Citrulline malate is a popular sports supplement, often used before training to increase endurance, decrease fatigue, increase muscle pumps, and decrease soreness. A study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research confirms the ability of just one dose of citrulline malate to increase endurance during weight training and decrease soreness following training.
The study involved 41 male participants. All participants performed an 8 set bench press workout with 80% of their one rep maximum weight. One group consumed 8 g citrulline malate prior to training and the other group consumed a placebo supplement. The effects of the supplement were evaluated, and then in a second trial the groups switched. After the two trials, each participant had performed one 8 set bench press workout with citrulline malate, and another identical workout with the placebo supplement, in no particular order.
It was found that when the participants supplemented with 8 g citrulline malate prior to training, they were able to do more reps per set during sets 3 to 8. As the sets progressed from set 3 to set 8, a greater and greater difference in reps per set were seen between supplementation with citrulline malate and the placebo supplement and the more participants responded to the citrulline malate. Participants also reported on average 40% less muscle soreness in the days following the bench press session when they took the citrulline malate than when they took the placebo supplement.
Anecdotal evidence seems to agree with the results of this study, with many users reporting similar effects. Citrulline malate has grown popular fairly quickly, and for good reason. This study simply solidifies the efficacy of citrulline malate for improving weight training performance.
Perez-Guisado J, & Jakeman PM. (2010). Citrulline malate enhances athletic anaerobic performance and relieves muscle soreness. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research / National Strength & Conditioning Association. 24(5), 1215-22.
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