Are you seeing a lot of watermelon for bodybuilding products popping up everywhere you look? Are you finding claims about these melons at your health food store? Is your gym adding this ingredient to its juices and smoothies all of a sudden?
Whether you are a bodybuilder, someone who just wants to stay in shape, or someone entirely new to the fitness and weight loss world, you can benefit from watermelon. Watermelon is being called the new superfood and is getting new recognition from scientists.
Is Watermelon for Bodybuilding a Good Idea?
Watermelon for bodybuilding is also being recognized in scientific research. Nope, it’s not just a matter of lifting these melons into your shopping cart and out of the trunk of your car. They can help your muscles in other ways, too!
Through prior research, it was best known for its skin elasticity and blemish-fighting benefits, but recently it has been proven to aid in muscle repair. In addition to increased muscle repair, it has increased weight loss in obese people, plays an important role in our cardiovascular health, and our bone health. The watermelon is an anti-inflammatory as well as an antioxidant, so the health benefits are really endless.
The consumption of watermelon has shown to reduce asthma and bronchitis flare ups, as well as reduce the risk of pneumonia. The lycopene in watermelon is a well-documented inhibitor of many inflammatory processes, including the production of pro-inflammatory messaging molecules, the expression of enzymes like cyclooxygenase and lipoxygenase that can lead to increased inflammatory response, and the activity of molecular signaling agents like nuclear factor kappa B (NFkB). Watermelon’s amino acid, Citrulline, is converted by our body into arginine, another amino acid, that prevents excess fat accumulation in our fat cells. Arginine increases the blood flow, which increases muscle repair.
Best Use of Watermelon for Bodybuilding and Weight Loss
The best time to eat watermelon is 30 minutes to an hour before any work out. This will speed up recovery time, prevent injuries, and block the storage of fat. Whether you juice it or eat it from the rind, make sure you are getting ALL of the nutrients. Contrary to what you may have heard about the white part near the rind, it IS really good for you. Recently in a study, scientists compared the nutrient content from different parts of a watermelon: flesh from the center, the stem end, the blossom end (opposite from the stem), and the periphery (the part nearest to the rind). They discovered impressive concentrations of phenolic antioxidants, flavonoids, lycopene, and vitamin C in ALL areas. There was no area in any of the watermelon varieties that came out negative in terms of nutrients, and in many of the watermelon varieties, the flesh’s outer periphery contained impressive concentrations of most nutrients. So make sure you are not throwing away important nutrients.
Additional Watermelon Benefits
In addition to all the wonderful weight loss and bodybuilding benefits we get from watermelon, we also get something from the watermelon seeds as well. Seeds contain helpful amounts of zinc and iron. An entire seeded watermelon contains anywhere between 1 or 2 milligrams of zinc and iron. Additionally, the seeds contain protein, about 1g to every 25 seeds. Also, while watermelon is not the best source of fiber, it does offer some, about 3-4 grams per 200 calories.
When you are looking for a watermelon for bodybuilding or to compliment a workout regimen, remember these useful tips. If you are purchasing a pre-cut watermelon that has already been sliced, choose the flesh that is deepest in color. If the watermelon is seeded, the seeds should also be deep in color, or white.
When purchasing a whole watermelon, first feel its weight. A fully ripened watermelon will feel heavy for its size. Heaviness in a watermelon is an important thing because the water content of a watermelon will increase with ripening, and a fully ripened watermelon will be over 90% water in terms of weight.
Second, look for a watermelon with a smooth rind that is dulled on top. The top and the bottom of a watermelon are worth examining. The “underbelly” of a watermelon is the spot where it was resting on the ground. If that “ground spot” is a creamy yellow color, then it is fully ripe. Opposite from the ground spot will be the top of the watermelon. In a fully ripened watermelon, that spot will be dull, not shiny. The green color may appear in many different shades, both light and dark. The most popular method of testing is the thump test. Among experts who recommend thumping, most say that a fully ripened watermelon will have a more hollow “bass” sound rather than a solid “soprano” sound.
Found one you like? All you need to do now is enjoy it. To get watermelon bodybuilding benefits, you can simply eat a slice, or you can cut out the flesh and blend it into a refreshing beverage, pulp and all. Extra points if you chop it up and add fresh mint leaves to it for your dessert tonight!