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Female bodybuilders manage lots more reps with citrulline malate

If female bodybuilders or fitness fanatics take 8 g citrulline malate an hour before a workout, they'll manage considerably more reps. And that should lead, at least you'd expect, to more muscle growth. Sports scientists at the University of Arkansas will publish an article about this soon in the European Journal of Nutrition.

The researchers got 15 women, all of whom had been doing weight training for several years, to do a modest full body workout on two different occasions. The workout consisted of six to-failure sets of bench presses and six to-failure sets of leg presses.

On one occasion the women took 8 g citrulline malate an hour before training; on the other occasion they took a placebo.

After taking the citrulline malate the women managed significantly more reps on the bench presses [Upper-body] and even more on the leg presses [Lower-body].

Female bodybuilders manage lots more reps with citrulline malate

Female bodybuilders manage lots more reps with citrulline malate

The researchers don't dismiss the possibility that women react better to citrulline malate than men. Women have more estradiol in their blood than men, and there may be more synergy between estradiol and citrulline malate.

"Estrogen up-regulates nitric oxide production, and based on citrulline malate's role in the nitric oxide pathway, females may have augmented responses to citrulline malate supplementation compared to males", the researchers wrote.

"Acute intake of citrulline malate may increase upper- and lower-body submaximal resistance exercise performance to exhaustion in young resistance-trained females", the researchers summarised. "These benefits appear to be greater when performing lower-body exercise."

"These outcomes have appealing implications for athletes, as acutely consuming citrulline malate before exercise may increase training volume during a single workout. As such, acute increases in volume with each workout may longitudinally elicit enhanced strength gains."

"However, future investigations are necessary to evaluate the long-term training effects of citrulline malate."

Eur J Nutr. 2015 Dec 11. [Epub ahead of print].

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