Research has established supplemental citrulline, a precursor to arginine, as a superior ingredient for building endurance and delaying fatigue.
For bodybuilders, citrulline at any time is involved in increasing the production of nitric oxide, which is a blood vessel dilator, and removing ammonia, which is a waste material of intense workouts, in the form of urea.
Both these functions of citrulline determine to a great extent your muscle growth and your level of endurance.
How Citrulline Works
Citrulline metabolizes in the body to release arginine. This means that it regulates the production of Nitric Oxide (NO) in the human body.
Nitric Oxide, NO is responsible for dilating the blood vessels, ensuring that more blood begins to flow in the dilated blood vessels.
When you work out intensely in the gym, more blood flow helps produce the incredible pump effect in your muscle tissues, an aftereffect of citrulline working.
Beyond the psychological and physiological stimulus, the muscle pumps are invaluable in growing your muscle size and strength, because, each time you train intensely, your muscles produce waste products that pull water into your muscle tissues so that it can expel toxins.
Nitric oxide sends blood gushing to the muscle tissues, and since half of the blood content is composed of water, there is more water than the muscle cells can pull into them, resulting in an incredible muscle pump.
Naturally, this kind of muscle pump is going to stretch your muscle cells, which in the long run leads to increased muscle growth by increasing muscle protein synthesis.
By delivering more blood without increasing cardiac workload, the use of citrulline supplementation may also help to protect cardiovascular health.
There is clear evidence that Citrulline can help fight against physical exhaustion, and also has the ability to increase strength, muscle mass, improve recovery time, and help you in the gym.
Whether Citrulline can help mental exhaustion or sexual dysfunction is open to debate, but many users of Citrulline do report positive results with regards to Citrulline helping with the areas of mental power and sexual functions.
Citrulline and Protein Metabolism
L-citrulline administration has increased protein synthesis in rats with malnutrition and aging and also improves nitrogen balance in healthy adult humans.
This may have benefits for bodybuilders, supporting muscle growth, even though L-citrulline is not itself used for synthesizing proteins, unlike other proteinogenic amino acids.
Benefits of Citrulline for Bodybuilders and Supporting Muscle Growth
Citrulline benefits lie in the fact that this supplement delays fatigue and builds endurance, something fitness enthusiasts, bodybuilders, and athletes have been looking for.
The systematic support for these claims has made citrulline containing products a necessary ingredient in premium pre-workout supplements.
Other bodybuilding benefits of citrulline are:
Strength athletes recruit glycogen stored in muscles during their workout for energy, and as glycogen stores deplete Hydrogen ions (H+) and lactic acid in the muscle, one begins to feel a burning sensation in the muscles.
This accelerates fatigue and one is not able to maintain exercise intensity throughout the workout.
The remedy to the fatigue is offered by bicarbonates, as they stimulate the removal of Hydrogen ions and lactic acid out of the muscle.
Citrulline aids in the reabsorption of bicarbonates thereby building endurance and delaying fatigue among bodybuilders.
A study published in the “British Journal of Sports Medicine” found that 18 men who took 6g of citrulline malate daily for 15 days experienced increased energy and were able to work out for a longer period of time without getting tired.
Incredible Muscle Pumps
Citrulline is more potent than arginine in giving muscle pumps since it bypasses the intensive breakdown to which arginine is subjected to in the body.
The presence of nitric oxide synthase (NOS) in the blood turns arginine into nitric oxide and citrulline, however, in the liver and intestines, another enzyme arginase converts arginine into ornithine and urea, thereby flushing it out of your body.
This process has indicated lowered absorption of arginine. But when you take citrulline instead of arginine, you avoid the action of arginase which increases its presence in the nitric oxide cycle.
Increases Human Growth Hormone
Citrulline elevates growth hormone levels, and Spanish researchers have reported higher growth hormone levels in athletes during exercise when they take supplemental citrulline prior to work out.
It is a known fact that an increased amount of growth hormone increases muscle gain and encourages greater fat burning during workouts.
Citrulline also aids in recovery. When your muscle cells are saturated with creatine, you have more of human cell energy source, ATPs.
As a result, the muscles are stronger and one is able to perform better.
Being that citrulline stimulates phosphocreatine recovery after exercise, this means faster recuperation between workouts.