Crossfit is a high-intensity sport that requires strength, endurance, agility, and functional movement. The goal is to build a body that is capable of practically anything. But you’ve been working out in the box for a while now and feel that it’s time to take your times, strength, and conditioning to the next level. With so many different supplements it can be difficult to find which one is best for your specific goals. That being said, let’s introduce you to the best supplement for Crossfit that will help your strength and conditioning while maximizing your recovery - Citrulline Malate
What Is Citrulline Malate?
Citrulline Malate (CM) is a unique combination of the nonessential amino acid L-Citrulline and Malate, which comes from malic acid. L-Citrulline is derived from watermelons while Malate is made from apples. Citrulline Malate has been used now for over 20 years in Europe as a pharmacological treatment for fatigue and muscle weakness. Only recently has Citrulline Malate been offered for commercial use in sports performance and supplementation.
How Does Citrulline Malate Work?
L-Citrulline can be naturally obtained in one of two ways. The first way is from your diet. The second way is that your body can actually manufacture citrulline malate from l-ornithine, another amino acid through a biochemical process called the urea cycle. The urea cycle helps your body get rid of ammonia, (a biological waste product of protein digestion.) When your digestive system metabolizes citrulline malate, enzymes in your liver convert it into arginine, where it is then converted into Nitric Oxide (NO). What’s interesting is that citrulline malate actually delivers L-arginine to produce nitric oxide, better than arginine supplements alone. So why is nitric oxide important for high-intensity training programs like CrossFit? Keep reading.
Citrulline Malate also has some other impressive mechanism of action, that helps improve CrossFit Performance.
Citrulline Malate Enables Nitric Oxide Production
One of the biggest benefits of Citrulline Malate is its ability to influence Nitric Oxide (NO) production through a rise in plasma L-Arginine levels. Nitric Oxide is a vasodilator, therefore widening blood vessels, increasing blood flow and circulation without increasing blood pressure. That means better muscle repair, faster recovery, and increased strength. By improving each aspect of your training through an increase in Nitric Oxide production, you'll be able to clock faster times, delay muscle fatigue, increase training volume, row harder, and lift heavier.
Citrulline Malate Facilitates Protein Synthesis
With higher levels of L-Arginine, Citrulline Malate also facilitates the biological process of protein synthesis, where cells generate new proteins. During this process, amino acids are absorbed into muscle cells, leading to an increase in blood insulin levels to maintain and increase muscle mass and strength. High-intensity training or CrossFit causes muscle anabolism and catabolism, (buildup and breakdown) of muscle tissue. Therefore, facilitating the process of protein synthesis will help produce and maintain muscle mass and strength.
Citrulline Malate Influences Amino-Acid Utilization
Citrulline Malate also enhances how your body utilizes amino acids, especially the branched chain amino acids, which are responsible for building and rebuilding lean muscle mass.
In a study published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology, 17 pre-professional male cyclists were administered 6g of Citrulline Malate two hours prior to exercise and participated in a 137-km cycling stage. Results from blood tests indicated that most essential amino acids significantly decreased their plasma concentration as a result of exercise; however, most non-essential amino acids tended to significantly increase their concentration. Citrulline Malate also significantly increased the plasma concentration of citrulline, arginine, ornithine, urea, creatinine, and nitrite, with a significant increase in growth hormone. This study proves that Citrulline Malate actually enhances the body’s use of amino acids, especially branched-chain amino acids during high-intensity training. [R]
RELATED ARTICLE 3 Clinically Proven Benefits Of Citrulline Malate
Why Is Citrulline Malate The Best Supplement For CrossFit?
Citrulline Malate Helps Delay Muscle Fatigue
During your WOD, the most important factor is maximizing your rep count, rounds, and increasing weight. When doing that your body naturally becomes fatigued, and quick. One of the greatest benefits of Citrulline Malate is in its proven ability to help delay muscle fatigue, by promoting an increase in aerobic energy production or ATP. Muscle fatigue results in a loss of power and strength and is a crucial factor in CrossFit performance. If you can delay muscle fatigue, then you can increase your performance, by pushing out more reps, rowing harder and longer, pushing the air assault, and lifting without burning out as fast.
A study published in the British Journal Of Sports Medicine found that 6g of Citrulline Malate taken daily, reduced muscle fatigue, by producing a 34% increase in the rate of oxidative ATP production during exercise. The study also found a 20% increase in the rate of phosphocreatine recovery after exercise, indicating a larger contribution of oxidative ATP synthesis to energy production. [R] Thus, Citrulline Malate is the best supplement for CrossFit, because it helps you fight muscle fatigue, due to the increase in ATP production and phosphocreatine release after exercise. When you’re competing at an elite level in Crossfit, generating more energy can provide a sustainable impact on your athletic performance. Not to mention an athletic edge over your competition.
Citrulline Malate Relieves Muscle Soreness And Improves Recovery
Muscle soreness can have a direct impact on your overall athletic performance. If you can reduce acute muscle soreness and post-workout muscle breakdown, you can increase your training volume. Increased training volume, means more workouts or WODS, which translates into better results.
In a study, published in the Journal Of Strength and Conditioning Research, at the University of Córdoba, Spain 41 male participants performed two consecutive flat barbell bench-training sessions for a total of sixteen sets. 8g of Citrulline Malate were administered during one of the first two sets and placebo was administered for the third. The subjects' resistance was tested using the repetitions to fatigue test at 80% of their predetermined one rep max in the 8 sets of bench presses during the training session. The number of reps showed a significant increase from placebo treatment to treatment with Citrulline Malate from the third set achieving 52.92% more repetitions. The study also showed a 40% reduction in muscle soreness at 24 hours and 48 hours with a response rate greater than 90% with Citrulline Malate supplementation. [R] Again, this study proves that one of the greatest benefits of Citrulline Malate is reducing muscle fatigue, in addition to optimizing post-workout recovery.
Working out at maximum capacity for multiple WODS in a day will leave you chronically sore and fatigued. With the natural release of Nitric Oxide, more blood flow and oxygen is delivered to your muscle tissue, resulting in less soreness by facilitating the protein synthesis, or the muscle building process. Recovery is key in CrossFit to continue training and optimize performance.
Citrulline Malate Helps Increase Strength
Another key reason why Citrulline Malate is the best supplement for CrossFit is because it helps increase greater gains in muscle strength.
By enabling nitric oxide production, facilitating protein synthesis, and optimizing branched-chain amino acid utilization, Citrulline Malate will help you achieve greater gains in strength and building lean muscle mass. More strength means lifting heavier and increasing your overall competitiveness at the box.
How Much Citrulline Malate Should You Take?
According to the Clinical Studies, 5-8g of Citrulline Malate should be supplemented 30 minutes before your WOD to enhance sports performance, endurance, and recovery. We recommend Swolverine Citrulline Malate since it contains the clinical dose of 5g per serving, and has 100 servings.
Most of the other Citrulline Malate products on the market are under-dosed, contain fillers, and cheap additives, and only contain a fraction of the amount you actually need to improve your performance.
The Best Supplement For CrossFit: The Takeaway
The clinical evidence suggests that Citrulline Malate proves to be, not only a good supplement for Crossfitters but the best supplement for endurance athletes. Through its ability to increase strength, enhance endurance, and optimize post-workout recovery and soreness, there's never been a better supplement to help in every aspect of your training. If you want to gain an athletic edge over your competition, lift heavier clock faster WOD times, and train harder with less muscle fatigue and soreness then you need to add Citrulline Malate to your pre-workout regimen.
Looking To Add Citrulline Malate In Your Supplement Regimen To Crush Your Workout Performance?
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- Bendahan D, Mattei JP, Ghattas B, et al Citrulline/malate promotes aerobic energy production in human exercising muscleBritish Journal of Sports Medicine 2002;36:282-289.
- Pérez-guisado J, Jakeman PM. Citrulline malate enhances athletic anaerobic performance and relieves muscle soreness. J Strength Cond Res. 2010;24(5):1215-22.
- 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;110(2):341-51.