Amino acids play an important role in the formation of proteins – which are the primary building blocks of the body. By helping to build proteins, amino acids assist your body to carry out several functions that are beneficial to your wellbeing.
Why is this important? Well among the amino acids needed in the body are L-arginine and L-citrulline.
Both are common supplements often taken together. But what many people have asked us is – what’s the effects of taking L-arginine and L-citrulline before bed?
We decided to answer that question once and for all right here.
Note: You must always consult your doctor before including a new supplement into your daily routine as only your doctor can explain any pros or cons that are specific to you. Some supplements may interfere with medications too.
But First: What Exactly Is L-Arginine and L-Citrulline?
L-citrulline is a natural supplement that is classified as a non-essential amino acid. This means that the body can produce L-citrulline on its own, but it may also be present in some foods too, such as watermelon. It is produced in the liver and gut and is thought to have antioxidant properties.
On the other hand, L-arginine is an amino acid that occurs naturally in red meat, poultry, fish, and dairy foods. It’s required for protein synthesis and is extensively utilised in circulation.
Although the body converts L-citrulline into L-arginine, L-arginine can also be manufactured in the lab as a supplement. Both are popular supplements in the bodybuilding and workout community.
Taking L-Arginine and L-Citrulline Before Bed: What to Expect
Sleep is crucial for muscle recuperation, growth and health in your body.
And luckily, taking L-citrulline and L-arginine before bed in moderation may optimise your muscle recovery, development potential, and potentially even help you sleep.
Because the body converts L-citrulline into L-arginine, L-citrulline raises the amounts of L-arginine and nitric oxide in your body. This means that when you consume L-citrulline supplements before bed, you also get the same results that you can get from L-arginine and nitric oxide.
What are those results? Well as a nitric oxide precursor, L-arginine affects sleep. Nitric oxide relaxes blood arteries when it is delivered into the bloodstream. This aids in the relaxation of endothelial cells and neuronal activation thereby potentially inducing sleep.
Also, it is widely believed that L-arginine supplementation reduces total peripheral resistance by having a significant positive and dose-dependent effect on nitric oxide (NO) release. Vasodilation, which increases blood flow to peripheral tissues, causes this reduction in vascular resistance (e.g., skeletal muscle).
When taken before night, this vasodilatory action helps to clear up post-workout toxins while also delivering much-needed nutrients to muscle. That’s exactly what you need when resting in order to regrow post-workout. Additionally, under rest circumstances, L-arginine supplementation has recently been demonstrated to significantly raise blood GH levels.
Taking 5g of L-arginine (or Arginine a-ketoglutarate, AAKG) 30-45 minutes before bed can help you boost your sleep-induced endogenous GH release. AKG of the highest grade, such as ProSource’s Super AKG Powder, is great as a pre-bedtime protein drink.
Benefits of L-Arginine and L-Citrulline to The Body
There are different ways that research has shown that both L-citrulline and L-arginine can benefit the body.
The following are several examples of L-arginine and L-citrulline benefits and uses that have been explored:
1. Decreases Fatigue and Muscle Soreness
The accumulation of ammonia and hydrogen ions after vigorous body activity is linked to muscle fatigue and inflammation.
L-citrulline was found to be beneficial in a couple of ways in a trial of 18 young men who expressed overall weariness before the investigation. While it was found to lower post-exercise weariness, it was also found to be beneficial in raising ATP (energy) levels during exercise.
Other research on the benefits of L-citrulline and L-arginine in healthy adults has demonstrated that both can lessen exercise-induced weariness as well.
L-citrulline has also been shown in human and animal studies to enhance muscle protein synthesis, which can improve post-workout recovery and minimise muscular pain.
2. Treating Sickle Cell Anaemia
According to research, some symptoms of sickle cell anaemia may be relieved by taking L-citrulline by mouth twice daily. L-Citrulline not only improved blood health but also enhanced research participants’ general well-being.
In a double-blind clinical study involving sickle cell anemia (SCA) patients, the study revealed that an increased level of nitric oxide can cause a decrease in the frequency with which the study subjects suffer pain. Since L-arginine helps to produce nitric oxide in the body, it might help in pain reduction for SCA patients.
This study discovered that L-arginine supplementation may help with the treatment of sickle cell anaemia, although the authors of the study stated that additional research is needed to determine the long-term safety and usefulness of these natural supplements.
3. Reduces Blood Pressure
L-citrulline raises L-arginine and nitric oxide levels in the blood. Nitric oxide generation has a vasodilating impact, which causes blood vessels to expand, thereby lowering blood pressure. Previous research has shown that l-citrulline can reduce blood pressure.
Three investigations of young men discovered that ingesting L-citrulline improves nitric oxide while decreasing systolic and diastolic blood pressure, especially during stressful periods.
4. Reduces Erectile Dysfunction
Nitric oxide is a vasodilator, which means it increases blocd flow in blood arteries throughout the body. Vasodilation can help relieve the symptoms of erectile dysfunction, especially if they are caused by vascular issues.
In addition, males with erectile dysfunction sometimes have decreased blood levels of L-arginine and L-citrulline.
L-citrulline enhanced the firmness of erections in a study of 24 males aged 55 and up with erectile dysfunction. Some males who took citrulline reported more sex and better levels of enjoyment too.
Similarly, an analysis of ten trials published in 2019 found that using arginine supplements in amounts ranging from 1.5 to 5 grammes daily considerably enhanced erectile dysfunction when compared to a placebo or no therapy.
5. Preeclampsia treatment and prevention
Several studies have shown that taking L-arginine during pregnancy can help to avert and cure preeclampsia, a hazardous illness characterised by hypertension and protein in the urine.
Pregnant women with pre-eclampsia can benefit from L-arginine therapy to lower their blood pressure. L-arginine may also lessen the risk of pre-eclampsia in persons who are vulnerable to it.
6. Act as an Antidepressant
L-citrulline may improve brain performance, promote the wellness of brain cells, enhance learning, and lessen depression by increasing nitric oxide. Endotheliac nitric oxide has been dubbed the “protector of a healthy mind” by scientists.
Low levels of L-arginine and L-citrulline have been linked to an increased risk of depression. Hence, an increased intake of both supplements may reduce depression and bipolar illness.
Potential Side Effects
A normal intake of L-citrulline and L-arginine supplements has been reported by many to have no side effects on the body. However, you may want to exercise caution when taking supplements containing both.
When taken in excess, L-citrulline and L-arginine supplements can pose a danger to your body and can lead to nausea; diarrhoea; a resurgence of gout symptoms; low blood pressure, headaches; severeness of allergies and asthma; an increase in herpes outbreak, and so on.
As always, you must consult with you doctor when adding a new supplement into your diet.
Taking L-Arginine and L-Citrulline Before Bed: Our Final Thoughts
It is well established that L-citrulline and L-arginine have a plethora of benefits to your body, which means that you may want to take them before and after-sleep periods.
When taking L-citrulline and L-arginine supplements, however, keep in mind that excessive intake can have adverse effects on your health, although both are generally considered safe, even when used in high doses.
You may begin with a lower amount and ask your doctor to assist you in determining the best dose for your body.
The recommended daily dose of L-arginine is 2 to 8, or up to 18 grammes. However, you can take 250-500 mg much less. This can raise your heart rate, but that is all you need.