Drinking Watermelon, A Delicious Way to Encourage Healthy Lifestyle

By: Michael Lam, MD, MPH; Justin Lam, ABAAHP, FMNM

There are many benefits to drinking watermelonWhen you think about healthy fruits often times your mind immediately thinks about oranges, apples or bananas. Quite often we overlook watermelons as a nutritional source containing any real health benefits or substantial vitamins. This is because we see watermelons as summer treat and don’t put much emphasize on its nutritional value as a whole. However, studies have shown that there are significant advantages to drinking watermelon juice. Let’s take a closer look at how watermelons are beneficial to our bodies.

Drinking Watermelon Juice Aids in Muscle Soreness

In Spain there was a study done by Martha P. Tarzona-Diaz and her colleagues where they were trying to learn about the types of benefits drinking watermelon juice had on athletes. In their findings they concluded that drinking watermelon juice helped reduce the recovery heart rate and muscle soreness after 24 h. They believed and tested this theory based on an amino acid found within watermelons. Watermelon contains an amino acid called L-citrulline that has been found to greatly reduce muscle soreness. This same amino acid is found in various other melons including cucumbers and squash.

In the study Martha and her colleagues used three different drinks to test their theory: watermelon juice, enriched watermelon juice and a control drink containing no L-citrulline. Seven men were given these drinks on various days, after a rigorous workout. It was found on the days where the men were given either type of watermelon juice there was significant less muscle soreness than on the days that they were given the placebo drink. The research report also cited previous studies on the antioxidants in watermelon and how it is believed that watermelon can increase muscle proteins.

How L-citrulline Affects The Body

Nitric oxide is a gas produced with our bodies. Our bodies use nitric oxide to increase blood flow, regulate blood pressure and circulation, as well as, reduce inflammation. This gas molecule also boosts energy levels and helps keep our hearts healthy. The amino acid L-citrulline helps our bodies produce nitric oxide and another amino acid called L-arginine that aids in regulating nitric acid. L-citrulline also aids in getting nutrients to the muscles that need nitric oxide the most and helps regulate other essential metabolic procedures.This is why drinking watermelon juice or other juices that contain L-citrulline are helpful to our bodies.

Watermelon Juice and Adrenal Fatigue

Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome (AFS) is where adrenal glands function below the average level resulting in various symptoms including, but not limited to:

  • Lack of energy
  • Mild depression
  • Dry skin
  • Reduced sex drive
  • Pain in upper back or neck
  • Increase in contracting the flu or respiratory diseases
  • Nervousness
  • Lightheadedness when getting up
  • The need for stimulants such as coffee in the morning

Often times those who suffer from adrenal fatigue look into nutritional coaching or dietary coaching to help alleviate some of these symptoms. One of the ways to counteract symptoms of AFS includes changing to a low-sugar and low glycemic diet. We already know that studies have shown that drinking watermelon juice will relieve muscle soreness.

Let’s not discount, that one of the symptoms of adrenal fatigue is back or neck pain or muscle soreness. So watermelon juice may also help relieve those types of pains, as well.

Watermelon Juice and NEM Stress Response

Stay healthy by drinking watermelonStress is both a physical and mental response to what is happening around us and what is happening within our bodies. The NeuroEndoMetabolic (NEM) Stress Response is a model that shows the body’s response to stress from a medical standpoint. This model shows the different responses to stress and the body systems and organs that it will affect.

We know that watermelon juice aids in helping with sore muscles and adrenal fatigue. Stress endured for a long period could eventually result in adrenal fatigue.

Watermelon can aid in helping to relieve the body from these stressors in several ways. The amino acid L-citrulline can help regulate blood pressure, aid in detoxification and help reduce inflammation which essentially will help with overall stress. However, there may be a downside to this, especially if you suffer from adrenal fatigue. Typically those with adrenal fatigue already have low blood pressure and lowering it more can actually make things a lot worse. Also, if your liver is not healthy it may not be able to handle the detoxification process. I highly, recommend consulting your health coach or doctor before drinking watermelon juice on a daily basis if you have liver problems or very low blood pressure.

Final Thoughts

Watermelon juice and the amino acid L-citrulline play a good role in our overall health and well-being. It can help with muscle soreness, stress and NEM stress response. I suggest trying watermelon juice for yourself. If you would like to buy your own watermelon juice from the store, it should be unsweetened and contain no unnecessary additives. In order to have the best benefits possible, you want the watermelon juice to be as natural as possible. You can also choose to make your own watermelon juice at home. It will take about one-third of a watermelon or around six cups to get enough juice to fill one cup. Keep in mind that one cup of watermelon juice contains on average 250 mg of the amino acid L-citrulline. Overall, watermelon contains many essential vitamins and antioxidants that are great for your body. So you can’t go wrong with cup of watermelon juice every now and again.

© Copyright 2017 Michael Lam, M.D. All Rights Reserved.

Improve your health by drinking watermelon