L Citrulline - Comprehensive Guide to Benefits and Dosage
L-citrulline is a non-essential amino acid. It is actively found and changed in our kidneys into another amino acid, called L-arginine and a chemical known as nitric oxide. Amazingly important for the heart and blood vessel health, these compounds play an active role in boosting the immune system.
The main effect of L-citrulline is to produce nitric oxide within the body, which is a substance that helps the arteries relax and work better. This significantly improves blood flow throughout the body and may be helpful for either treating or preventing many health ailments.
Most importantly, L-citrulline plays a key role in the urea cycle, a process where the body eliminates toxic byproducts that occur from digesting protein and generating cellular energy. These waste products are converted into a substance called urea, expelled from the body through the urine and sweat.
According to many studies and extensive research, L-citrulline is a supplement able to aid in lowering blood pressure in prehypertensive populations. In other studies, it is shown when given intravenously to children to aid in preventing blood pressure complications after a heart surgery.
L-citrulline is also linked to prevention of erectile dysfunction, however, it does not work as well as Viagra or ED drugs used exclusively for this. Still, it is a safe option to promoting blood flow and stabilizing the blood pressure.
L-citrulline is chosen over another performance ingredients among athletes, L-arginine. This is mainly due to L-citrulline's bioavailability. L-Arginine, taking directly, cannot be properly converted to nitric oxide within the body. Additionally, L-citrulline elevates the plasma levels in the form of another amino acid, ornitine, which is also involved in the Urea cycle.
The 5 Greatest Benefits Of L-CitrullineThere are numerous benefits of L-citrulline as a supplement. And even though it is not as popular in the marketplace as creatine, beta-alanine or fish oil, L-citrulline definitely deserves more attention because of its amazing health and performance benefits.
1. L-Citrulline Improves The Physical Performance
L-citrulline is a great way to improve both the anaerobic strength and aerobic endurance.
One study had men supplementing with 8 grams of L-citrulline before their chest workouts. The effects were staggering. The number of reps they could do after the supplementation went over 52%. In addition to that, anecdotal reports of decreased soreness after training were noted.
2. L-Citrulline Improves Heart Health
Arteries are blood vessels that carry blood from the heart to all of the capillaries in the body. They are the link to every organ, streaming oxygenated blood directly from the heart.
As such, the arteries in our body contract and expand in order to control blood pressure. Nitric oxide is the main element that maintains arterial health and function. Since L-citrulline works directly with it, it is proven to reduce blood pressure by keeping the arteries supple and strong.
3. L-Citrulline Helps With Erectile Dysfunction
The ability to influence blood flow makes L-citrulline a great supplement when it comes to getting and maintaining an erection. It is proven to give men harder erections and as such, prevent erectile dysfunction.
Most importantly, L-citrulline has no with zero side effects.
4. L-Citrulline Reduces Free Radicals (And Therefore The Damage They Cause)In case you don't know, free radicals are atoms or groups of atoms that can potentially cause cellular damage in the body. While they are amazingly beneficial & necessary for overall, an excessive amount of free radicals leads to a host of medical issues:
- Cardiovascular diseases
- Neurodegenerative disorders
5. L-Citrulline Is The Controller Our Body NeedsThere are so many functions that L-citrulline does within the body in terms of control. Aside from the arteries and blood flow, the amino acid helps with:
- Preserving the appropriate nitrogen level
- Controlling the essential metabolic procedures
- Preserving the acid-base balance in the body
- Enhancing the immune system and overall wellness
- Enhancing the energy levels and assisting in muscle recovery
- Promotes the manufacturing of the hormone insulin, creatine and human growth hormone
- Assists in getting rid of ammonia from the muscle cells and liver
- Detoxifies and helps the body prepare for physical training
L-Citrulline As A Supplement: The Two Most Common Forms & The Right DosageL-citrulline is found in supplements as:
- Citrulline malate
In a study with animals, it has shown improved endurance - not to mention the evidence that when combined with magnesium, this acid can help treat fibromyalgia and many cardiovascular disorders.
That is why many supplements are labeled as citrulline malate, and why this name has won many hearts over the pure and standard L-citrulline. Still, when it comes to the right dosage, people have many questions.
What About The Right Dosage?If you want to improve your exercise performance, you should take 3 to 5 grams of L-citrulline per day or 6 to 8 grams of citrulline malate per day accordingly.
Optimally, you should ingest citrulline about 15-30 minutes before training - but also during or after training if desired. If the dosage per day is too much for you to take in one go, you can increase it to 15-20g split into multiple doses throughout the day. However, make sure to consult with your doctor before doing that.
L-Citrulline & Results
What happens when consuming L-citrulline is simple.
This amino acid accelerates the ammonia and free radical clearance. By doing this, it postpones the inevitable decrease in muscle pH that happens during intense workouts. As the pH in the muscle drops, it becomes more acidic and the fatigue sets in.
In a study conducted in Spain in 2010, male strength athletes were given L-citrulline. The results were amazing - they were all able to achieve better results in bench press workouts - even up to 50% more repetitions when working to the point of muscular failure.
In another Spanish study, male professional cyclists were given citrulline malate to aid in recovery. The results were astonishing - their illnesses such as upper respiratory infections were gone, all thanks to the increased blood flow and delayed onset of the body's immunosuppressive mechanisms seen after intense exercise.
The citrulline's effects on protein and creatine synthesis were researched in a third study in Spain. The conclusion was simple - this supplement increased the blood arginine levels of the athletes, as well as a wide range of other benefits including elevated protein synthesis and creatine synthesis - as well as more efficiency in utilizing BCAA in the muscles during exercise.
This brings us to a proven conclusion - L-citrulline and citrulline malate are great for performance, resistance, recovery and no fatigues or sore muscles.
The Side Effects Of L-CitrullineEver since its discovery in 1930, there have been no reports about negative side effects regarding L-citrulline and supplementing with it, even with high doses in both men and women. That being said, this supplement is generally safe to use.
The best way to ensure that there are no side effects is to never mix L-citrulline with certain medications including nitrates and drugs, especially ones for erectile dysfunction. As you probably know, it is better to be safe than sorry, so if you are breastfeeding or being pregnant, it's always better to check with your doctor before supplementing yourself with this amino acid.
On another note, an overdose of L-citrulline may potentially trigger some adverse effects, including:
- interaction with some particular medicine that can reduce the effect or have a bad side effect
- health conditions for people who have heart issues or cardio troubles
- a hazardous and abrupt drop in blood pressure
- potential risk if a woman is pregnant or breastfeeding