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What Is Citrulline ?!

What Is Citrulline ?! - MUSCLE FACTORY

William Caldwell |

What Is Citrulline ?!

Citrulline, an amino acid that has gained popularity aamong fitness enthusiasts and athletes, is a common fixture in the supplement aisle, especially in products designed to boost pre-workout energy and performance. But what exactly is citrulline, and why is it so favored in the fitness community? This blog will dive into the world of citrulline, exploring its functions, benefits, proper dosages, and its specific role in workout routines. Plus, we’ll look into the different types available and which might be best depending on your fitness goals.

What is Citrulline?

Citrulline is a non-essential amino acid, which means the body can produce it on its own, unlike essential amino acids that must be obtained from diet. It’s named after “citrullus,” the Latin word for watermelon, from which it was first isolated. In the body, citrulline plays a key role in the urea cycle, helping to eliminate ammonia and other toxins from the liver. It is also crucial in the production of another amino acid, arginine, which is important for heart and blood vessel health, immune function, and hormone secretion.

Why is Citrulline Used?

Enhanced Blood Flow and Endurance

One of the main reasons citrulline is so popular in pre-workout formulas is its ability to enhance blood flow. This is achieved through its conversion to arginine and subsequently to nitric oxide, a compound that helps dilate blood vessels, allowing more oxygen and nutrients to reach muscles during exercise. This can lead to increased endurance and reduced fatigue, which is why it's particularly favored by those engaging in high-intensity workouts.

Muscle Recovery

Citrulline also aids in muscle recovery by reducing muscle soreness, which is a common aftermath of vigorous exercise. Studies have shown that individuals consuming citrulline experience less muscle soreness compared to those who do not, making it a valuable post-workout supplement as well.

 Proper Dosage of Citrulline

The recommended dosage of citrulline largely depends on the form in which it’s taken:

- **Citrulline Malate:** This is citrulline combined with malate, an organic salt that plays a role in the tricarboxylic acid cycle (a key energy-producing process). The typical dose is 6-8 grams about an hour before exercise to maximize blood levels during workouts.

- **L-Citrulline:** As a standalone supplement, a common dose is slightly lower, around 3-5 grams. It's often taken in this form by those who are interested in the long-term cardiovascular benefits rather than an immediate pre-workout boost.

It's important to start with lower doses to assess tolerance and gradually increase as needed.

Citrulline in Pre-Workout Supplements

Citrulline is a staple in many pre-workout supplements because of its ability to enhance nitric oxide production. This not only supports longer and potentially more effective workouts but also plays a role in muscle appearance, giving a more "pumped" look due to increased blood flow to the tissue.

Citrulline Malate vs. L-Citrulline

When deciding between citrulline malate and L-citrulline, the choice often comes down to your specific workout needs:

- **Citrulline Malate** is generally preferred for those looking to enhance performance and endurance during high-intensity workouts. The addition of malate helps in the generation of ATP, which is crucial for prolonged energy output.

- **L-Citrulline** is often chosen by those who are more focused on cardiovascular health and muscle recovery, not necessarily needing the immediate surge in energy but benefiting from the sustained increase in arginine and nitric oxide levels.


Citrulline offers a range of benefits for both the casual gym-goer and the dedicated athlete. By improving blood flow, reducing fatigue, and aiding muscle recovery, it’s an invaluable addition to many workout regimes. Whether part of a pre-workout blend or taken on its own, choosing the right type of citrulline can make a significant difference in your fitness results. Remember to consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regimen, especially if you have underlying health conditions or are taking other medications.

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