Watermelon for the Win!
If you ever played in an organized soccer league as a child, or had one that did, you will probably remember sitting down to a big bowl of orange slices at half time for a quick energy boost. Well, things have been modernized since then, and young athletes are now asked to substitute watermelon for oranges as the mid-game snack, and for good reason too!
Here are my top 3 reasons for athletes, and especially soccer players, to eat watermelon!
- Not only is watermelon an extremely hydrating fruit, as it is over 90% water (hence the name!), it is also a rich, whole food source of potassium; an electrolyte which is important for nerve cell communication, muscle contraction and heart function.
- In Traditional Chinese Medicine, watermelon is a cooling food, which is ideal to snack on when your body is heated from exercise, especially in the summertime.
- Another significant characteristic that makes watermelon an ideal choice for athletes is the high content of L-Citrulline. This particular amino acid is converted by our kidneys into L-Arginine; the essential amino acid that produces nitric oxide (NO2) in our body. Similar to how the cars in The Fast & The Furious get a boost when they push their “NOS” button, the type of Nitric oxide in our body has been shown to increase physical endurance, and is often found as an ingredient in natural performance enhancing supplements, such as AOR’s “Energy NOX”.
Check out my Watermelon & Quinoa Salad for a delicious & healthy pre-game meal! Give yourself at least 1-2 hours to digest properly before you exercise.
Alex Comrie, B.Comm, Registered Holistic Nutritionist (R.H.N.)
Nutritional Consulting www.realhealthworks.ca
Holistic Catering sassandalex.com