The amino acid known as L-citrulline is made naturally in your body. Research isn’t clear whether these supplements will help boost exercise performance, lower blood pressure, or help with erectile dysfunction.
Experts refer amino acids as the building blocks of proteins. Specific combinations of
However, there are many other amino acids that are not involved in making proteins. L-citrulline is an example of one such amino acid.
Below, we discuss what L-citrulline is, its potential benefits, and L-citrulline supplementation. Keep reading to discover more.
Unlike many amino acids you may have heard of, L-citrulline is not used to make proteins. Instead, it has other functions in the body.
L-citrulline is involved in the
L-citrulline has several benefits, which include:
Exercise and athletic performance
One of the main benefits of L-citrulline is that it may enhance exercise or athletic performance. It does this through its effect on nitric oxide (NO) production.
Generation of NO causes the breaking down of an amino acid called arginine into L-citrulline and NO. But L-citrulline is also a precursor to arginine. The body converts about
Supplementing your body with L-citrulline increases arginine, thus increasing NO levels. Higher NO levels may lead to
According to some studies, L-citrulline can help increase oxygen uptake and muscle oxygenation. A
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) states that research in using L-citrulline to boost exercise performance is
As mentioned earlier, L-citrulline helps in the process of making NO. NO causes the blood vessels to expand. This can help lower your blood pressure.
NO causes the widening of blood vessels, resulting in an increased blood flow, including to the genitals. L-citrulline supplements may help in erectile dysfunction (ED) treatment.
Other foods have much lower levels of L-citrulline than watermelon. Some examples of other foods containing L-citrulline include:
L-citrulline is available as a supplement. It often comes in a powder or capsule form.
There’s no standard recommended daily dose of L-citrulline.
Older research states that people involved in the study could tolerate up to 15 grams of L-citrulline over a maximum of 8 hours without side effects.
Supplements containing L-citrulline come in two forms: citrulline and citrulline malate. Citrulline malate is
Studies report a few side effects of L-citrulline supplements. The
But studies are not clear on whether these supplementals are safe and effective.
It’s also possible that L-citrulline may interact with some prescription drugs, such as:
However, L-citrulline may interact with some prescription medications, such as medications for hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and ED.
Consider talking with your doctor before starting any new supplement. They can advise you on whether or not a specific supplement is suitable for you.
Your doctor can recommend an L-citrulline dosage that is right for you and also discuss side effects or drug interactions.
L-citrulline is a nonessential amino acid that has a variety of functions in the body. You can take it as a supplement.
L-citrulline supplements may have several health benefits, including boosting exercise performance and lowering blood pressure. However, research into these areas is still limited, and more extensive studies would help us better understand its benefits.
Although research isn’t clear whether L-citrulline is safe, it shows a few side effects associated with L-citrulline. Drug interactions may occur, so talk with your doctor. They will tell you whether L-citrulline supplementation is a good option for you and what dosage you should take.