A critical review of citrulline malate supplementation and exercise performance

Gough, Lewis A. and Sparks, S Andy and McNaughton, Lars R. and Higgins, Matthew F. and Newbury, Josh W. and Trexler, Eric. and Faghy, Mark A. and Bridge, Craig A. (2021) A critical review of citrulline malate supplementation and exercise performance. European Journal of Applied Physiology. ISSN 1439-6327

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As a nitric oxide (NO) enhancer, citrulline malate (CM) has recently been touted as a potential ergogenic aid to both resistance and high-intensity exercise performance, as well as the recovery of muscular performance. The mechanism has been associated with enhanced blood flow to active musculature, however, it might be more far-reaching as either ammonia homeostasis could be improved, or ATP production could be increased via greater availability of malate. Moreover, CM might improve muscle recovery via increased nutrient delivery and/or removal of waste products. To date, a single acute 8 g dose of CM on either resistance exercise performance or cycling has been the most common approach, which has produced equivocal results. This makes the effectiveness of CM to improve exercise performance difficult to determine. Reasons for the disparity in conclusions seem to be due to methodological discrepancies such as the testing protocols and the associated test-retest reliability, dosing strategy (i.e., amount and timing), and the recent discovery of quality control issues with some manufacturers stated (i.e., citrulline:malate ratios). Further exploration of the optimal dose is therefore required including quantification of the bioavailability of NO, citrulline, and malate following ingestion of a range of CM doses. Similarly, further well-controlled studies using highly repeatable exercise protocols with a large aerobic component are required to assess the mechanisms associated with this supplement appropriately. Until such studies are completed, the efficacy of CM supplementation to improve exercise performance remains ambiguous. [Abstract copyright: © 2021. The Author(s).]

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: ** From PubMed via Jisc Publications Router ** History: received 01-04-2021; accepted 20-07-2021.
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00421-021-04774-6
20 July 2021Accepted
21 August 2021Published
Uncontrolled Keywords: Resistance training, Metabolism, Supplements, High-intensity exercise, Nitric oxide
Subjects: CAH03 - biological and sport sciences > CAH03-02 - sport and exercise sciences > CAH03-02-01 - sport and exercise sciences
Divisions: Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences > Centre for Life and Sport Sciences (C-LASS)
SWORD Depositor: JISC PubRouter
Depositing User: JISC PubRouter
Date Deposited: 06 Sep 2021 12:32
Last Modified: 08 Mar 2022 16:17
URI: https://www.open-access.bcu.ac.uk/id/eprint/12141

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