A non-protein amino acid stabilized by a natural salt compound. Citrulline is the amino acid that is produced when another amino acid, ornithine, combines with carbamoyl phosphate during the urea cycle. Malic acid, or malate, is a natural salt compound found in fruit and other foods, and is often used as a food preservative.
Supplementation of Citrulline Malate is believed to assist the body in disposing of excess ammonia produced during exercise. This helps in two key ways. First, to dispose of ammonia the body converts it to nitric oxide, which itself stimulates blood flow to the muscles, thereby increasing oxygen flow to the muscles. Second, reducing the amound of ammonia in the body reduces muscle soreness and muscle fatigue, which is believed to allow for quicker recovery from exercise.
It should be noted that clinical studies have been conducted with the stabilized form of L-Citrulline, which is Citrulline Malate. Some supplements contain only L-Citrulline, which has not been formally studied for exercise benefits.
The common supplement dose of Citrulline Malate is 3 to 6 grams, but some athletes may benefit from up to 10g. It may be taken pre, intra, or post-workout, or a combination of the three. In some cases the best benefit may be received by splitting a 6g dose between pre and post-workout.