Learn how this top in­gre­di­ent can help jack up your mus­cle pump and el­e­vate your train­ing.

Innovate Magazine - - Contents - By Joey Ro­driguez

It is said that great­ness stands the test of time. And it was some time ago I first in­tro­duced the US sports nu­tri­tion in­dus­try to a new amino acid de­riv­a­tive by the name of Citrulline Malate (CM). Citrulline Malate had just made its way to the US from Euro­pean labs that were us­ing this com­pound as an ex­per­i­men­tal treat­ment for chronic fa­tigue – pri­mar­ily in France un­der the brand name Sti­mol®. Since then, a proven track record of re­sults in com­bi­na­tion with syn­er­gis­tic ap­pli­ca­tions of CM has been seen with this must-use ac­tive in­gre­di­ent that is both safe and ef­fec­tive at en­hanc­ing ath­letic per­for­mance.


Citrulline Malate can ben­e­fit just about any in­di­vid­ual in any sport. Body­build­ing, MMA, bas­ket­ball, foot­ball, soc­cer, cy­cling – the list goes on. CM’s ap­pli­ca­tions even ex­tend into the med­i­cal world (some of it’s ear­li­est us­ages) where it has been used and proven ef­fec­tive for over 35 years in Europe as a treat­ment for fa­tigue and dementia. This unique com­bi­na­tion of the amino acid Citrul­lline and the or­ganic salt Malate of­fers ath­letes with a proven sys­tem to im­prove per­for­mance and re­cov­ery. For ex­am­ple, dur­ing in­tense phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity, pro­tein metabolism, and mus­cle catabolism, by-prod­ucts called en­do­tox­ins are re­leased within your body’s ac­tive mus­cu­la­ture. These en­do­tox­ins dam­age liv­ing cells and wreak havoc on ath­letic per­for­mance. As an in­ter­me­di­ate in the Urea Cy­cle, Citrulline aids in the re­moval of en­do­tox­ins such as lac­tic acid and am­mo­nia.

Re­searches also point to Citrulline as pos­si­bly a greater al­ter­na­tive to Argi­nine for en­hanc­ing plasma Argi­nine lev­els be­cause of Citrulline’s ef­fects on en­doge­nous Argi­nine syn­the­sis – mean­ing that CM may be a su­pe­rior al­ter­na­tive to Argi­nine for reg­u­lat­ing Nitric Ox­ide pro­duc­tion, growth hor­mone re­lease, in­sulin and cre­a­tine pro­duc­tion.

And that’s not all, it has also been dis­cov­ered that sup­ple­ment­ing CM at a clin­i­cally ef­fec­tive dose of 6 grams per day sig­nif­i­cantly re­duced mus­cle fa­tigue, in­creased ATP pro­duc­tion by 34%, and caused a 20% in­crease in Phos­pho­cre­a­tine re­cov­ery af­ter ex­er­cise.

What this means is that Citrulline Malate im­proved aer­o­bic metabolism, cel­lu­lar energy pro­duc­tion, and pro­moted mus­cu­lar re­cov­ery.


Citrulline Malate works by pow­er­ing ATP (ma­jor energy source for mus­cles) pro­duc­tion and by elim­i­nat­ing meta­bolic pol­lu­tants such as Lac­tic Acid and Am­mo­nia from the blood. Citrulline stim­u­lates energy, boosts the im­mune sys­tem and is me­tab­o­lized to form L-Argi­nine, re­sult­ing in the reg­u­la­tion of Nitric Ox­ide pro­duc­tion and the detox­i­fi­ca­tion of cell-dam­ag­ing am­mo­nia. All ex­er­cise re­sults in pro­duc­tion of Am­mo­nia. Malate con­di­tions the re­cy­cling of lac­tate and pyru­vate and is part of the kreb cy­cle and can sup­ply in­stant and sus­tained energy. While the Citrulline part of Citrulline Malate acts to in­crease NO and to elim­i­nate per­for­mance in­hibit­ing meta­bolic tox­ins, the Malate part keeps our energy cy­cle go­ing.

Citrulline Malate also aids in re­cov­ery. Sub­se­quent to ex­er­cise, mus­cle lev­els of cre­a­tine phos­phate are re­duced and it takes some time for lev­els to be re-el­e­vated. The more Cre­a­tine Phos­phate your mus­cles have the stronger and bet­ter able to per­form they will be. Citrulline Malate stim­u­lates phos­pho­cre­a­tine re­cov­ery af­ter ex­er­cise, mean­ing faster re­cu­per­a­tion be­tween work­outs, and mus­cles that are primed for growth and your next train­ing ses­sion.


Most of the stud­ies on Citrulline Malate show an in­creased abil­ity to pro­duce energy through our body’s aer­o­bic energy pro­duc­ing cy­cle. Strength ath­letes tend to be more con­cerned with in­creas­ing anaer­o­bic energy which is used for ex­plo­sive move­ments. Stud­ies clearly show that CM fa­vors the re­nal (hav­ing to do with the kid­neys) re­ab­sorp­tion of bi­car­bon­ates and pro­tects against meta­bolic aci­do­sis.

Anaer­o­bic work in­volves the break­down of glyco­gen. As a re­sult of de­pleted glyco­gen stores from anaer­o­bic work, Hy­dro­gen Ions (H+) and lac­tic Acid in the mus­cle and blood both in­crease.

This rise in H+ is what causes an in­crease in acid­ity in the mus­cle and leads to the burn­ing sen­sa­tion

of the mus­cles, fa­tigue and the fail­ure to main­tain high ex­er­cise in­ten­sity for pro­longed pe­ri­ods. It is be­lieved this de­crease in ph and in­crease in acid­ity is what re­sults in mus­cu­lar fa­tigue and the de­creased abil­ity for the mus­cle to con­tract.

Bi­car­bon­ates are our body’s way of cop­ing with the in­creased lev­els of H+ and a de­creased pH. Bi­car­bon­ates work by stim­u­lat­ing the re­moval of H+ and lac­tic acid out of the mus­cle. So by aid­ing in the re­ab­sorp­tion of bi­car­bon­ates, CM may also help with in­creas­ing the anaer­o­bic thresh­old and de­lay­ing the build up of H+ and lac­tic acid.


Citrulline Malate is best taken on an empty stom­ach prior to ex­er­cise. Ad­di­tional doses can be taken first thing in the morn­ing upon ris­ing and also be­fore go­ing to sleep. Be­cause CM can en­hance plasma Argi­nine lev­els, it makes sense to use Citrulline Malate at the op­ti­mal times for Argi­nine sup­ple­men­ta­tion. CM is ex­tremely safe and there are no known neg­a­tive side ef­fects from its use. You can find CM in a wide va­ri­ety of prod­ucts from straight up com­mod­ity forms to per­for­mance-en­hanc­ing ma­tri­ces like Nutrabolics Su­per­nova.


What re­ally makes this an in­no­va­tive in­gre­di­ent though is that it con­tains syn­er­gis­tic prop­er­ties which com­bine with the ef­fects of other ac­tive in­gre­di­ents. For ex­am­ple, when stacked with Be­taAla­nine (also contained in Nutrabolics Su­per­nova) Citrulline also works to boosts anaer­o­bic ca­pac­ity and buf­fers lac­tic acid – great for heavy lift­ing ses­sions. Other in­gre­di­ents that ex­pe­ri­ence syn­ergy with CM in­clude: L-Car­ni­tine (spares glyco­gen, in­creases VO2 Max, sup­ports hor­monal re­sponse to train­ing), Beet Root (NO booster and stamina booster, Ag­ma­tine (NO booster and growth hor­mone booster), Argi­nine (NO booster) , Cre­a­tine (power and en­durance booster).

In sum­mary, Citrulline Malate is an in­cred­i­bly safe supplement with a clin­i­cally proven ef­fec­tive­ness in optimizing per­for­mance. Whether you’re a week­end war­rior or a sea­soned ath­lete CM is a must have in your supplement arsenal if you want to get the most out of your train­ing. Make sure that your supplement of choice clearly lists the dose of Citrulline Malate on the bot­tle so you know you are get­ting enough to pro­duce re­sults.


A. Cal­lis, B. Mag­nan de Bornier, J.J. Ser­rano, H. Bel­let, and R. Sau­made. Ac­tiv­ity of Citrulline Malate on Acid-Base Bal­ance and Blood Am­mo­nia and Amino Acid Lev­els

Dhanakoti, S. N. et al, Am. J. Phys­iol. 259:E437-E442, (1990)

Ben­da­han D, Mat­tei JP, Ghat­tas B, Con­fort-Gouny S, Le Guern ME, Coz­zone PJ. Br J Sports Med. 2002 Aug;36(4):282-9. Citrulline/malate pro­motes aer­o­bic energy pro­duc­tion in hu­man ex­er­cis­ing mus­cle.

Don­ald­son SKB, Her­mansen L, Bolles L., Dif­fer­en­tial di­rect ef­fects of H+ on Ca2+ ac­ti­vated force of skinned fi­bres from the soleus, car­diac and ad­duc­tor mag­nus mus­cles of rab­bits. Plugers Arch 1978; 376: 55-65.

Fabi­ato A, Fabi­ato F. Ef­fects of pH on the my­ofil­a­ments and sar­coplas­mic retic­u­lum of skinned cells from car­diac and skele­tal mus­cle. J Phys­i­olo 1978; 276: 233-5.

Park­house WS, McKenzie DC. Pos­si­ble con­tri­bu­tion of skele­tal mus­cle buf­fers to en­hance anaer­o­bic per­for­mance: a brief re­view. Med Sci Sports Ex­erc 1984; 16: 328-338.

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