Recently there's been an influx of articles in Polish media warning against consuming alcohol and watermelons (titles via Google Translate):
- Never combine with alcohol. You can damage your liver
- Watermelon and alcohol are a bad combination. Here's why it's better to avoid it
- Watermelon is a fruit recommended especially in hot weather. Note: do not combine it with alcohol
- Never mix watermelon with alcohol. Why is this a dangerous combination?
It is claimed that watermelons contain a lot of lycopene which, while healthy on its own, mixes very badly with alcohol, greatly exacerbating alcohol's harmful effects on the liver. Thus we must make sure to never consume watermelons and alcohol at around the same time. In particular, we must never add watermelons to alcoholic drinks, as mixing both produces liver damage.
However, these media articles do not cite any particular studies; instead, they just say that 'a study has shown / suggested that...' - typical media practice, sadly.
I also tried searching English internet. Results:
- A number of websites which, while worthless for proving or disproving this notion, nonetheless show that it is indeed widespread
- Can We Eat Watermelon With Alcohol? (Wine-is)
- Will eating watermelon and alcohol poison you? (Quora)
- IsItBullshit: That you can’t eat watermelon after consuming alcohol. (Reddit)
- Forget the Myth and Just Add Watermelon (Alcohol Professor)
- Two studies that do mention relationship between alcohol and lycopene, however, they only talk about high dose lycopene supplementation, rather than lycopene found in watermelons in amounts likely to be present in a typical watermelon-vodka drink and do not attempt to form any dietary advice regarding watermelons:
This is not enough to draw any definite conclusions.
Does mixing alcohol with watermelons pose far more severe risks of liver damage than consuming alcohol alone?