Citrulline Supplementation: Who, When, and How Much
If you've spent a decent amount of time in the fitness/bodybuilding world, there's a good chance you've come across a supplement that contains Citrulline.
Unlike some supplements, which don't provide a lot of bang for the significant number of bucks they'll cost you, Citrulline offers some powerful benefits, from increased blood flow and energy to improved cognition.
If you're interested in reaping the benefits of Citrulline supplementation keep reading. Explained below is everything you need to know about who should supplement with Citrulline, when you should take it for best results, and how much you should take.
You'll also learn some important information on the side effects of Citrulline and find out what supplements pair best with it.
Citrulline Malate vs. L-Citrulline
When you're shopping for supplements that contain Citrulline, you'll likely notice that different supplements use different forms of this amino acid. The two main forms in which you can consume it are Citrulline Malate and L-Citrulline.
- Citrulline Malate: Citrulline Malate is composed of Citrulline plus Malic Acid. Malic Acid is a natural supplement found in fruits like apples that helps to promote the creation of energy for your cells.
- L-Citrulline (free form): L-Citrulline is an isolated form of Citrulline. There is nothing else added to the amino acid when you take supplements that contain L-Citrulline.
In terms of effectiveness, there's not much of a difference between these two forms. Both offer benefits and can help you see significant results.
However, some people argue that Citrulline Malate may be more beneficial because of the additional health benefits that come from Malic Acid. For example, it may help with hydration and shield the body from free radicals thanks to its antioxidant properties.
There's not a lot of research comparing the two, though. Whether you're supplementing with Citrulline Malate or L-Citrulline, you'll likely experience similar health and performance benefits, so, for most people, there's no need to split hairs over which form you're consuming.
Who Should Take Citrulline?
Lots of people can benefit from supplementing with Citrulline. Because it helps to improve blood flow, increases endurance, and improves cognition, just about any athlete or gym-goer will likely notice improvements when they start taking a supplement that contains Citrulline on a regular basis. The following individuals will likely see the greatest benefits from adding it to their supplement regimen, though:
- Endurance athletes (cyclists, runners, etc.)
- Strength athletes (weightlifters, bodybuilders, etc.)
- Those who enjoy the look of an enhanced post-workout pump
- Those who need help recovering faster from their workouts
- Those who want to feel focused and sharp, even without taking caffeine
If any of those benefits appeal to you, chances are Citrulline will be a good addition to your supplement stack.
Citrulline mainly works for these individuals by helping to promote vasodilation (the widening of the blood vessels). Widening the blood vessels helps increase the amount of nutrients and oxygen to working muscles.. This helps to promote better performance, more cellular energy production, better post-workout recovery, and better pumps after your workout is finished.
Citrulline supplementation may also help to support better blood flow to the brain. This, in turn, can help you to feel sharper, more energized, and more focused during your workout, even if you're taking a pre-workout supplement that does not contain any caffeine.
When Should You Take Citrulline?
Citrulline is most commonly added to pre-workout supplements.
To see the best results, take a supplement that contains Citrulline about 30 minutes before your workout. Many people like to take these supplements on an empty stomach to promote better absorption.
Some people also like to take Citrulline-containing supplements first thing in the morning to give them some extra energy and improve their concentration.
This can be especially helpful if you're taking a supplement that contains Citrulline along with caffeine. You'll get to enjoy the energy-boosting effects of caffeine along with the blood flow-enhancing benefits of Citrulline.
How Much Citrulline Should You Take?
The specific dose of Citrulline that you ought to consume will vary depending on the type of Citrulline your supplement contains. For example, if your supplement contains Citrulline Malate, you'll want to consume more than if your supplement contains L-Citrulline.
Your dose will also depend on the types of results you're looking for. For example, if you're looking for general health benefits you won't need to take as much as if you're looking for fitness-related benefits like better pumps and better post-workout recovery.
That being said, a good starting dose of L-Citrulline is somewhere around three grams per day for general health and between three and five grams for better exercise performance. A good starting dose of Citrulline Malate is somewhere between five and six grams for general health and six and eight grams for better exercise performance.
Most of the studies that have been conducted on people taking Citrulline have used doses that fall somewhere within these ranges.
Are There Any Side Effects?
What will happen if you take more Citrulline than what's recommended above? Will you experience any negative side effects?
The short answer to the question appears to be no. Citrulline has been studied for many years and, so far, no negative side effects have been reported by individuals taking it in high doses.
The only people who may be at risk when supplementing with Citrulline are those who are already taking a medication or supplement that increases nitric oxide production and promotes better blood flow. For example, Citrulline can have a negative interaction with medications that contain nitrates, as well as medications designed for those who are struggling with erectile dysfunction. As always, check with a qualified health professional before use of any dietary supplement. Always check the product label of any dietary supplement prior to use for specific usage recommendations and warnings.
What Supplements Should I Pair Citrulline With?
Citrulline is often combined with other ingredients to create a pump-enhancing, energy-inducing pre-workout supplement. The following are some ingredients that often work with Citrulline to yield better results:
Caffeine is a stimulant that helps to increase energy levels and help you to feel more alert. It's a staple ingredient in a lot of pre-workout supplements.
Many people find that, when they take a supplement that contains caffeine and Citrulline, they have more energy during their workouts and can push themselves farther, no matter what kind of exercise they're engaged in.
Combining caffeine with Citrulline may provide you with a better post-workout pump as well.
Glycerol is another common ingredient in pre-workout supplements. Glycerol helps with hydration and can help the cells to hold onto water.
Hydrated muscles will have a fuller look than dehydrated muscles, which makes glycerol a beneficial ingredient for those who want a better post-workout pump.
Higher levels of hydration can also help with workout performance, especially when it comes to increasing endurance or helping athletes push through workouts during very hot conditions when they're more likely to sweat and lose water.
Taurine is an amino acid that also has antioxidant properties. It can help to improve workout performance by increasing one's energy levels.
Some research also indicates that it may be beneficial to those who want to improve their heart health.
Betaine is a plant compound found primarily in beets, but is also present in many other foods. It has many of the same effects as Citrulline.
For example, it increases nitric oxide production in the body and may help support an increase in the production of growth hormone.
It appears to have strength- and endurance-boosting benefits, too, which make it a popular ingredient in pre-workout supplements. This is likely due to the fact that it, like Citrulline, promotes better blood flow.
Theanine is an amino acid that's found mainly in tea (especially green tea). Theanine can boost cognition and energy levels while also helping to reduce the effects of stress on the body and brain. Like Citrulline, Theanine helps to promote better blood flow as well, which makes it a beneficial ingredient for those looking to enjoy enhanced pumps, faster recovery, and better workout performance.
Experience the Benefits of Citrulline Today
Do you think you're a good candidate for Citrulline supplementation? Now that you know more about who can benefit from Citrulline the most, as well as how you should take this amino acid to see the greatest results, are you ready to give it a try for yourself?
Two ProSupps supplements combine Citrulline with other beneficial ingredients to help you get pumped and stay pumped after your workout is complete. If you want a stimulant-containing pre-workout drink, try our Hyde® Xtreme. If you prefer a non-stim pre-workout drink, our Hyde® Max Pump is for you.
Whichever pre-workout interests you, use our store locator today to find out where you can buy these great products online or in your area.
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