Everyone who is around me during the summer time knows I love watermelon. We oftentimes will go through a few watermelons a week. Watermelons that aren’t consumed fast enough can explode, which has happened to me a few times when I buy too many at a time and can’t eat them fast enough. Why do they explode? In short, when the watermelon is cut from the host plant, gas starts to build up inside. At some point, the gas reaches a pressure so great that the rind can’t hold it in anymore. Bam! Exploded watermelon.
However, that was a completely random fact and unrelated to why I love watermelon. Watermelon is a natural source of citrulline. Citrullus is the genus of the group of desert vines that watermelons belong to. Citrulline malate and other forms of citrulline are found in a variety of nitric oxide enhancing supplements.
First the basics…
Nitric oxide enhances vasolidation. Vasolidation is the process that gets blood to the muscles during exercise. It is pretty complicated how it happens, but essentially the end result is the “pump” you feel after really focusing on a muscle group. After a particularly grueling workout, Arnold once said he had a pump “like the skin was going to explode any minute.” Blood flow is important during exercise because it brings oxygen, among other things, to your muscles. It is also bringing waste, lactic acid, carbon dioxide, etc. away from your muscles. Since nitric oxide enhances flow, the idea is that it allows you to workout longer and harder.
How does citrulline help this?
Citrulline converts to arginine via the argininosuccinate pathway. Arginine is then converted to NO. There’s a lot of science-stuff behind it, but that is the basic idea.
Where can I find Citrulline?
Citrulline is often found in addition to arginine and other ingredients in products like NO Xplode or can be found along with BCAAs in Scivation Xtend. As mentioned previously, you can also find citrulline naturally in watermelon.
As with all supplements and exercises on this site, please consult a physician prior to starting.