L-Citrulline Advantages, In line with a Registered Dietitian


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If you ask me (or just about anybody, actually), watermelon needs to be one of the best summer time fruit… ever. It’s past tasty, immensely hydrating, and—as we’ll get to quickly sufficient—tremendous customizable, with numerous methods to take pleasure in it all through the warmest months of the 12 months. Whereas these advantages possible aren’t too shocking, what you could not know is that watermelon is definitely a unicorn of kinds in the case of its nutrient composition. It’s the one whole-food supply of 1 amino acid that’s identified to spice up your well being on a number of main fronts, together with however not restricted to cognition, coronary heart well being, and blood circulation: L-citrulline.

Maintain studying to see what L-citrulline is and why it guarantees to be so useful in your well being. Plus: Uncover artistic methods to up your consumption of it with candy and juicy watermelon aplenty.

What’s L-citrulline?

“L-citrulline is a non-protein amino acid discovered within the flesh and rind of watermelon that will maintain promising health-related outcomes,” says Kim Rose, RDN, CDCES, CNSC, a dietitian based mostly in Florida. Whereas some amino acids comprise protein, L-citrulline isn’t one among them. With that stated, a 2013 assessment in The Worldwide Journal of Utilized and Fundamental Dietary Sciences explains that L-citrulline “stimulates protein synthesis in skeletal muscle” and “may play a pivotal position in sustaining protein homeostasis,” so it’s not a complete dud on this regard.

L-citrulline can be a non-essential amino acid, which means that your physique makes it by itself. Nevertheless, it’s produced at ranges decrease than what you’d get by consuming watermelon or by way of supplementation.

The well being advantages of L-citrulline

“L-citrulline might help in coronary heart well being by reducing blood strain; improve blood circulation and scale back coronary heart price throughout and after a exercise, respectively; and should assist to lower cognitive decline,” Rose says.

L-citrulline will increase vasodilation, aka the dilation of blood vessels, which decreases blood strain and improves blood circulation. In line with a 2018 Vitamins article, it works by growing the bioavailability of arginine, which “subsequently results in elevations in nitric oxide synthesis.” (Nitric oxide is ​​a compound that relaxes constriction within the small muscle groups of the blood vessels.) Over time, larger consumption of L-citrulline—by way of watermelon in addition to by different vasodilator meals—can help decrease threat of hypertension and coronary heart illness.

From there, a examine revealed within the ​​Journal of Agricultural and Meals Chemistry demonstrated the practical advantages of L-citrulline following train. Although it used a small pattern measurement, the examine discovered that athletes who drank both 500 milliliters of pure watermelon juice (1.17 grams of L-citrulline) or watermelon juice enriched with an 4.83 extra grams of L-citrulline helped to scale back not solely the restoration coronary heart price of contributors, but in addition their muscle soreness after 24 hours in comparison with a placebo group.

Lastly, Rose mentions a 2020 examine revealed in Alzheimers & Dementia, through which researchers discovered that L-citrulline supplementation in mice might modify cognitive decline since nitric oxide “performs an vital position in synaptic plasticity, studying, and reminiscence.”

Merely put, because of its ample L-citrulline content material, everybody’s favourite summer time fruit works time beyond regulation to help a spread of spectacular features all through the physique—all of the whereas delighting your style buds and retaining you hydrated.

Methods to enhance your L-citrulline consumption

Once more, watermelon is your finest wager to load up on this amino acid by food regimen, although supplementation can be an choice to spice up your consumption even additional or when watermelon is now not in season. (Notice: As all the time, seek the advice of a trusted well being skilled earlier than including new dietary supplements to your routine.)

Whereas there no exact consumption advice presently exists for L-citrulline, Rose shares {that a} two-cup serving of watermelon (which may include wherever from 286 to 1,266 miligrams, relying on high quality and breed) “might assist to help vascular well being and preserve wholesome blood circulation.” She continues to say that to yield different advantages, the precise really useful quantities are nonetheless being researched.

In any case, prioritizing watermelon in your food regimen this summer time is a positive wager to make progress in the fitting path. Happily, Rose shares a number of artistic methods to take pleasure in it that transcend merely slicing it up, equivalent to:

  • Getting ready a balsamic hen and watermelon salad
  • Serving up this attractive watermelon pizza
  • Mixing a colourful summer time fruit salad with watermelon chunks, berries, and apples
  • Freezing watermelon ice cubes
  • Mixing a slushy comprised of frozen watermelon and lime juice
  • Treating your self to a freshly-muddled watermelon spritzer


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