Citrulline Malate: A Review & In-Depth Look
One thing that you need to understand about Citrulline Malate is that it is almost exactly the same as L-Citrulline. The only difference is that Citrulline Malate has Malic acid added to it, which allows it to produce more energy for you to use. This is a nice addition but in this article we will be talking about both, as they are almost interchangeable.
L-Citrulline is an amino acid, it is similar to L-Arginine and L-Ornithine in that they are all amino acids that are part of the urea cycle. It is found naturally in fish and meat, and is therefore a great supplement for vegetarians and vegans to take – though meat eaters can also benefit from a top-up. It can also be found in Watermelons, and in fact many supplements manufacturers get their L-Citrulline from watermelon extract (which is what a lot of supplement companies put on their labels).
What are the benefits?
One of the main reasons to supplement with Citrulline Malate is to reduce fatigue. Bendahan et al (2002) found that 6g of Citrulline Malate taken for 22 days led to reduced feelings of fatigue in men . The study also found that aerobic energy production was increased.
Another benefit of supplementing with Citrulline Malate is that it can help to reduce muscle soreness. Studies have found that it can lead to a 40% reduction in post-workout muscle soreness for the following two days. There may also be an increase in blood flow – leading to a pretty decent pump during your workout. Work capacity can also increase, which is to be expected if the supplement is reducing fatigue, increasing energy, and lowering muscle soreness!
What does it stack with?
Most supplements combine Citrulline Malate with EAAS and BCAA’s. You can also often find creatine monohydrate and caffeine paired with it. You will usually find Citrulline Malate in all of the top pre-workout supplements, but it can equally be found in an intra-workout or a post-workout (remember its effect on muscle soreness?).
What Dosage should you take?
Most studies seem to find success when dosed at around 6-8 grams. It is recommended that you take it around one hour before a workout, but considering that most people take it as part of a pre-workout this advice is rarely followed. Find a pre-workout that contains the sufficient amount of Citrulline.
Any Side Effects?
While the other amino acids we mentioned (Arginine and Ornithine) have been known to cause upset stomachs, there doesn’t seem to be any evidence that Citrulline does. Other than that, there are no known side effects and you can take it quite safely.
The Bottom Line
Citrulline Malate is a great supplement, particularly if your diet is deficient in it. But even if it isn’t there are lots of benefits to taking it. If you’re interested in giving it a go your best bet is to find a pre-workout supplement that contains it as well as caffeine, creatine, beta-alanine, and other top ingredients for the ultimate workout experience. The lowered fatigue, increased energy and performance will be fantastic and will deliver you some excellent results.
 Bendahan, D., Mattei, J., Ghattas, B., Confort-Gouny, S., Le Guern, M., Cozzone, P. 2002. Citrulline/malate promotes aerobic energy production in humans exercising muscle. British Journal of Sports Medicine 36(4): 282-9
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