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Melon Heads: The Benefits of Melon Juice
Fruit juices were once a universally healthy part of our diet. Now, most of the big brands load up their formula with high-fructose corn syrup and other harmful additives. This leaves a smaller selection of organic and artisan blend juices at much higher prices.But, if you can find the right supplier or even start juicing fruits yourself, new research out of Spain shows there may be more utility to juice (especially from melons) than just refreshment and preventative medicine.
L-Citrulluine, identified in 1930, is a valuable amino acid that can be found in watermelons, cantaloupe, squash, cucumber and pumpkin to name a few. Known for years to be a key intermediate in the urea cycle, L-Citruluinne is now enjoying more attention as a natural performance enhancer. Although L-Citruluinne can be biosynthesized by the human body using more sources than those listed above, few are as rich as watermelon juice.Martha P. Tarazona-Diaz and her colleagues at the Department of Food Engineering, Universidad Politecnica de Cartagena gathered seven healthy cyclists from the University of Mercia to measure watermelon juice’s effect on performance and muscle soreness.
According to nutraingredients.com, “On three separate occasions, each cyclist drank 500 ml of natural watermelon juice (1.17 g of L-Citruluinne), enriched watermelon juice (4.83 g of L-Citruluinne plus 1.17 g from watermelon) and a placebo. There were no differences in perceived exertion and pedaling cadence did not improve significantly. However, 24 hours later, muscle soreness was much greater in the group that received the placebo.” To this end, Tarazona-Diaz and her colleagues summarized:
“Watermelon juice, naturally rich in L-Citrulluine, is an excellent option for athletes who want to improve their sports performance.”
Isn’t that most athletes? Regardless, previous studies have covered how L-Citruluinne can aid sexual stamina and erectile function and even treat the symptoms of sickle cell disease. However, in spite of all that,the study’s authors noted that relatively little interest in L-Citrulluine has been expressed among the nutrition community because of its non-protein amino acid status. But, that’s all changing as the focus moves to L-Citrulluine’s antioxidant properties and its ability to generate nitric oxide. These factors make L-Citrulluine ideal for treating heart failure, hypertension and atherosclerosis amongst other conditions. In addition, it’s the nitric oxide synthesis and efficient glucose transport to skeletal muscle that is sure to have athletes of all shapes and sizes scouring fruit juice labels for L-Citruluinne content in the future.
The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.
|Healthy Diets4 Sep 2013|