Watermelon is a delicious and refreshing fruit that’s really good for your health. It contains just 46 calories per cup, and is high in vitamins (C and A), as well as many healthy plant compounds. It comprises mainly water and electrolytes, and is rich in fiber content—all of which makes it perfect as a diet fruit drink.
Below are the top 13 health benefits of watermelon juice.
#1. Helps You Hydrate
Just as drinking water is a great way to hydrate your body, so is having foods with high water content. When you consume watermelon juice, you’re actually drinking a combination of water (92%) and fiber, with very few calories—and lots of taste!
Watermelon’s high water content not only hydrates you but also helps you feel full.
#2. Ideal for Weight Loss
Since it mainly consists of water, watermelon juice is great for weight loss. And because it is rich in electrolytes and vitamins, it is good for your health, too.
#3. Contains Beneficial Nutrients and Plant Compounds
One of the lowest in terms of calories (only 46 calories per 154-gram cup), watermelon has fewer calories than low-sugar fruits such as berries. One cup of watermelon contains (in addition to other nutrients):
- Vitamin C: 21% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
- Vitamin A: 18% of the RDI
- Magnesium: 4% of the RDI
- Potassium: 5% of the RDI
- Vitamins: B1, B5, and B6: 3% of the RDI
Watermelon also contains:
- High amounts of carotenoids, including beta-carotene and lycopene
- Citrulline, an important amino acid
- Important antioxidants, such as:
- Vitamin C, which helps prevent cell damage
- Carotenoids, a class of plant compounds such as alpha-carotene and beta-carotene, which your body converts to vitamin A
- Lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that gives a red color to watermelons (and other plant foods like tomatoes), and is linked to many health benefits
- Cucurbitacin E, a plant compound with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties
#4. Keeps Your Heart Healthy
Watermelon contains several nutrients that are good for the heart. These nutrients include:
- Lycopene, a powerful antioxidant, which may help lower cholesterol and blood pressure, prevent oxidative damage to cholesterol (source), as well as reduce the stiffness and thickness of artery walls (source, source).
- Citruline, an amino acid that may increase the level of nitric oxide in the body, thereby helping your blood vessels expand and lower blood pressure (source).
- Other vitamins that are good for the heart (A, B6, and C)
- Magnesium and potassium
#5. May Help Prevent Cancer
Some of the compounds found in watermelons, such as cucurbitacin E and lycopene, may have the potential to prevent cancer, according to studies. The strongest association at this stage is between lycopene and cancers of the digestive system (source).
#6. Slows Down Aging
One of the greatest benefits of watermelon juice is that it helps slow down the aging process. Lycopene, the powerful antioxidant you read about above, helps reduce free radicals from the body, thereby slowing down the aging process quite effectively (source).
#7. Energizes You Instantly
Watermelon is an excellent source of energy because it contains electrolytes (sodium and potassium), minerals and carbohydrates. They keep your body hydrated, and make you feel more energetic.
#8. Helps Reduce Inflammation and Oxidative Stress
Inflammation can lead to many chronic diseases. According to studies, watermelon may help reduce inflammation and oxidative damage due to the presence of anti-inflammatory antioxidants such as lycopene and vitamin C (source).
#10. May Help Prevent Macular Degeneration
Watermelon may help keep your eyes healthy, and protect you from age-related macular degeneration (AMD). AMD is a common eye problem that can cause blindness in older adults (source). This is due to the anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory effect the lycopene found in watermelons.
#11. May Help Relieve Sore Muscles and Improve Athletic Performance
Watermelon juice may just be the recovery beverage you need before and/or after your workout. The amino acid citrulline (also found in health supplements) present in watermelons may not only help reduce muscle soreness, but also lead to quicker heart rate recovery.
According to a study conducted in 2013, drinking watermelon juice before your workout can help reduce next-day muscle soreness and heart rate. This is due to the presence of amino acids citrulline and arginine, which help improve blood circulation.
Another study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology[source] in 2015 suggests that the citrulline found in watermelons can help improve athletic performance.
#12. Good for Skin and Hair
The two vitamins (A and C) found in watermelon are good for your skin and hair. Vitamin A helps create and repair the cells of your skin. Without adequate amounts of vitamin A, your skin can look dull, dry, and flaky.
Vitamin C is also very important because it helps your body make collagen, which helps keep your skin supple and your hair strong.
Aside from this, the beta-carotene and lycopene in your glass of watermelon juice may also help protect your skin from sunburn (source).
#13. Can Improve Your Digestion
The (high amount of) water and (small amount of) fiber in watermelon are both important for healthy digestion. The water helps keep your digestive tract moving efficiently, and the fiber helps promote normal bowel movements.
The Bottom Line
Watermelon is an awesomely healthy fruit. It is water-rich and contains important nutrients, including vitamins and lycopene. These nutrients make your watermelon juice a delicious low-calorie treat—which is also excellent for your health!