Biochemical, Physiological, and Performance Response of a Functional Watermelon Juice Enriched in L-citrulline During a Half-Marathon Race

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Background: Watermelon is a rich natural source of L-citrulline. This non-essential amino acid increases exercise performance.
Objective: Evaluate the effect of Fashion watermelon juice enriched in L-citrulline (CWJ) (3.45 g per 500 mL) in physical performance and biochemical markers after a half-marathon race.
Design: A randomised, double blind, crossover design where 2 h after drinking 500 mL of CWJ or placebo (PLA, beverage without L-citrulline) amateur male runners performed two half-marathon races. Jump height, heart rate and rating of perceived exertion were evaluated before and after
the races. Moreover, muscle soreness and plasma markers of muscle damage and metabolism were evaluated for 72 h after the races.
Results: Muscle soreness perception was significantly lower from 24 to 72 h after the race with CWJ beverage. Immediately after the races, runners under CWJ condition showed plasma lactate and glucose concentrations significantly lower and higher lactate dehydrogenase and L-arginine
concentration than runners under PLA. A maintenance of jump heights after the races under CWJ supplementation was found, decreasing significantly with PLA.
Conclusion: A single Fashion watermelon juice enriched in L-citrulline dose diminished muscle soreness perception from 24 to 72 h after the race and maintained lower concentrations of plasma lactate after an exhausting exercise.

Ascensión Martínez-Sánchez
Domingo J. Ramos-Campo
Bárbara Fernández-Lobato
Jacobo A. Rubio- Arias
Fernando Alacid
Encarna Aguayo
Food & Nutrition Research