Citrulline is a non-essential amino acid like L-arginine. L-arginine is supposed to increase nitric oxide production, which in turn improves energy production. However, many experts are of the view that citrulline can also be used in place of L-arginine. Citrulline is a better choice because your body can absorb it more efficiently as compared to L-arginine.
Does it help power up your workout sessions? Some studies have confirmed that supplementing with citrulline may improve muscle endurance and aerobic performance. It is also likely to relieve muscle soreness. What it means is that even if L-citrulline does not lead to a significant increase in power, it certainly helps relieve post-workout soreness that enables you to approach your next workout with equal intensity.
Citrulline Malate is actually a combination of L-citrulline and Malate. It means that it combines L-citrulline and malic acid. It was first introduced in the late 70’s when a product called Stimol became popular to treat physical and mental fatigue in post-surgery and geriatric patients.
Stimol was also found to improve muscle performance in people suffering from a condition called asthenia, which is characterized by a lack or loss of body strength.
Using that knowledge, many supplement manufacturers now include citrulline malate in their products to help fight post-workout fatigue.
Citrulline affects your body in many different ways. Most of its benefits come from the claim that it helps dilate blood vessels. With vasodilation, your blood circulation will increase but your blood pressure will come down. Your body uses citrulline to produce arginine, which is then changed in nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is responsible for that vasodilation known for reducing muscle soreness and fatigue.
The interesting thing is that taking citrulline is much better than taking arginine, because your body absorbs both amino acids differently. It may also help with muscle building because it increases protein synthesis through the stimulation of a signaling pathway. Here are some other potential benefits of citrulline:
Interestingly, there is some good scientific evidence to support the use of citrulline malate for a boost in power and endurance. Here are a few findings to make it clear:
You can increase your intake of citrulline by including certain foods in your diet. For instance, studies show that you can get a good dose of citrulline from foods like pumpkins, watermelon, bitter melon, cucumber, and gourds.
It is worth mentioning that the effects of citrulline are dose-dependent. It means that you are not going to see good results if you are not taking enough daily. Moreover, how your body metabolizes it determines the effects you experience. It is for this reason that some studies have also found mixed results. For instance, you may certainly experience improvement in endurance for aerobic and anaerobic exercise if you take more than 3,000mg of L-citrulline a day.
Similarly, you need to take large doses to make L-citrulline bring any changes the levels of L-arginine in your body. For instance:
Bodybuilders would have to increase the dose even further to experience the beneficial effects of L-citrulline. For instance:
If you take less than this, you may not find l-citrulline works for you. Interestingly, Citrulline Malate can be a hit or miss for many athletes. It means that even when you take enough, you may not find Citrulline Malate work better than a placebo. For instance:
It is supposed that L-citrulline almost always helps relieve muscle soreness, but not all studies have found the same. For instance:
You may not always notice an improvement in endurance and power. For instance:
Due to these contradictions, it is not possible to say that citrulline malate will always help power up your workout sessions, especially when you do not take enough. Most studies have used no less than 8g of citrulline malate. The problem is that most supplements will never provide you with this much per serving. You will have to spend top dollar to buy a supplement that contains enough citrulline malate, but even then, there is no guarantee that it will work for you.
As you can see, citrulline malate or L-citrulline is supposed to help you in many ways, but you need to bear in mind that it is not safe to take citrulline malate in certain conditions. If you have some gastrointestinal problems, it is better to avoid citrulline malate in the first place.
You should also avoid it if you are already taking some medications for a preexisting condition. You should avoid it when you are taking nitrates for heart disease, or taking drugs for erectile dysfunction. You need to ensure that you do not take these supplements when you are already taking blood pressure medication.
Similarly, you need to avoid it when you are pregnant or breastfeeding. It can interact with prescription and OTC drugs, so it is better to talk to your doctor before you decide to include any citrulline supplement in your routine.
The fact of the matter is that the research on citrulline malate offers inconsistent results. Some studies have certainly found an improvement in fatigue and performance, while others have observed no effect at all. It is also important to bear in mind that most of the studies with positive benefits have measured the change in performance after a single dose, which means there is no real information available on how citrulline supplementation will help over an extended period.
Therefore, it is not possible to say that citrulline malate is always beneficial, but if you are the experimental type, you should certainly give it a try but ensure that you are getting enough from each serving of your supplement.