What Is Citrulline? Everything You Should Know Before Using!

Citrulline is gradually gaining popularity in the fitness industry, thanks to its health benefits. This amino acid makes different supplements that help improve health and exercise performance. While it is naturally produced by the body and found in some foods, using its supplements will help improve your health and athletic performance in the long run.

Most experts indicate how effective citrulline is in the fitness world. Yet, various people remain skeptical. Understanding what citrulline is and what it brings to the table will help you make informed decisions, including whether or not to take it. This article explores the various insights you need to keep in mind.

What Is Citrulline?

Citrulline is an alpha, non-essential amino acid that occurs naturally in the body. This amino acid is known by other different names, including l-citrulline, citrulline malate, and l-citrulina. While these names refer to the same product, there are slight differences in their structure.

Generally, there are two main types of citrulline: l-citrulline and citrulline malate. L-citrulline is pure citrulline, containing no additional elements or compounds. On the other hand, citrulline malate comprises l-citrulline and DL-malate. DL-malate is a compound that helps convert food into energy, ensuring that your athletic performance remains incredible.

While these two forms of citrulline have no significant difference, citrulline malate seems more beneficial. You could attribute this to the additional benefits that malic acid provides. For instance, you could rely on it to improve hydration and protection against free radicals. Its antioxidant properties will also ensure that your body is less susceptible to health conditions.

You can increase the amount of citrulline in the body by consuming citrulline-rich foods. Various foods can give you the amount of citrulline you need. These foods include nuts, watermelon, bitter gourd, chickpeas, and pumpkin. Yet, it is more predominant in watermelon fruits.

How Citrulline Works In the Body

Citrulline works by increasing the size of the blood vessels. Vasodilation aims at increasing blood flow and keeping blood pressure in check. However, this amino acid gets converted into arginine once you consume it. The process does not stop there as l-arginine gets transformed into nitric oxide. Citrulline supplies the body with the raw materials needed to make specific blood proteins.

Notably, citrulline transforms more l-arginine compared to how much the body makes. An increase in this amino acid will ensure that the body gets more nitric oxide, improving blood flow and keeping blood pressure in check.

This amino acid plays a critical role in the urea cycle, getting rid of toxins and harmful compounds from the body. Ideally, this urea cycle focuses on removing ammonia from the body, mainly through urine. This amino acid will also limit the uptake and breakdown of particular amino acids, particularly in the liver.

In addition, citrulline is essential in building muscle mass. You can rely on it to repair and rebuild damaged tissues within the muscles. You could attribute this to its dual effects on protein synthesis and amino acid breakdown.

You need to understand when to take citrulline supplements. It will ensure that you get the most out of the amino acid. Typically, you need to take it approximately 30 minutes before your workout session. You will also find it suitable to take it in the morning to improve your focus, mental clarity, and additional energy.

Suppose you want to elevate your energy even further. In that case, it would be best to use this supplement alongside caffeine. This combination will give you energy-boosting properties to keep you active and focused during the entire workout session. It will also increase oxygen and blood supply to various critical body organs, including the brain.

Who Should Use Citrulline?

Lots of people will benefit from citrulline supplements. This amino acid will improve endurance, blood flow, cognitive function, and mental clarity. Every athlete will benefit from this supplement, assured of unrivaled performance when working out. Taking this supplement regularly is worth considering. Yet, the following individuals are the standard target audience.

  • Weightlifters, bodybuilders, and strength-centered fitness enthusiasts
  • Endurance athletes
  • People who prefer enhanced post-workout pumps
  • If you want to focus without necessarily using caffeine
  • If you need help to recover faster after a workout
  • If you need to address muscle soreness after a workout

Citrulline’s effectiveness will often depend on its ability to vasodilate the vessels. Excellent vasodilation ensures that sufficient oxygen and nutrients reach the muscles. This will help promote better performance, cellular energy production, and post-workout recovery. It will also come in handy in improving your pumps after the workout session.

This supplement will also ensure that enough oxygen and nutrients reach the brain. This process significantly changes your cognitive function, ensuring that you are sharper and more energized. Improving your focus will also ensure that you work out more effortlessly.

Why Citrulline Is Vital

Citrulline enjoys surging popularity within the health and fitness sphere. Ideally, you could attribute this to its multiple roles in improving your health and fitness. The following are some of the most notable health benefits associated with this amino acid.

Enhance Physical Exercise

You can rely on citrulline to improve your physical exercise. It increases oxygen in your blood, ensuring enough oxygen within the muscles. Sufficient oxygen will guarantee you incredible returns in the long run.

Further, citrulline will help build your endurance in the long run. Enhanced endurance will cushion you against various health complications, including heart, circulatory, and lung systems. Sufficient endurance will also protect you against breast cancers, diabetes, colon cancers, and heart conditions.

Athletic Performance

Suppose you are looking forward to an unmatched athletic performance. In that case, investing in citrulline supplements will come in handy. Various studies show that a single dose of citrulline will substantially increase the number of barbell bench presses. These studies also indicate that this increased number could be over 50%.

At the same time, your athletic performance depends on how healthy your muscles are. Increased muscle soreness could make it hard for you to work out. Fortunately, citrulline will help reduce muscle soreness, ensuring that you work out effortlessly. Citrulline malate is the best solution in this case.

Citrulline malate will also increase the intensity of your anaerobic exercises. You will need no more than short rests. At the same time, there will be no reason to worry about muscle soreness after this workout. At the same time, citrulline will increase blood flow to your muscles, particularly during submaximal exercises.

Weight Training

Suppose you want to improve your weight training sessions and results. In that case, using citrulline would be an excellent solution. Various studies have proven that citrulline is associated with substantial weight training results and endurance changes. This research shows that your ability to perform repetitions during upper body exercises will significantly improve.

This supplement will also reduce fatigue within your muscles and lower body. Thanks to this change, your weight training performance will likely increase. However, it would be best to consider this supplement 60 minutes before the workout session. This period is enough to prepare your body and ensure that you get unmatched results in the long run.

Cardiovascular Health

Various aspects go into improving your heart and blood vessels’ health. An increased amount of l-citrulline in the body will help achieve this goal without much hassle. This supplement promotes heart health by regulating blood pressure. Lowering blood pressure makes you less vulnerable to hypertension.

Multiple studies show that citrulline decreases systolic pressure, including in small doses. However, you might need to increase the citrulline dosage if you need to alter diastolic blood pressure. However, you might need to first try foods rich in citrulline before opting for supplements. It could help avoid over-dependence.

Yet, you must be sure of how potent your dosage is. Citrulline comes in multiple grades, meaning some supplements are more potent than others. For instance, medical, cosmetic, and nutritional grade citrulline might be less effective. On the other hand, the 99% pure pharmaceutical citrulline seems more suitable and potent.

Erectile Dysfunction

While erectile dysfunction is not a problem associated with your fitness, it could significantly alter your self-esteem. Using l-citrulline in such instances will help address this problem. Remember, erectile dysfunction is a problem stemming from blood vessel complications.

Citrulline is critical in boosting nitric oxide synthesis, ensuring better blood flow across blood vessels. Nitrogen oxide will help improve vasodilation and relax the blood vessels, allowing oxygen-rich blood to move easily.

Excellent blood circulation will help address erectile dysfunction. This product is safe and healthy for different users. You can rely on it to treat mild to severe erectile dysfunction.

Sickle Cell

Sickle cell anemia is a nightmarish condition for most people. It could drain you physically and financially. Taking enough citrulline will often ensure that you keep this condition at bay. Most experts suggest that you administer this supplement orally twice a day.

Medical researchers highlight the immediate connection between nitrogen oxide and sickle cell anemia. Ideally, an increase in nitrogen oxide minimizes your susceptibility to this condition. Increasing nitrogen oxide will also help lower the frequency and pain. What’s more, you can rely on it to potentiate the treatment of sickle cell anemia.

Intestinal Issues

Various intestinal issues could derail your workout performance. Addressing these issues on time will cushion you against such matters. Notably, taking citrulline is a perfect solution to this problem. Multiple studies show that citrulline will help deal with celiac disease, radiation-caused small bowel damage, and short bowel syndrome.

What Is The Right Dose of Citrulline?

Getting the correct dosage is essential for optimizing your performance in the long run. Yet, there is no one-dimensional approach to determining the right citrulline dose. The dosage will vary with your objectives, age, and weight. Understanding how these elements could affect the amount will help you avoid different health complications in the long run.

Typically, it would be best to take between three and six grams of l-citrulline per day. On the other hand, eight grams of citrulline malate per day will be enough. However, the dose could also vary with the form. For instance, 1.75 grams of citrulline malate contains a gram of citrulline and 0.75 grams of malate.

The following breakdown will help you take the right amount of citrulline, depending on the exercise you want to perform.

  • Blood pressure: You can rely on citrulline to regulate blood pressure, mainly through vasodilation. In this case, you will need between 3 and 6 grams of citrulline per day.
  • Weight training: Weight training requires substantial energy, meaning you could get drained during the session. You will need about 4.5 grams of citrulline malate for enhanced effectiveness per day.
  • Increased blood flow: Improved oxygen in the muscles will only happen if there is sufficient blood flow to these parts. If you need to increase oxygen in the muscles, you will need about six or more grams of l-citrulline in a day. Further, ensure that you take it for about seven consecutive days.

Various amino acids cause stomach upsets, particularly when taking more than 10 grams per day. Fortunately, this is not the case with citrulline, which you can take up to ten grams per day. Your stomach will tolerate it more effortlessly, thanks to its absorption in the body. Since you will not experience stomach upsets, you’ll not worry about your performance getting derailed.

Are There Any Side Effects of Taking Citrulline?

The biggest question often is what happens after taking more than the recommended dose. Or, can you get addicted to citrulline, and what happens in such instances? Well, citrulline is significantly safe and healthy for your consumption. It is approved by various medical bodies, including the FDA.

Over the years, there have been negligible concerns about citrulline. No adverse side effects have sufficed. However, expect a few side effects on rare occasions, including the following.

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Indigestion

Different medications could also expose you to a few adverse side effects. For instance, drugs that contain nitrates can be problematic. The reaction between citrulline and these medications will be unfavorable. You might also need to avoid this supplement if you are on erectile dysfunction medication. Checking with your medical expert will also help in this pursuit.

Top Supplements you Can Pair With Citrulline

Everyone looks forward to enhanced performance in the gym and on the track. Pairing citrulline with other elements can help improve your results in the long term, in fact it is a common ingredient in pre workout supplements for this reason. However, be careful not to choose a product that could compromise things further. The following options were carefully selected, meaning you can use them alongside citrulline without any issues.


Caffeine is a popular supplement among health and fitness enthusiasts. This option improves your mental clarity, energy, and athletic performance. Its stimulative and antioxidant properties ensure that the recovery period after a workout session is much shorter. Combining caffeine with citrulline will amp up your post-workout routine, including enhancing your mental clarity and energy.

This combination will also ensure that you have enough energy during the workout period. You can push yourself to the limit, getting the most out of every session.


Taurine is yet another incredible choice among fitness enthusiasts. This product has excellent antioxidant properties, cushioning your muscles against soreness and unwanted pain. Ideally, this feature protects your muscles against fatigue too. In addition, taurine offers various health benefits, including improving the health of your heart. By combining it with citrulline, you fortify your resilience against different heart conditions and chronic ailments.


You will often find theanine in teas, including green tea. This amino acid plays a critical role in boosting your cognitive function and energy levels. Its ability to protect the body and brain against stress and fatigue will ensure that you perform optimally in the gym. You will also rely on this amino acid to improve blood flow in the body, enhancing your pumps and shortening recovery spans. It will also ensure that your workout performance peaks within a short time.


Suppose you are looking forward to improving your hydration, particularly during the workout session. In this case, glycerol will be a perfect addition to your supplements. Enhanced hydration makes your muscles appear fuller and more robust. What’s more, it will help improve your endurance in the long run. Combining this supplement with citrulline will peak your performance.


Betaine is a product of the beet plant. You can also find it in other foods, including wheat, spinach, shellfish, and beets. Notably, its effects are similar to citrulline. Combining these two supplements will help increase potency in the long run. Ideally, this combination will help improve nitric oxide production, increasing the supply of blood and oxygen across the body. In addition, it has energy and endurance-boosting properties, ensuring that your workout session is worthwhile.

Final Thoughts

Citrulline is an excellent addition to what you need in the gym. This supplement will help improve your energy, mental clarity, and focus during the workout. You can use it before or after the session, depending on your objectives and personal preferences. Yet, it would help to start this prescription after medical advice.

FAQs About Citrulline

How Long Does Citrulline Take to Work?

Citrulline takes a significantly short time to act in your body. This supplement will take between three and five days to peak, showing you every result you desire. Most experts recommend taking a dose before and after your workout session to improve its effectiveness in the long run.

Can I Take Citrulline Without Working Out?

Yes. You can take citrulline malate to improve growth hormone production, boost immunity, improve endurance, and delay fatigue. You can schedule its intake before or after your workout session. However, you are free to use it without working out, mainly if you want to reduce muscle soreness and boost muscle cell generation.

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