How much watermelon should I eat for ED? This is a question many people have when it comes to treating erectile dysfunction. The answer to this question will be different for every person, but we do have some recommendations that may help shed some light. This guide will break down the ingredients, how they work and give practical suggestions on how much watermelon should you eat for ED.
Watermelon is a refreshing fruit, and it can bring both short-term and long-term benefits to your daily life. A small watermelon, weighing around 5 lbs, provides a long list of nutrients, vitamins and minerals. Here’s what watermelon nutrition facts have to tell you.
How Much Watermelon Should I Eat For ED
Watermelon is a natural source of citrulline. Citrulline is an amino acid that may support better erections.
Viagra works by increasing blood flow to the penis, allowing a man to more easily get an erection when he is aroused. Citrulline may do the same thing, although it works in a different way to Viagra.
Preliminary research suggests that the body may convert citrulline to another amino acid, called arginine. Arginine converts to nitric oxide. Nitric oxide opens the blood vessels wider, increasing blood flow to the penis and improving erections.
Because watermelon is mostly water, the highest concentrations of citrulline come from concentrated watermelon juice.
Men who want to try watermelon as a natural Viagra may find better results with watermelon juice.
What the research says
Research into the effects of citrulline and watermelon is relatively new. Most studies have been small or looked only at animals. As such, it is too early to say there is conclusive proof that watermelon can act as a natural Viagra.
Preliminary research is promising, and there are few or no risks associated with consuming watermelon. This means that most men can safely try watermelon juice or citrulline supplements as an alternative to Viagra.
A 2011 study followed 24 men with mild ED. The men took a placebo for 1 month. For another month, they took a citrulline supplement.
Just two of the men taking a placebo saw their erections return to normal hardness levels. But half of the men who took citrulline experienced improvements that brought their erections to normal hardness levels.
Men who took citrulline also had more sex, averaging 1.37 sessions of intercourse per month before treatment, and 2.3 per month after treatment. None of the men experienced side effects.
A 2013 study gathered data on rats with ED due to low blood flow to the penis. This disorder, called arteriogenic erectile dysfunction, is a common cause of erectile problems in humans.
Rats that took a citrulline water supplement experienced improvements in erectile function compared with rats that received a placebo and rats that underwent surgery on their blood vessels. This finding suggests that citrulline may improve blood flow, potentially improving erections.
A 2014 study evaluated male rats treated with watermelon flesh extract. Rats who consumed watermelon were more likely to mount females and start intercourse. This increase in libido, the study’s authors concluded, suggests that watermelon might also be a viable treatment for ED.
There were no serious side effects, and the rats that ate watermelon extract did not experience an increase in weight.
Research published in 2017 sought to further understand the role of citrulline and arginine in erectile function. Researchers measured levels of both amino acids in 122 men with ED.
They found lower levels of one or both amino acids in men with ED, particularly in men with arteriogenic erectile dysfunction. This suggests that increasing levels of either citrulline or arginine, or both could improve erectile function.
Men should note that watermelon is likely not as effective as Viagra, and may not work for men who have not been able to get an erection with Viagra.
This is because watermelon increases blood flow to the penis, just like Viagra. If another issue, such as nerve damage or a serious relationship problem, is causing a man’s ED, merely increasing blood flow may not be much help.
While research on animals often applies to humans, this is not always the case. Studies finding positive results in rats may point toward the value of citrulline in treating ED, but they do not prove that it works in humans.
The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have not approved citrulline as a treatment for ED. Many more trials are necessary before doctors can determine whether or not citrulline works.
How much watermelon does it take?
“That is a good question,” Patil says. Unfortunately, “I don’t have an answer for that.”
He does know that a typical 4-ounce serving of watermelon (about 10 watermelon balls) has about 150 milligrams of citrulline. But he can’t say how much citrulline is needed to have Viagra-like effects.
He’s hopeful that someone will pick up on his research and study the fruit’s effect on penile erections.
Watermelon — A Natural Viagra?
This summer fruit is a powerhouse of nutrition. Some studies point out that watermelon benefits for men may include a better sex life and improved prostate health. These effects may be due to its high content of citrulline, arginine and lycopene.
According to a January 2017 review published in Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care, watermelon may help increase arginine levels in the bloodstream and reduce blood pressure in adults with prehypertension or hypertension. Researchers attribute these benefits to l-citrulline, a non-essential amino acid that is converted to arginine in the body.
Citrulline increases vasodilatation and may improve cardiometabolic health, as reported in a July 2018 research paper featured in the journal Nutrients. Furthermore, it may protect against endothelial damage, reduce inflammation and decrease arterial stiffness.
A February 2017 study published in the journal Andrology suggests that l-citrulline may play a role in men’s sexual health. Male subjects with erectile dysfunction (ED) had lower levels of citrulline, arginine or both. These findings indicate that increasing levels of these amino acids may help improve ED symptoms.
Another study, which had only 20 participants, supports this theory. Researchers have found that combining L-citrulline and trans-resveratrol may improve erection firmness, sexual satisfaction and the ability to maintain erections in men with ED. The results were published in the December 2018 issue of Sexual Medicine. The study was small, though, so further investigation is needed.
Based on the current evidence, it’s fair to say that watermelon won’t replace Viagra anytime soon. However, it may improve men’s sexual health, among other benefits. Lycopene, one of its key antioxidants, helps reduce oxidative stress and lipid peroxidation, which in turn, may boost male fertility.
Watermelon’s Viagra-Like Effects
On hearing about the Texas finding, Irwin Goldstein, MD, editor-in-chief of The Journal of Sexual Medicine, was underwhelmed. Suggesting a man feast on watermelon to boost performance, he says, “would be the equivalent of someone dropping a beer bottle in Minneapolis, where the Mississippi River starts, and hoping to see it make an impact on someone in New Orleans.”
“To say that watermelon is Viagra-like is sort of fun,” says Goldstein. “But to even vaguely hope that eating watermelon will alleviate ED is misleading.”
“The vast majority of Americans produce enough arginine,” adds Goldstein, medical director of Alvarado Hospital Medical Center, San Diego, and clinical professor of surgery, University of California San Diego School of Medicine. “Men with ED are not deficient in arginine.”
Though arginine is required to make nitric oxide, and nitric oxide is required to dilate blood vessels and have an erection, “that doesn’t mean eating something that is rich in citrulline will make enough arginine that it will lead to better penile erections,” Goldstein says.
Goldstein has served as a consultant for many companies that make ED drugs.
Calling watermelon a natural Viagra is “clearly premature,” says Roger Clemens, DrPH, adjunct professor of pharmacology and pharmaceutical sciences, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, and a spokesman for the Institute of Food Technologists.
SURPRISING BENEFITS OF WATERMELON SEXUALLY FOR MEN
In addition to citrulline, watermelon benefits include lycopene. Did you know that watermelon is one of the finest sources of lycopene, a carotenoid extremely beneficial to cardiovascular health?
Lycopene & men’s sexual health
There are studies to suggest that watermelon lycopene may lower blood pressure and cholesterol. This has the potential to lower risk of heart attacks and stroke. It may even play a role in preventing heart disease.
This is a health benefit of the lycopene in watermelon that is considered important for both sexes. After all, we all need good cardiovascular health to keep the blood pumping and achieve sexual climax. But studies show that increased intake of lycopene may prevent prostate cancer, making it a more important nutrient for men than for women.
Watermelons with deeply colored, red flesh have a higher concentration of lycopene than fruits with pink, yellow or orange flesh. According to the USDA, seedless red watermelons contain morelycopene than seeded watermelon varieties.
Watermelon is a source of potassium, which is among the nutrients considered key to men’s sexual health. Eating watermelon for potassium can help keep electrolytes in balance, keep the body primed for exercise and keep blood pressure at a healthy level.
Benefits to skin health
Watermelon’s health benefits for men also include the fact that this low-calorie food is a source of vitamin A. This indicates that watermelon has benefits for skin since vitamin A is said to encourage collagen growth.
The skin benefits of watermelon offer a nutritional boost for women as well as men, as is the fact that studies indicate the fruit may be helpful for relieving muscle soreness and reducing inflammation. Another great reason for everyone to eat more watermelon!
But please seek medical advice before making any drastic dietary changes.
WATERMELON NUTRITION FACTS
Watermelon, one of summer’s most iconic fruits, is low in calories and rich in water. It’s also an excellent source of vitamins A and C and lycopene while being less acidic than citrus fruits and tomatoes—other well-known providers of lycopene and vitamin C.
Watermelon Nutrition Facts
One cup of diced watermelon (152g) provides 46 calories, 0.9g of protein, 11.5g of carbohydrates, and 0.2g of fat. Watermelon is an excellent source of lycopene and vitamins A and C. The following nutrition information is provided by the USDA.
- Calories: 46
- Fat: 0.2g
- Sodium: 1.5mg
- Carbohydrates: 11.5g
- Fiber: 0.6g
- Sugars: 9.4g
- Protein: 0.9g
- Vitamin C: 12.3mg
- Vitamin A: 42.6mcg
- Lycopene: 6890mcg
The carbohydrates in watermelon are mostly sugars, with only a little fiber. Half of the sugar is fructose, one quarter is glucose, and less than one quarter is sucrose, with other sugars making up minor fractions.1 If you are counting carbohydrates, it’s best to measure watermelon carefully.
- 1 cup diced watermelon (152g): 0.6 grams fiber, 9.4 grams sugars, 11.5 grams total carbohydrates, 10.9 grams net carbohydrates
- 1 medium-sized wedge of watermelon (286g): 1.1 grams fiber, 17.7 grams sugars, 21.6 grams total carbohydrates, 21 grams net carbohydrates
Watermelon has a glycemic index (GI) of 76.2 This means it could give you a faster rise in blood sugar than foods with a lower GI. However, when considering glycemic load (which takes into account how much you eat per serving), a half cup of chopped watermelon is 4, which is considered low.2
You will get almost no fat in watermelon, making it similar to other melons such as cantaloupe or honeydew. The fat that is present is mainly polyunsaturated (0.076 grams), with smaller amounts of monounsaturated (0.056 grams) and saturated (0.024 grams) fatty acids.
For dietary tracking purposes, you can consider watermelon a non-fat food. The seeds (yes, they are edible) are a source of omega-3 fatty acids.3
Watermelon has only a little protein, with just under 1 gram per cup. Interestingly, some companies produce watermelon seed protein by sprouting and shelling the seeds.
You won’t be able to get that level of protein from fresh seeds, however, because the shell of the seed prevents digesting the protein inside.4
Vitamins and Minerals
A fully ripe red watermelon contains higher levels of nutrients than less ripe watermelon.5 A single serving of watermelon is a good source of vitamin C and vitamin A, providing a significant percentage of your daily requirement for each.
Vitamin C aids in wound healing and may have anti-aging and immune-boosting properties,6 whereas vitamin A is important for eye health.7 A one-cup serving of watermelon also provides about 7% of your daily needs of copper and pantothenic acid, 5% of biotin, and 4% of vitamins B1 and B6.
One cup of diced or balled watermelon contains around 46 calories. If you prefer to eat it wedged instead, a wedge that is around one-sixteenth of the melon (286 grams) contains almost double that amount or approximately 86 calories.
Watermelon is low in calories and contains almost no fat. While providing many valuable nutrients—such as vitamins A and C—it is somewhat high in sugar, so people who are monitoring their sugar intake may be best served by eating this fruit in moderation.
Beyond being a sweet summer treat, watermelon can boost your health in several ways.
1. Fights Dehydration
Aptly named, watermelon is almost 92% water,8 making it a very hydrating food choice. If you or your children struggle to drink enough water—especially on hot summer days—try a few servings of watermelon. You’ll get extra micronutrients along with your hydration.
2. Reduces Blood Pressure
Watermelon has antioxidant power because it is an excellent source of lycopene, a carotenoid phytonutrient that research has shown may help reduce or prevent high blood pressure.9 Tomatoes are well known as a source of lycopene, but a fully ripe watermelon has even more lycopene than a tomato.
3. Reduces Risk of Infections and Cancer
Other antioxidants in watermelon include flavonoids, carotenoids, and triterpenoids. Antioxidants such as these assist in cell repair and may help lower your risk of infections and some cancers.10
4. Contributes to Weight Loss
In a small study of overweight adults, those who consumed watermelon instead of low-fat cookies felt more full. They also showed reductions in body weight, body mass index, waist-to-hip ratio, and blood pressure.
Body Mass Index (BMI) is a dated, biased measure that doesn’t account for several factors, such as body composition, ethnicity, race, gender, and age.
Despite being a flawed measure, BMI is widely used today in the medical community because it is an inexpensive and quick method for analyzing potential health status and outcomes.
5. Helps Ease Muscle Fatigue
The amino acid citrulline is present in significant amounts in watermelon. You can find capsules of concentrated citrulline sold as a nutritional supplement for sports performance. The benefits of citrulline are not conclusive, although some studies show that citrulline supplements might reduce the feeling of fatigue during exercise.1213
Watermelon food allergies are rare.14 However, if you have hay fever or are allergic to ragweed pollen or grasses, you may have a food-pollen allergy syndrome which may lead to a cross-reaction to the proteins in watermelon that are similar to the pollen.
This reaction might feel a tingling or itch in your mouth after eating watermelon. In rare cases, this can be more serious and trigger throat swelling or anaphylaxis.14
Watermelon poses few risks, with research deeming this fruit “nontoxic without known side effects.”15 However, because it does contain sugar, people with diabetes may need to be cautious when eating watermelon to avoid blood sugar spikes.
Watermelon comes in dozens of varieties and cultivars. These can be grouped by size (“icebox” or smaller varieties vs. larger “picnic” types), the color of their flesh (pink, yellow, or orange), and whether they contain seeds or are seedless.
Watermelon has a thick rind that can be solid green, green-striped, or mottled with white. Melons can be round or oval in shape and typically weigh between 6 pounds and 29 pounds.16 The crisp flesh is mostly pinkish-red, although golden-fleshed varieties are becoming more popular.
Native to tropical Africa,16 watermelons are grown commercially in the U.S. in areas such as Texas, Florida, Georgia, and California, where the weather is warm and conducive to a long growing season.
When It’s Best
Watermelon is in season in summer in the U.S. A ripe watermelon is one that feels heavy for its size. The outside should be firm and free of nicks or dents. The ground spot—where the melon was resting on the ground—should be a creamy yellow color as opposed to white.