Citrulline Malate: Finding The Pump

Max Effort Muscle


Citrulline malate is one of the primary ingredients in the Max Effort Muscle Pre-Workout for its ability to improve both aerobic and anaerobic performance. Aerobic performance referring to cardiovascular exercise and anaerobic exercise refers to activities such as short sprints or weight lifting. In addition, there is an abundance of research suggesting that taking citrulline malate pre workout decreases muscular soreness post workout.

            Citrulline and malate are two separate pieces that are combined in Max Effort Muscle’s Pre-Workout. The amino acid citrulline aids lactate consumption and conversion to glucose for energy via a process known as gluconeogenesis. Gluconeogenesis is the process of forming glucose from non-glucose molecules such as lactate, to later be converted to adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the primary energy molecule in the body. The malate speeds up the process of removing ammonia from the blood, which if you remember from the Glutamine Article, excess ammonia is a problem because it causes the blood to become more acidic leading to an earlier onset of fatigue. When citrulline and malate are combined the effects are synergistic. Resulting in an astounding resilience to anoxia (oxygen deprivation) and faster muscular recovery. The capacity of cells to synthesize ATP after prolonged anoxia has been shown to double when supplemented with citrulline malate.

            Citrulline is synthesized as a byproduct of the conversion of arginine to nitric oxide. Nitric oxide acts as vasodilator, increasing the diameter of blood vessels enabling greater blood flow to the working muscle. The introduction of exogenous citrulline malate has been shown to increase the concentration of argenine therefore increasing nitric oxide. Thus improving exercise capacity by providing the muscles with more oxygen. The oxygen can then be utilized in aerobic/oxidative metabolism to provide the body with more energy via the production of ATP. During weight training you likely have noticed your muscles swelling and veins becoming more pronounced, this is commonly referred to as a “pump”. The pump is the result of vasodilation and increased blood flow to the muscle. Increasing the amount of blood flow to the muscle improves muscular endurance. So you can thank the citrulline malate in your pre-workout for the increased energy, decreased soreness and most importantly the sick pump you get on arm day.

 If you liked this article, check out:

Beta-Alanine: The Tingly Truth


Bendahan, D., Mattei, J. P., Confort-Gouny, S., Le Guern, M. E. & Cozzone, P. J. (2002).

            Citrulline/malate promotes aerobic energy production in human exercising muscle. 

            British Journal of Sports Medicine, 36(4), 282-289.

Briand, J., Blehaut, H., Clavaryrac, R. & Laval-Martin, D. (1992). Use of a microbial model for

            the determination of drug effects on cell metabolism and energetics: study of

            citrulline-malate. Biopharmaceutics and Drug Disposition, 13(1), 1-22.

Guisado-Perez, J. & Jakeman, P. M. (2010). Citrulline malate enhances athletic anaerobic

            performance and relieves muscle soreness. The Journal of Strength and Conditioning

            Research, 24(5), 1215-1222.