Do you like watermelon? Nearly 85% of all adults like watermelon. If you’re not a fan, we suggest you try to choke some down on the regular. Watermelon is an unbelievably effective way to increase levels of L-Citrulline in your body. The good news is, if you don’t like watermelon or you can’t eat it for some reason, you can probably eat chocolate. Chocolate is another food that inherently has the ability to raise levels of L-Citrulline in our bodies. The problem with chocolate is that it is also pretty high in fat. There are less tasty ways to get your L-Citrulline fill to experience L-Citrulline benefits. Spinach, arugula, and walnuts can all help us out as well. Let’s take a look to find out what L-Citrulline is and what it can do for you.
What is L-Citrulline?
A natural amino acid, L-Citrulline has been proven to increase energy in mammals and improve athletic performance. Our bodies use the L-Citrulline to create L-arginine and nitric oxide, improving blood flow and reducing blood pressure. The improved blood flow directly relates to the increased energy levels mammals notice as opposed to when the L-arginine levels are low .
There is also the old rumor floating around that fruit makes you poop. That’s somewhat true. High levels of L-Citrulline will boost your bowel movement frequency and help regulate your digestive system because of it so if laxatives aren’t your thing, try eating a bunch of watermelon!
The Benefits of L-Citrulline
Oh man, the benefits of L-Citrulline are endless. Let’s take a look at the top 3 that both men and women will notice, in no particular order…
- Improved physical performance. L-citrulline supplementation has been proven to improve performance times for cyclists as recently as 2016! That is one of many different studies completed within the last two decades, all of which have noticeable performance increases documented .
- Detoxification of ammonia in the body. Studies have shown that the antioxidizing properties of L-citrulline by recognizing the significant decrease of ammonia in the urea cycle, meaning our bodies are more effectively utilizing the other vitamins, minerals, and supplements we’re ingesting .
- Improved regenerative and healing properties for people struggling with slow wound healing. Individuals with diabetes have been known to take much longer to recover from the most basic of ailments such as cuts, scrapes, or bruises. Hospitals have made it a point to elevate L-citrulline levels in diabetic patients that have undergone some sort of surgery.
The Side Effects
One of the most common side effects of increased L-Citrulline ingestion is realized by men only. Mostly because males are the only ones that can notice it: wildly improved erection hardness and sexual longevity. The increased blood flow obviously has a lot to do with that. Maybe its something the male readers want to keep in mind…
As for the main side effect realized by BOTH genders, the increased L-citrulline levels frequently results in diarrhea. This unfortunate symptom does subside over the course of a few days, once your body gets used to the elevated L-citrulline levels but it definitely needs to be noted so that you are aware there is nothing abnormal happening when you’re experiencing something a bit unpleasant when you go sit on the throne.
- Joaquin U. Gonzales, Andrea Raymond, John Ashley, and Youngdeok Kim
Does L-citrulline supplementation improve exercise blood flow in older adults?
Exp Physiol. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2018 Jun 13. Published in final edited form as: Exp Physiol. 2017 Dec 1; 102(12): 1661–1671. Published online 2017 Oct 13. doi: 10.1113/EP086587
- Takashi Suzuki, Masahiko Morita, Yoshinori Kobayashi, and Ayako Kamimuracorresponding author
Oral L-citrulline supplementation enhances cycling time trial performance in healthy trained men: Double-blind randomized placebo-controlled 2-way crossover study
J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2016; 13: 6. Published online 2016 Feb 19. doi: 10.1186/s12970-016-0117-z
- Takeda K1, Machida M, Kohara A, Omi N, Takemasa T.
Effects of citrulline supplementation on fatigue and exercise performance in mice.
J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo). 2011;57(3):246-50.