1. Keeps you hydrated
A medium-sized watermelon is about 92% water, so it's a great option to keep you hydrated.
2. Contains essential vitamins
Watermelon contains many essential vitamins your body needs, including:
Vitamin A, which helps maintain eyesight and support lung health.
Vitamin C, which helps our bodies absorb iron and keeps the immune system strong.
Vitamin B6, which also helps support the immune system and heart health.
Magnesium, which helps regulate muscle and nerve function.
Watermelon also contains important minerals known as electrolytes, one of which is potassium. Electrolytes are crucial for keeping us hydrated, contracting our muscles, and regulating pH levels.
3. Assists in weight management
One cup of watermelon contains about 45 calories, making it a low-calorie snack. The high water content in watermelon can also be filling and help you eat fewer calories overall.
A small 2019 study examining the effects of watermelon consumption on satiety and body weight in overweight and obese adults found those who consumed two cups of watermelon daily for four weeks reported feeling less hungry and lost significantly more weight than the group who consumed low-fat cookies with the same amount of calories.
4. May prevent muscle soreness
Watermelon contains L-citrulline, an amino acid that may help reduce muscle soreness after a workout.
The way it works is that L-citrulline dilates blood vessels, opening them up to allow for more blood flow to the muscles which can decrease soreness by improving the supply of oxygen during exercise.
5. May lower blood pressure
Because L-citrulline helps open and relax blood vessels, it can improve blood flow and lower blood pressure. Staying properly hydrated can also help improve blood pressure because it helps the heart pump blood to muscles more effectively.
A small 2012 study found watermelon extract supplementation reduced blood pressure in obese adults with hypertension.
6. Reduces risk of disease
Watermelon contains the antioxidant, lycopene, which can help ward off diseases, like cancer or heart disease. This antioxidant is also present in other red fruits and vegetables, including tomatoes.
Some studies have indicated lycopene may help protect against certain cancers, like prostate cancer. This is because lycopene appears to lower the insulin-like growth factor (IGF), a protein linked to cancer in high levels.
7. Improves digestion
Fiber is important for digestion because it adds bulk to stool, making it easier to pass. Watermelon doesn't contain much fiber — about one gram per cup — but its high water content can help improve digestion by moving along waste.