Fight Soreness—The Secret Ingredient

posted by Jennifer Stahl on Tuesday, Oct 29, 2013
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Skip the sore hamstrings—enjoy some watermelon. Photo via iStock

As Nutcracker rehearsals ramp up, your muscles might be feeling all new types of soreness in all new kinds of places. One strategy to help ease the pain? Watermelon juice. Researchers recently found that people who drank watermelon juice before exercising felt less sore the next day than those who had a placebo. The reason is L-citrulline, a fairly uncommon amino acid that watermelon is loaded with. It has antioxidant properties that speed up the removal of lactic acid from your muscles, helping you recover more quickly. Some scientists even suspect that it may enhance athletic performance. The only catch is that it's most effective when consumed in unpasteurized watermelon juice—not by itself in a supplement. That sounds tasty enough to us! Take advantage now before watermelon season ends next month.