

According to recent reports, drinking watermelon juice helps muscles get more oxygen, which enables them to repair themselves faster.  This boosts recovery time and may enable athletes to continue exercising sooner.  L-Citrulline and watermelon juice also provide relief for sore muscles.  Pickle juice has traditionally been a home remedy for muscle soreness, and tart cherry juice has helped minimize inflammation, reduce muscle damage and limit muscle pain.

Spanish researchers also found that watermelon juice didn’t only help with muscle soreness but helped reduce the recovery heart rate.

How much watermelon juice should you drink?  It depends.  This particular study was conducted by giving athletes 500ml or half-a-liter (16.7 ounces) of either watermelon juice or watermelon juice enriched with additional L-Citrulline.  Both versions of the watermelon juice produced the described results within a 24-hour-period.

Sources:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23862566

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/27/watermelon-juice-sore-muscles-soreness_n_3757009.html