Best Citrulline Supplements Reviewed for 2020

Citrulline is one of the most potent blood-flow-enhancing ingredients available. It's used to enhance pumps during resistance training but it can actually be beneficial for heart and sexual health and more. Learn more here.

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Don’t you just love those head-turning pumps during an intense resistance training session that lasts for hours afterward? Hell yes you do because who doesn’t, honestly. It’s like cumming as Arnold Schwarzenegger put it.

OK, enough joking around because you’re here to learn about citrulline, a precursor to arginine that increases nitric oxide levels in the body which dilates blood vessels. If you check the ingredient label on any top nitric oxide enhancing or pre-workout product, you’re likely to find it on there. But there are products that supply this ingredient alone. So, today, we’re reviewing the best citrulline malate and L-citrulline (there’s a difference) supplements on the market in 2020, and we’ll also talk about other potential benefits from heart health, to sexual enhancement, improved performance, and more.

Here are our top picks ranked.  

  1. Bulksupplements L-Citrulline DL-Malate 2:1 PowderBuy here  Editor’s Choice 
  2. Nutricost L-Citrulline Malate PowderBuy here
  3. Now Foods L-Citrulline Veggie Capsules Buy here
  4. Micro Ingredients Muscle Up L-Citrulline Malate Powder Buy here
  5. Primaforce L-Citrulline Malate PowderBuy here
  6. Allmax Nutrition L-Citrulline PowderBuy here
  7. Horbaach Maximum Strength L-Citrulline CapsulesBuy here
  8. Kaged Muscle Fermented Citrulline PowderBuy here
  9. Double Wood Supplements L-Citrulline CapsulesBuy here
  10. Swanson L-Citrulline CapsulesBuy here

 

Related: Best Yohimbine Supplements Reviewed For 2020

Editor’s Choice – Bulksupplements L-Citrulline DL-Malate 2:1 Powder

Bulksupplements L Citrulline Dl Malate Powder
Bulksupplements L-Citrulline Dl Malate Powder

Bulksupplements always offer incredible value. They offer a few different sizes of this product in powder form so that you can choose the ideal number of servings. But all options contain 2,000mg citrulline and 1,000mg DL malate per serving at a 2:1 ratio respectively. The 2:1 ratio reduces the sour taste of malate and ensures potency of key ingredients. 

You can mix this powder in any liquid or make your own capsules if you prefer this method of supplementation.

Product highlights

  • 3g citrulline malate (2:1 ratio)
  • Unflavored
  • Gluten-free

Pros

  • No “other” ingredients 
  • Third-party tested
  • Lab verified
  • GMP-compliant 
  • No additives
  • Different sizes available

Cons

  • Few complaints about the taste

Ingredients

  • 2g L-citrulline and 1g DL-malate 

Who makes it

Based out of Nevada, Bulk Supplements is a leading supplement company that has over 60 employees at their FDA-registered facility. They are known for simple products that each come in different options. You know you’re getting quality with Bulk Supplements. 

Buy at Amazon


Nutricost L-Citrulline Malate Powder

Nutricost L Citrulline Malate Powder
Nutricost L Citrulline Malate Powder

Nutricost is a trusted brand that we never hesitate to include in our supplement reviews. This product offers a potent 3g (3,000mg) dose of L-citrulline malate at a 2:1 ratio, which as mentioned above, is ideal for product efficacy. Nutricost offers a few different sizes in its L-citrulline malate power.

Product highlights

  • 3g citrulline malate (2:1 ratio)
  • Gluten-free
  • Unflavored

Pros

  • Third-party tested for purity and potency. 
  • Non-GMO
  • GMP-compliant
  • Made in an FDA-registered facility
  • Different sizes available

Cons

  • Few complaints about taste
  • Some users saw no benefit 

Ingredients

  • 3g L-citrulline (as L-citrulline malate 2:1 ratio)
  • Calcium silicate, silicon dioxide

Who makes it 

Nutricost’s motto is “ONLY WHAT YOU NEED, NOTHING YOU DON’T”. They use the purest ingredients and make some of the most effective supplements on the market.  

Buy at Amazon


Now Foods L-Citrulline Veggie Capsules

Now Foods L Citrulline Veggie Capsules
Now Foods L Citrulline Veggie Capsules

Few supplement reviews are complete without an option from NOW Foods. This option is different from the other ones on our list so far, in that it’s offered in veggie capsule form. Many prefer this form of supplementation as it’s much more convenient and you don’t have to deal with the potentially unpleasant taste of the powder. 

This is an extra-strength formula that contains 1.2g or 1,200mg of L-citrulline per serving. 

Product highlights

  • 1.2g L-citrulline per serving
  • Convenient veggie capsules
  • Extra strength formula
  • Vegan
  • Gluten-free

Pros

  • Lab-tested
  • Informed-Sport
  • Informed-Choice
  • Non-GMO

Cons

  • Few unsatisfied with quality

Ingredients

  • 1.2g L-citrulline

Who makes it? 

Now Foods has been in business since 1968. They’re a family-owned and operated, charitable-giving company that is a household name, offering a large variety of food products. 

Buy at Amazon


Micro Ingredients Muscle Up L-Citrulline Malate Powder

Micro Ingredients Muscle Up L Citrulline Malate Powder
Micro Ingredients Muscle Up L Citrulline Malate Powder

Another solid L-citrulline product that offers a 2:1 ratio for max effectiveness. Micro Ingredients offers a quality option that you should take before workout sessions to aid in overall performance. It’s a pure option that contains only what you need and nothing you don’t. This product has solid feedback!

Product highlights 

  • 3g L-citrulline DL-malate 2:1
  • Unflavored
  • Gluten-free

Pros

  • Only contains active ingredients
  • No fillers, additives, etc
  • Non-GMO
  • Vegan-friendly

Cons

  • Few complaints about powder quality

Ingredients

  • 3g L-citrulline DL-malate 2:1

Who makes it?

Micro Ingredients is a brand and manufacturer. They make products that do not contain additives, free, and that are Non-GMO.

Buy at Amazon


Primaforce L-Citrulline Malate Powder

Primaforce L Citrulline Malate Powder
Primaforce L Citrulline Malate Powder

Primaforce L-citrulline makes for a great addition to the most intense training sessions. Each dose contains 2,000mg of pharmaceutical-grade, lab-tested L-citrulline DL-malate to support gains and endurance. It can also be stacked with the other products in their line for enhanced effects. It also comes in two different sizes. 

Product highlights

  • 2,000mg citrulline malate
  • Unflavored

Pros

  • Lab-tested for purity and potency
  • GMP-compliant 
  • No fillers or additives
  • Available in two sizes

Cons

  • Few complaints of stomach ache
  • Produced in a facility that also processes other common allergens

Ingredients

  • 2,000mg L-citrulline DL-malate

Who makes it?

A statement from the company…

PrimaForce is committed to providing our consumers with high-quality, research-proven products to enhance performance, body composition, and quality of life. We adhere to the most stringent standards. Our primary goal is to help you reach yours.”

Buy at Amazon


Allmax Nutrition L-Citrulline Powder

Allmax Nutrition L Citrulline Powder
Allmax Nutrition L Citrulline Powder

Allmax L-citrulline is a top-notch product that delivers 2g of the active ingredient at a 2:1 ratio. The product description explains that a 2:1 ratio provides 67% of L-citrulline with the remaining being malate. This seems to be a good option for improving blood flow, reducing training fatigue, and more.

Product highlights

  • Contains 2g Citrulline malate 2:1
  • Professional grade ingredients
  • Vegan-friendly

Pros

  • Athlete tested and approved 
  • Lab-tested
  • GMP-certified

Cons

  • Has an allergen warning due to the production process 
  • May cause some stomach upset in some users

Ingredients

  • 2g Citrulline malate 2:1

Who makes it?

Allmax Nutrition is a performance brand that has been making top-notch products tested and approved by athletes for over 15 years. Their website states that Allmax stands for Science, Innovation, Quality and Results.

Buy at Amazon


Horbaach Maximum Strength L-Citrulline Capsules

Horbaach Maximum Strength L Citrulline Capsules
Horbaach Maximum Strength L Citrulline Capsules

Each dose of Horbaach maximum strength citrulline supplies a respectable 2.4g of the main ingredient to support exercise performance and protein metabolism. It’s made by a great brand that tests their products for quality and it’s an option you can’t go wrong with. Plus, it’s in capsule form. Although, it’s not a vegan-friendly product.

Product features

  • 2.4g (2,400mg) L-citrulline per serving
  • Convenient capsule form
  • Gluten-free

Pros

  • Lab-tested
  • Non-GMO
  • GMP-compliant
  • No preservatives added

Cons

  • Not vegan-friendly
  • Contains a few “other” ingredients

Ingredients

  • L-citrulline (free form)
  • Gelatin capsule, vegetable magnesium stearate, rice powder, silica

Who makes it? 

Horbaach has been a family-owned company for over three generations since 1971. They deliver high-quality products at an affordable price point. 

Buy at Amazon


Kaged Muscle Fermented Citrulline Powder

Kaged Muscle Fermented Citrulline Powder
Kaged Muscle Fermented Citrulline Powder

Kaged Muscle caters to the more hardcore of supplement users but don’t worry, this L-citrulline won’t produce an exaggerated effect as a result. It’s safe and effective as with any of the other options on our list but still provides highly-desired gym pumps! Each serving has 2g of fermented L-citrulline from the highest quality sources available. 

Product highlights

  • 2g fermented L-citrulline per serving 
  • Unflavored
  • Gluten-free

Pros

  • Micropure quality guarantee
  • Lab-tested
  • Informed-Choice
  • Informed-Sport
  • No fillers
  • No colors or flavors
  • Non-GMO
  • Vegetarian and vegan-friendly

Cons

  • Few unhappy users regarding powder and efficacy

Ingredients

  • 2g L-citrulline (fermented)

Who makes it? 

Kaged Muscle has traveled the globe to offer some of the most effective and potent formulas on the market. They really take supplementation and performance seriously!

Buy at Amazon


Double Wood Supplements L-Citrulline Capsules

Double Wood Supplements L Citrulline Capsules
Double Wood Supplements L Citrulline Capsules

Double Woods may not be as much of a household name as NOW but there are several pleased users of their L-citrulline capsules. It’s a USA-made product that should elicit similar effects to any of the other choices on our list, based on the fact that they provide a certificate of analysis to prove the authenticity of this particular product.

The caps are gelatin so it’s not an ideal option for vegans. 

Product highlights

  • 1,200mg L-citrulline
  • Capsule form
  • Gluten-free

Pros

  • Safety tested
  • Company offers a certificate of analysis
  • Non-GMO

Cons

  • Not vegan-friendly
  • Few users didn’t see the desired results

Ingredients

  • 1,200mg L-citrulline 
  • Gelatin (capsule), cellulose

Who makes it?

Double Wood Supplements is a US company that offers a large variety of health-supporting supplements that are tested for purity and potency. 

Buy at Amazon


Swanson L-Citrulline Capsules

Swanson L Citrulline Capsules
Swanson L Citrulline Capsules

Swanson is another household brand found in cupboards around the country. Their products are extremely affordable but don’t compromise on quality. You get 850mg of pharmaceutical-grade L-citrulline that does what it’s supposed to in enhancing blood flow and having a posotive effect on other physiological factors. 

It’s Kyowa quality (trademark) which means it’s produced via a proprietary fermentation process and ensures superior quality. This product is also vegan-friendly. 

This option from Swanson definitely deserves a spot on our list of best citrulline supplements for 2020. 

Product highlights

  • USA-made with Kyowa quality^TM L-citrulline
  • Veggie caps

Pros

  • Tested for purity and potency 
  • GMP-compliant 

Cons

  • Few users unsatisfied with efficacy

Ingredients

  • Kyowa quality^TM L-citrulline
  • Hypromellose (vegetable capsule), rice extract, rice concentrate

Who makes it?

Swanson was founded in Fargo South Dakota by a man who suffered joint pain during his golf sessions. He learned about the benefits of natural supplements and introduced his first product (vitamin E) in 1969. 

Buy at Amazon


How We Ranked

Here are a few criteria that we took into consideration when choosing these L-citrulline products.

Effectiveness

L-citrulline and citrulline malate have shown to elicit desired effects, although to what extent, may depend on the product and the individual. We chose what we believe to be quality options that are effective, based on several criteria, and user feedback. 

Use

There are many potential uses of L-citrulline. The good news is that any high-quality option from a reputable company should offer the same benefits discussed in this article. So whether you’re using it for pumps, heart health, or sexual health, it’ll have the same physiological effects. Although, that doesn’t mean everyone will experience the same effects. 

Overall value

We consider a good value to be a combination of…

  • Quality of ingredients
  • Amount of servings for the price
  • Company reputation/history
  • User feedback

Who Should Buy an L-Citrulline Supplement

L-citrulline should be taken by healthy individuals who desire to experience the potential benefits of this product. If you have any medical conditions or are taking medications, it’s best to consult with a physician before considering supplementing with L-citrulline. 

We cannot recommend this product for treating any health conditions or types of dysfunction. 

How Should I Pick A Good L-Citrulline Malate Product? 

  • Ingredients – The product should contain an effective dose of the main ingredient/s. Other ingredients should be minimal and safe for consumption.
  • Brand reputation – Many brands have been around for a while and have built a solid reputation. They disclose their ingredients, make known their manufacturing practices with certifications, and have a loyal fanbase. But this can also be said for newer companies with the same credentials and satisfied users. 
  • Value – A good value offers a respectable amount of the key ingredient/s with an appropriate number of servings for a price that reflects what the product offers. 
  • Key Ingredients content – L-citrulline products should be of good quality from a reputable source with a good track record. Other ingredients used to improve protein quality should be safe and appropriate.
  • Convenience factor – Capsules are always the most convenient form of a supplement. But powder only requires an ad additional step and isn’t inconvenient by any means. However, this does matter to some people and therefore, you’ll have to choose a product based on your preferred method of supplementation. Keep in mind though, citrulline malate often comes in powder form whereas capsules are typically just L-citrulline. But you can encapsulate the powder. 

Benefits of L-Citrulline

Before we get into the benefits, you should know what L-citrulline is. It’s a nonessential amino acid (doesn’t build proteins) produced by the body that is also found mostly in watermelon, as well as in other foods too. In the body, L-citrulline is converted by the kidneys into another amino acid, L-arginine, and the chemical nitric oxide. 

This chemical helps arteries and veins to relax, which allows for improved blood flow throughout the body. Consequently, this has shown to improve certain factors of health and physical performance. 

Now, there are two forms, L-citrulline, and citrulline malate

Citrulline malate is L-citrulline and malate, or malic acid, that is found in some fruits such as green apples and grapes, hence the sour flavor. It’s also used in foods as an additive and preservatives in some foods. 

Malate is believed to be responsible for increased energy and performance. However, L-citrulline seems to work well on its own. But if you want an additional boost, malate may be of additional benefit, although the potential effects of adding malate aren’t entirely conclusive (1).

Here are the most notable benefits of L-citrulline.

Increased blood flow

As previously mentioned, citrulline converts to arginine, which increases nitric oxide in the body, resulting in the widening of arteries and veins. This causes increased blood flow and as a result, has been shown to have positive effects on blood pressure (2).

But according to research, L-citrulline may increase levels of arginine in the body better than arginine itself (3, 4).

Although, research has also shown that citrulline needs to be taken for more than a single dose, and more long-term, to experience the benefits. At least 7 days supplementation should elicit positive effects on vessel dilation in those with heart disease or who are at risk. (5, 6, 7).

A few different studies found favorable effects of L-citrulline on blood pressure health (8, 9, 10). 

One, in particular, saw a 6-16% reduction in blood pressure among 12 participants with normal blood pressure after just seven days of acute oral nitrate consumption (8 mg/kg) and chronic citrulline consumption (3 g/day).

But it’s important to note that overall, healthy individuals may be less likely to benefit from L-citrulline’s effects on blood pressure after a certain period of time.   

L-citrulline may also improve symptoms of erectile dysfunction in theory and many have reported positive effects. One study found that L-citrulline supplementation had positive effects on men with mild erectile dysfunction. It was concluded as a safe and well-accepted option by patients. (11).

May increase performance, muscle growth and support recovery

L-citrulline intake has been associated with increased GH (growth hormone) levels following exercise (12).

One study of professional cyclists who took 6 g L-citrulline-malate prior to activity saw elevated GH levels. It was also found that GH enhanced the use of branched-chain amino acids along with the “production of arginine-derived metabolites such as nitrite, creatinine, ornithine, and urea.”

This is conducive to increasing muscle growth, strength performance, and recovery.

L-citrulline may increase oxygen in the muscles leading to improved endurance during physical activity, also evident in one study that showed 12% increased performance duration compared to a placebo substance. (13, 14).

One prominent study of forty-one men who performed the bench press found that 8g of citrulline malate resulted in 53% more repetitions and a significant 40% decrease in muscle soreness at 24 and 48 hours after the session. (15)

The only downside was that 14% experience stomach discomfort but that was the only side effect experienced. 

Another study found positive lower body performance during resistance training in more advanced individuals. (16)

Plays a role in the urea cycle

L-citrulline plays a role in the urea cycle, ridding the body of harmful substances such as ammonia. 

Side Effects

As with any supplement, there is the possibility of experiencing unpleasant side effects. But generally, when taken in recommended doses, L-citrulline is safe for most users and doesn’t pose any health risk or serious side effects. Although, common complaints are related to stomach discomfort and headache.

But research has shown that higher doses up to 15g per day are not associated with side effects, and stomach discomfort definitely doesn’t affect everyone (17). 

However, L-citrulline may interact with certain drugs such as those for heart or sexual health, and therefore, we always advise that you consult with your doctor prior to use.

Recommended Dosages

Companies tend to dose their L-citrulline supplements anywhere from 1-6 grams per serving. However, the lower dosed products can and should be taken more than one time per day for maximum results. But always make sure to read the label for safe and effective dosing. For most people, a dose of 3-6 grams per day will cover all bases, and you’ll find this to be the case with the various supplements available on the market, per label instructions.

Research also shows that doses above 10g per day seem to have diminishing returns and do not seem to offer any additional benefits (17). 

It’s also important to note that 1.75 grams of citrulline malate is equivalent to 1 gram of L-citrulline. So there are some differences between various products. 

FAQs

Can L-citrulline help me to lose weight?

There isn’t sufficient research to suggest L-citrulline can have a direct effect on weight loss. However, it may help to increase exercise capacity, and therefore, have positive effects on weight management.

What foods can I eat that contain L-citrulline?

Here are a few great options that contain L-citrulline:

  • Watermelon
  • Garlic
  • Beets
  • Pomegranate
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Meat, poultry, and seafood
  • Leafy greens

Recap

That’s all we have for you today. Our top picks for the best citrulline supplements currently on the market. Citrulline is definitely worth considering including in your daily supplement regime for the health and performance benefits, and that seems to be evident based on the science behind this popular amino acid. Plus, the hundreds of thousands of satisfied users who supplement with L-citrulline says something about its efficacy. 

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Matthew Magnante
Matthew Magnante
Matthew Magnante is the senior writer for Fitness Volt. He has had a passion for fitness since elementary school and continues to research and learn how to build muscle effectively through training and diet. He also loves to help others to achieve their fitness goals and spread the knowledge where needed. Matthew's other passions include learning about mindfulness, strolling through nature, and always working to improve overall.

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This article is written by our well qualified writer(s) and fact checked for scientific evidence by our experts. The number in parentheses (1, 2, 3, etc.) are reference links to medically peer-reviewed studies.

Our experts team include professional doctor, nutritionists, dietitians and certified personal trainers, fitness, strength and exercise specialists.

The content on our website is NOT intended as medical advice.

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Fact-checked

This article was written by one of our qualified writers, and fact-checked by our experts. The numbers in parentheses (e.g. 1, 2, 3, etc.) throughout the article, are reference links to peer-reviewed studies.

Our team of experts include a board-certified physician, nutritionists, dietitians, certified personal trainers, strength training experts, and exercise specialists.