8 Grams of Citrulline Increases Women’s Gym Performance
Nitric oxide (NO) is a key molecular and cellular messenger in the body that, among other biological processes, is used to increase blood flow in the body through dilation of blood vessels. Arginine, a precursor to NO, has long been the standard means of triggering increased production of NO in the body. The new research suggests citrulline may be a more effective way of elevating arginine levels and NO in the body. L-citrulline is a naturally occurring amino acid found in food, such as watermelons, and also made in the body. L-citrulline might help increase the supply of ingredients the body needs to making certain proteins. It might also help open up veins and arteries to improve blood flow and reduce blood pressure.
L-Citrulline is used as a sports performance and cardiovascular health supplement. L-Citrulline supplementation results in decreased fatigue and improved endurance for both aerobic and anaerobic prolonged exercise.A previous study recently reported that 8 grams of citrulline a day increases leg performance in experienced male weight lifters. At the end of the study, subjects taking citrulline performed a significantly higher number of repetitions during exercise compared with placebo group. The study concluded citrulline supplementation was beneficial in improving exercise performance during lower-body multiple-bout resistance exercise in advanced resistance-trained men. The newest study reports that 8 grams of citrulline also increases performance in women.
Researchers evaluated the effects of acute citrulline supplementation on upper- and lower-body weightlifting performance in resistance-trained females. Fifteen females completed two randomized, double-blind trials consuming either citrulline (8 grams) or a placebo (8 g dextrose). One hour after supplement consumption, participants performed six sets each of upper- (i.e., bench press) and lower-body (i.e., leg press) exercises to failure at 80 % of previously established one-repetition maximum. Immediately after each set, repetitions completed, heart rate and rating of perceived exertion (RPE) were recorded. At the end of the study, acute citrulline supplementation in females increased upper- and lower-body resistance exercise performance and decreased effort level during upper-body exercise. These data indicate that athletes competing in sports with muscular endurance-based requirements may potentially improve performance by acutely supplementing citrulline.
Glenn JM, Gray M, Wethington LN, Stone MS, Stewart RW Jr, Moyen NE. Acute citrulline malate supplementation improves upper- and lower-body submaximal weightlifting exercise performance in resistance-trained females. Eur J Nutr. 2015 Dec 11.
Wax, Benjamin, et al. “Effects of Supplemental Citrulline Malate Ingestion During Repeated Bouts of Lower-body Exercise in Advanced Weight Lifters.” The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research (2014).