Athletes are sharing and trying the new found secret of relieving post-exercise muscle soreness by drinking watermelon juice. The article in the ACS' Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry explains that the watermelon’s properties can be linked to the amino acid L-citrulline.
Past research has shown that watermelon juice contains antioxidant properties and can potentially increase muscle protein and enhance athletic performance. But scientists had yet to explore the effectiveness of watermelon juice drinks enriched in L-citrulline.
The new study tested natural watermelon juice, watermelon juice enriched in L-citrulline and a control drink containing no L-citrulline on volunteers an hour before exercise. Both the natural juice and the enriched juice relieved muscle soreness in the volunteers. L-citrulline in the natural juice (unpasteurized), however, seemed to be found in a form the body could better use.