Good blood flow is critical to so many different processes in your body. It regulates blood pressure, keeps cardiovascular problems at bay, and makes you feel energized as you go about your life. If you’re looking for a bit of help on this front, a little-known supplement called citrulline may be able to help.
What is citrulline?
Citrulline is an amino acid that plays an important role in what’s called your urea cycle, where the body removes toxic ammonia from its system. Without it, you can’t properly dispose of waste.
To do this, citrulline increases vasodilation, which is when the arteries and veins widen and your circulatory system is able to provide more blood flow to the rest of your body. In addition to helping your body’s waste production, this process reduces your blood pressure. This also brings down your risk of heart disease or a similar cardiovascular event since it keeps blood flow unrestricted. In fact, studies have shown blood pressure decreases up to 16 percent from taking it.
Moreover, while citrulline itself won’t necessarily build muscle, it can increase the oxygen levels in your muscle tissue, which in turns helps you keep exercising harder and longer. You may see improvements in your movements as well as your physique over time because of this.
What are its side effects?
Side effects from taking citrulline are rare and mild. They include heartburn, coughing, swelling, stomach aches, and changes to frequency of urination. Generally, scientists recommend taking roughly three to six grams per day for one to two weeks at first to see how you feel. You may want to start with smaller doses to avoid an upset stomach.
How should you take it?
Citrulline is naturally found in tiny amounts in watermelon, pumpkin, cucumber, and bitter melon, but its supplemental form most often comes in oral capsules (Buy on Amazon, $18.95). Just make sure that you talk to your doctor before you add them to your regimen!
This article originally appeared on our sister site, First For Women.
We write about products we think our readers will like. If you buy them, we get a small share of the revenue from the supplier.