What is Watermelon Juice Powder?
What is watermelon juice powder? It’s a pale pink powder obtained from the Citrullus lanatus fruit, better known simply as watermelon. This beloved summer fruit likely originated in Africa close to 5,000 years ago. Not only is fresh watermelon delicious, refreshing and pretty to look at, it offers numerous health benefits. It’s full of healthy phytonutrients, but with relatively few calories. In its fresh form, watermelon is a great way to stay hydrated since it’s made up of about 92 percent water. But, because it is mostly water, its other health benefits can be maximized by dehydrating it into a powder that can be taken as a dietary supplement (x, x).
Watermelon juice powder is a rich source of anti-inflammatory phytonutrients, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and amino acids including notable amounts of vitamins A and C, lycopene and citrulline. This powder promotes healthy skin and hair, efficient post-exercise muscle recovery and abundant energy. It’s also anti-inflammatory and antioxidative, so it supports the immune system and protects the heart.
Watermelon Juice Powder Benefits
Healthy Skin and Hair
Watermelon benefits the skin thanks to two vitamins it contains in generous quantities — vitamins A and C (x). Vitamin C helps the body manufacture collagen, a protein that keeps the skin strong and flexible. Vitamin A is also necessary for skin health since it takes part in the growth and repair of skin cells. Deficiency of vitamin A can result in dry and peeling skin (x, x). Other micronutrients like lycopene and carotene in the powder extract can help protect the skin from sunburn (it’s not, however, a substitute for sunscreen) (x).
As for hair, it’s just like any other body part, requiring a variety of nutrients to keep it looking healthy. Collagen from vitamin C helps keep your hair strong while vitamin A ensures that skin glands manufacture sebum, an oily substance that moisturizes the scalp and helps in maintaining healthy hair (x).
Post-Workout Muscle Recovery
Exercise, especially in hot and humid conditions, can lead to a significant loss of potassium. This electrolyte is crucial for the proper functioning of muscles, organs and nerve signals responsible for physical activity. Studies show that “potassium loading” before exercise can result in a potassium balance post-work out (x).
Watermelon juice powder can benefit your workout routine in another way. Citrulline, found in watermelon, is an amino acid that promotes the body’s release of nitric oxide (NO). Nitric oxide is a vasodilator, which means it causes blood vessels to widen and relax, thereby promoting better blood flow throughout the body. Research shows that citrulline increases cellular energy, might improve exercise performance and reduces recovery time (x, x, x).
Unrelated to exercise but perhaps still of interest to some is the potential for citrulline to improve sexual function in men. When NO increases blood flow, it can help reduce erectile dysfunction (x).
Protects the Heart
Heart disease, also known as cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death worldwide. Risk factors for CVD include high cholesterol, excess weight, lifestyle choices and high blood pressure (x). Luckily, studies show that watermelon extracts and powders can reduce some of these risk factors. Certain nutrients found in watermelon extracts may offer certain heart-healthy benefits.
One of these nutrients is the amino acid citrulline which, as we know, raises nitric oxide (NO) quantities in the body. Nitric oxide causes the blood vessels to dilate which in turn lowers blood pressure (x).
It’s heart-healthy in other ways, too. In a study, mice were fed diets high in saturated fat. Some were also given a watermelon supplement while the others were not. The group receiving the extract had lower LDL (“bad” cholesterol), lower body weight, reduced blood pressure and less plaque build-up in their arteries. Studies on humans showed similarly promising results. Researchers attributed this effect to the citrulline (x, x, x).
Lycopene, a carotenoid found in watermelon, also helps reduce risk factors for CVD. Studies indicate that lycopene reduces blood pressure, oxidative stress, arterial stiffness and improves a person’s metabolic profile. As a result, dietary lycopene intake is directly linked to a healthier cardiovascular system (x, x).
Inflammation and Oxidative Stress
The World Health Organization correlates long-lasting inflammation with the occurrence of several chronic diseases including diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, allergies and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) (x). There are many reasons why a person may experience chronic inflammation, but finding ways to reduce it can go a long way toward maintaining a good quality of life.
Inflammation and oxidative stress also go hand in hand. Oxidative stress occurs when there is an imbalance in the body between free radicals (molecules that damage cells) and antioxidants (x).
Scientists are investigating the potential anti-cancer effects of watermelon (x, x). While much more research is necessary, certain compounds in watermelon may help lower cancer risk. For example, lycopene might reduce levels of a protein called insulin-like growth factor (IGF) in the body. This protein plays a role in cell division and high levels of it have been associated with cancer (x, x). Studies show curcubatin E, which is present in watermelon, may also combat tumor growth (x, x).
Watermelon Juice Powder Dosage and Side Effects
As a dietary supplement, mix 700 mg (heavy ¼ tsp) of watermelon juice powder into water and take it three times daily. This can be done after or before meals, or as directed by your physician.
Though this supplement offers a plethora of benefits, it is still best to speak with a doctor before adding it to your regimen. Be sure to talk to a doctor before taking this supplement if you are pregnant or nursing. Do not take this product if you have hyperkalemia, or if you’re allergic to watermelon. Side effects may include nausea, indigestion, diarrhea and bloating.
The Bottom Line
Nothing beats a good watermelon. But as watermelon lovers know, there’s only so much you can eat. Between the high water content and the fiber, too much can make you want to explode! Watermelon juice powder delivers nutrients like vitamins A and C, citrulline, lycopene and potassium in a concentrated form. Now, you can benefit from watermelon’s antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, muscle-recovery and heart-healthy effects without the belly-bloating water and fiber.