3 Types of Citrulline & What It Means For You

By Erick Avila

Key Points

-Citrulline is a popular ingredient in dietary supplements for helping to increase nitric oxide levels, which helps support healthy blood flow, resulting in better muscle pumps*
-Understanding nitric oxide’s function was one of the most important scientific discoveries of the modern era.
-L-Citrulline, Citrulline Malate, and Citrulline Nitrate are three different citrulline containing ingredients used in dietary supplements

What is Nitric Oxide?

Nitric oxide is a signaling molecule that plays a role in vasodilation and blood flow. Vasodilation is the widening of blood vessels. The discovery of nitric oxide’s role in the body was so important that the researchers who found it won the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine.[1]

Nitric oxide’s role in sports performance and recovery is one of the most popular ways it’s been researched in recent years. Many of these studies use the amino acid citrulline, as a dietary ingredient, to help raise nitric oxide levels. The reason why these researchers are so interested in trying to find a link between nitric oxide and performance is that nitric oxide’s role in promoting better blood flow may enhance oxygen and nutrient delivery to muscle*.

how to boost nitric oxide

How can Citrulline benefit you?

Citrulline is an amino acid that has been shown to be positively correlated with nitric oxide synthesis. Citrulline gets converted into arginine by the kidneys. Because a large percentage of arginine is metabolized by liver, citrulline is considered a more effective supplement than arginine itself for elevating plasma arginine levels. Citrulline has been shown to elevate plasma arginine and nitric oxide levels very efficiently in a dose-dependent manner.[2]

What are the benefits of Citrulline?

In research studies, citrulline has shown possible beneficial effects on high intensity strength and power performance.[3] Research has also shown citrulline to be effective for reducing post-exercise muscle soreness and rate of perceived exertion.[4] To sum it up, although further research is encouraged to fully elucidate the effects of potential moderating study characteristics, citrulline may help to support increased reps in the gym and faster recovery outside of it*.

What are the types of Citrulline in Cellucor® products?

Throughout the Cellucor® family of products you can find 3 different citrulline containing ingredients: L-Citrulline, Citrulline Malate, and Nitramax (NO3-C) ™. L-Citrulline is a standalone form of citrulline, that isn’t combined with any other compound. Citrulline Malate is citrulline combined with malic acid. Malic acid is an organic compound that contributes to the tart taste of fruits like grapes and apples. Malic acid plays a role in the Krebs Cycle, a pathway in the body involved in cellular energy production*. Nitramax (NO3-C) ™ is citrulline mixed with nitric acid (otherwise referred to as nitrate molecules). Nitrates are naturally occurring polyatomic ions found in food sources like spinach, beets, and arugula. Nitramax (NO3-C) ™ helps support explosive pumps by elevating nitric oxide through two distinct pathways*. 


Which Cellucor® products contain Citrulline?

Cellucor® uses one and/or more of the citrulline ingredients mentioned above, across our family of products including in C4® Extreme, C4® Ultimate, and C4® Dynasty. The dosages of the citrulline in these products will also vary, with higher doses being more common in our more advanced products. This is because it is believed that higher doses of citrulline may deliver larger doses of nitric oxide, which is what many advanced athletes want if they’re going to the gym to chase a pump*.


The discovery of nitric oxide’s function was one of the most important scientific discoveries of the modern era. Citrulline is an amino acid that has been extensively studied for its role in elevating nitric oxide levels in the blood*. Research on citrulline has shown it to have a beneficial and is believed to have an effect on improving strength endurance and reducing muscle soreness*. There are three commonly used citrulline containing ingredients, used in dietary supplements: L-Citrulline, Citrulline Malate, and Nitramax (NO3-C) ™ Citrulline Nitrate, *.

Find the right C4® pre-workout for your experience level and harness the power of the citrulline.



[1] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10217961/

[2] https//pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17662090/

[3] https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s40279-019-01091-z

[4] https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2095254620300168#bib0015

*These statements has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Share & Contribute

Do you have a story or would you like to be a contributor? We'd love to hear from you.

Learn How