As supplement enthusiasts, we are constantly on the lookout for new ways to enhance our workouts and take our fitness routines to the next level. Two popular supplements that have been making waves in recent years are L-Arginine and L-Citrulline. These two amino acids boast a range of benefits from boosting blood flow to increasing muscle protein synthesis. But which is better? Here, we’ll be taking a closer look at these two supplements, comparing their benefits and drawbacks so you can make an informed decision.
What Are L-Arginine And L-Citrulline?
Before diving into the comparison between these two amino acids, it’s important to understand what they actually are.
What Is L-Arginine?
L-Arginine is a type of semi-essential amino acid that plays a crucial role in various biological processes such as protein synthesis, wound healing, immune function, and cardiovascular health. It’s commonly found in foods such as meat, fish, dairy products, and nuts but can also be taken as a supplement.
What Is L-Citrulline?
L-Citrulline is another nonessential amino acid that has gained widespread popularity due to its potential benefits for exercise performance. Unlike arginine which is converted into nitric oxide directly within the body itself, citrulline raises levels of arginine through indirect means.
How Do They Work In The Body
While both arginine and citrulline may share some similarities regarding their properties; they do vary slightly concerning how they work inside the body’s system:
How Does Arginine Work?
The process whereby arginine works inside the human body revolves majorly around stimulating nitric oxide synthase or NOS enzyme activity. As such enzymes produce nitric oxide within cells making endothelium to release more NO which causes the blood vessels’ smooth muscles to relax, leading to vasodilation and increased blood flow. This action is one reason why many athletes consume arginine supplements- it increases blood circulation, making them feel a ‘pump’.
How Does Citrulline Work?
Citrulline gets converted into arginine by your kidneys upon consumption before being achieved via dietary intake. Consequently, after consumed, citrulline enters into the circulatory system where it’s turned into l-arginine within both small intestines and kidneys. Studies indicate that compared with the direct conversion of arginine ingestion; this indirect method has shown higher concentrations of plasma arginine hence better athletic performance as well as aiding in improving heart health.
L-Arginine vs L-Citrulline: Which Is Better?
So now comes the question on everybody’s mind – which is better? Here are some key differences between these two amino acids:
When it comes to absorption rate, L-Citrulline reigns supreme. Unlike Arginine, Citrulline does not undergo first-pass metabolism which means that more supplements ingested would become active bloodstream levels when taken orally while lower dosages have been established for Arginie.
Nitric Oxide Levels
While both L-Arginine and L-Citrulline are used for producing nitric oxide inside your body but since Citrulilne provides extra benefits like increasing immune function concerning ammonia recycling & reducing endothelial dysfunction has found out through an experiment that consuming 3gms of Citrulilne improved vascular relaxation about 25% after exercise whereas taking Arginie alone had no significant effects on cardiovascular system diseases-related factors .
Athletic Performance Benefits
L-Citrullline can significantly improve athletic performance by boosting endurance capacity compared with placebo treatment; however no such change was observed during subgroup analysis of studies focusing on Arginine . Furthermore, supplementation with L-Citrullline could enhance muscle protein synthesis, leading to increased muscle growth and development over time.
Potential Side Effects
While both supplements are generally considered safe when taken at the recommended dosage levels, there are potential side effects that should be noted. Both L-Arginine and L-Citrulline can cause some gastrointestinal discomfort such as bloating & diarrhea which has been reported by many users in independent reviews present online for these two acid-based supplements.
Which Is Right For You? Individual Factors To Consider
When it comes down to deciding whether to take L-Arginine or L-Citrulline; several personal factors need considering as what may work for one person might prove ineffective or even produce negative effects on someone else. Some examples include:
If you’re a beginner just starting out, it’s best to stick with smaller dosages of Citrulilne while gradually increasing intake amounts over time versus higher doses immediately of Arginie since its absorption is more inferior than citroulline.
L-Citrullline is suitable if looking for lower ammonia levels although undertaking strenuous physical endeavors since arginine alone is not sufficient particularly regarding blood flow benefits needed towards athletic performance enhancement goals.
In conclusion, neither amino acid supplement reigns supreme over the other—instead choosing between them depends on one’s health goals and lifestyle. Evidently their effect varies depending on individual cases since the amount of each amino acid required often differs based on personal factors like athletic ability etc. , But nevertheless taking either one could provide various benefits such as improved circulation during workouts or promoting healthy heart function among others so make sure always consult a healthcare practitioner firstly before consuming any bodybuilding supplement product.