What is Citrulline Malate? A Beginner's Guide
What is Citrulline Malate?
L-Citrulline bound to malate, an organic salt of malic acid. It is the most researched form of citrulline. L-citrulline is an amino acid. It is turned into L-arginine in the kidneys after supplementation, which means L-citrulline supplementation is a more effective method of increasing L-arginine levels in the body than L-arginine supplementation as L-arginine isnt very bio-available. So to summarize L-citrulline is better than L-arginine.
The higher your L-arginine levels are in the body the greater the nitric oxide (N.O) output will be, nitric oxide may open up veins and arteries to increase blood flow and in turn nutrient and oxygen flow.
How to take Citrulline?
L-citrulline is a naturally occurring amino acid. It is most commonly supplemented as there are very few foods with notable amounts in. It is found in some foods like watermelons and is also produced naturally by the body. It is commonly found in pre-workouts and also often the main ingredient pump formulas/powders.
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L-citrulline is used by mouth for heart failure and improving athletic performance. It is also used for sickle cell disease, erectile dysfunction, high blood pressure in the lungs, and many other conditions. But there is limited scientific research to support these other uses
What does Citrulline do?
L-citrulline or more commonly found citrulline malate, has been found to reduce fatigue and increase endurance in aerobic and anaerobic excercise. It has also been found to be beneficial for men who suffer with erectile dysfunction (ED) but only a small amount of research has been done on this.
L-citrulline is very popular amongst bodybuilders and is commonly found in pre-workout's and pump formula's, that are taken prior to working out, some of the benefits of taking citrulline before a workout:
- Increased muscle pumps
- Increased vascularity
- Increased endurance
- Reduce fatigue
- Greater oxygen and nutrient supply to the muscle
- Key role in removing metabolic waste produced from exercise
Is L-Citrulline better than Citrulline malate?
Contrary to popular belief amongst fitness fanatics and self acclaimed experts L-citrulline is not superior to Citrulline malate and there have been no head-to-head human studies between the two. Some experts suggest that L-Citrulline may be more beneficial for aerobic exercise. But once again, the research is unclear on this statement as well.
The biggest difference between pure L-Citrulline and Citrulline Malate is the role Citrulline Malate plays in the Krebs cycle or TCA cycle. In this process, Citrulline Malate converts the food we ingest into usable energy, specifically ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate), which helps provide more energy for high intensity exercise. Because Citrulline Malate has been shown to enhance aerobic and anaerobic energy production and carries with it the benefits of L-Citrulline (increasing nitric oxide), it's perfect for anyone looking to maximize recovery and muscle growth.
How much L-Citrulline to take?
To supplement L-citrulline to enhance athletic performance we want to be looking for a dose of around 6,000mg - 8,000mg of citrulline malate half an hour before exercise. Although anywhere north of 5,000mg is sufficient, some pre-workouts on the market have as much as 10,000mg, to significantly increase blood flow and cause pumps and vacularity.