L-Citrulline Benefits: Supplementation to Help You Perform at Your Best

L-Citrulline Benefits: Supplementation to Help You Perform at Your Best

Feb 08, 2024 · Sarah Rights

L-Citrulline Benefits: Supplementation to Help You Perform at Your Best

Learn about the numerous L-citrulline benefits and how it can naturally boost your performance. L-citrulline is a nonessential amino acid that is naturally produced by your body and plays a crucial role in various physiological processes. By understanding the potential benefits and incorporating L-citrulline into your routine, you can optimize your health and well-being.

a man at the gym between bench press sets

Key Takeaways:

  • L-citrulline is a nonessential amino acid naturally produced by the body.

  • It is involved in the urea cycle and helps with the formation of nitric oxide.

  • Potential benefits of L-citrulline include enhanced exercise performance, lower blood pressure, and improved erectile dysfunction.

  • L-citrulline can be obtained through supplements or certain foods like watermelon.

  • Before starting any supplement, consult with a doctor to ensure its suitability for your individual needs.

What is L-Citrulline?

a scoop of l-ciltrulline

L-citrulline is an amino acid that is naturally produced by the body. Unlike essential amino acids that must be obtained through dietary sources, l-citrulline is nonessential, meaning that the body can produce it on its own. However, it can also be obtained from certain foods.

L-citrulline is not used to make proteins like other amino acids. Instead, it has other important functions in the body. One of its main roles is being involved in the urea cycle, a process that helps remove toxic byproducts of protein metabolism.

Another significant function of l-citrulline is its role in the formation of nitric oxide. Nitric oxide helps relax blood vessels, allowing for improved blood flow throughout the body. This can have various benefits, such as enhancing exercise performance and supporting cardiovascular health.

The Benefits of L-Citrulline

a man prepping the bar to deadlift

L-citrulline offers a range of potential benefits that can positively impact your health and well-being. By incorporating L-citrulline into your routine, you may experience improvements in exercise and athletic performance, blood pressure levels, and erectile dysfunction.

Exercise and Athletic Performance:

L-citrulline has been found to enhance exercise and athletic performance by increasing the production of nitric oxide in the body. Nitric oxide helps to improve oxygen uptake and muscle oxygenation, allowing your body to perform at its best during physical activities.

Blood Pressure:

Research suggests that L-citrulline can help lower blood pressure by promoting the expansion of blood vessels. This dilation allows for improved blood flow and reduced strain on the cardiovascular system, contributing to healthier blood pressure levels.

Erectile Dysfunction:

L-citrulline may also improve erectile dysfunction by increasing blood flow to the genitals. By enhancing circulation in this area, L-citrulline can support better sexual function and performance.

While the potential benefits of L-citrulline are promising, it's important to note that further research is needed to fully understand its effectiveness in these areas. However, incorporating L-citrulline into your routine in consultation with a healthcare professional can be a proactive step towards optimizing your exercise performance, blood pressure, and sexual health.


Food Sources of L-Citrulline

a bowl of watermelon and cucumber in the kitchen

The body can naturally produce l-citrulline, but it can also be obtained from certain foods. To boost L-citrulline levels naturally, one delicious fruit stands out — watermelon. Just one cup of diced seedless watermelon contains approximately 365 milligrams of L-citrulline, making it an excellent food source. But watermelon isn't the only option. You can also find lower levels of L-citrulline in other types of melons, cucumbers, pumpkins, squash, and gourds.

If you're looking to increase your L-citrulline intake through your diet, incorporating these foods into your meals can be a tasty and nutritious way to support your health and wellness goals. Whether you enjoy a refreshing watermelon salad in the summer or add some diced cucumbers to your salads, these foods provide natural sources of L-citrulline to help enhance your well-being.

Food L-Citrulline Content (per 1 cup/serving)
Watermelon Approximately 216-365mg
Honeydew Melon Approximately 8mg, but it varies
Cucumbers Approximately 14mg, but it varies
Pumpkins Varies (lower levels than watermelon)
Squash Varies (lower levels than watermelon)
Gourds Varies (lower levels than watermelon)

contains relatively high levels of l-citrulline, particularly in the rind and the white part closest to the rind. Other foods that contain lower levels of l-citrulline include cucumbers and certain types of melons.

Taking L-Citrulline Supplements

a glass of water next to small white pills

If you're considering incorporating L-citrulline into your wellness routine, it is essential to understand how to take it properly. L-citrulline is available as a supplement, commonly found in powder or capsule form. This makes it convenient and easy to incorporate into your daily routine.

One thing to note is that there is no standard recommended daily dose of L-citrulline. However, research studies have shown that doses of 6 grams per day for 4 weeks did not have any adverse effects. It's important to remember that everyone's body is different, so it's always best to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement, including L-citrulline.

Your healthcare professional can provide personalized guidance on the appropriate L-citrulline dosage for you based on factors such as your age, overall health, and specific wellness goals. They may recommend starting with a lower dosage and gradually increasing it as your body adjusts.

Finding the Right L-Citrulline Supplements

When selecting L-citrulline supplements, it's important to choose reliable brands and products. Look for reputable manufacturers that produce high-quality supplements and adhere to strict quality control standards. Reading customer reviews and checking for third-party certifications can also provide insights into the product's effectiveness and safety.

Consider the form of L-citrulline that suits your needs and preferences. While powder and capsules are popular choices, some supplements combine L-citrulline with other ingredients like citrulline malate. These combinations may offer additional benefits depending on your specific goals.

L-Citrulline Supplement Forms Benefits
L-Citrulline Powder Easy to mix into beverages or smoothies
L-Citrulline Capsules Convenient and easy to incorporate into a daily supplement routine
Citrulline Malate Potential benefits of both L-citrulline and malic acid combined

Remember, supplements can complement a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle, but they should not replace nutritious food or be used as a substitute for medical advice. It's essential to prioritize overall wellness by maintaining a well-rounded approach to health.

As always, consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement, including L-citrulline. They can provide personalized advice, taking into account your unique circumstances and health needs, ensuring the effective and safe use of L-citrulline supplements.

Dosage and Risks of Taking L-Citrulline Supplements?

a scoop of l-citrulline

While L-citrulline supplements are generally well-tolerated, it is important to be aware of potential risks and adverse effects. Some individuals may experience stomach discomfort when taking L-citrulline. If you have a sensitive stomach or have experienced gastrointestinal issues in the past, it is recommended to consult with a healthcare provider before starting L-citrulline supplementation.

Certain health conditions may also warrant caution when considering L-citrulline supplements. If you have any underlying medical conditions, such as liver or kidney disease, it is important to speak with a healthcare professional to determine if L-citrulline supplementation is appropriate for you.

Furthermore, L-citrulline has the potential to interact with certain prescription medications. If you are currently taking medications for high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, or erectile dysfunction, it is crucial to consult with your healthcare provider before incorporating L-citrulline supplements into your routine. They will be able to assess any potential drug interactions and advise you on the best course of action.

When considering any dietary supplement, it is essential to prioritize your health and safety. Always consult with a healthcare professional who can provide personalized guidance based on your individual needs and medical history. This will help ensure that you make informed decisions and minimize any potential risks or adverse effects.

Who Should Avoid L-Citrulline Supplements:
Individuals with sensitive stomach or gastrointestinal issues
Those with underlying health conditions (e.g., liver or kidney disease)
Individuals taking medications for high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, or erectile dysfunction

How Does Citrulline Work?

The amino acid citrulline plays a crucial role in the body's urea cycle. It is converted into arginine, another amino acid, which then stimulates the production of nitric oxide. Nitric oxide functions as a signaling molecule, causing blood vessels to relax and widen, a process known as vasodilation. This improved blood flow has various effects on the body, including enhanced exercise performance and lower blood pressure.

When you consume citrulline in the form of supplements or certain foods, it undergoes a series of chemical reactions within the body. Citrulline enters the urea cycle, which is responsible for removing excess ammonia from the bloodstream. As citrulline moves through the cycle, it is converted into arginine by an enzyme called argininosuccinate synthase.

Once arginine is formed, it serves as a precursor for nitric oxide synthesis. An enzyme called nitric oxide synthase (NOS) converts arginine into nitric oxide. Nitric oxide, in turn, promotes the relaxation of smooth muscle in blood vessels, leading to vasodilation and increased blood flow.

Citrulline Arginine Nitric Oxide
Produces Serves as a precursor to Promotes
Conversion Conversion Vasodilation

The increased production of nitric oxide due to citrulline supplementation results in enhanced blood vessel relaxation and improved blood flow throughout the body. This increased blood flow can have several benefits, such as:

  • Improved delivery of oxygen and nutrients to muscles during exercise, leading to enhanced performance and endurance.

  • Lowered blood pressure due to the widening of blood vessels and reduced resistance to blood flow.

The role of nitric oxide in the body is still being researched, and its potential benefits and applications continue to be explored. However, the relationship between citrulline, nitric oxide production, and its effects on exercise performance and blood pressure regulation shows promise.

Citrulline Forms and Possible Benefits


When it comes to citrulline, there are two main forms to consider: L-citrulline and citrulline malate. L-citrulline is the form that occurs naturally in the body and can also be found in certain foods. On the other hand, citrulline malate is a combination of citrulline and malic acid.

Research suggests that L-citrulline may offer potential benefits in improving exercise performance, particularly in enhancing endurance and reducing muscle soreness. L-citrulline plays a crucial role in the production of nitric oxide, which helps to dilate blood vessels and improve blood flow. By increasing blood flow to the muscles, L-citrulline may enhance oxygen and nutrient delivery, thereby promoting better athletic performance.

On the other hand, the effects of citrulline malate are still being studied, and its potential benefits are not yet as well-documented as those of L-citrulline. Citrulline malate is often used as a supplement for its potential to improve exercise performance and reduce fatigue, but more scientific research is needed to fully understand its efficacy and benefits.

The Potential Benefits of L-Citrulline:

  1. Improves exercise performance and endurance

  2. Enhances blood flow and oxygen uptake

  3. Reduces muscle soreness and fatigue

  4. May support cardiovascular health and blood pressure regulation

  5. May have beneficial effects on erectile dysfunction

Incorporating L-citrulline into your fitness routine or supplementation regimen may have potential benefits for overall performance and well-being. However, it is important to note that individual results may vary, and consulting with a healthcare professional is always recommended before starting any new supplement or exercise program.

L-Citrulline Citrulline Malate
Naturally occurring form in the body and certain foods Combination of citrulline and malic acid
Enhances exercise performance and endurance Effects still being studied
Promotes improved blood flow and oxygen uptake May have potential benefits for exercise performance and reducing fatigue


l-citrulline pills

L-citrulline supplementation
offers numerous potential benefits for your health and wellness. This amino acid has shown promise in enhancing exercise performance, improving blood flow and cardiovascular health, and aiding in the management of erectile dysfunction. However, it is important to note that further research is needed to fully understand the effectiveness of L-citrulline and determine the optimal dosage.

Before incorporating L-citrulline supplements into your routine, it is crucial to consult with a healthcare professional. They can provide personalized guidance based on your individual needs and ensure that it is safe for you. This step is especially important if you have any underlying health conditions or if you are currently taking other medications.

By integrating L-citrulline into a balanced and healthy lifestyle, you can contribute to your overall health and wellness. Remember that supplementation should complement a nutritious diet, regular exercise, and other healthy habits. Prioritize your well-being and make informed choices to optimize your health journey.

Health Benefits of L-citrulline FAQs

Q: What is l-citrulline and how does it benefit the body?

A: L-citrulline is an amino acid that plays a crucial role in the production of nitric oxide, which helps to improve blood flow and cardiovascular health. It may also have potential benefits for athletic performance and erectile dysfunction.

Q: How much l-citrulline should I take as a supplement?

A: The recommended dosage of l-citrulline supplements can vary, but typical doses range from 3-6 grams per day, depending on individual needs and health goals.

Q: What are the potential health benefits of l-citrulline supplementation?

A: L-citrulline supplementation may have positive effects on blood flow, athletic performance, and cardiovascular health. It may also support overall wellness and help with conditions such as high blood pressure and heart disease.

Q: Can l-citrulline supplements have any adverse effects or risks?

A: While l-citrulline is generally considered safe for most people, excessive doses may lead to digestive issues such as diarrhea. Individuals with certain health conditions or those taking specific medications should consult a healthcare professional before using l-citrulline supplements.

Q: How does l-citrulline compare to l-arginine in terms of its effects on the body?

A: L-citrulline is converted to l-arginine in the body, which then leads to increased nitric oxide production. This pathway makes l-citrulline a potentially more effective way to raise arginine levels in the body compared to direct l-arginine supplementation.

Q: What are some sources of l-citrulline in the diet?

A: L-citrulline is naturally found in foods such as watermelon, cucumbers, and other fruits, as well as some nuts and legumes. However, obtaining therapeutic doses of l-citrulline from food alone may be impractical, hence the use of supplements.

Q: How does l-citrulline supplementation impact blood flow and its effects on the body?

A: L-citrulline helps to increase nitric oxide levels, which in turn relaxes and dilates blood vessels, leading to improved circulation and blood flow. This effect may have implications for cardiovascular health, exercise performance, and erectile function.

Q: What is the relationship between l-citrulline and nitric oxide in the body?

A: L-citrulline is a key precursor to nitric oxide synthesis in the body. Nitric oxide is a potent vasodilator that regulates blood flow, supports healthy blood pressure levels, and plays a role in various physiological processes.

Q: Can l-citrulline supplements be beneficial for improving athletic performance?

A: L-citrulline may enhance exercise performance by increasing blood flow and delivering more oxygen and nutrients to working muscles. It has the potential to reduce fatigue and improve endurance during physical activity.

Q: What are the potential effects of citrulline supplementation on cardiovascular health?

A: L-citrulline supplementation has been associated with improved endothelial function, reduced arterial stiffness, and better blood pressure regulation, all of which are beneficial for cardiovascular health and overall wellbeing.

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Profile Image Sarah Rights

Sarah Rights

Sarah Rights is a dynamic and inspirational certified personal trainer, known for her unique blend of gymnastics and strength training. Her journey into fitness began in her childhood, with a deep passion for gymnastics that later evolved into a career in personal training. Sarah's gymnastic background gives her an exceptional understanding of body mechanics, flexibility, and balance.

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