This summer I’ve been craving two things: sunshine and watermelon. Not sure why. Maybe I’m dehydrated and starved for Vitamin D or maybe it’s just because I like watermelon. Surprisingly, since it’s so juicy and good that’s it’s hard to believe it’s possible, but watermelon has health benefits. It’s not just all water. Apparently, in addition to providing 1/3 of our daily requirement of vitamins A & C and a little potassium, it’s full of a very helpful nutrient called L-citrulline. The body converts L-citrulline to an amino acid called L-Arginine which is a helper when it comes to circulation.
There are other benefits to eating watermelon in addition to it being a low calorie snack (around 84 calories for a large wedge). According to National Geographic.com, if you drink L-citrulline rich watermelon juice before a workout, it just might help athletic performance and recovery, as well as easing sore muscles afterwards (which makes it the perfect ingredient for pre-workout smoothies like the one I’m sharing today!) It’s also rich in lycopene, which may help fight cancers, (the antioxidant found in cooked tomatoesbut don’t tell the Italians).
Lastly, researchers posit that the improved circulation could also act as a natural Viagra (woohooo!!). But, this is just a theory, and you’d probably have to eat a whole watermelon field for the L-citrulline to hit hard down there (pun intended). Never mind the fact that watermelon is also a natural diuretic…so….urge to pee…viagra..not a good combo. Anyways, let’s stick with the muscle recovery theory.
I was experimenting with different ways to consume watermelon (other than shoving it in my face), and came up with this drink that turned out tasting EXACTLY like the watermelon version of a Dairy Queen Orange Julius. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m using a Blendtec, but it poured out creamy, light, and just slightly sweet. It is SO refreshing, and probably less than 150 calories (not that I’m counting). You can totally amp up the nutrition by adding a scoop of unsweetened protein powder.
PLUS…she’s so pretty and pink and fluffy.
Go forth and SLURP.
What you’ll need:
2 cups cubed watermelon
1/4 cup President’s Choice pineapple-coconut water
1 cup Unsweetened coconut milk
About 1 cup of ice (experiment with your blender)
A squeeze of lime juice
Add-ons: 1 scoop unflavoured protein powder, a tsp of coconut sugar (if the watermelon isn’t sweet enough) or a couple of fresh mint leaves
What You’ll Do:
Add all the ingredients to your Blentec. Hit Smoothie. Pour into one huge glass or if you feel like sharing, two less huge glasses. Drink. Smile.