Here’s an interesting study that was published in August of 2013.
Researchers found that drinking watermelon juice after exercise alleviated muscle soreness.
Watermelon contains an amino acid called L-citrulline; researchers believe it is this nutrient that is responsible for boosting performance and decreasing recovery time.
Previous research on L-citrulline has shown it to have antioxidant properties, the potential to enhance athletic performance and increase muscle protein synthesis.
L-citrulline is thought to boost performance by speeding up the removal of lactic acid, a potential performance limiter. Indeed, study subjects who consumed watermelon juice an hour before exercise reported significantly less muscle soreness than those who did not drink any.
Watermelon has also been shown to limit the buildup of LDL (the “bad” cholesterol) and control weight gain in previous studies. A good source of L-citrulline is Nitric Oxide Support, if you can’t get your hands on any watermelon this time of year.
Tarazona-Díaz MP, et al. J Agric Food Chem. 2013 Aug 7;61(31):7522-8.