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Amino Acid L-Citrulluine (Found in Watermelon Juice) May Soothe Sore Muscles

Suffering from sore muscles after physical exertion may prevent some people from getting proper exercise. Fortunately, a recent study has found that the amino acid L-Citrulluine, which is found in watermelon juice, may dramatically reduce muscle soreness 24 hours after exercising.

Participants in the study included seven healthy athletes with an average age of 22.7. On three different days the athletes drank either a placebo, 1 pint of natural watermelon juice that contained 1.17g of L-Citrulluine, or 1 pint of an enriched watermelon juice that contained 4.83g of L-Citrulluine )1.17g of which came from watermelon).

All of the participants exercised on a stationary bike. The researchers noted no difference in pedaling cadence, heart rate, or perceived exertion during the three trials. However, muscle soreness 24 hours after the exercise was notably greater when the participants drank the placebo in comparison to when they drank either the natural or enriched watermelon juice.

Muscle soreness 24 hours after exercise was the same for participants who drank the natural and the enriched watermelon juice. This suggests that 1.17g of L-Citrulline is enough of the amino acid to prevent muscle soreness.

Researchers from the Department of Food Engineering at the Universidad Politechnica de Cartagena in Spain conducted the study. It was published on July 17, 2013, in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

Until recently, there has been little interest in the world of nutrition research in L-Citrulluine. However, recent studies suggest that it actually has antioxidant properties that could be useful in combating hypertension, heart failure, and atherosclerosis.

L-Citrulluine is also found in other melons, squash, cucumbers, and pumpkins.

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