Adding the right supplements to your training regimen can be the necessary step you need to hit your goals, improve workout performance and set some new PRs. Citrulline Malate and Beta-Alanine are two of the most impressive sports supplements ever created with dozens of studies proving their effectiveness as an ergogenic aid. But if you had to choose one over the other, which one would it be?
What Is Citrulline Malate And What Does It Do?
Often found as an active key ingredient in a majority of pre-workout supplements, Citrulline Malate is a combination of both L-Citrulline and Malic Acid. L-Citrulline is a nonessential amino acid that helps promote the natural release of nitric oxide (NO). NO is a vasodilator, meaning it widens blood vessels, which opens the flood gates for more oxygen and blood flow to be transported to your muscle tissue. This is why L-citrulline or other known NO boosters such as L-arginine, beet juice and pomegranate extract, are marketed for their infamous “pump”. Isolated from apples, malate is a derivative of malic acid and contributes to the sour taste of fruits. This is why unflavored Citrulline Malate will often times have a sour taste. When these two constituents are combined, they create Citrulline Malate. Studies have shown that Malate is the active key ingredient, that contributes to added performance benefits of Citrulline Malate, as opposed to L-Citrulline alone. Studies show that L-Citrulline alone, does not directly affect aerobic ATP production. Malate which is an intermediate of the tricarboxylic acid cycle (TCA) or urea cycle affects aerobic ATP production through anaplerotic reactions, which is responsible for the body’s natural energy supply [R].
Studies suggest that supplementing with 5-8g of Citrulline Malate pre workout can greatly benefit your training, recovery and gains.
- Delayed Muscle Fatigue- Increases ATP Production [R]
- Fuels Endurance – Stimulates the release of Nitric Oxide [R].
- More Power- Increases phosphocreatine levels [R]
- Increased Strength- Facilitates Muscle Protein Synthesis, Increased NO [R]
- Better Recovery- Enhances Amino Acid Utilization, Increased NO [R]
RELATED ARTICLE The Ultimate Guide to Citrulline Malate
What Is Beta-Alanine And What Does It Do?
Beta-alanine is a naturally occurring or non-essential amino-acid, specifically classified as a beta-amino acid. It’s produced naturally in the liver and can be obtained through dietary sources such as chicken, meat, and fish. Beta-alanine facilitates the synthesis of muscle carnosine concentration in the body, which acts as a lactic acid buffer and delays the onset of muscle fatigue, loss of power, and time to failure. Studies have shown elevated muscle carnosine levels can fuel endurance, optimize recovery, build muscle strength, and enhance peak performance [R].
When you work out, your body relies on glucose for energy which results in the production of lactic acid increasing muscle acidity. Lactic acid is created from the buildup of hydrogen ions (H+), which causes your muscles pH to drop, therefore when lactic acid rises, it linearly increases the acidity in your muscle tissue. When acidity increases your muscles lose the ability to contract which results in a loss of endurance and power. Beta-alanine, specifically the patented ingredient CarnoSyn® buffers hydrogen through an increase in carnosine content, which will help your muscles contract for a longer period of time and delay the onset of fatigue. Therefore, Beta-Alanine allows you to train harder, for longer maximizing your training potential, by increasing time to exhaustion or delaying muscle fatigue.
Studies show that supplementing with 3.2-6.4g of Carnosyn® Beta Alanine over the course of 4-6 weeks can provide performance benefits such as
- Delayed Muscle Fatigue- Buffers lactic acid buildup
- Fuels Endurance – Less lactic acid means more training volume
- Increased Strength - Increased time to exhaustion means more reps, translating to more strength and muscle mass
- Better Recovery
Carnosyn Beta Alanine is backed by over 55 clinical studies, measuring performance outcomes with a multitude of different sports and performance measures, from rowing, HIIT, cycling and sprinting. You can find nearly all of their studies here.
RELATED ARTICLE The Ultimate Guide To Carnosyn Beta Alanine
What’s The Difference Between Citrulline Malate Vs Beta Alanine?
Scientifically speaking, there is an astronomical difference in how both Citrulline Malate and Beta Alanine react within the body, their mechanism of action and produced biological functions. Yet, in their actual performance outcomes both do slightly differ in what they can offer. Citrulline Malate is unique in the fact, that it supports so many different aspects of training performance. Citrulline Malate improves ATP production, increases phosphocreatine levels, enhances amino acid utilization, stimulates muscle protein synthesis and facilitates the production of nitric oxide. Honestly, that could be the most impressive resume when it comes to any sports nutrition supplement. All of those mechanisms translate into increased strength, better muscle recovery, more energy, and improved endurance. It’s hard to compete with.
However, the scientific studies backing Carnosyn® Beta Alanine as an ergogenic aid, is where this supplement really shines. Supplements are not held to the same rigorous standards as pharmaceuticals. When a pharmaceutical drug comes to market, it first needs to have a supported animal study showing safety and efficacy. If that proves well, the drug then moves onto a phase one study, which is followed by a phase two, and phase three. Not only does this take several years, but it also requires millions of dollars for study design, research, and development. Since supplements are not approved by the FDA, investing millions into a well created study, doesn’t make much sense. Therefore, having a proven ingredient like Carnosyn®, investing millions is also hard to beat. Studies prove that Beta-Alanine can indeed delay muscle fatigue, by buffering lactic acid build up, translating to higher rep counts and improved training performance.
What's The Recommended Dose Of Beta-Alanine?
Beta-Alanine is a bit different than most other supplements. Beta-alanine requires a loading phase. Studies show that athletes with a larger saturation or accumulation of muscle carnosine content who loaded at least 90 grams of beta-alanine over 28 days saw marked improvement in performance. Those with a greater intake of 179 grams over the same period significantly amplified their results. The research shows, that you need at least 5g per day for up to four weeks before you start seeing an improvement in exercise performance. Beta-alanine, however, does not need to be cycled.
What's The Recommended Dose Of Citrulline Malate?
According to the studies, a dosage of 5-8g should be taken 20-30 minutes pre-workout or prior to training.
Should I Take Citrulline Malate Or Beta Alanine?
If you’re debating whether to supplement with Citrulline Malate or Beta-Alanine to help you crush your workout goals and performance, it’s best to use both. Citrulline Malate facilitates muscle protein synthesis and promotes the release of nitric oxide, which can help maximize strength and optimize recovery. Beta-alanine is great for endurance and will help you get that last set of reps and surpass your normal workout volume, which translates to more muscle and strength. By combining them both, you’re getting the proven ingredients you need to assist your body in building more muscle, while training harder and maximizing your results.
Thinking about adding some Citrulline Malate and Beta-Alanine To Your Training Routine? We've got you covered!
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