Searching for a pure pre-workout selection to assist gasoline your health targets? Suppose outdoors the complement field and look in your fridge – it’s time to strive watermelon earlier than a exercise! Everybody’s favourite summertime snack has many attributes which might be helpful for athletes, particularly within the pre-workout time-frame.
Disclosure: This submit is sponsored by the Nationwide Watermelon Promotion Board. As at all times, all opinions are my very own.
3 Causes to Embody Watermelon in Your Pre-Exercise Meal
Watermelon is a superb supply of carbs – which (opposite to what many media retailers would love you to imagine) are usually not evil! Years of sports activities diet analysis have established that consuming carbohydrates previous to endurance train improves efficiency. And carbs are helpful earlier than energy coaching classes as effectively.
This is applicable to 3 areas of pre-workout sports activities diet:
1) On an on a regular basis foundation, you need quite a lot of meals with a mix of all of the macronutrients – together with carbs. Carbs are saved in your muscle tissues to offer vitality, and a strong day by day food plan will assist maximize these vitality shops.
2) For coaching day or race day, you wish to eat an simply digestible, carb-rich meal about 1-4 hours previous to endurance train.
3) For endurance races lasting longer than 90 minutes, it’s smart to carb load by nudging up your carbohydrate consumption within the 1-3 days main as much as your occasion.
Watermelon is a pure match into all three of those ideas. Two cups of watermelon offers 23 grams of carbohydrate. You possibly can eat it as a part of your day by day food plan for a pleasant candy deal with that matches right into a wholesome meal plan – and you can even incorporate it strategically into your carb loading plan and your pre-workout meal as one among your carb sources.
One of many largest struggles I see with summer time exercises? Hydration.
That is particularly a problem for outside exercises, like lengthy runs or outside bootcamps. In case you’re beginning off these exercises dehydrated, it’s very onerous to get better from that on a sizzling day once you’re sweating loads. That may result in poor efficiency and simply feeling crummy throughout your exercise.
Along with hydrating correctly throughout train, one factor you additionally wish to do is be sure you’re staying hydrated every day earlier than your exercises. As a result of watermelon is 92% water, it affords a singular food-based method that will help you keep hydrated main as much as your sweat sesh.
Be taught extra about watermelon & hydration right here and take a look at further recommendations on hydration for athletes right here.
L-citrulline is an amino acid present in watermelon – and its presence there is without doubt one of the extra distinctive causes to think about watermelon as a pure pre exercise selection.
You see, L-citrulline is transformed to L-arginine within the physique, which is additional transformed to nitric oxide. Nitric oxide helps enhance blood movement and will enable extra oxygen to get to these hard-working muscle tissues.
Some research have seemed particularly at L-citrulline supplementation and train. For instance, a examine within the Journal of the Worldwide Society of Sports activities Diet discovered that 7 days of L-citrulline supplementation led to raised biking time trial efficiency and improved notion of muscle fatigue.
There’s additionally been analysis on watermelon itself – although there’s not a ton on the market on this subject.
One 2017 examine within the Journal of Meals & Diet Analysis in contrast half marathoners who drank both an L-citrulline enhanced watermelon juice or a placebo drink previous to the race. The improved watermelon juice group had much less muscle soreness after the race – woohoo!
And although not a human examine, there was additionally an fascinating rat examine that was launched simply this 12 months in Preventive diet and meals science. They divided rats into 4 teams: 1) supplemented with faucet water, 2) supplemented with L-citrulline, 3) supplemented with watermelon flesh juice, 4) supplemented with watermelon rind juice. After 14 days of this supplementation protocol, the rats underwent swimming train twice a day for 3 days.
The outcomes? Rats supplemented with watermelon flesh juice had been capable of swim longer till exhaustion, had diminished lactate concentrations, and had elevated nitric oxide manufacturing in comparison with the faucet water and L-citrulline teams. The rind group additionally had an extended swimming time and decrease lactate concentrations in comparison with the management group.
After all, like every space of diet, not each examine has proven related outcomes. For instance, a examine within the Journal of Sports activities Science didn’t discover any exercise-related advantages when individuals drank 3 cups of watermelon juice an hour or two previous to a exercise.
And a 2016 examine in Nitric Oxide: Biology and Chemistry didn’t discover enhancements in time to exhaustion throughout excessive depth train with 16 days of watermelon supplementation. Nevertheless, there have been enhancements in plasma nitrite and muscle oxygenation throughout reasonable train.
So what’s the actual deal? Clearly, with so few research so it’s onerous to attract a definitive conclusion.
However that stated – between the person research on L-citrulline supplementation displaying train advantages, and the research on watermelon itself suggesting advantages (for the half marathoners and swimming rats) – I feel it’s believable that the L-citrulline in watermelon is likely to be useful earlier than a exercise. It could be extra probably that these advantages are seen with constant day by day consumption reasonably than only one acute dose beforehand.
Plus, even when we came upon sooner or later that the L-citrulline was not really impactful, there are all the opposite advantages of watermelon just like the wholesome carbs, hydration, potassium, and antioxidants which might be current within the fruit.
Learn how to Embody Watermelon in Your Pre Exercise Meal
This doesn’t must be fancy – the best option to embody it’s to easily seize a slice and luxuriate in! Generally I wish to sprinkle mine with somewhat salt – yum.
You could possibly additionally get pleasure from my watermelon sports activities drink or this watermelon cucumber smoothie as a part of your pre-workout meal.
And if you wish to get somewhat nerdy with me, listed here are two different ways in which I feel are superior for summertime:
1. Strive a pre-workout watermelon ice slurry.
An ice slurry is the athletic world’s tackle a slushy or a snow cone. Primarily, it’s simply small items of crushed ice in a provider liquid.
A number of research have investigated the affect of athletes consuming ice slurries previous to train within the warmth. The info is combined, with some research displaying no main enhancements and different research displaying enhanced train capability.
I personally like a pre-workout slushie, and discover that (anecdotally) I really feel prefer it makes sizzling exercises simpler. I wish to make mine with watermelon! Simply mix a cup or two of watermelon, then pour it over some crushed ice, and eat it earlier than going out for a very sizzling exercise. (After all, that is additionally tremendous refreshing after a exercise too.)
2. Strive a pre-workout watermelon pomegranate popsicle.
Watermelon and pomegranate provide double responsibility help for athletes. A scientific evaluation within the British Journal of Diet concluded that pomegranate “has the potential to enhance exercise performance and to expedite recovery from intensive exercise.” However when mixed with watermelon, that impact may very well be even higher!
Analysis within the Journal of agricultural and meals chemistry confirmed that watermelon juice enhanced with pomegranate ellagitannins important decreased the score of perceived exertion and muscle soreness after energy workout routines.
You possibly can actually do a blended juice, however in the summertime, a pre-workout popsicle appears far more enjoyable. Need to make your individual? Do that easy recipe: Simply mix 2 cups chopped watermelon and three/4 cup pomegranate juice in a blender, after which pour it into popsicle molds. Freeze for a number of hours, and pull one out as wanted earlier than your subsequent exercise!
Now it’s your flip – give watermelon a strive in your subsequent pre exercise meal and see how you are feeling! You may discover the additional carbs, hydration, and L-citrulline give your physique a little bit of a step up. In case you do strive it out – whether or not that’s in a slice, a slushie, or a popsicle – you should definitely pop over right here and go away a remark to let me know the way it goes.
Share: Have you ever ever eaten watermelon earlier than a exercise? How did you are feeling? Had been you stunned by any of this data?
PS – Don’t neglect to take a look at extra nice watermelon recipes right here!
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