Citrulline Malate vs. Arginine (Which is better?)

Unfortunately I think many of the companies currently marketing NO products are missing the boat by not including Citrulline Malate in the current crop of NO supplements. You see, many of Citrulline’s functions stem primarily from its ability to increase plasma levels of Arginine endogenously (in the human body).4 And what is really so exciting about Citrulline is that it seems to increase plasma Arginine levels better than taking the amino acid Arginine itself.5 You read correctly!

Research has shown that supplementation of Citrulline raises Arginine levels more effectively than taking the same dose of straight Arginine. Keep in mind that Citrulline Malate’s NO enhancing properties are just one of the unique benefits this nutrient offers to athletes. And if the enhanced pumps and improved nutrient delivery properties are the reason you are using Arginine based NO products, you need to pay attention to Citrulline Malate.

It’s hype. Several of his claims also appear on manufacturers websites word for word. Since he didn’t reference his article properly, it’s hard to find the Yearick, E.S. et al, (1967) study that he is quoting when he makes his main claim regarding plasma arginine levels.

He’s comparing citrulline malate to l-arginine. Why not compare l-citrulline to l-arginine? Or at least compare CM to AAKG or l-arginine hydrochloride. Citrulline malate may actually raise arginine levels better than straight arginine. Problem is, nobody is taking straight arginine to increase nitric oxide levels.

Also he used the Bendahan D “study” (reference #9) as proof that “Studies show subjects using Citrulline Malate have an increase in the rate of muscle ATP (Andenosine Triphosphate, the major energy source within the cell) production during exercise and greater phosphocreatine recovery after exercise. So taking Citrulline Malate may result in muscles that can keep on going and going… completely smashing the aerobic threshold!”

As background, the Bendahan “study”, was in fact only a trial (not placebo controlled or blinded) and was performed on 18 sedentary men that “complained of fatigue” (asthenia); assessing “muscle performance” using finger flexion as exercise.

Yes, not curls, not bench press, but finger flexion. The exercise test used to measure performance involved finger flexions performed at 1.5 second intervals with a six-kilogram (12 pounds) weight. I’m not sure that qualifies as “smashing the aerobic threshold!” At a seniors home during an intense game of checkers maybe - but there’s no proof there that it helps anywhere else and certainly no research that suggests this compound may enhance contractile strength, muscle growth or fat metabolism.

I think CM is a good addition to an NO product, because it does get converted to arginine with the help of aspartic acid, but the jury is out on wild claims like those posted in that article from using the supplement alone.

Thanks Ironhead.

Is anyone aware of a powdered formula that includes AAKG & Citrulline? I have issues absorbing the tablet formulas so I stick with capsules or powder.

I believe Syntrax makes one…

Thanks, I’ll check it out.