Citrulline vs Arginine – What’s the difference?

When it comes to the discussion of citrulline vs arginine there aren’t too many articles that compare the precise differences. A lot focus on how citrulline ironically provides more arginine than taking arginine itself. To understand the answer, let’s first take a look at each individually.


Arginine plays a role in the metabolism of muscle. References may also support that it can help patients recover from surgery. I found it interesting that scar tissue that forms over wounds is actually high in arginine as well. This would make sense in the recovery process.

When it comes to fitness arginine aids in weight loss and an increase in muscle mass. None of that, of course, without proper nutrition and exercise.

It’s interesting to note that eating watermelon can also provide a natural source of arginine as it contains citrulline, a precursor to arginine.


That brings me to my point of citrulline. Citrulline promotes energy and stimulates the immune system. When the body metabolizes citrulline it forms L-arginine. A less than common fact is that it also helps prevent fatigue.

So where does that bring us in the battle of citrulline vs arginine? To sum it all up I read a research one time (still have to remember where I saw it) that it took citrulline half the dose that it took arginine to raise concentrations of arginine to an equivalent level. Essentially it would appear that for citrulline vs arginine, citrulline is pretty much twice as effective.

That may be exaggerating, but the evidence is there. Next time you shop for a pre workout make sure you check to see whether it has citrulline or arginine.

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