Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Creatine & Citrulline malate, everything you have to know

Contrary to some common beliefs, these supplements are natural and safe if you follow the suggested doses (especially Citrulline malate which is very safe even by using very high doses). Though you don't 'have to' consume Creatine monohydrate and Citrulline malate in contrast to BCAA, these supplements will help you to achieve your goals much faster than without them, for the following reasons:

Creatine monohydrate

Creatine is naturally produced in the human body from the amino acids Glycine and Arginine, and it has absolutely nothing to do with steroids, like some uneducated people are used to believe. Creatine monohydrate will help you by rising your strength, it achieves that by transferring more water to your muscle cells while also increasing muscle stores of the very limited PCr (Phosphocreatine), therefore it increases the muscle’s ability to re-synthesize the ultimate cell fuel called ATP (Adenosine triphosphate) from ADP (Adenosine diphosphate) for your body to meet increased muscle-energy demands and also the energy that's being used by your brain.

In my experience, the best way to get the benefits of creatine monohydrate is to consume 3 to 5g's (no need for more) about 45 minutes before exercise. Use only the form of Creatine 'monohydrate' (choose 'micronized' for better solubility), it is the cheapest and the most effective form of creatine supplementation you can get from the market.

Citrulline malate

Citrulline malate, like creatine, plays a crucial role in increasing readily the ATP from ADP (study). Another one of its important abilities is to increase, very effectively, natural plasma levels of Arginine in your blood, at a much higher extent than simple Arginine supplementation which has very low bioavailability when consumed. So it doesn't only help with increased muscle-energy demands but also increases the strength and the final muscle-pump for longer periods. In combination with creatine monohydrate, it does miracles in increasing strength output. It also helps to eliminate Lactic Acid and Ammonia through the Urea Cycle. You will be able to do more sets and repetitions without getting tired fast, and the muscle soreness for the first days of resting from exercise will be greatly reduced (study 1, study 2). It even enhances the effectiveness of BCAA (study).

Citrulline malate is a real NO (Nitric Oxide) increasing supplement, so you can forget Arginine supplementation forever because it's a waste of money compared to Citrulline.

In my experience, the best way to get the benefits of Citrulline malate is to consume 5 to 7g's about 30 minutes before physical exercise.

These two supplements will help you to achieve much greater performance in your workouts, meaning that you will force your muscles into deeper muscle fiber reconstruction in your rest periods after exercise, for then your muscle fibers will be more damaged because of the prolonged duration of exercise (but that's good for you), and BCAA will take care in helping reconstruct/repair and enhance those damaged fibers in your rest periods (if you have sufficient amounts of a complete protein or Essential Amino Acids in your stomach).

Beware of non-bonded Citrulline Malate products

Most products named as "Citrulline Malate" or "Citrulline DL-Malate" are a simple blend composed of L-Citrulline mixed (not chemically bonded) with malic acid. These products are a waste of money since they give you just a part of L-Citrulline and a part of malic acid, usually 2:1 or 1:1. What you need is a product that consists of a real (bonded) Citrulline Malate molecule. That bond increases the bioavailability and effectiveness of L-Citrulline. The problem is, it's really hard to find a legit one. Some of the real bonded ones say 2:1 in the ingredients, others say just a "100% Citrulline malate", while others mention clearly that the product consists of a bonded molecule. At least, try to avoid the ones that have the two substances separately written in the ingredients. Personally, I have noticed that a real bonded one dissolves in the mouth very quickly and has a pleasantly sour taste that reminds the taste of vitamin C, with a very slightly citrus-like aftertaste, while a simple blended one has a very non-pleasant sour taste, a slightly fishy aftertaste, and does not dissolve as easily in the mouth.

Product recommendations to buy online (Amazon)

From the only currently available products on Amazon, I recommend the following for you to buy without losing any more time by searching the better choice. As of 03/2023, there's only the following creatine monohydrate available, and the only available L-citrulline malate:

  1. View/Buy Primaforce CreaForm, Creatine Monohydrate (400gr, Unflavored)
  2. View/Buy Primaforce CreaForm, Creatine Monohydrate (same but other package) (400gr, Unflavored)
  3. View/Buy Primaforce Citrulline Malate (200gr, Unflavored)

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