What is L-Citrulline?
L-Citrulline is a non-essential amino acid which can be found in our Ultra Hydration Tabs
L-citrulline is a non-essential amino acid, which means you don’t necessarily have to get it from foods because the body can produce it as needed. It is found naturally in various foods including watermelon, pumpkins, cucumber and bitter melon, but taking it as a supplement can increase your levels significantly. Higher levels have been shown to have benefits for health and paricularly exercise performance.
Effects on the Body
L-citrulline is known to play a key role in the Urea cycle, which helps eliminate harmful compounds from the body.
But Citrulline has other effects on the body. One of the ways it can improve exercise performance is by increasing vasodilation. This means it helps widen the arteries and veins and increases blood flow. Consuming citrulline may also boost levels of another amino acid Arginine which is converted into nitric oxide. Increasing nitric oxide also improves blood flow which may be one of the reasons why it improves exercise performance.
Research shows that supplementing with L-citrulline can improve both your resistance and endurance training.
Studies have shown that taking about 8g of citrulline malate (which provides about 4.5 grams of citrulline) before weight training can significantly increase the number of reps you can perform and reduce post workout muscle soreness and fatigue.
Citrulline helps to increase protein synthesis and boost levels of growth hormone after exercise making it useful for increasing muscle mass and maintaining healthy levels of muscle mass as we age.
Want more energy and less fatigue when working out? Taking 6g citrulline for 7 days has been shown to increase cellular energy production (ATP) during exercise by 34%, which increases your capacity for aerobic output and intensity. This makes is perfect for gym classes, circuits or interval training.
If you looking to build up your endurance training, then Citrulline may be particularly helpful. Taking supplements for several weeks has been shown to increase the oxygen content in muscle tissue – this allows you to become more efficient at using oxygen and in turn can improve performance.
One study showed supplementation of 6g citrulline for 1 week enabled cyclists to significantly cycle for longer than those taking a placebo. Similar studies have shown it improves power output improving performance in time trials and reduces muscle fatigue immediately after exercise.
Another benefit of Citrulline for exercise performance appears to be due to its antioxidant properties. When we exercise we increase oxidative stress on the body and the production of free radicals. Free radicals can cause damage to the body and contribute to muscle soreness. Studies have shown that L citrulline can reduce the number of these free radicals produced during exercise.
Benefits For Exercise
- Improved circulation
- Improved muscle mass
- Improved endurance
- More power, more energy during workouts
- Decreased muscle soreness and less fatigue
As Citrulline can improve blood flow and lower blood pressure it can also be helpful for heart health. Studies have shown that taking supplements for over 1 week can benefit those who are at risk of heart disease, suffer with arterial stiffness or have angina by helping to widen the arteries and improving blood flow.
As it can improve blood flow studies have confirmed it may also be helpful for erectile dysfunction.
Citrulline is generally found in two forms in dietary supplements. L-citrulline and Citrulline malate. Both are effective for exercise performance.
How Much Should You Take?
Based on the research a recommended dose is around 3-6g per day of L citrulline or 8g per day of citrulline malate. Ideally start taking L citrulline 30-60 minutes before you start exercise and continue during exercise. For endurance performance you need to take L Citrulline for at least 7 days for best effects.