A folksy remedy long popular with athletes now has scientific backing: Drinking watermelon juice eases postexercise muscle soreness.
Watermelon juice is naturally high in L-citrulline, an amino acid that helps get rid of lactic acid and, in turn, aids us in recovering faster from workouts. What’s more, according to data published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, researchers found that when study participants drank watermelon juice before a workout, it reduced heart rates when recovering from a workout, and decreased muscle soreness after 24 hours. Natural, unpasteurized watermelon juice was easiest for the athletes to digest and use effectively.
Previous research has also shown that it is rich in antioxidants and can lower blood pressure, increase muscle protein, and perhaps even improve athletic performance. Just remember to drink in moderation: One cup contains about 15 grams of sugar.