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The Science Of Vasodilation

Research has shown that Citrulline supplementation has better result on Nitric oxide (NO) signalling as compared to Arginine (ARG) supplementation. A German study has proven this. Equal amounts of Arginine and Citrulline were given to 2 batches, Later batch produced a greater NO level as compared to Arginine batch. It was concluded that 3 gm dose of Citrulline Malate produced high NO boost and associated muscle pump.


Main reason for this is breakdown of Arginine post consumption. Enzyme Arginase in Intestine and liver breaks down Arginine. It has seen that less than 1% of orally consumed Arginine is available for NO boost. Citrulline however bypasses the liver and is not broken down by enzyme Arginase. Research has been shown that 80% of L-Citrulline is converted to Arginine and caused high NO boost.


Which Form Of Citrulline Is Better?

Citrulline when combined with Malic acid form Citrulline malate form has highest results on NO boost, even better than L-Citrulline. Citrulline malate is able to better regenerate Phospho creatine (PCr) which donates Phosphate group to ADP to regenerate ATP (energy) for the muscles. Thus, Citrulline malate provides muscle pump along with providing sustained endurance to carry out more reps without fatigue.

Arginine - Citrulline Pathway

Citrulline gets converted to Arginine in the kidneys which then get converted back to citrulline, byproduct being Nitric oxide with the help of Nitric oxide synthase enzyme causing vasodilation.

What works best in causing a Nitric oxide boost - L-Arginine, Citrulline Malate or Food Nitrates?

  L-Arginine Citrulline Malate Food Nitrates
Dosage Less than 1% is left after breakdown by liver enzymes to produce any substantial effect. 6 gm/day is the ideal dosage researched to provide best nitric oxide boost. Beetroot juice has shown to have maximum effect on vasodilation (0.033 mmol/kg/day) 45 mins before activity had shown to have best result.
Maximum effect time 80 minutes 2-2.5 Hours No data found
Best time to take 1 Hours pre or post workout 20-45 minutes pre-workout 30-45 minutes pre-workout
Contraindications Contraindiacted in patients with low blood pressure, herpes, recent heart attack or kidney disorders Contraindiacted in patients with low blood pressure, herpes, recent heart attack or kidney disorders No such contraindication found

We Say

It is very obvious that Citrulline supplements are preferred over Arginine supplements, the reason being that Arginine is metabolized in the system. However, which form of citrulline works best? Both forms – L Citrulline and Citrulline Malate have their own pros and cons. Yet Citrulline Malate is the clear Winner. Advantage of using citrulline malate is that you don't have to load with it, whereas L-citrulline is most effective after a week of steady usage. It means you can take it right before your workout but still can experience immediate performance benefits. Whether you choose L-citrulline or citrulline malate, make sure to take the correct dosage. For L-citrulline, you required to take 2.4-6.0 gm/day for minimum seven days whereas, citrulline malate- 6 to 8 gm/day has been shown to yield benefits about an hour before exercise without using a loading phase. Your best bet for boosting muscle pump with ramified veins is to get a full 6-8-gram dose of citrulline malate. That way, combination of both L-citrulline +Citrulline malate will be best for greater vascularity.


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