Skip to comments.Watermelon Juice Prevents Aching Muscles
Posted on 07/28/2013 9:59:38 AM PDT by neverdem
Food Chemistry: The amino acid L-citrulline found in the fruit could help athletes avoid muscle soreness after a hard workout
Before taking a long bike ride on a hot summer day, have some watermelon: The juicy fruit may ward off muscle pains. Researchers report that people who drank watermelon juice before exercising felt less sore the next day than those who drank a pink placebo beverage (J. Agric. Food Chem. 2013, DOI: 10.1021/jf400964r). They also found that cells absorb the presumed active ingredient, L-citrulline, more readily from unpasteurized watermelon juice than from plain water spiked with the compound, suggesting the natural source is the optimal delivery medium.
L-citrulline is an uncommon amino acid that, until recently, hasnt gotten a lot of attention, says Encarna Aguayo of the Technical University of Cartagena in Spain. Scientists now recognize that L-citrulline has antioxidant properties and may enhance athletic performance, she says. For example, studies have shown that L-citrulline in supplement form accelerates removal of lactic acid from muscles, allowing for more intense training and faster recovery. Watermelon is one of the few natural foods with an abundance of L-citrulline, so Aguayo wanted to test whether the fruits juice could function as a sports drink.
First, the researchers purchased 10 seedless watermelons from a local market in Cartagena and juiced the fruit. They pasteurized some of the juice by heating it to 80 ˚C. The rest was left unpasteurized. Pasteurization kills harmful pathogens, but it also can reduce the bioavailability of many bioactive compounds, reducing the foods functional properties, Aguayo says.
Aguayo and her team measured the concentration of L-citrulline in the watermelon juice with high-performance liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry and then adjusted the concentration to a standard 0.685 mM. They also spiked water with the amino acid at the same concentration. The researchers then added the solutions to cultures of human colon cancer cells. After eight minutes, the researchers measured how much L-citrulline remained outside the cells. They found that cells bathed in the unpasteurized watermelon juice had absorbed 19% of the L-citrulline, while absorption from pasteurized juice and spiked water never got above 13% and 12%, respectively. Better absorption should lead to a more potent benefit, Aguayo says.
For the next test, the researchers recruited seven men who regularly played sports but were not competitive athletes. Each participant drank half a liter of one of three beverages: watermelon juice with 1.17 g of L-citrulline, watermelon juice enriched to have 5 g of L-citrulline, or a pink, fruity drink without watermelon or L-citrulline. The participants then cycled for 11 minutes, alternating between periods of intense pedaling and rest. The next day, the men who had drunk either type of watermelon juice reported essentially no leg soreness, while those who had imbibed the placebo reported feeling sore.
The take-home message from this study, according to Thomas Swensen of Ithaca College, is that its better to drink unpasteurized watermelon juice than to take an L-citrulline supplement. Swensen says the next step would be to see if drinking the juice helps athletes perform better the next day because they are less sore. Aguayo plans to tweak the concentration of L-citrulline in watermelon juice to determine the optimal concentration for the prevention of muscle fatigue.
Add Skittles and watch the fun start...!
Okay I have the Arizona Watermelon Juice drink so what part do the Skittles® and Robitussin® play?
The Racist Imagery this brings up is...
Something about a Flexible Moral Center
Yeah,,, some Skittles and some Rob, and you’ll feel no pain, until you fall down, anyway!
“suggesting the natural source is the optimal delivery medium.”
That’s what they say about Pot too.
Ok? Where dies fried chicken and Colt 45 malt liquor fit into the regimen?
Yes, but can it help you read cursive?
Watermelon is arguably my all time favorite of food of any variety!
I just put one in the fridge. I wonder if it would be good if I dunked watermelon chunks into vodka. Hmmm...
I’d bet it would! :)
Get a better placebo of watermelon juice without any L-citrulline.
See comment# 1. Typing and eyesight are my real challenges, not syntax.
Hat tip yefragetuwrabrumuy!
Good for the NBA players who have games every night.
I'm probably completely over analyzing, but couldn't said imagery think to take pride in being a head of the curve on the benefits of watermelon, turning the stereotype in to a positive?
I'm not part of the "imagery group", but I liked watermelon before it became a possible therapeutic...
Also, do the study as a double-blind, crossover study. If the results indicate a real effect, then do a dose-response study.
Screw this watermelon junk science noise. Pickle Juice is king.
“Pickle juice is king”.
Hmmm... did you use to play football? I have heard pickle juice from several coaches as a sure bet for cramping during a game. I also have used Tonic Water. It doesn’t taste great but will stop a muscle cramp.
So then if watermelon juice is so good for you then why did the media and scheme team and prosecution and Sanfore police go to such lengths to hide it under the guise of “Ice Tea”.
So, Liberace was on to something, after all!
Watermelon is also the best hangover cure.
(lots of hydration)
back in the day....Football, Now Avid Cyclist. (You know one of those guys in spandex FR love to hate.:) )
Tonic waters main ingredient is Quinine. Which is an effective muscle relaxant and used to treat “restles leg syndrome” and night cramps.
I like the pickle juice because a side benefit is it seems to lower body temp within seconds of ingestion.
So, which star athlete would dare lend their endorsement to the new energy drink- Melonade?
It worked for the Eagles against the Cowboys a few years back at Texas Stadium when the temperature was over 100 degrees, the Eagles went on and whupped the Cowboys real good that day.
You are correct sir.!!!
You're slipping there, doc.
If there are health benefits to watermelon, I am going to live to be 105. I eat massive amounts of the stuff. I just bought my eleventh watermelon for the season and have eaten nearly every single one of them completely as no one in the house really eats much of it. (and this season I was gone for a month in Sweden were I didn’t buy any because a watermelon there costs $10-15)
You are terrible! LOL Post of the day.
We just put a seedless one through our champion juicer. Love watermelon juice. It is also a natural diuretic.
I’m not aware of fructose from fruit or fruit juice being associated with any pathology. Fiber slows the absorption of fructose.
HFCS55 in soft drinks correlates rather well. It started being used in the early 1970s. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease showed up about a decade later.
My daughter loves them frozen. I take one, clean the outside thoroughly with dilute bleach, slice it into neat wedges and put those in ziploc bags in the freezer. She could probably eat her weight in frozen watermelon.
It's interesting to note that NAFLD began showing up about the same time as the obesity epidemic.
I'm still waiting for you to sing the praises of HFCS 42, since it offers so much less fructose than the sucrose it replaces.
Can you say ‘watermelon’ these days any more? Isn’t that rassiss?
I have never tried it frozen. Have to give it a whirl.
She makes ‘do’ with the watermelon. I won’t let her have popsicles or other fake stuff. But it IS good. Especially on a really hot day when you’ve been outside working.
It has less fructose than sucrose, and that may be a good thing, but I never had a problem with it as long as folks don't pig out on carbs, especially sweet carbs because they are addictive. They had to change the composition of placebos once they understood that the old sugar pills caused the release of endorphins.
I believe there was a confluence of unfortunate events in the 1970s and 80s. Corporal punishment of kids became an unacceptable form of discipline. Video games started taking hold of kids attention. HFCS55 could really be as much as 65 % fructose. Those who made soft drinks wanted to keep their market share. Why not make it as sweet as possible?
Parents were reduced to rewarding good behavior with sweets and providing enjoyable entertainment and punishing bad behavior by denying their kids access to those desires. It didn't help that playing video games and watching TV are sedentary activities.
Paid for by the National Watermelon Association. Eat more watermelon!
I could care less who funded it if the results are real and reproducible. Battalions of Amazons sans steroids could be for real!