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Citrulline Explained: Benefits, Dosage, & Side Effects

Quick Summary

  • Citrulline is a non-essential amino acid, primarily found in watermelons
  • Apart from watermelons, it's naturally present in other fruits & vegetables
  • Once consumed, Citrulline converts into arginine in the kidneys
  • This conversion boosts nitric oxide in the body, aiding various physiological functions
  • Gym trainers may take Citrulline for its "pump" effect
  • Citrulline is known to enhance stamina & reduce muscle fatigue
  • It assists in reducing post-workout muscle soreness, aiding recovery
  • By improving blood flow, it potentially supports cardiovascular health
  • It has been linked to improving erectile function due to increased blood flow
  • Generally, a daily intake of 3-6 grams of Citrulline is considered beneficial
  • While Citrulline is generally safe, excessive intake can lead to minor side effects, always follow the recommended dose


Citrulline (also known as L-Citrulline), an amino acid that has caught the attention of athletes, bodybuilders, & health experts alike, is becoming increasingly popular in the world of supplements. So, what makes this amino acid so sought after? Let's delve in.

What is Citrulline?

Citrulline, classified as a non-essential amino acid, doesn't just play a passive role in our bodies. Although it might not be as renowned as some of its amino acid siblings, it holds significant importance. Found naturally in watermelons & certain other fruits, its potential is often harnessed & magnified when taken as a supplement.

How Does Citrulline Work in the Body?

Once consumed, Citrulline has an interesting journey. It travels to our kidneys where it's converted into another amino acid, arginine. This newly formed arginine plays a pivotal role in increasing nitric oxide production, which has numerous benefits for our vascular health & muscle function. Furthermore, Citrulline is instrumental in the urea cycle, assisting in the removal of harmful ammonia from our bloodstream, thus safeguarding our muscle cells from potential damage.

The Major Benefits of Citrulline

  1. Improved Blood Flow & Circulation: With its ability to boost nitric oxide, Citrulline can lead to better blood vessel dilation, ensuring that both nutrients & oxygen reach muscle & other vital organs efficiently.
  2. Enhanced Athletic Performance & Muscle Endurance: Athletes often report increased endurance, which can be attributed to better blood flow & efficient oxygen utilization.
  3. Relief from Muscle Soreness: Post-workout muscle soreness can be reduced, ensuring that you’re ready for your next session sooner than expected.
  4. Potential Benefits for Heart Health: Improved blood flow doesn’t just benefit muscles. It also aids in maintaining a healthy heart by improving vascular function & reducing blood pressure.
  5. Implications for Men's Health & Erectile Function: By boosting nitric oxide production, Citrulline might also have positive implications for men’s erectile health, further broadening its appeal.

Citrulline: Dosage & Consumption

The rise of supplements like Red Dragon Citrulline makes it evident that the demand is high. But how much should one consume? While recommendations can vary, generally, a daily intake of 3-6 grams is considered beneficial. It’s also crucial to distinguish between pure Citrulline & Citrulline Malate, as dosage might differ.

To get the most from your Citrulline supplement, consider taking it before your workouts for maximum benefit.

Side Effects & Precautions

Every supplement comes with its set of precautions. While Citrulline is generally safe, excessive consumption can lead to side effects like stomach upset. Those with certain medical conditions or those on medication should always consult with a healthcare professional before starting their Citrulline journey.

The Popularity of Citrulline Supplements

With L-Citrulline supplements continually becoming more popular in the Australian market, it’s evident that Citrulline’s allure isn’t just hype. It offers genuine benefits that are backed by research & testimonials alike.

Citrulline FAQs

  • Is Citrulline good for you? Yes, Citrulline supports cardiovascular health, improves endurance, & reduces muscle soreness.
  • Is it good to take L-citrulline every day? Yes. Many users take L-citrulline daily for athletic benefits & muscle recovery. Consult a healthcare professional for regular intake.
  • Does citrulline increase testosterone? At the time of writing, there's no evidence suggesting L-citrulline directly boosts testosterone, although it may indirectly support healthy testosterone production.
  • What is the Citrulline dosage for ED? Some studies recommend 1.5 grams daily for mild to moderate ED. Dosages up to 6 grams daily are normally well tolerated. Consultation is advised for personalised dosage.
  • Is Citrulline a pre-workout? Citrulline is what I would call a stimulant-free pre-workout. It is commonly found in many pre-workout formulas.
  • Does Citrulline give you energy? Citrulline can enhance endurance & reduce fatigue but isn't a traditional stimulant.
  • Does Citrulline give you a pump? Yes, it can increase the "muscle pump" due to enhanced blood flow during exercise.
  • Is Citrulline good for working out? Yes, it's popular for enhancing endurance, muscle recovery, & promoting muscle pump.
  • How long do the effects of L-Citrulline last? The effects of L-Citrulline can vary, but typically they last for several hours. Peak levels in the blood occur around 1-1.5 hours after ingestion.

In Conclusion

Citrulline, while not the most commonly discussed amino acid, is proving to be among the most beneficial. Whether you’re an athlete aiming for that extra edge, a gym junkie looking for improved pumps & vascularity, or simply wanting to boost overall well-being, Citrulline might just be the supplement to consider. 

  • Rimando AM, Perkins-Veazie PM. Determination of citrulline in watermelon rind. J Chromatogr A. 2005;1078(1-2):196-200.
  • Curis E, Nicolis I, Moinard C, et al. Almost all about citrulline in mammals. Amino Acids. 2005;29(3):177-205.
  • Rabier D, Kamoun P. Metabolism of citrulline in man. Amino Acids. 1995;9(4):299-316.
  • Pérez-Guisado, J., & Jakeman, P. M. (2010). Citrulline malate enhances athletic anaerobic performance and relieves muscle soreness. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 24(5), 1215-1222.
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