Secret to the PUMP! Arm Busting Muscle Pumps with L-Citrulline

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By: Robbie Durand

There is a growing body of evidence to suggest that in addition to supplements like creatine, beta alanine, and whey protein, L-Citrulline can increase performance in the gym. L-Citrulline is present in large quantities in watermelon but is not abundant in other fruits, vegetables, meat, or fish because it is a free amino acid. It ‘s hard to obtain L-citrulline from a conventional diet in sufficient amounts to enhance sports performance. Therefore, it may be beneficial to take L-citrulline before exercise as an ergogenic aid. There is no recommended dose for L-citrulline intake to improve sports performance, but a dose of 6 or 8 g of L-citrulline malate has been used in other studies.

If your look for other article written about L-Citrulline, check out the corresponding links:

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Dumbbell Bicep CurlsL-Citrulline supplementation has various beneficial effects, such as reducing arterial stiffness, improving erectile function, memory, O2 uptake in muscle, improved repetitions to failure, and high-intensity exercise performance through upregulation of nitric oxide (NO) synthesis. NO has been found to enhance blood flow, muscle energy metabolism, and mitochondrial respiration during exercise. It seems that consecutive use of citrulline for several days enhances performance compared to just using a single dose. For example, one study reported 6 days of L-citrulline supplementation improved exercise tolerance.
Interestingly, a clinical trial has shown that oral intake of L-citrulline dose-dependently and more effectively increases plasma L-arginine levels than does L-arginine supplementation in healthy human volunteers.

Researchers from Japan examined the effect of citrulline in response to high-intensity cycling. Twenty-two trained males consumed 2.4 g/day of L-citrulline or placebo orally for 7 days. On Day 8 they took 2.4 g of L-citrulline or placebo 1 h before a 4-km cycling time trial. The other group was given a placebo. Time-to-exhaustion tests are primarily measures of “exercise capacity.” At the end of the study, oral supplementation with L-citrulline at 2.4 g/day for 7 days significantly increased plasma L-arginine levels. Moreover, intake of L-citrulline for 7 days and I h before the time trial significantly increased plasma L-citrulline and L-arginine levels and enhanced cycling time trial performance. Also, subjective feelings of muscle fatigue and concentration, right after exercise were greatly improved with L-citrulline. Similar to previous studies, the researchers found that oral intake of L-citrulline increased not only L-citrulline levels but also L-arginine levels. It has been reported that oral supplementation with L-citrulline increases plasma L-arginine levels more effectively than does L-arginine supplementation in healthy subjects. The data suggests that L-citrulline has the potential to relieve muscle fatigue during intense exercise.

If you are looking to improve performance and get better pumps, you may want to try adding 6-8 grams of citrulline to your pre-workout drink.

Takashi Suzuki, Masahiko Morita, Yoshinori Kobayashi and Ayako Kamimura. Oral L-citrulline supplementation enhances cycling time trial performance in healthy trained men: Double-blind randomized placebo-controlled 2-way crossover study. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition201613:6
Ochiai M, Hayashi T, Morita M, Ina K, Maeda M, Watanabe F, et al. Short-term effects of L-citrulline supplementation on arterial stiffness in middle-aged men. Int J Cardiol. 2012;155:257–61.
Schwedhelm E, Maas R, Freese R, Jung D, Lukacs Z, Jambrecina A, et al. Pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties of oral L-citrulline and L-arginine: impact on nitric oxide metabolism. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2008;65:51–9.
Hotta Y, Shiota A, Kataoka T, Motonari M, Maeda Y, Morita M, et al. Oral L-citrulline supplementation improves erectile function and penile structure in castrated rats. Int J Urol. 2014;21:608–12.
Yabuki Y, Shioda N, Yamamoto Y, Shigano M, Kumagai K, Morita M, et al. Oral L-citrulline administration improves memory deficits following transient brain ischemia through cerebrovascular protection. Brain Res. 2013;1520:157–67.
Bailey SJ, Blackwell JR, Lord T, Vanhatalo A, Winyard PG, Jones AM. L-citrulline supplementation improves O2 uptake kinetics and high-intensity exercise performance in humans. J Appl Physiol (1985). 2015;19(4):385–95.


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