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 and aerobic exercise. For an athlete at any level, from competitive to weekend warrior, reducing fatigue is a massive benefit.
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. 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.
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.