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Watermelon juice: summer drink and muscle soother

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 (iStock)

Watermelon juice isn't just a great summer drink, it is also a proven muscle soother.

According to a report published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, researchers say that the juice has antioxidant properties and the potential to increase muscle protein and enhance athletic performance. In other words, watermelon juice can ease aching muscles after a session at the gym.

So if it's so good for you, why don't you see it bottle in stores more often?  The simple answer is that it separates and doesn't stay fresh very long.  There are some brands that pasteurize the juice and sell it in the fresh food section of the grocery store.  But making watermelon juice at home is fast, easy and inexpensive.   

Recipe: Watermelon Juice

Also, having a pitcher ready comes in handy when you want to liven up some summertime cocktails.

So in light of the recent good-news study, whip up a batch this weekend, and go for a nice long run.  Your body will thank you.