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Citrulline malate (2:1) is the amino acid l-citrulline bonded with malic acid. There have been various studies conducted on citrulline alone and citrulline malate. Citrulline alone has shown to greatly increase nitric oxide levels. This is believed to be done through the urea cycle and its conversion within its pathway.
Citrulline is converted into arginine in the body, which raises arginine levels in the blood and thus, nitric oxide levels. When bonded with malic acid however, studies have shown that citrulline malate can increase athletic performance as well as enhance nitric oxide levels (McKinley-Barnard, Andre, Morita & Willoughby, 2015).
Citrulline malate has been shown to increase anaerobic performance through using a bench press at sub-maximal loads. Perez-Guisado & Jakeman (2010) showed that those supplementing with citrulline malate (2:1) were able to lift 53% more repetition’s than those who did not supplement with citrulline malate. Another study showed that citrulline malate can also improve athletic performance in bouts of lower body exercises. Those supplementing with citrulline malate were able to out perform those not supplementing with the ingredient in squats. The effective dosing of citrulline malate that demonstrated these results range from 6-8 grams of citrulline malate in the 2:1 ratio (Wax, Kavazis, Weldon & Sperlak, 2015).
More research is needed to fully understand how malic acid bonded to citrulline enhances athletic performance more than citrulline alone. It is theorized to have more of an athletic benefit over citrulline alone because of malic acids role in the Krebs cycle.