Is Citrulline a good idea or not?
If you use pre-workout supplements, you probably have seen this name on a label somewhere, as it is increasingly common to use this amino acid in this type of product.
But do you know what Citrulline is and what it does?
Most importantly... Works?
That and more is what you'll get to know in this guide.
What is it?
Citrulline is an amino acid, but it is rare to find this amino acid in food, and the one with the greatest presence is a fruit, more specifically watermelon.
When ingested, much of it is converted into Arginine in the kidneys, i.e. tomas Citrulline and it turns into Arginine.
Wouldn't it make more sense to supplement arginine then?
No, because Citrulline is more effective at increasing arginine levels in the body than supplementation with Arginine. (4)
In addition to the increase in arginine levels, ornithine levels also increase.
What are the benefits of increasing the levels of these two amino acids?
There are several benefits, but for those who walk in the gym the main benefits are:
- Reduced fatigue and increased performance (1) (2) (7) (8) (9)
- Increased nitric oxide levels (3)
- Reduction of post-workout pain (2)
- Possible increase in growth hormone levels (3)
These are the four main benefits for those who train.
Citrulline has shown in several studies that it not only reduces fatigue, but also increases performance, thus leading to better workouts.
In addition to better workouts, by increasing nitric oxide levels, you get a higher pump during training and vascularization, as well as possible benefits in nutrient absorption and better blood circulation.
The famous pains after leg training (and not only) are reduced with this type of supplementation, and when combined with exercise, citrulline supplementation increased growth hormone levels compared to those who did not use this supplement after training.
Growth Hormone plays several important roles, such as tissue repair.
The benefits are several, but the highlight is undoubtedly the reduction of fatigue and improvement of performance, and this is where this supplement has more studies demonstrating its effectiveness.
But after all, does it increase muscle mass? Does it burn fat?
As you may have noticed the benefits, it cannot be said that Citrulline increases muscle mass or decreases fat directly.
But you could say you do it indirectly.
By reducing fatigue and improving performance, it will allow you to have more intense workouts, and if that's the goal, longer. With this you will be able to get more out of the training, and consequently have better results.
In addition to the effect on training, the reduction of post-workout pain, and the possible increase in growth hormone levels, contributes to muscle recovery and you will be able to recover more quickly from the workouts you do.
Finally, who doesn't like a bigger pump during training?
L-Citrulline or Citrulline Matose?
The two most common forms you will find on sale this amino acid are L-Citrulline and Citrulline Malate.
Both are Citrulline, with only a small difference.
In the case of Citrulline Marate, Citrulline is combined with Malic Acid, which in theory should lead to better results, especially at the energy level.
Unfortunately there are no studies comparing the two versions to prove whether in practice there are really differences, but most performance studies use the Citrulna Malate version, and seems to be the safest bet to get the best results.
The dose is also slightly different for both versions.
How to take it?
Here lies the big problem in supplementing this amino acid in pre-workout products.
Most supplements use too low doses.
The recommended dose for training benefits is 6g to 8g in the form of Citrulline Magotter, about an hour before training.
In the case of L-Citrulline, the dose is lower, and should be between 3g and 5g.
Most supplements use doses much lower than this, and as such, the benefits are also lower, or non-existent.
Where to buy?
If you are looking for Citrulline Magotus, this myprotein option is a good bet.
If you prefer L-Citrulline, this Prozis Sport product has a good price/quality ratio.
So is it worth it?
Citrulline has been gaining popularity, and rightly so.
Studies show that it is effective at reducing fatigue during training, and improving performance, which is ideal in a pre-workout supplement.
In addition, it also has other interesting benefits for those looking for good results in the gym.
Is it a mandatory supplement?
But it's a very interesting supplement if you're looking for something to improve your workouts, and get better results.