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Randomized Controlled Trial
. 2017 Oct 18;9(10):1132.
doi: 10.3390/nu9101132.

Citrulline Malate Does Not Improve Muscle Recovery After Resistance Exercise in Untrained Young Adult Men

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Free PMC article
Randomized Controlled Trial

Citrulline Malate Does Not Improve Muscle Recovery After Resistance Exercise in Untrained Young Adult Men

Douglas K da Silva et al. Nutrients. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

The effects of citrulline malate (CM) on muscle recovery from resistance exercise remains unknown. We aimed to determine if citrulline malate supplementation improves muscle recovery after a single session of high-intensity resistance exercise (RE) in untrained young adult men. Nine young adult men (24.0 ± 3.3 years) participated in a double-blind crossover study in which they received 6 g of CM and placebo (PL) on two occasions, separated by a seven-day washout period. Each occasion consisted of a single session of high-intensity RE (0 h) and three subsequent fatigue tests sessions (at 24, 48, and 72 h) to assess the time course of muscle recovery. During the tests sessions, we assessed the following variables: number of maximum repetitions, electromyographic signal (i.e., root mean square (RMS) and median frequency (MF)), muscle soreness and perceived exertion, as well as blood levels of creatine kinase (CK), lactate, insulin, and testosterone:cortisol ratio. CK levels increased at 24 h post-exercise and remained elevate at 48 and 72 h, with no difference between CM and PL conditions. Muscle soreness increased at 24 h post-exercise, which progressively returned to baseline at 72 h in both conditions. Lactate levels increased immediately post-exercise and remained elevated at 24, 48, and 72 h in both conditions. No significant treatment × time interaction was found for all dependents variables (maximum repetitions, perceived exertion, CK, lactate, RMS, MF, and testosterone:cortisol ratio) during the recovery period. In conclusion, our data indicate that CM supplementation (single 6 g dose pre-workout) does not improve the muscle recovery process following a high-intensity RE session in untrained young adult men.

Keywords: amino acids; exercise; protein; skeletal muscle; supplementation; weight training.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1
Experimental design.
Figure 2
Figure 2
Number of maximum repetitions in the leg press (A) and hack squat (B) fatigue tests during recovery period at 24, 48, and 72 h post-exercise. Citrulline malate CM, Placebo PL. Left upper figure indicates the perceived exertion—OMNI scale (0–10) immediately after each test. Right upper figure indicates the area under curve (AUC) for 3-d recovery period. (repeated-measures ANOVA: time p > 0.05; Treatment x time p > 0.05). Data are means ± SD.
Figure 3
Figure 3
Blood CK (A) and lactate (B) levels at pre- and post-exercise session, and immediately after fatigue tests during recovery (at 24, 48, and 72 h post-exercise). Citrulline malate (CM), Placebo (PL). Upper figure indicates the area under curve (AUC) from pre- to 72 h post-exercise. (Repeated-measures ANOVA: * p < 0.05 compared to pretraining). Data are means ± SD.
Figure 4
Figure 4
Serum testosterone:cortisol ratio at pre- and post-exercise, and immediately after fatigue tests during recovery (at 24, 48, and 72 h post-exercise). Citrulline malate (CM), Placebo (PL). Upper figure indicates the area under curve (AUC) from pre- to 72 h post-exercise. (Repeated-measures ANOVA: time p > 0.05; Treatment x time p > 0.05). Data are means ± SD.
Figure 5
Figure 5
RMS (A) and MF (B) values in the leg press fatigue test at 24, 48, and 72 h after exercise session. Citrulline malate (CM), Placebo (PL). Right figure indicates the area under curve (AUC) for the three-day recovery period. (Repeated-measures ANOVA: time p > 0.05; Treatment x time p > 0.05). Data are means ± SD.

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