Last updated: August 10, 2021

Welcome to our big L-citrulline test 2021. Here we present all the L-citrulline products that we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the internet.

We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best L-citrulline supplement for you.

You can also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to if you want to buy L-citrulline.




The most important facts

  • L-citrulline is a non-essential amino acid that plays a decisive role in physical performance.
  • The amino acid has a health-promoting effect (promotes blood circulation, strengthens the immune system, etc.) and an athletic performance-enhancing effect (strength endurance, more efficient muscle activity).
  • L-citrulline can be taken in the form of powder, capsules or tablets. Especially in the sports sector, numerous products are available with supplementary ingredients that support athletes/bodybuilders in achieving their goals.

The Best L-Citrulline: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying L-citrulline

What is L-citrulline?

L-citrulline is a non-essential amino acid that plays an important role in the metabolism of the human body.

L-citrulline takes its name from the watermelon, also known as Citrullus vulgaris. The amino acid is found in high concentrations in this fruit. (Image source: 123rf.com / marctran)

L-citrulline is one of the 12 non-essential amino acids and can be produced by the body itself. It gets its name from the watermelon (Citrullus vulgaris), in which the substance is concentrated.

What effect does L-citrulline have in the human body?

As a product of the urea cycle, L-citrulline ensures that our body functions optimally. The amino acid has a particularly positive effect on blood circulation and physical performance.

L-citrulline helps break down ammonia in the body.

L-citrulline is produced indirectly during two processes in the body. On the one hand, it is an intermediate product in the conversion of L-arginine to nitrogen. This process makes the vessels dilate and ensures that our mitochondria function optimally and the blood flow is improved.

On the other hand, L-citrulline is involved in the breakdown of toxic ammonia in the body. Ammonia causes the muscles to become over-acidic and must be excreted through the kidneys. This process takes place in the course of the urea cycle, where L-citrulline is formed.

The five most important effects at a glance

  • Performance-enhancing
  • Vascular dilatation and blood circulation enhancement
  • Increase in protein synthesis
  • More efficient muscle work
  • Strengthens the immune system

One of the most impressive studies on citrulline malate for bodybuilders was published in 2010 by Perez-Guisado and Jakeman in the Journal for Strength and Conditioning. In this study, the strength of 41 men in the bench press was examined with and without the administration of citrulline malate.

The men performed the bench press at 80% of their one repetition maximum (1 RM) and maintained set rests of 60 seconds. In this study, 8 grams of citrulline malate was administered to the participating subjects 1 hour before the workout.

The study showed that the group receiving the citrulline malate had a significant increase in performance.

Furthermore, it was found that after the administration of citrulline malate, there was a 40% reduction in muscle soreness 24 and 48 hours after the completed training session. (1)

How does L-citrulline work during sport?

L-citrulline causes more endurance and intensity during training and has been shown to delay signs of fatigue.

This is also the reason why L-citrulline is popular as a dietary supplement, especially in the fitness scene.

A "MUST" for athletes: Studies prove that taking 8 g of citrulline malate increases performance during training by 19 to 53 %.

In most cases, L-citrulline is taken either pure as 100 per cent L-citrulline or as L-citrulline esterified with malic acid, the so-called L-citrulline malate.

The latter is said to have an increased effect. The dietary supplement thus enables more intensive training sessions and ensures effective regeneration after sports. (1)

The amino acid also advocates a positive effect on growth hormone levels and is a precursor for keratin synthesis. Athletes derive great benefits from these effects during training.

For whom is L-citrulline suitable?

L-citrulline is recommended for all strength and endurance athletes - whether beginners or professionals. The health-promoting effect benefits everyone.

L-citrulline is particularly suitable for bodybuilders and endurance athletes. These groups of people get the most out of their training with the supplement.

With L-citrulline you increase your performance during training. Your muscle activity and blood circulation improve. (Image source: 123rf.com / halfpoint)

Because of its generally beneficial effects, L-citrulline brings advantages for everyone. Blood circulation is stimulated, the risk of stroke and heart attack is reduced and the immune system is strengthened. (2)

In addition, taking L-citrulline can help with weight loss.
In the study by Sureda et al. from 2010, an impressive effect on the level of growth hormones could be made in cyclists through the administration of 6 grams of citrulline malate.

The Human Growth Hormone (HGH) has a strong anabolic effect on the muscles due to a higher utilisation of amino acids and at the same time it has a lipolytic effect on fat cells.

Because of this unique effect on the body and its composition, HGH is also often used as a doping agent in various sports - including bodybuilding. (3)

What does L-citrulline cost?

There is a very wide price range between the different L-citrulline supplements. The cost varies depending on the contents of the package, the recommended dosage, the spectrum of effects and the quality.

Prices start at an average of EUR 4 per 100 g and go up to EUR 95 per 100 g. The most expensive product is L-citrulline. The most expensive product is a mixture with L-arginine. As a rule, pure L-citrulline can only be found online in reduced quantities.

Type Average price per kg
L-citrulline 100 % approx. EUR 30 - 80
L-citrulline malate approx. EUR 20 - 90

Since L-citrulline and the numerous combination products are aimed particularly at the target group of athletes and bodybuilders, there is a wide range of offers.

These are equipped with the most diverse food supplements and accordingly vary greatly in value.

Questions you should ask yourself before buying:
What do I want to achieve with the supplement?
Which additives are important to me?

Is there an alternative to L-citrulline?

As already mentioned, L-citrulline is one of the 12 non-essential amino acids. Therefore, it is unique in its chemical structure and effect in the body.

Glutamine, like L-citrulline, is also one of the amino acids. It supports muscle building and fat burning. At the same time, it also has an anti-catabolic effect.

Our research has uncovered another amino acid that has similar effects on humans.

This semi-essential amino acid is called L-arginine. Semi-essential means that the acid can be supplied with food but is also produced in the body itself.

L-citrulline plays an important role in the production of L-arginine. L-citrulline is a precursor of L-arginine and is slowly converted into L-arginine in the body.

L-citrulline in turn plays an important role in the production of L-arginine. L-citrulline is a precursor of L-arginine and is slowly converted into L-arginine in the body.

The circle closes when L-arginine is synthesised into nitrogen and L-citrulline is produced as an intermediate product.

L-citrulline is converted into L-arginine very slowly in the human body. Therefore, it also works longer than a direct L-arginine intake.

This complex process raises the following question: Is L-citrulline or L-arginine better? The result is that in the long term, the beneficial effect for training can be increased more by L-citrulline.

Studies also show that a combination (in a ratio of 1:1 to 2:1) of the two amino acids promises the best effect.

Would you like to know more about L-citrulline? Then we have selected a suitable video for you, which gives you a good overview of the effect, intake and dosage.

Decision: What types of L-citrulline are there and which is right for you?

If you want to include L-citrulline in your diet, you can distinguish between five different types of L-citrulline:

  • L-Citrulline Powder
  • L-Citrulline Capsules
  • L-Citrulline Tablets
  • L-Citrulline Malate
  • L-Citrulline without Malate

Depending on which type you choose to take, you will experience different benefits and drawbacks. In order to make the best decision for you, we would like to make your choice easier in the following paragraphs.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of L-citrulline powder?

The big advantage of L-citrulline powder is its purity. It can easily be mixed with other supplements and used as needed.

Advantages
  • High purity
  • high concentration
  • dosage as needed
Disadvantages
  • Time-consuming preparation
  • own taste
  • time-consuming to take along

In the sports scene, you will find most powders enriched with additives.

What distinguishes L-citrulline capsules and what are the advantages and disadvantages?

L-citrulline capsules contain powdered L-citrulline in capsules. Depending on the manufacturer, the shell is either made of gelatine, vegan or vegetarian material.

Advantages
  • High purity
  • Neutral taste
  • Practical to take along
Disadvantages
  • No own dosage
  • Take with water
  • Delayed effect

The capsules are usually taken orally, by mouth. Once the capsule reaches the stomach, the shell slowly dissolves. This leads to a delayed effect of L-citrulline.

What distinguishes L-citrulline tablets and what are the advantages and disadvantages?

L-citrulline tablets are taken orally in the same way as capsules. The tablet dissolves in the mouth.

Advantages
  • Can be dissolved in liquid
  • Practical to take along
Disadvantages
  • No own dosage
  • Own taste

The amino acid is then rapidly absorbed via the oral mucosa into the systemic circulation.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of L-citrulline malate?

In the sports scene, L-citrulline malate is often taken. This is L-citrulline that is esterified with malic acid.

Advantages
  • Performance-enhancing
  • Suitable for athletes
  • Improved absorption capacity
Disadvantages
  • Reduced concentration
  • Unsuitable for purely health needs

Malate thus stands for the esters and salts of malic acid. This combination is used so that our body can better absorb L-citrulline.

What distinguishes L-citrulline without malate and what are the advantages and disadvantages?

L-citrulline without malate has the highest purity. It can be dosed and taken individually. 100 per cent L-citrulline is therefore particularly suitable for generally health-conscious people.

Advantages
  • Transparent
  • Predictable effect
  • Suitable for health-conscious people
Disadvantages
  • Less suitable for athletes

For athletes, a combination product with other additives that are beneficial for competitive sports is more recommended.

Buying criteria: You can use these factors to compare and evaluate L-citrulline

In the following we will show you which aspects you can use to decide between the many possible L-citrulline products.

L-citrulline is available in different forms. Depending on the goal you are pursuing, you should pay attention to important purchase criteria. (Image source: pixabay.com / stevepb)

Here you can see which factors you can use to compare and evaluate different L-citrulline products:

  • Purity
  • Dosage
  • Form of intake
  • Variety of content

In the following paragraphs we explain what the individual criteria are.

Purity

Basically, you should decide for yourself why you want to take L-citrulline. If you are pursuing a general health interest, then purity plays a major role.

The higher the purity of L-citrulline, the greater the effect on your body. 100 percent L-citrulline can therefore be individually dosed and adapted to your needs. It only contains the ingredient you really want.

100 percent L-citrulline powder therefore has a very high purity compared to L-citrulline malate. With capsules and tablets, the manufacturing process plays an important role.

A high-quality and transparent production process indicates high-quality products. Therefore, you should also look for trustworthy manufacturers when buying.

Dosage

The dose you take determines the effect. Again, you should ask yourself: Why am I taking L-citrulline?

If you are interested in sports, for example, you will prefer additives in the product. Then, for example, in addition to L-citrulline, malate, zinc, L-arginine, magnesium, etc. are also contained.

This results in a lower amount of L-citrulline per 100g.

The dosage of L-citrulline is crucial if you want to take a certain amount daily. Athletes, for example, take 3 g in the morning on an empty stomach and 8 g in the evening before training.

As a rule, a daily dosage of 3 g L-citrulline is recommended. This amount has been proven to promote blood circulation.

It should also be noted that tablets and capsules are uniformly dosed compared to powder. This can be mixed in liquid as needed.

Form of intake

The form of intake depends on where, when and how you want to take L-citrulline.

Are you on the road a lot? Then either tablets or capsules will be your companions. Capsules are easy to keep in your bag. When needed, swallow them with a little water.

Do you forget your water at home from time to time? Then pack some L-citrulline tablets and let them melt in your mouth. Are you at home a lot and like to mix your own shake? Then the powder version is a good choice for you.

The advantage is that you can dose the powder individually. One possibility is to mix it with other components, such as a banana smoothie.

Variety of content

Again, ask yourself the question: Which additives are important to you and beneficial for your desired effect?

If you are pursuing an athletic goal, look for other performance-enhancing ingredients. These could be magnesium or proteins, for example. There is a wide range of products, especially in the sports sector.

Depending on whether you are looking for a product with a regenerating effect on the muscles or a performance-enhancing effect, you will find it.

If you want to prevent diseases of civilisation, you should go for products with high purity. Highly concentrated L-citrulline strengthens the immune system and promotes blood circulation.

To do something good for your health, you can find L-citrulline products enriched with vitamins and minerals.

Facts worth knowing about L-citrulline

Finally, we would like to answer a few important questions about L-citrulline and its intake. You will learn how L-citrulline is taken and what side effects can occur.

At what time of day should I take L-citrulline?

As a rule, the intake of L-citrulline should be coordinated with the daily meals.

If you are interested in sports, it is recommended to take L-citrulline malate about half an hour before the start of training.

Citrulline malate increases the production of ATP by 30 % during a training session, reduces fatigue and also stimulates the regeneration of the energy store phosphocreatine by 20 % after training. (4)

To strengthen performance readiness, L-citrulline can be consumed on an empty stomach.

Which L-citrulline intake recommendations are there?

Here you will find two tasty, refreshing and not too intense inspirations on how to mix your booster.

For a strong immune system

When? How? What?
On an empty stomach 200 ml liquid (water or juice) + 1/2 teaspoon L-citrulline malate (approx. 3 to 6g) Powder, capsules, tablets

For athletes/bodybuilders

When? How? What?
30 min. before training 200 ml liquid (water or juice) + 3/4 teaspoon L-citrulline malate (approx. 8g) Powder, capsules, tablets

If you have a physical performance goal, you can increase the dose. In addition, an L-citrulline preparation enriched with additives is recommended.

What are the possible side effects?

As with any dietary supplement, side effects may occur in combination with other supplements.

There may be incompatibilities or undesirable interactions. These are, for example, uncontrolled muscle contractions, heavy sweating or the ineffectiveness of L-citrulline.

(Image source: 123rf.com / povareshka3)

References (4)

1. Pérez-Guisado J, Jakeman PM. Citrulline malate enhances athletic anaerobic performance and relieves muscle soreness. J Strength Cond Res. 2010 May;24(5):1215-22.
Source

2. Sureda A, Córdova A, Ferrer MD, Pérez G, Tur JA, Pons A. L-citrulline-malate influence over branched chain amino acid utilization during exercise. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2010 Sep;110(2):341-51.
Source

3. Bendahan D, Mattei JP, Ghattas B, Confort-Gouny S, Le Guern ME, Cozzone PJ. Citrulline/malate promotes aerobic energy production in human exercising muscle. Br J Sports Med. 2002 Aug;36(4):282-9.
Source

4. Figueroa A, Wong A, Hooshmand S, Sanchez-Gonzalez MA. Effects of watermelon supplementation on arterial stiffness and wave reflection amplitude in postmenopausal women. enopause. 2013 May;20(5):573-7.
Source

Why you can trust me?

Wissenschaftlicher Studie
Pérez-Guisado J, Jakeman PM. Citrulline malate enhances athletic anaerobic performance and relieves muscle soreness. J Strength Cond Res. 2010 May;24(5):1215-22.
Go to source
Wissenschaftliche Studie
Sureda A, Córdova A, Ferrer MD, Pérez G, Tur JA, Pons A. L-citrulline-malate influence over branched chain amino acid utilization during exercise. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2010 Sep;110(2):341-51.
Go to source
Wissenschaftliche Studie
Bendahan D, Mattei JP, Ghattas B, Confort-Gouny S, Le Guern ME, Cozzone PJ. Citrulline/malate promotes aerobic energy production in human exercising muscle. Br J Sports Med. 2002 Aug;36(4):282-9.
Go to source
Wissenschaftliche Studie
Figueroa A, Wong A, Hooshmand S, Sanchez-Gonzalez MA. Effects of watermelon supplementation on arterial stiffness and wave reflection amplitude in postmenopausal women. enopause. 2013 May;20(5):573-7.
Go to source
Reviews