The Best Pre-Workout Supplements for Women

pre-workout supplements for women

Step into any gym, especially the weight room, and you’re likely to see a scene dominated by men. Online resources are heavily geared toward men as well, with dozens of large sites, forums, and stores focused on providing men with what they need to succeed in the gym. What about the other half though? Should women be relegated to slow-paced elliptical workouts and measly salads to achieve fitness goals?

No, absolutely not! Women can benefit from weight training just as much as men. Sure, you may not want to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger when you walk out of the gym (and your natural biology would make sure this change doesn’t happen), but who doesn’t want to be stronger, leaner, and more toned?

So suppose you’re already lifting weights or ready to make the jump, you will want to make sure you are getting the most out of your time in the gym. Pre-workout supplements can do just that. While they’re often associated with muscle-bound guys screaming during squats, pre-workout supplements can offer many benefits to women.

Benefits of Pre-Workout Supplementation

For a long time, supplementation was viewed from a post-workout perspective. Empty the fuel tank, refill the fuel tank. Over recent years, however, it’s become increasingly obvious that by filling your tank with the right kind of fuel before you workout, you can make sure the right nutrients are ready to go right when you need them.

Pre-workout supplements can help you maximize:

*Strength – Any time you workout, you have to overload your muscles to get results. Pre-workout supplements can help you lift more weight and for a longer duration while training and ensure your muscles have the energy to perform.

*Recovery – DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) can be a thorn in the side of any athlete. The right supplements can reduce muscle soreness so you’ll be ready for the next session faster.

*Fat Loss – By taking supplements that help your body use its own fat as fuel, you can improve body composition by burning fat while you build muscle. Lean muscle is also referred to as “metabolic currency” meaning the more lean muscle you have, the better you are at burning fat!

Which Supplements Should I Take?

Now that you’re well aware of the benefits of pre-workout supplementation, you’re probably wondering which supplements you should be taking and you may be a little confused. This confusion is understandable as there are many effective pre-workout supplements on the market. Fear not! Below are the essentials of pre-workout supplements for women. These will help you achieve the benefits listed above and get the most out of your gym time.

Magnesium Creatine Chelate

Creatine is one of the most widely-used supplements and a staple in many athlete’s stacks. Creatine helps support performance while training and improved recovery post-workout. There is a downside to some forms of creatine, however. Some users report bloating when taking basic forms of creatine, mainly creatine monohydrate. So, what’s the best creatine for women that don’t want to walk around feeling bloated?

Magnesium creatine chelate is a relatively new form of creatine that helps you get performance and recovery benefits of creatine without feeling like you swallowed a balloon. One study even showed that magnesium creatine chelate was 6-8% more effective than creatine monohydrate alone. Higher performance with no bloating worries make this the best pre-workout creatine for women.

Whey Protein

As you exercise, muscle tissue is broken down and then repaired afterward by building blocks of protein called amino acids. Whey protein, another staple in the supplement world, helps repair muscles faster by delivering amino acids to muscles quickly. When you repair muscles quicker two main things happen. First, you experience less soreness so you’re ready to get back in the gym faster. Second, and perhaps the more important of the two, you build muscle and see results faster. Whey protein is normally sold in powdered form and in a variety of flavors so you can mix it with other supplements in a pre-workout shake.

Citrulline Malate

Citrulline malate is a complementary supplement to magnesium creatine chelate. By reducing muscle fatigue and improving strength, citrulline malate makes you more efficient in the gym and helps you work harder. Citrulline malate works in two main ways. First, it increases blood flow to the muscles, removing toxins, and delivering nutrients. Second, it increases ATP energy in muscles, giving you that extra boost to work harder. The icing on the cake with citrulline malate is the recovery benefit. Research shows that citrulline malate not only improves performance during a workout, but can reduce soreness by up to 50%!

Nitric Oxide

Nitric oxide (sometimes shown as the acronym NO) is a fantastic supplement with multiple benefits. First, it increases blood flow to the muscles during workout. It delivers more nutrients and oxygen to the muscles, enabling you to workout harder and longer in both strength and endurance exercises. The increased flow of nutrients to muscles also boosts recovery. Additionally, it helps the body use existing energy more efficiently and improve lypolysis. Meaning, glucose in your bloodstream and stored fat can be broken down and used even faster as fuel during a workout!

There you have it, four high-quality pre-workout supplements that come highly recommended for women! As you can tell, these all have incredibly synergistic effects. Whether it is whey protein providing amino acids or nitric oxide moving them to muscles while burning off fat for energy, these supplements are sure to help you get the results you want in the gym.

Supplements to Increase Vascularity

There are many powerful vascularity supplements

It seems like every bodybuilder and weightlifter wants to have a more vascular appearance. In other words, they want the added impressiveness of bulging veins on a massive and ripped body. This vascularity certainly shows to the world that you are a beast.

Of course, a lot about how much veins can be shown is determined by genetics. Even still, everyone can work hard at building larger veins and making them stand out. Plus there are some supplements that can aid in this task. Some are vasodilators, some improve blood flow, and others increase pumps.

Citrulline Malate:

Supplements and Vascularity Benefits
Citrulline Malate

  • Vasodilator
  • Maintains energy levels in muscles
  • Promotes release of nitric acid to increase pumps

CoQ10

  • Poweful antioxidant
  • Removes free radicals, improving blood flow

Nitric Oxide

  • Enhances blood flow and opens up veins

Creatine

  • Boosts energy and muscle pumps
  • Improves blood flow

One of the best vascular aids currently on the market is Citrulline Malate supplement. This supplement operates as a key intermediary in the urea cycle and helps to rid the body of both ammonia and lactic acid, which helps to maintain energy levels in working muscle cells. It is also known for promoting the release of nitric acid, which is thought to be responsible for increasing the intensity of pumps. It also acts as a vasodilator, helping blood vessels to open and expand.

The best way to take this supplement is right before your workout (about 30 minutes before training). The generally accepted dosage range is between 5 and 8 grams.

CoQ10:

Co-Enzyme Q10 is also thought to be a very effective vascular enhancing agent. This enhancement is especially true when it is taken as part of your pre-workout supplementation routine. Additionally, it is a powerful antioxidant and can help to rid the body of numerous poisons and toxins. An even more potent form of this powerful enzyme is Ubiquinol. These supplements are both thought to work by their removal of free radicals in the body, making blood flow much more efficient.

Nitric Oxide:

Another very popular method for increasing vascularity with vascularity supplements is the use of Nitric Oxide or NO enhancers. There are a number of these which have, in recent years, been touted as some powerful pre-workout drinks or energy supplements. Probably the most effective of these has been BSN NO Xplode. The Nitric Oxide has the capability of enhancing blood flow and opening up the veins.

Creatine:

This supplement is well known for the ability to increase energy. Since it is also a nitrogenous substance, the thought is that this partly explains its positive effects on muscle pumps and improved blood flow. Athletes in all sports, from strength to skill and speed events, have taken notice of a number of benefits of Creatine including the ability to produce a more vascular look.

How to Increase Vascularity

All of the above presupposes hard training and an effective nutritional routine. Obviously, in order to achieve a goal like added vascularity you really need to support the body. In addition to training and nutrition, make sure to get enough rest and sleep; rest time is when recovery and muscle/vein building actually occurs.

Pre-Workout Supplements for Weight Loss vs. Muscle Building

supplements for muscle building and weight loss

Pre-workout supplements are a popular choice among weight lifters and among those who are trying to lose weight. The purpose of these supplements is to improve workouts and help attain the best results. There are two main kinds of pre-workout supplements: weight-loss supplements and muscle-building supplements.

The following are some of the benefits from using such supplements:

  • Increased strength and endurance;
  • Faster metabolic rate;
  • Enhanced energy and focus;
  • Overall better performance.

Before one decides to use any pre-workout supplements, pre-workout nutrition ought to be considered. Carbohydrates are essential as they are your body’s fuel source. It is recommended that you eat your carbs before your workout so that they can be utilized as fuel in your body. Protein is another must-have food.

Supplements for Weight Loss

Creatine for Weight Loss

Supplementing with creatine increases the body’s creatine stores which results in an increased level of phosphocreatine that in turn helps regenerate muscles’ energy source, ATP. According to a study conducted on 17 subjects, a dosage of 5g of creatine produced an increase in the total creatine content of the muscles. Recommended dosage is 3g per day.

Caffeine for Weight Loss

Caffeine is one of the most popular pre-workout supplements for weight loss. Caffeine can be obtained from coffee, tea, chocolate, or through energy drinks. This very popular supplement works by inhibiting the enzyme that blocks degradation of cAMP therefore allowing energy levels to remain high for extended periods of time. A study on the efficacy of caffeine in increased exercise performance showed increased performance after an intake of caffeine before workout. Typical dosage rages from 100-200 mg.

Glutamine:

As you work-out, the levels of glutamine in the body falls and using this as a pre-workout supplement can help delay fatigue during workout by producing more energy and reducing muscle fatigue.

Supplements for Muscle Building

Arginine:

This is a very popular pre-workout supplement for weight lifters because it allows more blood to flow to the muscles by dilating vessels and thereby allowing more nutrients to be absorbed. Results of a study on the effect arginine as a supplement 10 minutes before work-outs showed enhanced performance during workouts. Recommended dosage before a workout is 2-3g.

Citrulline Malate:

Supplementation with Citrulline Malate can increase the levels of arginine which is necessary after an intense workout. Breakdown of amino acids and increased levels of ammonia cause a reduction in arginine levels. Studies show that aerobic energy production is also promoted because of the muscle metabolism promoted by citrulline malate.

Tyrosine:

This supplement helps improve perceived level of fatigue and cognitive and physical performance during stressful conditions. It increases mental alertness and the ability to concentrate which can help one perform more strenuous workouts. Doses of 500 to 1000mg per day before workouts are recommended.

Whether or not to take pre-workout supplements will be totally up to you and will greatly depend on how you feel during your workout when you are taking these supplements.

Energy-Boosting Alternatives to Caffeine

alternatives to caffeine

Caffeine is one of the most effective substances for increasing energy and promoting focus and concentration. These reasons are why caffeine has been used in many of the typical pre-workout supplements. On the other hand, caffeine is also an addictive substance with some significant side effects. Therefore, it would be very helpful if there were an alternative that might be just as effective without the resulting side effects. Here are the
contenders…

Sulbutiamine:

Sulbutiamine is a nootropic that has many excellent benefits. It is designed to help improve your mood, memory, and energy levels. Additionally, there is no resulting crash and you will feel more alive after taking this supplement. The increased focus and endurance is caused by the supplement raising levels of thiamine and thiamine-phosphate esters within the brain. This is now becoming a popular addition to energy drinks with several studies showing significant increases in focus and reaction time performances.

Citrulline Malate:

Citrulline malate is an amino-acid formulation that helps provide energy directly to the muscles. Otherwise known as intramuscular ATP, this fuel is exactly where you want your pre-workout energy boost to go—right to the working muscles. The more ATP you have, the longer your muscles will function at an optimal level. Not only will you benefit from an increased amount of working muscle energy, but you will also see an improvement in endurance and recovery times.

Beta-Alanine:

Beta-Alanine is another caffeine alternative to consider adding to your pre-workout stack. This is actually less of an energy enhancer and more of an endurance provider. In the end, it accomplishes pretty much the same thing but the method of action is interestingly different. This supplement works by increasing intramuscular-carnosine levels. Carnosine is a substance that helps to remove lactic acid from your muscles. Lactic acid is what results from working a muscle (too much lactic acid and not enough ATP means that muscle becomes sore and will not perform at an optimal level). This would be a great supplement to stack together with a pure caffeine-replacement energy enhancer (Citrulline Malate, for example).

Citrulline Malate and Beta Alanine Stack

creatine supplement and beta alanine combo

Citrulline Malate and Beta Alanine have been creating quite the buzz around the web. Recent discoveries have revealed that these two supplements go great together as a stack. Many athletes and bodybuilders are reporting the stack to give them increased endurance and more energy when training.

Citrulline Malate Benefits

Citrulline Malate is an amino acid that contains the combination of both the amino acid citrulline and the acid salt malate. It can be found in foods such as watermelon. A study done in 2010 reported that clinical trials showed that athletes seen a 52.92% increase in repetitions when doing bench press after taking citrulline malate. The report also said that there was a significant decrease of 40% in muscle soreness at 24 hours after the bench press training session.

Citrulline Malate powder is great for increasing performance in high intensity anaerobic exercises, as well as relieving muscle soreness post-exercise. Another study concluded that citrulline malate increased oxidative ATP production by 34% during exercise, and increased phosphocreatine recovery by up to 20% after exercise.

Part of how citrulline malate works is by eliminating toxic ammonium in the body and converting it into a nontoxic urea before eliminating it. When the body is under intense stress or exercise, toxic ammonium production rises. Increases in citrulline in the body help to rid the body of excess toxic ammonium which results in an energy boosting or ergogenic affect.

Beta Alanine for Bodybuilding

Beta-Alanine is a naturally occurring non-essential beta amino acid that contains dipeptides that are often found in protein rich foods, such as beef, chicken, pork, and fish. However, beta-alanine can also be ingested through supplements.

Benefits of taking beta-alanine consist of increased aerobic and anaerobic endurance, increased strength, and increased muscle mass. Clinical research also found that beta-alanine delayed muscle fatigue in older adults between ages 55 and 92. A study done on football players revealed that taking beta-alanine significantly increased one of the team’s performance, which was attributed to increased muscle buffering capacity.

Improve your strength with citrulline malate and beta alanine.

Beta-alanine works by helping to produce carnosine in the body. Carnosine is a molecule that is found in the brain, nervous system, eye, and skeletal muscle tissue that plays a role in muscle fatigue.

Citrulline Malate + Beta Alanine Benefits

With both supplements combined, bodybuilders and athletes have reported superior performance enhancing affects. These two supplements work great together because the increase in endurance and energy during weight training enables bodybuilders to lift heavier weights and for additional reps. It is also a very beneficial stack for endurance athletes because it can help reduce muscle fatigue, increase muscle endurance, and in the post-workout period help increase muscle recovery.

So whether you are a bodybuilder or endurance athlete a citrulline malate and beta-alanine combination could have profound effects on your exercise routine and athletic performance. You can find both of these supplements at this great store here.

Sources

  1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22928989
  2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12145119
  3. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20386132

Tyrosine Supplement and Citrulline Malate Powder: A Synergistic Combo

citrulline malate and tyrosine combo to relieve sore muscles

There are numerous different combinations of supplements available that can provide benefits in multiple areas throughout our bodies. Certain combinations, however, can have a more positive influence than others can. When deciding what types of supplements to include in your routine, a variety of factors should be considered. If you are searching for an addition to your existing pre workout stack to help you maintain the benefits of your intensive exercise regimen, Tyrosine supplement and Citrulline Malate powder are two beneficial supplements that work together within the body to perform a number of functions.

What are these supplements?

Tyrosine [1,2] is an amino acid that provides a number of benefits to the body. It is most often utilized as a building component of neurotransmitters, compounds that facilitate proper communication between different nerve cells. These cells can influence and maintain balanced moods and emotions. Additionally, this supplement is one of the 22 amino acids that are used by the body to maintain protein synthesis. Tyrosine supplement is believed [1] to help the body produce Norepinephrine and Epinephrine, two hormones necessary in dealing with mental, emotional, and physical stressors which include the different components that make up your daily exercise routines.

Citrulline Malate [3,4,5] is an amino acid used in the bodybuilding community as an aid in both weight maintenance and muscle gain. Named after the Latin for watermelon, a source that the supplement is derived from, Citrulline Malate powder has been shown to perform functions in the heart and numerous muscle groups, as well as displaying properties akin to anti-fatigue agents.

How do they work?

When we work our bodies and muscles in an effort to reach our fitness goals, we put stress, both oxidative and mental, on our bodies. If these stressors aren’t properly maintained and dealt with, there can be numerous adverse long term effects on our bodies. Tyrosine [1] works to alleviate aspects of this stress by enabling neurotransmitters throughout our body to better communicate and function. With this supplement, the levels of Dopamine in the body increase further improving mental stress and mood. Citrulline Malate has been shown [4] to maintain muscle gains brought on by exercise by fighting off different bacterial toxins that can cause muscle deterioration. Additionally, Citrulline can reduce both recovery time and muscle soreness associated with high intensity regimens. Acidosis is a very common side effect of prolonged physical activity, but Citrulline appears [4] to possess the ability to ward off factors brought on by acidosis such as extreme fatigue and temporary confusion.

Sources:

  1. 1. http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/tyrosine-000329.htm
  2. 2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tyrosine
  3. 3. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20386132
  4. 4. http://www.livestrong.com/article/327513-citrulline-malate-benefits/
  5. 5. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citrulline_malate

Best Caffeine Free Pre Workout Supplements

pre-workout supplements without caffeine

Caffeine powder is widely used as a pre-workout stimulant. It’s taken through energy drinks, coffee, or supplement stacks. There are benefits to using caffeine before a workout. In the very least, it gives your muscles the extra energy to keep going and also helps get your blood pumping faster.

However, there are times when using caffeine may not be the best idea. For example, if you train later in the evening, a high dose of caffeine may interfere with your sleep. Or, for anyone particularly sensitive to caffeine, the effects can be over stimulating and become more of a hindrance in the gym. Regardless of your situation, you shouldn’t feel slighted during your workout. There are several alternatives to caffeine in pre-workout supplements that can help you keep your edge and help you reach your goals faster.

Citrulline Malate Powder

Citrulline Malate is a form of the amino acid citrulline and provides energy to the muscles and promotes endurance for both aerobic and anaerobic athletes. Citrulline malate powder works in two main ways. First, it increases intramuscular ATP energy. This is what you use each time you lift a rep or run a lap. The more ATP in your muscles, the longer they will function at optimal levels.

Citrulline malate takes that a step further by helping you function on an even higher level. In a study performed on athletes using the chest press as a test exercise, participants were given citrulline malate or placebo. Then their work output and recovery times were measured. Users given citrulline malate were able to do 52% more repetitions and had a 40% reduction in soreness, so they were stronger during their workout and recovered faster too. [1]

Beta-Alanine Supplement

Beta-alanine is another great caffeine-free pre-workout supplement that also promotes muscular endurance.  Beta-alanine works a bit differently than citrulline malate. Supplementing with beta-alanine helps increase intramuscular carsonine levels [2].

During exercise, carsonine helps remove lactic acid from muscles, which can cause a burning sensation and muscle fatigue. Without acid buildup and muscular fatigue, beta-alanine helps you get stronger and build muscle mass.

Beta-alanine can help improve your overall body composition too. Research performed on athletes has shown that beta-alanine can increase lean muscle mass and decreasing body fat percentage [2]. Since this is a popular reason for using caffeine pre-workout, you can now work toward your fat-burning goals without stimulant supplements.

L-Arginine Supplement

As the two supplements mentioned above, L-Arginine supplement, also simply known as Arginine, is also an alternative to caffeine for increasing endurance, increasing strength and reducing fatigue. Arginine works differently as well. It’s is responsible for boosting nitric oxide flow into the body after exercise. Higher nitric oxide levels relax blood vessels which allows for more blood flow. The increased blood flow delivers oxygen and nutrients to the muscles more efficiently to prevent muscle fatigue. Arginine also boosts growth hormone production and helps you recover quicker. [3] [4]

Caffeine Free Pre Workout Stacks

You can also try pre-workout stacks which are often available without caffeine. Stacks take the guesswork out of pre-workout supplementation. I found a great pre-workout stack called Muscle Maxx Pro. This pre-workout stack contains L-Arginine, Astragalus, Tongkat Ali (Longjack), Maca, and Tribulus. These ingredients work together synergistically to enhance the body’s muscle building capacity.

Whatever your reasons are for wanting to cut caffeine out of your pre-workout stack, there are alternatives. With muscular endurance and energy being the main benefits, the options for replacement are well represented. A stimulant-free pre-workout stack can help you reach your goals just as fast and without any of the negative side-effects of caffeine use.

Sources

[1] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20386132

[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beta-Alanine

[3] http://l-arginineguide.com/facts-about-l-arginine-and-working-out.html

[4] http://www.livestrong.com/article/6135-need-l-arginine-bodybuilding/

Importance of Pre-Workout Nutrition and Supplementation

The importance of nutrition isn’t foreign to anyone in the health and fitness community. You, like many athletes, surely know the right meals and supplements are essential to maximizing strength and power.  Lack of proper supplement timing, however, may be holding you back from your goals. For a long time there was an understanding that the most important time to take supplements was post-workout. There is now a new school of thought that says taking supplements before you work can be even more effective.

Why Pre-Workout Supplements?

Priming your body and your muscles properly is akin to making sure your car has enough gas in it before a long car trip. Pre-workout supplements can help you in multiple ways by fueling you with the nutrients you need at the very moment you need them, not just after you’re depleted.

Benefits of good pre-workout supplements include[1]:

  • More strength and performance. Lift more weight, work out for a longer period of time and reduce muscle fatigue.
  • Improved energy and reaction time. Do you work out early in the morning or after a long day’s work? You probably need an energy boost to perform at your best.
  • Better focus. Give yourself a mental edge for overcoming barriers. Having a focused, determined attitude is essential to success in the gym. Focus on your plan and execute.
  • Increased protein synthesis. Build muscle more efficiently and recover faster by getting nutrients to muscles immediately.
  • Improved fat burning. Get full advantage of your workout and maximize your body composition.

As you can see, these are very wide in scope so they can benefit athletes at any level. It’s not just anecdotal evidence either – clinical studies have shown that the proper pre-workout supplements can provide significant results. In one study, subjects performed 50% more bench press repetitions and had a 40% reduction in DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) when they used citrulline malate powder pre-workout[2].

What to supplement with?

There are a wide variety of pre-workout supplements available, so it’s essential to do research and read up on some of the options to make sure you’re getting the most out of your time in the gym and getting the right supplements to meet your goals. Below are some options and good places to start with pre-workout supplements:

Strength and performance: Citrulline Malate powder, Creatine supplement (or the faster absorbed derivative, creatine ethyl ester), Beta Alanine supplement, L-Arginine supplement, Beta-Ecdysterone supplements

Energy and focus: Caffeine supplements, DS Craze pre workout supplement, C-vitamins

Increased protein synthesis: Whey Protein, Branched Chain Amino Acids

Improved fat burning: Caffeine supplements

Keep in mind that with certain supplements you may want to stagger the dosage. For example, users should take arginine powder should be taken about an hour before exercise, but branched chain amino acids are digested quickly, so those should be consumed just before your workout.

Now that you know the benefits of  pre-workout nutrition and what to use, go pick up some new pre-workout supplements to add to your routine and see your gains skyrocket!

Sources

[1] http://www.nutritionandmetabolism.com/content/9/1/28

[2] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20386132

 

Work Out Longer and Harder with Citrulline Malate

The principle of overload is the key to improvement in any physical exercise. In the world of weightlifting and resistance training, you have to put your muscles under more load in order for them to grow. This can be done by increasing intensity, duration or frequency. So, suppose you want to improve your bench press by adding a few extra repetitions to each set, that’s going to take some extra energy and, if it’s intense enough, it will probably leave you sore the next day. Understanding these challenges, you want to be sure everything you do is as efficient as possible. In recent years a supplement called citrulline malate has gained in popularity for people looking to do just that – making each workout as efficient as possible by maximizing work capacity in their muscles and reducing post workout soreness. Is citrulline malate  powder legit or is it too good to be true?

Without dragging on the suspense too long, yes, citrulline malate powder is legit and has many benefits. There have been a variety of studies done that measure the effectiveness of citrulline malate for different types of exercise, but the general theme is around reducing fatigue and maximizing energy output in anaerobic[1] and aerobic[2] exercise. For an athlete at any level, from competitive to weekend warrior, reducing fatigue is a massive benefit.

 Research

shutterstock_97008326

The most popular study performed recently focused on men taking a single dose citrulline malate prior to being tested on the flat barbell bench press. It was a placebo study done over two periods. In one of the two periods, some participants were given a dose of citrulline malate and some were not. Each participant performed repetitions to fatigue over 8 sets at 80% of their one-rep maximum. For the group that received the citrulline malate, their results when supplemented were significantly higher than the placebo beginning at only the third set and increased with each set, topping off with 52% more reps on the 8th set. They simply weren’t getting tired as quickly when they used citrulline malate. The researchers also measured the soreness at 24 hours and 48 hours after the tests. They found a 40% decrease in soreness with the citrulline malate[1]. To sum it up plainly, the study showed that supplementing with citrulline malate powder enabled the participants to lift more and not be affected by the soreness that usually accompanies an intense workout.

How Citrulline Malate Powder Works

It’s believed that citrulline malate works in two ways. First, by increasing the ATP energy in your muscles. This simply gives you more energy to lift, run or perform whatever it is that your muscles are doing. Second, citrulline malate is also believed to increase blood flow to muscles, so it can clean out metabolic byproducts such as lactic acid (what causes the ‘burn’ during resistance training) more quickly[3].

Citrulline Malate Dosage

In the referenced study above, the participants were given 8g of citrulline malate. There was a side-effect of stomach discomfort, however, so you may want to start a bit lower and work your way up.

 Sources

[1] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20386132

[2] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12145119

[3] http://www.8weeksout.com/2011/09/27/citrulline-malate-%E2%80%93-your-key-to-winning-in-the-last-round/

L-Arginine Supplement

winter-running

Similar to L-Citrulline, L-Arginine is an essential amino acid which people take mostly as a vasodilator (increasing the size of blood vessels for that “pump” that those desire in the gym). I’ve put Arginine in my pre-workout mixes before and I noticed increased vascularity and felt like I was not getting fatigued as easily. It wasn’t a magical compound that will make me the next Michael Phelps, but it did make a noticeable difference, especially near the end of my workout.

Citrulline Malate VS L-Arginine

It should be known, however, that L-Arginine supplement on its own has pretty poor bioavailability as most of it is metabolized in the liver. What does happen to make it to the muscles and tissue is very beneficial. Actually, it’s interesting because L-Citrulline is shown to convert to L-Arginine in the kidneys, so if you are looking for the benefits of L-Arginine, take Citrulline malate powder instead – you’ll get all the benefits of L-Arginine, but will also get ‘more’ Arginine benefit (since it won’t be broken down early on in digestion).

L-Arginine supplements are mostly for those wanting to do more cardio or lift longer in the gym. I also take Arginine (actually Citrulline) when I’m sick because apparently the body needs more of the amino acid when It’s sick/diseased. It’s also supposedly beneficial in diabetics. Because Arginine is such an effective vasodilator, it is often a good solution for those who have poor bodily circulation (cold hands and feet, for example). Of course, it would be even more beneficial to just exercise (as exercise on its own acts as a superior vasodilator) but for those days when you just don’t feel like getting up, Arginine is a healthy alternative. Apparently people even take Arginine during cold winter months just to bear the cold weather a little better.

The next time I need to scrape ice off my windshield or my fingers are just too cold to play the piano, I’ll take some L-Arginine supplement and let my blood flow like a big, warm river – but for now, I’ll save it for the gym.