Citrulline is a non-essential amino acid that your body can produce naturally.
However, increasing the levels of citrulline through dietary supplements can boost the benefits of this compound.
Reaching higher concentrations of citrulline in the body provides several fitness benefits, including:
- The optimization of performance
- The promotion of muscle growth
Unlike other amino acids, citrulline is not part of protein synthesis; instead, this amino acid interferes with numerous other functions.
For instance, citrulline is necessary for the urea cycle, which removes harmful substances from the body. Moreover, it vasodilates (i.e., expands) the blood vessels, which helps the muscles get bigger.
In this article, we will briefly discuss citrulline’s mechanism of action and how it promotes muscle hypertrophy.
How does citrulline work
Citrulline promotes vasodilation of blood vessels (arteries and veins), which lowers blood pressure and improves the perfusion of muscles.
In the liver, citrulline gets converted to another amino acid known as arginine, which then gets converted to nitric oxide. The latter interacts with the smooth muscle lining that surrounds blood vessels to promote their expansion.
According to one study, taking citrulline supplements increases the levels of arginine in the body more than consuming arginine itself.
Researchers attribute this phenomenon to the way that the body processes and absorbs the two amino acids.
Learn more about L-arginine by clicking on this link (insert link of the previous article).
Vasodilation is thought to be the primary factor that promotes physical performance and muscle growth.
How does citrulline promote muscle growth?
While citrulline does not take part in building protein, researchers found that this amino acid promotes muscle growth by upregulating specific metabolic pathways involved in muscle repair.
Furthermore, citrulline lowers the rate of amino acid uptake by the liver and prevents proteolysis (i.e., the breakdown of protein).
Through promoting protein synthesis and inhibiting amino acid breakdown, citrulline may be the perfect candidate for lean muscle growth.
In one study, researchers recruited 41 men to assess the effects of citrulline on physical performance during strength training.
The primary studied factor was the number of repetitions during each set of exercises. After analyzing the results of the study, researchers found that taking citrulline supplements allowed participants to perform 53% more repetitions relative to the control group.
Even more, the incidence of delayed-onset muscle soreness dropped by 40% when participants consumed citrulline before exercising.
Another study found that citrulline decreases fatigue and promotes weight loss during physical training.
Before taking citrulline, you may want to speak with your primary care physician to make sure that everything is safe. Also, you need to ensure that you are taking the appropriate dosage based on your age and body weight.
Citrulline is a fantastic amino acid that enhances muscle growth and promotes physical performance during exercise.
We hope that this article conveyed the importance of taking citrulline supplements to optimize your performance in the gym.
If you consumed citrulline before, please don’t hesitate to share your experience in the comment section below.
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I’m your supplement guinea pig! I’ve been working out from 1999 to 2004 until I got involved into a motorcycle accident. Even if I have a certification in fitness, I prefer to consider myself a self learner. I’ve started working out about 10 years ago but the leg that took the hit in 2004 left me in a lot of pain and I kept quitting and coming back, with you guested it, poor results. I then discovered supplements, started small training in September 2019 after studying weight lifting and nutrition. I’ve reached the 1000lb club in 2020 and haven’t stop since. There is a lot of supplements on the market, some good, some bad, and some almost essential! My goal is to give you unbiased information, especially on supplements, their impacts on muscle building and share my experiences with you. More info about me here : My Stats So Far