L-citrulline or citrulline is a non-essential alpha-amino acid produced naturally in our body. It was first extracted from watermelon in the year 1930. L-citrulline is produced in our body via a process called urea cycle using another amino acid, orthenine. Citrulline promotes the production of nitric oxide in our body, which is essential for our body. It helps widens the arteries resulting in improved blood and oxygen flow to the muscles and various other parts of the body. Nitric oxide is proven to be a vasodilator, that is it helps in lowering the chances of cardiovascular problems like blood pressure.
Due to its sufficient natural production, an excess amount of citrulline is not required by the body, however, some bodybuilders and athletes might take L-citrulline malate supplements to increase their performing abilities, due to citrulline’s ability to elevate the oxygen supply in the body. Research has also shown a lot of benefits of L-citrulline as a supplement. It is known to improve your metabolic process and enhanced blood flow is known to cause faster recovery of tissue and muscle injuries. A regular intake of citrulline also improves your endurance and helps you keep energized throughout the day.
Approximate 4-6 grams of citrulline is required by the human body in a single day. Regular and a little high intake of around 8 grams has shown improvements in endurance and lactic acid metabolism and reduced fatigue and weakness in various studies conducted. High yet safe dosages also show improved aerobic performance in some men. Since citrulline is often regarded as a supplement, no certain dosage or timings are prescribed. Rough 4-10 grams can be taken in a 24-hour period. However, it is advised to consume citrulline around 30 minutes before the exercise workout, which results in boosted energy production and improved performance in strenuous activities over time. Citrulline is known to be a fast reactor, and visible results can be seen after a few days of consumption. The dose can also be split into 2-3 times in a day, one of them being before the workout.
Although it is considered safe for consumption, it might prove a little harmful for people suffering from kidney-related issues. Therefore, one should always consult a doctor before the intake of citrulline supplements to be sure of any negative side effects and make sure to take the prescribed dosage only.