Citrulline Malate Supplementation and Weight Training Performance

Posted by Derek Charlebois on

Citruline Malate is known for its ability to increase blood flow and the pump experienced during weight training. But does Citrulline Malate do anything beyond making you look and feel swole? Can supplementing with Citrulline Malate increase muscle hypertrophy and performance? In this article, we will look at three studies that examined the effects of Citrulline Malate supplementation on weight training performance.

Study #1: Effects of 8g Citrulline Malate on 8 Sets Bench Press Performance

The first study[1] examining the effects of Citrulline Malate supplementation on weight training performance was published in 2010. The study researched the effects of a single 8g dose of Citrulline Malate vs. Placebo (randomized, double-blind, 2-period crossover design) on bench press performance during a chest workout. The chest workout consisted of following exercises with 1-minute rest periods between sets (all sets taken to failure):
  • 4 Sets Flat Bench Press (80% of 1-RM)
  • 4 Sets Incline Bench Press (Same Weight as Bench Press)
  • 4 Sets Incline DB Flies (60% of Bench Press Weight)
  • 4 Sets Flat Bench Press (80% of 1-RM)

Four sets of bench press with 80% 1-RM were performed at both the beginning and end of the workout for a total of 8 sets bench press. During the placebo trial subjects performed an average of 60 repetitions while during the Citrulline Malate trial subjects performed an average of 68 repetitions. A single 8g dose of Citrulline Malate increased repetitions performed by an average of 8 (study reported a 19% increase in repetitions performed) and subjects also reported 40% less muscle soreness at 24 and 48 hours post exercise.


Study #2: Effects of 8g Citrulline Malate on Lower Body Performance 

The second study[2] examining the effect of Citrulline Malate supplementation on weight performance was published in 2015. Because the first study examined upper body performance, the researchers conducting the second study examined lower body performance to see if the performance benefits applied to larger muscle groups.
The exercise protocol consisted of the following exercises with 3-minute rest periods between sets (all sets taken to failure):
  • 5 Sets Leg Press (60% 1-RM)
  • 5 Sets Hack Squat (60% 1-RM)
  • 5 Sets Leg Extensions (60% 1-RM)

Supplementing with 8g Citrulline Malate lead to a 9% increase in repetitions performed compared to placebo.


Study #3: Effects of 8g Citrulline Malate on Upper and Lower Body Performance in Women

The third study[3] examining Citrulline Malate supplementation on weight training performance was conducted on female subjects (the two above studies used all male subjects) and examined both upper and lower body performance.
The study design was like the previous studies (randomized, double-blind, crossover design) and examined repetitions performed on two exercises with 1-minute rest periods between sets:
  • 6 sets bench press @ 80% 1-RM
  • 6 sets leg press @ 80% 1-RM
The study found that Citrulline Malate supplementation increased upper body repetitions performed by 3% and lower body repetitions performed by 17%. It was theorized the larger increase in lower body repetitions performed was due to women having a larger proportion of muscle mass in their lower body compared to upper body.



Citrulline Malate has been shown in multiple human studies to increase the number of repetitions completed on both upper body and lower body exercises after a single 8000mg dose. Considering most supplements lack supporting human research, these findings on Citrulline Malate are very substantial!

Increasing the number of repetitions performed will improve and accelerate your progress. Muscle hypertrophy (an increase in muscle size) is primarily driven by training volume.


The more volume performed (to a point) the more hypertrophy is stimulated. Supplementing with Citrulline Malate allows you to complete more reps and therefore achieve a greater training volume and hypertrophy stimulus.

TRAINING VOLUME = SETS * REPS (­ with CITRULLINE MALATE) * LOAD à Increased Hypertrophy Stimulus 

When supplementing with Citrulline Malate, you want the take the scientifically substantiated dosage of 8,000mg. Don’t be fooled by companies that include Citrulline Malate in their formulas but under-dose it (it’s not uncommon for products to only contain 1000-2000mg per serving).



Unlike most supplements on the market, Citrulline Malate’s benefits are backed by human research. Citrulline Malate’s benefits go far beyond just enhancing the pump you experience; it can improve your performance by increasing repetitions performed and total training volume making. The increased performance and pump from Citrulline Malate make it a must have for pre-workout supplementation. Be sure to take scientifically substantiated dosage of 8,000mg to receive these benefits.

PR-BREAKER MATERIA supplies the FULL substantiated dosage of 8000mg Citrulline Malate in each serving.



  1. Perez-Guisado, J. and P.M. Jakeman, Citrulline malate enhances athletic anaerobic performance and relieves muscle soreness. J Strength Cond Res, 2010. 24(5): p. 1215-22.
  2. Wax, B., et al., Effects of supplemental citrulline malate ingestion during repeated bouts of lower-body exercise in advanced weightlifters. J Strength Cond Res, 2015. 29(3): p. 786-92.
  3. Glenn, J.M., et al., Acute citrulline malate supplementation improves upper- and lower-body submaximal weightlifting exercise performance in resistance-trained females. Eur J Nutr, 2015.




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