Citrulline: The Gold Standard of Pump Ingredients
One of the most sought after things in the bodybuilding community is the "pump". This is the phenomenon where a muscle's size increases temporarily due to the increased blood flow to the muscle. Also, since a person's muscles are flexed, less blood can escape the muscle, thus aiding with the "pump" even more. One of the most popular pump products on the market today is citrulline which is an amino acid that is said to enhance vasodilation and give people the skin tearing pumps they seek to achieve. Today, I will take a look at what the research has to say and give my honest opinion on citrulline's effectiveness.
Citrulline is a non essential amino acid that is commonly found in watermelons. It has been shown to increase vasodilation which may be beneficial to muscle growth. Ingesting citrulline increases the amount of arginine that is present in the bloodstream. Arginine is an amino acid that relaxes the muscles that constrict blood vessels, thus increasing vasodilation. However, why not ingest arginine instead of citrulline? Arginine is digested differently by our bodies compared to citrulline. It has been shown to have a lower absorption rate compared to citrulline. So, ingesting citrulline is more effective at inducing vasodilation as it gets converted into arginine once it's already in the body, which allows for more arginine to be available in the bloodstream and increase vasodilation.
There are two common form of citrulline. They are citrulline and citrulline malate which is citrulline that has malic acid bonded to it. Citrulline has been shown to help reduce blood pressure in people who have heart disease and other ailments relating to blood pressure by increasing the ability for people's arteries to widen. Taking citrulline for a prolonged period of time has been shown to increase oxygen content in muscle tissue which has been shown to increase muscular entrance and power output. A study done on citrulline malate showed that people who took citrulline malate before their workout were 40 percent less sore than people who didn't take it.
When it comes to proper dosing of citrulline and citrulline malate, the effective dose is 3 to 6 grams of citrulline per day and 8 grams of citrulline malate per day.
Also, citrulline has been shown to be safe and have no negative side effects. In conclusion, if you're someone who wants to increase their workout performance ever so slightly, or increase their vascular and cardiovascular system health or like many people, just want an insane pump, then taking citrulline can only help and not hurt your fitness and health journey