Why You Should Stack Citrulline With Your BCAAs

May 31, 2016 — by Matt Theis0



Why You Should Stack Citrulline With Your BCAAs

May 31, 2016 — by Matt Theis0

BCAA supplements have become one of the most competitive categories in the mainstream bodybuilding supplement industry, and for good reason.  Research has revealed a multitude of potential benefits of BCAA supplementation, many of which have been severely exaggerated by supplement companies, but some of which are legitimate in the eyes of science.

As BCAAs have risen in popularity over the last decade or so, so too has Citrulline, with a fair amount of research now demonstrating performance enhancement and recovery benefits.

Over the years, research has actually turned up evidence to suggest that BCAAs and Citrulline are synergistic.  That is, taking them both together conveys benefits that neither supplement could on its own.

The Research

A 2010 study published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology noted that Citrulline Malate supplementation prior to exercise significantly reduced plasma levels of Isoleucine (on of the Branched Chain Amino Acids) and the researchers in this study attributed this to increased utilization of BCAAs for fuel.

Leucine is the most potent amino acid (not just BCAA) when it comes to stimulating muscle protein synthesis and has been shown to restore muscle protein synthesis rates in periods of under-eating (protein deficit).

Citrulline, though not necessarily as potent as Leucine, has also been shown to restore muscle protein synthesis in similar situations, although through different mechanisms than Leucine.

Thus, there is most than enough preliminary evidence to suggests that Citrulline can synergistically enhance Leucine’s effects on muscle protein synthesis.

The combination of Citrulline and Leucine may be particularly effective during fasted state training, when muscle catabolism rates (breakdown of protein from muscle tissue) would normally increase dramatically and lead to muscle loss over time.

How To Stack Citrulline and BCAAs

Citrulline should always be dosed in the 6-9g range.  This is the clinically studied range and therefore the only dosing protocol that is guaranteed to be effective.  Many BCAA supplements contain as low as 500mg-1000mg of Citrulline per serving.  This is but a mere fraction of what can be considered a “clinical dose”.

When it comes to BCAAs, it’s all about Leucine.  The other BCAAs may certainly be useful but should not be included at the expense of Leucine.  The clinically effective range for Leucine is 3-5g and there is no “optimal ratio” of Leucine to Isoleucine and Valine.


Amino Beyond


Amino Beyond is the only BCAA-based supplement that contains clinical doses of Citrulline and Leucine, making it perfect for anyone who wants to

  • Boost muscular endurance
  • Reduce muscle soreness
  • Enhance recovery
  • Reduce catabolism
  • Promote optimal muscle growth

Go ahead and shop around, but if you take the time to compare ingredients to ingredients and doses to doses, you’ll quickly find that Amino Beyond is in a league of its own.


Matt Theis

I'm Matt, Founder of Momentum Nutrition and I've spent the better part of the last decade researching and experimenting in the areas of fitness, nutrition, and supplementation, and this is where I write it all down.