Why is watermelon absolutely awesome for recovery?

Why is watermelon salad absolutely awesome for recovery?

A couple of weeks ago I posted this photo on Instagram and had some lovely comments about how nice my watermelon salad looked. To be honest, it was a bit of a rush job to quickly put something together for one of my girls to snack on after training in the car on the way home.

Why is watermelon salad absolutely awesome for recovery?


The reason I posted it was because it was part of the post training recovery snacks I whipped up that day, providing some of the refueling carbohydrates and rehydration to complement the protein rich peas and roasted chickpeas.

So even though you may have appreciated this simple version, I thought I would share with you my full watermelon salad dish. This is not only great for training recovery but also a perfect summer salad and/or refreshing accompaniment to any meal. 

But before we get to the recipe, why is watermelon such a great food to have after training?

So why is watermelon so good for recovery?

  • Rehydration is an important part of the recovery process as sweat is lost during training. Watermelon is a great thirst quencher as it is made up of 91% water1and therefore is a great source of rehydration after a sweaty workout.
  • It is also important to refuel after a workout to ensure the body is replenished with energy for the next session. Watermelon is a nutrient rich source of carbohydrates2 and is full of health promoting compounds. 3
  • In particular, watermelon has a high content of the amino acid l-Citrulline that has seen evidence of reducing the recovery heart rate and muscle soreness in athletes 4.
  • Watermelon is a healthy whole food, it’s so refreshing when icy cold, and don’t forget it tastes great too!

So here is my watermelon salad recipe. Hope you enjoy it, it’s a family favourite!

Why is watermelon salad absolutely awesome for recovery?

Watermelon, feta, mint and pomegranate salad recipe


  • 1kg wedge watermelon
  • 1/4 small red onion
  • 1 lime
  • 2 heaped tablespoons pomegranate arils
  • 12 large mint leaves
  • 100g feta of choice


  1. Cut the watermelon into small triangular pieces.
  2. Place the finely diced red onion in enough lime juice to cover and marinate.
  3. Wash and dry the mint leaves.
  4. Place the chopped watermelon in a bowl and mix through the onion with the juice.
  5. Put one layer of the watermelon mixture down on a serving platter. Squeeze over half the remaining lime, crumble over half the feta, sprinkle 1 tablespoon of pomegranate and tear 6 mint leaves over the top.
  6. Repeat with the remaining ingredients for the top layer.

This is best served just out of the fridge and cold for a refreshing salad. Enjoy!

Why is watermelon salad absolutely awesome for recovery?

Show 4 footnotes

  1. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Release 28
  2. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Release 28
  3.  Jayaprakasha GK, Patil BS 2016 “A metabolomics approach to identify and quantify the phytochemicals in watermelons by quantitative (1)HNMR.” PMID:27130118.
  4. Tarazona-Díaz MP et al 2013 Aug “Watermelon juice: potential functional drink for sore muscle relief in athletes” PMID: 23862566

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