By: Anja Springthorpe
Watermelons are not only a refreshing treat on a hot summer day, but also pack a punch when it comes to nutritional value. They contain more than 90% water as well as minerals, vitamins and electrolytes. This unique nutritional profile makes watermelon juice an excellent way to hydrate.
In fact, research conducted by the University of Aberdeen Medical School, found that watermelon juice hydrated more effectively compared to water or conventional sports drinks.
Watermelons provide ample nutrition but little calories. One cup contains less than 50 calories, making it a superfood that protects the waistline. According to a study published in The Journal of Nutrition, the amino acid L-citrulline found in watermelons increases fat-burning capacity by 13% and speeds up muscle recovery after workouts. Based on these facts, the juice appears superior for hydration and exercise recovery compared to pricy, sugar-laden sports drinks.
Working out in the sun? Watermelons contain lycopene, a carotenoid protecting from damage by ultra-violet rays and premature aging of the skin. Lycopene reduces inflammation and has been found to protect against heart-disease and cancers.
90% water as well as minerals, vitamins and electrolytes
Picking a ripe watermelon may seem daunting, but here are a few simple tricks when choosing a tasty and nutritious treat:
- A ripe watermelon feels heavy and provides a deep, hollow sound when tapped.
- Another indicator is the color of the underbelly (the part of the watermelon that did not receive much sun during growth). Avoid white patches and look for watermelons with yellow underbellies.
- Once you pick your watermelon, consume as quickly as possible and avoid storing cut slices for long periods. Storage significantly reduces levels of lycopene,
vitamins and minerals.