11 Surprising Side Effects Of Watermelon

Discover the dangers of overindulging in this nutritious and refreshing fruit.

Reviewed by Nilofar Pendhari, Certified Clinical Nutritionist Nilofar Pendhari Nilofar PendhariCertified Clinical Nutritionist facebook_iconlinkedin_iconinsta_icon
Written by , B.Desgn, ISSA Certified Specialist In Fitness & Nutrition Tanya Choudhary B.Desgn, ISSA Certified Specialist In Fitness & Nutrition twitter_icon Experience: 2 years
Edited by , BSc, Professional Certificate in Food, Nutrition and Health Ravi Teja Tadimalla BSc, Professional Certificate in Food, Nutrition and Health Experience: 8 years
Fact-checked by , BPharm, Certified Health & Wellness Coach Moksha Gandhi BPharm, Certified Health & Wellness Coach Experience: 2 years

While most of you might be in love with the refreshing watermelons, are you aware of the possible side effects of watermelon as well? So, next time, you need to be aware of a few things before munching on those watermelon slices. Watermelon contains high amounts of water, vitamins A, B6, and C, minerals like potassium, and other nutrients. However, overconsumption of watermelons can lead to certain health issues.

protip_icon Know The Flip Side: Watermelon

Short-Term Effects
Intestinal disturbance, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting and gas, rashes, facial swelling and anaphylaxis, muscle fatigue, irregular heartbeats, and low blood pressure.

Long-Term Effects
Causes spikes in blood sugar levels, gestational diabetes, impotence and erectile dysfunction in men, and nerve, kidney, and heart problems.

Drug Interactions
Excessive watermelon intake may interact with diabetes medications and other drugs that retain potassium in the body.

When To See A Doctor
If you experience excessive stomach discomfort, diarrhea, very high blood sugar levels (especially if you have diabetes), and allergic reactions.

To help you know more, we have done all the required research and summed it up to know how much watermelon is just right. Scroll down.

Side Effects Of Watermelon

Woman experiences nausea and vomiting
Image: Shutterstock

There are several components in watermelon that can cause side effects. Here are some of the side effects of this delicious, juicy fruit are:

1. Intestinal Disturbance

Watermelons are rich in lycopenei  XAn organic pigment that gives red and pink colors to fruits and vegetables, whose excess consumption may cause gas and indigestion. . So, do not consume watermelon in large quantities. It may lead to nausea, bloating, diarrhea, vomiting, indigestion, heartburn and gas. These symptoms can be worse among older people, as the digestive system tends to weaken with age.

protip_icon Trivia
Ancient Egyptians placed watermelons in the burial tombs of the pharaohs. They believed the fruit would help them stay hydrated during their long journey to the afterlife.

2. Cardiovascular Disorders

Woman having cardiovascular issues due to excess watermelon consumption
Image: Shutterstock

Watermelons contain high level of potassium. Consuming potassium enriched food in large quantities can lead to cardiovascular problems. Some of the cardiovascular problems that can occur are absent or weak pulse, irregular heartbeats, cardiac arrest, etc. It may also affect the motor control and nervous system of the body.

3. Not Good For Diabetics

When an individual is insulin resistant, then the blood sugar level tends to stay put in the blood. It does not enter into the cells of the body. When there is a shortfall of glucose in the cells, then more amount of insulin is manufactured. Both the blood and the sugar remain in the blood, which can affect the triglyceridei  XA common type of converted fat stored in the blood and used by the body to give you energy between meals. levels in the body. Watermelon, full of natural sugar, can cause a spike in the sugar levels of the body. That is why diabetics should avoid consuming watermelon.

4. Fall In The Blood Pressure Level

Image: Shutterstock

Excessive consumption of watermelon can lead to a dip in the body’s blood pressure level. If a person suffers from low blood pressure, it is best to consume watermelon occasionally.

5. Allergic Reactions

Consuming watermelon can also cause allergic reactions in some people. They are severe or mild rashes, anaphylaxisi and facial swelling. Anaphylaxisi  XA life-threatening allergic reaction caused due to exposure to an allergen and causes rashes, nausea, breathlessness, and shock. may also be accompanied by itching of the tongue, headache, and dizziness. People who are allergic to carrots, latex and cucumber, can easily develop allergic reactions to watermelon.

6. Avoid During Pregnancy

Image: Shutterstock

Gestational diabetes is a common, yet serious health issue that plagues many pregnant women. Consuming large quantities of watermelons increases blood sugar level, which leads to gestational diabetes. So, pregnant women should stop eating watermelon for a few months if they are prone to gestational diabetes. Better safe than sorry!

7. Loose Stools

Watermelon contains a special type of sugar, called sorbitol. People, who are intolerant to sorbitol develop loose stools and gas on consuming watermelon.

8. Problems Related To Nerves And Muscles

Image: Shutterstock

People, who consume watermelon in large quantities, may develop nerve, muscle, and kidney problems.

9. Impotence

Eating too much of watermelon may cause impotence and erectile dysfunction in men.

10. Fatigue

While watermelon helps prevent dehydration, consumption of excessive watermelons can increase the water quantity in the body. If this is not accompanied by increased urination, then it can lead to an increase in the volume of blood. This may further worsen the swelling as well as lead to exhaustion and fatigue.

11. May Aggravate Hyperkalemia

The high potassium content in watermelon may exacerbate hyperkalemia. It is a condition characterized by elevated potassium levels in the blood that may hamper renal function in those with kidney issues or other medical conditions, affecting potassium regulation (3), (4), (5). While it is generally safe for individuals with normal kidney function to enjoy watermelon in moderation, those with kidney problems should practice caution, as excessive consumption may further aggravate their condition. Further, it may cause nausea, fatigue, muscle weakness, high blood pressure, and swollen kidneys (6). Hence, consult a healthcare provider for the recommended amount to avoid these adverse effects.

protip_icon Fun Fact
The word ‘watermelon’ is said to have appeared in the English dictionary in 1615.

A blogger shared their experience of severe toothache after consuming a large amount of watermelon in one sitting. They said, “I woke up with a throbbing toothache in the upper right part of my mouth. It was the sort of sharp, piercing pain that made me wince and contort my jaw and face in a desperate attempt to minimize the pain, but to no avail; no matter what i did, the pain did not cease (i).”

Infographic: 4 Side Effects Of Watermelon To Watch Out For

It is delightful to have watermelon or its juice to cool down on a hot summer’s day. However, overindulgence may prove to be dangerous. If you are at risk of developing cardiovascular disorders or have one, it is necessary to keep a close eye on your watermelon intake.

Check out the infographic below to learn more about the adverse effects of excessive watermelon consumption.

4 watermelon side effects to watch out for (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Watermelon is a sweet, thirst-quenching fruit with a multitude of benefits. This refreshing fruit contains many vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. However, one must also be aware of the possible side effects of watermelon. Overconsumption of this healthy fruit may cause nausea, bloating, diarrhea, cardiovascular disorders, spiked sugar levels in the body, and lower blood pressure way too much. It also may cause fatigue and loose stools in some. Hence, check your portions while consuming them to avoid their adverse effects.

Frequently Asked Questions

When should you not eat watermelon?

There is no particular time when it is inappropriate to eat watermelon.

How much is too much watermelon?

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020-2025 recommends having 2 cups of watermelon a day. Consuming above this amount may lead to adverse effects.

What foods should I avoid with watermelon?

According to anecdotal evidence, if you have watermelon allergies, you should avoid muskmelon, cantaloupes, cucumbers, and honeydew melons as well, as they belong to the same genus and are closely related.

Can I eat watermelon on an empty stomach?

Yes, moderate consumption of watermelon on an empty stomach might be beneficial as it is packed with nutrients and water which may lead to satiety.

Is watermelon good for the liver?

Yes. A study showed that watermelon is rich in several antioxidants which may help attenuate oxidative stress in the liver caused by alcohol consumption (1).

Can watermelon consumption lead to weight gain?

Possibly not. A study found that the consumption of watermelon for four weeks showed a decrease in the body weight of overweight individuals (2).

Key Takeaways

  • Overindulgence in watermelons could trigger diarrhea and bloating.
  • It contains a compound called sorbitol that may cause loose stools and gas.
  • The high potassium content in watermelons may lead to cardiovascular problems like an irregular heartbeat.
  • It may set off an allergic reaction, resulting in mild to severe rashes in susceptible individuals.
side effects of watermelon_illustration

Image: Stable Diffusion/StyleCraze Design Team

Delve into the surprising side effects of watermelon with this intriguing video. Learn more about its potential effects on digestion, blood pressure, and more.

Personal Experience: Source


Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

  1. Hepato- and neuro-protective effects of watermelon juice on acute ethanol-induced oxidative stress in rats
  2. Effects of fresh watermelon consumption on the acute satiety response and cardiometabolic risk factors in overweight and obese adults
  3. Watermelon, raw
  4. Current and future treatment options for managing hyperkalemia
  5. Hyperkalemia in chronic kidney disease
  6. Hyperkalemia
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