When it comes to pre-workout supplements and performance enhancers, a couple of them were the kings for years - caffeine and especially creatine. However, new names are continually appearing on the market, and some of them are attracting much attention.
L-citrulline and Citrulline malate are currently one of the most popular pre-workout supplements. They will give you that extra kick that you need to push your limits, pulling few more sets and reps, and going that extra mile. Since athletic performance is all about breaking your limits and plateaus, supplements that make this a bit easier are incredibly valuable.
In this article, we will explain to you what are L-citrulline and Citrulline Malate, and why you should consider adding them to your supplementation routine. We will talk about the positive effects they have on the body and the recommended dosage. We will also make a comparison between these two, but also with L-arginine, which is another favorite pre-workout supplement. Stay tuned!
What is L-citrulline?
First, about the name - the first thing many people think when they hear about citrulline is that it has something to do with lemon, oranges or similar fruit - citruses. But actually, L-citrulline is found in watermelon, and it was isolated from it in the '30. The Latin name for watermelon is Citrullus, and that is where the name comes from.
L-citrulline is a non-essential amino acid. That means that your body is already producing it, naturally. In other words, you do not need to add it to your diet in order to stay healthy. However, once taken, it will boost your performance, and that is why athletes and people who hit the gym like it so much.
As other NO reactors, Citrulline enhances the blood flow to muscles, increases oxygen delivery, increases glucose absorption which also speeds up the recovery process and triggers muscle growth. It also helps to reduce the buildup of lactic acid, fighting fatigue, and helping you train hard for longer in a single session. In short, L-citrulline will help you both inside the gym, boosting your performance, and outside of it, speeding up recovery and enhancing muscle growth.
What is citrulline malate?
Citrulline malate is the L-citrulline that is upgraded by adding malic acid. Malic acid can be found in many fruits, but it was first isolated from apples, and that is the origin of its name - "mālum" is "apple" on latin. Citrulline malate = watermelons + apples, brewed by some Walter White. 🙂
At first glance, adding malic acid this might seem like not that important, but it makes a big difference. This simple formula change will increase overall energy production in the body, further improving performance. The malic acid will further increase the blood flow to your muscles, building upon the positive effects of L-citrulline even more.
The difference is notable - you will experience a bigger pump and will be noticeably less fatigued while working out, allowing you to spend more time at the gym, which equals to more significant gains in the long run.
What Happens in The Body?
Upon ingestion, L-citrulline is transferred from the intestines into the kidneys, where it is converted into L-arginine. After that, it is released into the bloodstream, ready to be used by the body. L-arginine is involved in NO synthase, production of Nitric oxide in our bodies, which has a vital role in our immune system, and overall hearth and blood vessel health.
How Does Citrulline Compare to L-arginine?
This article is about L-citrulline and Citrulline Malate, but it would not be complete without mentioning one of their close "pump" cousins - L-arginine. L-arginine is another popular NO supplement that is in use for quite some time. L-arginine, L-citrulline, and Citrulline malate all aim to increase the arginine levels in the blood. Taking L-arginine might seem like the first logical choice if you intend to raise arginine levels. However, L-citrulline has better absorption than L-arginine, which is removed from the body relatively quickly.
Studies show that Citrulline-based supplements raise blood arginine levels almost three times better than those based on arginine. Citrulline malate, as a superior version of L-citrulline, is absorbed even better. Also, citrulline (malate) has fewer side-effects than L-arginine.
Main Benefits L-Citrulline and Citrulline Malate Supplements
It goes like this:
L-arginine < L-citrulline < Citrulline malate
Since L-citrulline beats L-arginine in absorption, it is only natural that Citrulline malate, as a superior version of L-citrulline, is the best of all three. Citrulline malate has all the benefits of L-citrulline, with even better energy production and blood flow. This will decrease your fatigue even more, pushing your limits and allowing you to go for that extra rep. Moreover, that "extra rep" is exactly what you need to increase your strength, hypertrophy or to run an extra mile, building endurance or losing weight.