Citrulline Supplements: All You Need to Know

Known as a non-essential aminoacid, citrulline is a nutritional gem that you can also consume in supplement form. Here’s everything you need to know about this powerful compound!
Citrulline Supplements: All You Need to Know

Last update: 04 January, 2020

Every day, new supplements appear on the market claiming to be the new must-have. Citrulline might seem like one of those fads, but it’s been around for much longer! This non-essential amino acid is hidden in fruits such as watermelon and, to a lesser extent, melon.

Because citrulline is naturally made by your body, you don’t really need it. Nevertheless, supplementing citrulline boosts your blood arginine levels. In turn, this optimizes your energy levels and allows you to perform better in everyday workouts.

The different types of citrulline

If you’ve been interested in taking citrulline as a supplement, you might have noticed it comes in different forms.

For starters, there’s citrulline malate. It has both citrulline (an amino acid) and malate (an acid easily found in fruits). The main purpose of citrulline malate is the synthesis of arginine in the body, essential for muscle activity as metabolic support.

However, there’s also L-citrulline. This is the natural form of citrulline and can be found in fruits. Of course, it doesn’t have the properties of malic acid.

Are you having doubts about which type you should choose? The two forms of the product are beneficial, but citrulline malate usually brings greater benefit when it comes to fitness performance. The choice, of course, will depend on the preferences and needs of each person.

In nature, we can find citrulline in certain, natural foods such as watermelons, onions, garlic, milk, legumes, meat, and fish. As with many supplements, the recommended daily amount may vary depending on the individual and their fitness goals.

Main effects of citrulline

Taking citrulline boosts your blood levels of L-arginine, ornithine and nitric oxide in the blood. In turn, this favors sports performance and muscle recovery. In addition, for health, it produces organic improvements in various physiological processes.

Reduction of fatigue and muscle pain

On the one hand, by increasing arginine levels, your normal physiological processes will go faster. This includes muscle recovery. Likewise, citrulline participates in important metabolic reactions in the production of ATP, the base energy source of human beings.

If you want to lose weight eat legumes.

Increased blood flow and muscle oxygenation

Arginine is a precursor to the production of nitric oxide, which is responsible for various processes such as:

Throughout all of these processes, the blood flow in your body increases. Because of it, all tasks that involve muscles –and exercise- will be easier.

Lower blood pressure

Another benefit of this amino acid is that it significantly improves blood pressure in people with mild hypertension. In this way, it promotes blood flow through the blood vessels, promoting a healthy heart along the way!

Possible improvement in erectile dysfunction

According to a study specialized in urology, citrulline could cause improvement among men with mild erection problems. This has led many people to use it as a supplement specific to preserve male sexual health.

Paired with the right nutritional and fitness training plan, this supplement could make many middle-aged men with erection problems have a full sex life, without taking more invasive medications.

some researchers state this can be a great aid to preserve male sexual health

Hormonal balance

Researchers claim that citrulline is a great precursor to the growth hormone. However, according to studies, these improvements usually occur with physical sports activity as an intermediary. If there’s no treatment with physical stimulation, these positive consequences won’t happen.

Detox your body

Citrulline helps cleanse your body of free radicals and by-products of essential processes, such as carbon dioxide, nitrogen substances or degraded amino acids. In this way, it can be a great option for those seeking a detox.

Citrulline is a great nutritional resource

Overall, we can say this is an ideal complement to ensure overall health. Nevertheless, it’s important to make sure you’re only taking the right amount and not overusing this supplement.

After all of this evidence, it’s safe to say citrulline can be a great ally to your training! Of course, if you really want to take advantage of it, it’s important to exercise and guarantee an appropriate protein intake.

You should also keep in mind you need to take it right before training to make the most out of it! Try to pair it with a meal to minimize possible stomach issues.

Are you ready to boost your training? Give this supplement a try!

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Thibault Le Roux-Mallouf, Florence Vibert, Stéphane Doutreleau, Samuel Verges. Efecto de la suplementación aguda de nitrato y citrulina en la respuesta microvascular muscular a la isquemia-repercusión en humanos sanos. Edificio Jean Roget, Facultad de Medicina; Univ. Grenoble Alpes, Francia.
  • Cormio L, De Siati M , Lorusso F , Selvaggio O , Mirabella L , Sanguedolce F , Carrieri G. La suplementación oral con L-citrulina mejora la dureza de la erección en hombres con disfunción eréctil leve.
  • Zadák Z, Hyšpler R, Tichá A. Cas Lek Cesk . 2015; 154 (5): 212-5. La farmaconutrición en cuidados intensivos y perioperatorios. Revisión. Checo.
  • Figueroa A, Wong A, Jaime SJ, Gonzales JU. 2017 Ene; 20 (1): 92-98. Influencia de la L- citrulina y la suplementación con sandía en la función vascular y el rendimiento en el ejercicio. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care . Revisión. PMID: 27749691.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.