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The UPCT demonstrates that watermelon juice enriched in L-citrulline improves the performance of athletes (27/08/2018)

Researchers at the Higher School of Agricultural Engineering of the Polytechnic University of Cartagena (UPCT) have verified in athletes the functionality of watermelon juice enriched with L-citrulline, whose ergogenic effects improve athletic performance in both aerobic and anaerobic efforts.

The experimental tests included in vivo studies in different types of physical exercises, both anaerobic (lifting weights) and aerobic (half marathon), which claimed to perceive less effort and suffer less soreness after carrying out their respective sports events.

The researchers also found positive results in watermelon-enriched juices with ellagitannins from pomegranate, with an antioxidant effect since their metabolite urolithin A improves mitochondrial respiratory capacity and enhances muscle strength.

"L-citrulline, present naturally in watermelon, is a precursor of arginine biosynthesis and this amino acid, in turn, is a precursor of nitric oxide.

Nitric oxide is a labile gas with important physiological functions;

in the vascular endothelium it works as a vasodilator, increasing blood flow and therefore the supply of oxygen and nutrients to muscles "explains Bárbara Fernández Lobato, author of the doctoral thesis and hospital pharmacy profession.

These results show that the intake of watermelon can contribute to improve the planning of training in athletes or people who make an intense physical effort.

His thesis, directed by Dras.

Encarna Aguayo and Ascensión Martínez within the doctoral program in Advanced Techniques in Agricultural Research and Development and Food (TAIDA), has been funded by the companies Grupo Grupo Fashion and AMC Juice and Drink.

Source: UPCT

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