More Support for Citrulline Malate

Posted: April 15, 2010 in Nutrition, Training
Tags: ,

New Citrulline Study

I’ve been a fan of Citrulline Malate for years, as it really seems to provide a noticeable performance boost in the gym. The problem is, nobody seems to take enough, and most supplements severely underdose it. I’ve found the sweet spot to be right around 6g taken about 20 minutes before the workout (it can be sipped throughout the workout in a shake as well, but it’s a good idea to get some in beforehand).

Researchers are notorious for using irrelevant doses in performance studies, so it was nice to see these guys use a full 8g with the study subjects. Although, 6 of the 41 participants noticed stomach problems, so again I would recommend starting it at around 6g…but feel free to experiment with higher doses.

When supplementing with Citrulline, you should immediately notice the ability to perform more reps per set, similar to beta-alanine, and I recommend taking them together (beta alanine needs to be dosed at 3g or more taken pre-workout, and more can be sipped throughout). There’s no published studies on the combination of the two yet, but they seem to have some kind of synergy when used together.

In the following study, researchers found the Citrulline subjects were able to perform about 53% more reps during their bench press workout, which is huge. And the really interesting part is that the subjects noticed a 40% decrease in muscle soreness 24 and 48 hours after training compared to the same workout with no Citrulline. Now personally I don’t care about soreness from a pain standpoint, but what I do care about is being able to get more workouts in per week and per month, as this will translate into much faster progress in the long term.

Here’s the study:

Citrulline malate enhances athletic anaerobic performance and relieves muscle soreness.

J Strength Cond Res. 2010 Apr 7

The purpose of the present study was to determine the effects of a single dose of citrulline malate (CM) on the performance of flat barbell bench presses as an anaerobic exercise and in terms of decreasing muscle soreness after exercise. Forty-one men performed 2 consecutive pectoral training session protocols (16 sets). The study was performed as a randomized, double-blind, 2-period crossover design. Eight grams of CM was used in 1 of the 2 training sessions, and a placebo was used in the other. The subjects’ resistance was tested using the repetitions to fatigue test, at 80% of their predetermined 1 repetition maximum (RM), in the 8 sets of flat barbell bench presses during the pectoral training session (S1-4 and S1′-4′). The p-value was 0.05. The number of repetitions showed a significant increase from placebo treatment to CM treatment from the third set evaluated (p <0.0001). This increase was positively correlated with the number of sets, achieving 52.92% more repetitions and the 100% of response in the last set (S4′). A significant decrease of 40% in muscle soreness at 24 hours and 48 hours after the pectoral training session and a higher percentage response than 90% was achieved with CM supplementation. The only side effect reported was a feeling of stomach discomfort in 14.63% of the subjects. We conclude that the use of CM might be useful to increase athletic performance in high-intensity anaerobic exercises with short rest times and to relieve postexercise muscle soreness. Thus, athletes undergoing intensive preparation involving a high level of training or in competitive events might profit from CM.


Recently MAN Sports sent me some Body Octane to try out, and I really dig it. This stuff tastes great and gives a big time performance boost in the gym. 2 scoops will give you 7g Citrulline Malate and 3.2g Beta Alanine, as well as a bunch of other goodies including a good dose of B6 which from personal experience makes Citrulline work quite a bit better. The glucuronolactone gives a noticeable mental kick, the histidine is a potent vasodilator, LCLT upregulates androgen receptors and speeds recovery, etc. Although you may want to start with 1 or 1.5 scoops, I gave 2 scoops to a friend of mine last weekend and he felt like his skin was on fire for 2 hours. But he’s a gigantic sissy. The beta alanine “tingles” tend to diminish after a few uses, and some people actually quite enjoy it.

Body Octane

  1. Chris says:

    Purple WrAAth by Controlled Labs is my new favorite product. Awesome pre-workout supplement!

  2. fitport says:

    I’ve used that, but the problem is there’s no way to get enough citrulline without puking (you need like 4-5 scoops which is brutal on the stomach), and for some reason they put more beta alanine than citrulline in there, when you really want somewhere in the neighborhood of a 2:1 citrulline to BA ratio. So at a high dose your skin is crawling and you still don’t have enough citrulline. But it does have a good dose of EAA’s…so it makes sense as an EAA + BA product, but not as a citrulline product. And that’s what this article is about, sukka!

  3. Justin says:

    Just got me some of this stuff….my first dose in the morning had me walking around my office looking for some chairs to throw (as opposed to drooling on my keyboard face in hands), excited to see how the workout goes.

  4. fitport says:

    Wow, these are some rock star comments. Literally. Chris and Justin, both lead singers of metal bands.

    Anyway…Justin…I’m assuming you got Body Octane and not just Citrulline right? Because the latter wouldn’t do much to prevent drooling on your keyboard. How did the workout go?

  5. Justin says:

    Better late than never, right?….the workout went really well, considering I had been severely slacking most of this year (1-2 times in the gym per week). I plan to try a more intense cycle using this stuff starting soon, but even with all the slacking this summer I found that I was able to keep the lean mass up (as much as possible) even with just one or two visits to the gym.

    New CD will be done soon.

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