What You Need to Know About Citrulline
Who doesn't want an impressive pump after a tough workout? Don't you want to be able to show off the fruits of your labor?
Even if aesthetics aren't your top priority, there are plenty of other reasons to take a supplement that contains a pump-enhancing ingredient like Citrulline.
If you've been wondering whether or not Citrulline is a useful supplement for you to add to your stack, keep reading. Everything you need to know is explained down below, from the science behind Citrulline to the best way to use it for great results.
What is Citrulline?
Citrulline is an amino acid. It's naturally present in foods like watermelon and pumpkin and the body also produces it by itself.
Because the body can produce Citrulline, it's considered a non-essential amino acid. Unlike many other amino acids, Citrulline also does not play a direct role in protein synthesis. That doesn't mean it doesn't still play some important roles throughout the body, though.
For example, Citrulline is a key component in the urea cycle. This cycle is essential for removing harmful compounds like ammonia from the body. Citrulline also plays an important role in cardiovascular health and muscle building.
Because Citrulline is an important amino acid, it can be useful to consume supplements that contain it to ensure all the processes of the body are working as they're supposed to.
How Does Citrulline Work?
Citrulline is known mainly for the fact that it promotes vasodilation or the widening of the blood vessels.
This occurs because some of the Citrulline that you consume also gets converted to another amino acid known as arginine. Arginine then gets converted to nitric oxide. Nitric oxide, in turn, promotes vasodilation by promoting the relaxation of muscle cells in the blood vessels.
Some people wonder why they should supplement with Citrulline instead of Arginine since Citrulline gets converted into Arginine. The truth, though, is that Citrulline appears to do a better job of increasing Arginine in the body than Arginine does by itself.
What Are The Benefits of Citrulline?
There are lots of reasons why you may want to incorporate Citrulline into your supplement regimen. Here are some of the greatest benefits that this amino acid has to offer:
Blood Vessel Expansion
Citrulline supplementation can help with blood vessel expansion. This, in turn, helps to improve the efficiency with which blood can flow to the tissues of the body.
Better blood flow, especially to the muscles, helps to flood them with fresh oxygen and other nutrients. It also helps to remove waste in a more efficient manner.
When blood flows more freely through the body, athletes and gym-goers can recover from their workouts faster and get back to the gym after tough training sessions.
Better blood flow isn't just about faster recovery (although, that's a great benefit that Citrulline has to offer).
When the blood vessels expand and more blood gets delivered to the muscles, the muscles appear fuller and have more of a “pump” to them. This creates a more well-rounded physique, the kind people are after when they're posing for photoshoots or competing on-stage.
For those who like that full look, taking supplements that contain Citrulline can be quite useful.
Increased Growth Hormone Production
For athletes who are looking to build more muscle and put on some size, Citrulline can be a helpful supplement to start taking.
Some studies have shown that Citrulline can help to promote an increase in growth hormone production after working out. When growth hormone increases, you're able to recover from your workouts faster and start seeing an increase in muscle mass sooner.
Of course, Citrulline supplementation is not a substitute for other practices that promote the release of growth hormone (such as high-quality sleep), but it's a useful complement that can help to give you a bit of a competitive edge.
Increased Energy and Improved Workout Performance
Many people find that when they supplement with Citrulline, they have higher levels of energy. That's why it's included in some pre-workout supplements, both those that contain stimulants like caffeine and those that don't.
Citrulline specifically promotes an increase in cellular energy by increasing adenosine triphosphate (ATP for short). ATP is an energy source for your cells that helps to prevent the muscles from becoming fatigued as quickly.
When your muscle cells have more energy, you can push yourself further during your workouts, whether you're doing cardiovascular exercise like running or cycling or are focused on strength training.
Citrulline can also help to increase the availability of other amino acids in the blood. This, in turn, can make it a useful tool for those looking to improve exercise performance and maintain energy levels during tough workouts.
Citrulline also offers some cognitive benefits for those who want to stay focused during their workouts.
Because of its vasodilating effects, Citrulline can help to increase the delivery of blood, oxygen, and nutrients to the brain. This, in turn, can help you to feel sharper and more alert during your workouts (even if you haven't consumed any caffeine beforehand).
What the Research Says
There's quite a bit of research backing up the benefits of Citrulline, too. Summarized below are some relevant studies you may want to reference if you want to dive deeper into the science behind Citrulline:
Citrulline and Endurance Exercise
For endurance athletes, citrulline can help to increase the oxygen content in the body's muscle tissues. This, in turn, helps to increase oxygen usage, which helps to prevent fatigue.
One study, which was conducted in 2015 on a group of 10 healthy cyclists, showed that those who supplemented with six grams of Citrulline for seven days were able to cycle 12 percent longer before reaching exhaustion compared to cyclists who took a placebo.
Citrulline and Strength Training
Citrulline also benefits strength athletes, likely due to its ability to help increase the production of ATP.
One study of 41 men, which was conducted in 2010, showed that those who supplemented with Citrulline were able to increase the number of bench press repetitions they performed by 53 percent compared to those who supplemented with a placebo.
In addition to performing better during their workouts, the men who supplemented with Citrulline experienced 40 percent less muscle soreness compared to those who took a placebo.
How to Use Citrulline
The current research shows that most people see benefits from Citrulline supplementation when they take a dose of between three and six grams per day.
If you're taking Citrulline malate (a form of Citrulline that is combined with an organic compound known as malate, or malic acid, to promote higher levels of energy production) instead of L-Citrulline (which contains Citrulline with nothing added to it), you may be able to benefit from taking up to 8 grams per day.
Most people do not experience any negative side effects when they take a dose of Citrulline higher than this. However, they also do not appear to experience any heightened benefits.
See How Citrulline Works Today
As you can see, there's a lot that you have the potential to gain when you add Citrulline to your supplement stack. This amino acid packs quite a punch and can help you perform and feel better during even your toughest workouts.
Some of our best pre-workout products contain Citrulline to help you get pumped up and maximize every rep. These products include our stimulant-free Hyde® Max Pump.
Check out our store locator today to find out where you can purchase ProSupps products from a reputable retailer.