Building muscle protein consists of amino acids, among which citrulline is not listed, but it is important for the athlete’s body. The substance is involved in various physiological processes. It takes part in the metabolism of urea, and is also an intermediate metabolite in the utilization of ammonia, which is toxic. The amino acid was obtained in 1930 from watermelon, whose Latin name Citrullus was assigned to the selected compound.


  • 1 Biological effects
  • 2 Citrulline in sports
  • 3 How to take Citrulline
    • 3.1 Optimal doses of citrulline
  • 4 Possible side effects
  • 5 How and with what additives citrulline is combined "> 6 Sports nutrition with citrulline

Biological impact

Citrulline is an amino acid that is capable of:

  • form arginine, which is the main donor of nitrogen, which improves blood flow in muscle tissues;
  • provide good pumping;
  • increase endurance and improve muscle nutrition;
  • strengthen the immune function and expand the boundaries of the accumulation of energy reserves;
  • maintain a positive nitrogen balance.

The compound is present in some enzymes. It is contained in the epidermis, hair, and the sheath of nerve endings.

Citrulline in sports

Amino acid is very popular in sports. Bodybuilders use the supplement to increase performance, speed recovery and improve the blood supply to muscle fibers.

It is produced as citrulline malate, takes an active part in the utilization of urea, a chemical compound known to many as urea, and helps to quickly remove toxins from the body (lactic acid and urea). Slags are formed during the course of protein metabolism, catabolism, and physical activity. They worsen the recovery processes and reduce the physical performance of athletes.

Citrulline, as defined by scientists, is able to become an alternative to arginine. This is due to the inversion of the amino acid from one form to another. The compound increases the production of creatine and growth hormone, increases the synthesis of insulin. In the course of studies, it was found that a daily intake of 6 g of citrulline malate can reduce muscle fatigue, increase ATP production by 34%, and after training, the concentration of phosphocreatine increases by 20%.

These properties have turned citrulline into a powerful energy and reducing agent. It is taken by powerlifters, bodybuilders and representatives of other power disciplines to improve the results achieved. It helps to shorten the recovery period after training and make classes more intense. This amino acid reduces the risks of overtraining, which allows you to successfully use the supplement with aerobic exercise - cycling, swimming, running.

Some are of the opinion that citrulline is better than arginine. It is absorbed better as a nitrogen donor; it does not undergo destruction in the liver after absorption from the digestive tract. This amino acid is capable of suppressing nitric oxide-degrading enzymes. A great option would be a combination of citrulline with arginine.

Citrulline brings the maximum return on the fifteenth day of use. The first positive results occur on the third or fourth day after the start of the course. The optimal duration of citrulline is from one to two months. You can take the supplement on an ongoing basis without any interruption.

How to take citrulline

This amino acid is recommended to be used on an empty stomach twenty to thirty minutes before training. Additionally, citrulline can be drunk before going to bed and in the morning. The effects obtained from the supplement are due to an increase in arginine. This makes the specifics of use similar.

Optimal doses of citrulline

In order for citrulline to produce a result, at least 6 g of the substance should be consumed per day. In a number of studies, the optimal dosage was increased three times, which led to a sharp improvement in the results. It should be borne in mind that the concentration of this amino acid in many types of sports nutrition is quite small, therefore, it will not work to get the maximum benefit from the compound, if it is part of another product.

Feasible side effects

Clinical trials did not reveal any side effects from the use of citrulline. There are no complaints from those who take this supplement.

How and with which supplements citrulline ">

To increase the effectiveness of amino acids, the substance is taken with other additives. This allows you to improve the potentiating and synergistic effect of citrulline. It is best to combine an amino acid with:

  • Carnosine. Thanks to the buffering of lactic acid, it allows you to expand the anaerobic threshold, protect muscle tissue from oxidative stress.
  • L-carnitine. It involves fats in metabolic processes, which allows you to expand the energy potential, and in addition to improve physical data, protect the cardiovascular system.
  • Creatine. Provide an increase in muscle volume and strength.
  • Arginine. Improve the nutrition of muscle groups thanks to nitric oxide, which leads to an increase in the synthesis of insulin, as well as growth hormone.
  • Minerals and vitamins. These elements are essential for any metabolic process. The best combination of citrulline is zinc and B vitamins.

Sports Nutrition with Citrulline

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