Beyond knowing the benefits of proper training and technique there also comes proper supplementation. In my writings I will start to touch on a few supplements I find that are un-heard of and need to be known about. As Pre-Workouts and the Intra-Workout category on the supplement world continue to evolve a popular supplement that is now seen quite frequently is Citrulline Malate. What is it? What are its benefits? What does it do? And why are we seeing this supplement pop in our pre/intra workouts? Well continue to read and you will soon figure out the in’s and out and some research to back up why I feel this is important not only for a typical gym goer, bodybuilder, or more importantly someone training to become an athlete.
What is it?
Citrulline malate is a form that is found in many common founds such as eggs, meat, fish, legumes, milk and fruits such as watermelon (believe it or not) While the amounts may not be great enough to illicit what studies research and dictate, bulk powders or those found in pre/intra workouts can help us reach these levels to reach their true benefits on what they may provide for our training.
What does it do?
Citrulline is also known to help provide and figure things such as fatigue, muscle weakness via training. How about Alzheimer’s and diabetes? Yeah it does that too not to mention sickle cell disease, erectile dysfunction, high blood pressure, dementia, and increasing arginine plasma levels (which can be stacked with nitrates as well).
What other benefits can this ingredient provide?
First of all when dosed correctly (4-6g pre-workout as by many studies or into your intra-workout beverage) it shows an increase in nitric oxide levels (which aids in stimulants and their effects). Studies dating back to 2009 will help show this where they utilized athletes (cyclists) prior to a short 4 hour race and how their overall effects on recovery, speed during the race, and performance were with and without Citrulline Malate.
What else can this do?
It can help decrease ammonia as we touched upon earlier. It is a small component of the urea cycle which helps use to convert ammonia to your urea. Believe it or not this is also responsible for exercise by inhibiting exercising at high intensities (not only for weight training but endurance athletes). More profound are those that are focusing on going to hypertrophy or reps that are over the 6-8 rep range. Along with this lactate levels from prolonged training can also be reduced given Citrulline dosage. Since the bodies main pathway that utilized extracting energy from carbs (Malate) will help provide excess malate which in the end will reduce lactate levels during training for endurance or weightlifting and decrease overall ammonia levels.
Why is it beneficial?
As stated earlier this is beneficial into the pre-workout through intra-workout period regarding nitric oxide levels. What happens when you take a NO product on an empty stomach is it absolutely hits so much harder. Lets add in the fact that CM (Citrulline Malate) when stacked with a pre-workout stimulant will enhance that Nitric Oxide (NO) effect. Due to the body up taking malate and glucose levels from carbs the skeletal muscle can aid fat oxidation, contractile functions, and blood flow/repair for overall performance enhancement. These are all proven benefits of increased NO levels and why it’s a benefit to be taken pre-workout (as stated by studies around the 4-6g dosage)
With all of these benefits lets remember its not just about weight lifting or endurance training but this is beneficial to any athlete given their goal towards recovery and lactic acid build up from that activity. Two studies ran in 2010 showed that 6g of CM doesd 60-90 minutes prior to exercise (leading into the workout) improved recovery, muscle contraction, and also reduced fatigue between working sets and during aerobic function (based off PUBMED studies). When looking at Strength training in general the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research has shown that reperated sets of bench press, leg press, or squats to failure when dosing 4-6g of CM improved anaerobic performance between the two study groups. When using 40+ male athletes in a double-blind study. The 20 individuals on the CM compared to those not showed an increase in reps and longer endurance via the amount of reps when taking to failure during the exercise’s provided above for the study. Those individuals took their 80% of their 1RM (one rep max) and did 4 sets until they failed, and would repeat for the following exercises.
Before we wrap things up lets also consider some other important information regarding CM and its dosing which will be key to its productivity around your workout. As you continue to train with CM lets consider your overall age and conditions (especially age). Most have noted that doing so on an empty stomach will aid in its performance enhancements, or dosed on off days first thing upon waking or before bedtime (to aid with lactic acid relief). Results could show up to around 30% increase in the rate of oxidation and recovery during/after exercises from breaking down the lactic acid build up (Study from France at the Centre of Resonance Biologigue). Doing so this helps push extra oxygen to the blood strem and increase the regeneration of triphosphate adenosine (a molecule inside the body that is needed for your body to work efficiently). This also is a key that it shows how to work at maximum intensity for longer periods of time and prevent fatigue. The increase in overall oxygen flowing through your body and increasing bicarbonates in the blood since bicarbonates are vital to controlling blood lactate levels by buffering lactic acid molecules and increases of acidosis (research from 91 via Callis).