Want a Cure for Sore Muscles After a Workout? Hot Tub + Watermelon!
June 5, 2014
Did you know that Water + Melon equals a soreness solution? New research shows fruitful effects of watermelon snack, a soak in your Hot Spring Spa.
Mix a little watermelon along with hot tubbing into your exercise routine to ease the sore muscles and enhance your ongoing performance. Researchers have repeatedly shown that well-timed soaks are good for you after ordinary or strenuous exercise.
Now a study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry indicates that a special chemical in watermelon, L-citrulline, can contribute to avoiding sore muscles.
L-citrulline is an amino acid that your body uses to produce arginine, which produces better blood flow and delivers more oxygen to the muscles. A study by Encarna Aguayo, an associate professor in the department of food engineering at the Universidad Politécnica de Cartagena in Spain, revealed that eating watermelon or drinking natural juice provides significantly more L-citrulline than drinking pasteurized juice or taking supplements marketed to athletes.
The study also showed that drinking 17 ounces of watermelon juice one hour before a stationary bike workout significantly reduced the participants’ soreness 24 hours later. Each of the young men in the study performed the workout three times – once after drinking watermelon juice, once after drinking watermelon juice enriched with the supplement, and once after drinking a non-watermelon juice placebo. When they drank watermelon juice, they reported much less soreness, with no extra benefit from the supplement. Their performance was the same, but the decrease in soreness could enhance future performance.
This juicy news complements earlier research that demonstrates the soreness-reduction and performance-enhancing benefits of hot tub soaking. Earlier research, including “Aquatic physical therapy for hip and knee osteoarthritis” published in Physical Therapy in 2007, has shown that a hot tub soak when you’ve cooled down and stopped sweating after ordinary exercise can reduce swelling, ease pain, and make you feel better. For more rigorous exercise, a quick soak before running can increase blood flow, but wait 36 to 48 hours, using cold water or ice to reduce inflammation, before you get back in hot water to help repair the muscles.
In any case, you can enjoy a nice cool watermelon snack as you hot tub – 17 ounces of juice or about 4 cups of cut-up fruit to help your body exercise, heal, and feel better fast. PS: Don’t like the seeds or the messy business of cutting up watermelon? Trader Joe’s has watermelon hearts-precut & delicious. Take the package right out to your Hot Spring Spa.
True pleasure is a serious business. As the Romans said it “Res severa est verum gaudium”