Citrulline-malate (CM) has been proposed to provide an ergogenic effect during resistance exercise; however, there is a paucity of research investigating these claims. Therefore, we investigated the impact that CM supplementation would have on repeated bouts of resistance exercise. Fourteen resistance-trained males participated in a randomized, counterbalanced, double-blind study. Subjects were randomly assigned to placebo (PL) or CM (8 g) and performed three sets each of chin-ups, reverse chin-ups, and push-ups to failure. One week later, subjects ingested the other supplement and performed the same protocol. Blood lactate (BLa), heart rate (HR), and blood pressure (BP) were measured preexercise, with BLa measured a second time immediately following the last set, while HR and BP were measured 5 and 10 min postexercise. Citrulline-malate ingestion significantly increased the amount of repetitions performed for each exercise (chin-ups: PL = 28.4 ± 7.1, CM = 32.2 ± 5.6, p = .003; reverse chin-ups: PL = 26.6 ± 5.6, CM = 32.1 ± 7.1, p = .017; push-ups: PL = 89.1 ± 37.4, CM = 97.7 ± 36.1, p < .001). Blood lactate data indicated a time effect (p < .001), but no treatment differences (p = .935). Systolic BP data did not show differences for time (p = .078) or treatment (p = .119). Diastolic BP data did not show differences for time (p = .069), but indicated treatment differences (p = .014) for subjects ingesting CM. Collectively, these findings suggests that CM increased upper-body resistance performance in trained college-age males.
Keywords: ergogenic aid; nutrition; strength training; supplement.