L-citrulline is one of the most popular ingredients in a pre-workout supplement, often combined with the likes of arginine, creatine, and beta-alanine.

L-Citrulline is a naturally occurring, non-essential amino acid that has many performance-enhancing benefits.

Though, is it safe to take L-citrulline on an empty stomach? Is there one best way to take this ergogenic aid? Keep reading to find out all you need to know!

What is L-Citrulline?

L-citrulline is a non-essential amino acid that, when ingested, gets converted to L-arginine and nitric oxide by the kidneys. This is where the performance-enhancing effects stem from.

You can find L-citrulline in some foods such as watermelon, which is where the name has derived from as watermelon in Latin is Citrullus.

The Benefits of Taking L-Citrulline

If you’re seeking to improve your training and athletic performance, L-citrulline is a commonly recommended substance to add to your supplement stack.

Supplementing with L-citrulline has been shown to:

Reduce lactic acid build-up

Whatever exercise you may be doing, you may have felt that burning sensation in your working muscles, which often ends in muscle fatigue.

This is common and completely normal, yet can be a barrier to improving performance. L-citrulline is thought to help eliminate the toxins and by-products that cause this sensation, thus increasing your ability to maintain performance and fight off fatigue.

Increase nitric oxide production

One of the most notable roles of L-citrulline is its ability to generate more nitric oxide via increasing arginine levels in the body. This results in many benefits, such as increased blood flow, oxygen transportation, and nutrient uptake, as well as aiding muscle function.

Support the ATP energy system

Another great benefit of L-citrulline is the ability to increase your aerobic energy production, thus allowing you to reach a higher endurance threshold.

When is the Best Time to Take L-Citrulline?

The best time to take L-citrulline is 30-40 minutes before exercise, though this often depends on the product you are taking.

Pre-workout formulas work best when taken 30-60 minutes before a workout!

Can You Take L-Citrulline on an Empty Stomach?

Yes, it is completely safe to take L-citrulline on an empty stomach. Many pre-workout supplements can be taken on an empty stomach, as this is thought to optimize absorption.

Though, this is largely down to individual preference. While taking pre-workout before training is often recommended, not consuming a pre-workout meal with adequate protein and carbohydrates is not recommended before a tough session.

So, it’s best to judge this on your tolerance, fitness goals, training type, and training duration. As with many supplements, it’s a good idea to trial-and-error doses and timings to best suit your personal needs.

Take-Home Message

L-citrulline is one of the most effective ergogenic aids in the fitness world. Popularly found in pre-workout supplements, L-citrulline can help improve performance by increasing nitric oxide production, improving energy production, and reducing lactic acid build-up.

While it is safe to take L-citrulline on an empty stomach, it is best to determine a dose and timing that works best for you as an individual.

The best way to take L-citrulline is as part of a pre-workout supplement, such as Pre Lab Pro, the next-gen pre-workout formula that combines the most effective and potent ergogenic aids to enhance your athletic performance and recovery!