L-Citrulline vs L-Citrulline DL-Malate: A Helpful Guide

L-Citrulline vs L-Citrulline DL-Malate: A Helpful Guide

L Citruline

L-citrulline and L-citrulline DL-malate are commonly used by athletes to develop muscles, support muscle recovery, manage pain, and boost energy levels. Both also have uses and benefits beyond this. However, it can be confusing to determine which is the most useful for you. This is why, in this article, we will discuss the properties of both so that you can deepen your understanding.

What Is L-Citrulline?

Alongside L-ornithine and L-arginine, L-citrulline is an amino acid tied to the urea cycle. After it has entered your system, the kidneys convert it into arginine. Arginine is another amino acid which plays an essential role in the body by building proteins.

Hence, L-citrulline is an effective means for increasing your arginine intake. While arginine supplements exist, they only provide temporary spikes in arginine levels. By using L-citrulline, the build-up might be gradual, but it is also more long-lasting.

L-citrulline is also commonly found in different food sources. These would include peanuts, soy, and garbanzo beans. In terms of meat, it can also be found in liver (higher concentration) along with salmon and red meat (lower concentration).

What Is L-Citrulline DL-Malate?

This compound is the combination of citrulline and malate or malic acid. This is a chemical that occurs organically in a wide range of fruits. It has a number of applications such as being used as a food preservative. By itself, malic acid has been observed to possess the properties for relieving pain and boosting energy. With the added influence of citrulline, malic acid is capable of improved absorption and increased bioavailability.


Both compounds have numerous benefits to offer. To determine which one is the best option for you, it would be helpful to understand what they are capable of.


This amino acid has proven itself to be extremely helpful in matters related to cardiovascular health and blood circulation. This is in large part due to the fact that it is a precursor to arginine. Previously conducted studies have also been able to determine that L-citrulline carries the potential for promoting healthy blood pressure. This is achieved by dilating the blood vessels.

It is also believed that L-citrulline can potentially increase the levels of nitric oxide in the body. Nitric oxide is a molecular compound in the body which promotes intercellular communication. It also benefits blood circulation. There is also evidence to suggest that nitric oxide supports the immune system and enables healthy cardiovascular activity.

By improving blood circulation, L-citrulline can benefit your neural functions as well. Researchers have been able to determine that the growth of nerve cells is facilitated by an increased amount of blood and nutrients being delivered to vital portions of the neural tissue. It is possible that consumption can lead to improved memory.

Athletic pursuits also have much to gain from L-citrulline. The heightened blood flow is likely a factor in promoting muscle recovery and growth. This is in addition to providing more nutrients to muscle tissue. There are also some studies that suggest that L-citrulline can boost your metabolic rate, thereby supporting weight loss efforts.

L-Citrulline DL-Malate

With this compound, you get all the benefits of L-citrulline along with the benefits of malic acid. This means that you get all the associated improvements to your blood circulation and cardiovascular health in addition to other benefits.

Now that we have established how L-citrulline can improve your physical condition, let us now take a look at how malate gives these advantages. As mentioned earlier, the specific combination of L-citrulline and malic acid enables boosted absorption and improved bioavailability.

Aside from this, studies have put forth the notion that malic acid (by itself) is capable of assisting with pain relief and raising energy levels. Malate also carries skin care properties. It is commonly used as a remedy for skin problems such as warts or acne. It is also believed that it carries some exfoliating capabilities.

L-Citrulline vs L-Citrulline DL-Malate

With a deeper understanding of the two compounds, it should be easier to determine which one is the most useful for you. When trying to arrive at a decision, it is important to remember that both have their uses and that there is no “superior” option between the two. Ultimately, it is a matter of preference and what suits your needs better.

DL-malate is generally considered to be the more popular choice. This is because athletes find the energy boosting qualities beneficial to their goals. However, this does not mean that the DL-malate compound is objectively better. If the benefits of malic acid are not relevant to your needs, you might find that L-citrulline is preferable instead.

In the event you choose to purchase DL-malate, be careful. Some vendors might be peddling supplements with an abundance of malic acid and not enough citrulline. This can be problematic because it effectively dilutes their effects and leads to underwhelming results. Make sure your supplements have a 2:1 ratio, which is to say twice the grams of citrulline for every gram of malic acid. This proportion is most likely to yield the best results.


There are advantages to both L-citrulline and DL-malate. They have a variety of uses and benefits which can improve your overall physical health. Research is the most effective means for identifying which of the two is most relevant to your needs. If you know anyone using these supplements, it would be worthwhile to contact them and ask how effective they have been.

The DL-malate variant is loved by athletes, so if your goals are related to developing muscles or even weight loss, it might be the right option for you. However, if you are not particularly athletic, the simple L-citrulline would be our recommendation. The final verdict is ultimately your choice, though.

Note that even though these compounds can benefit your body, you should not get too enthusiastic. The over-consumption of L-citrulline can upset your digestive system and lead to an upset stomach. Hence, be careful and do your research.


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