Home   |   Contact   |   Help

Get Our Newsletter
Sign up for our free newsletter to get training tips and stay up to date on Catalyst Athletics, and get a FREE issue of the Performance Menu journal.

Go Back   Catalyst Athletics Forums > Training > Other

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 12-22-2010, 01:20 AM   #1
Nicholas Wyss
New Member
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 33
Default Citruline Malate

Has anybody else seen this study?

Citrulline malate enhances athletic anaerobic performance and relieves muscle
soreness J Strength Cond Res. 2010 Apr 7

Here's a link:


So, they take a group of 41 guys who already lift weights, and put them on a 2 week workout program. Each monday they work chest, doing 16 sets, the first and last 4 being barbell bench press. All the bench press sets use the same weight. They are each given citrulline malate and a placebo, but randomly on either the first or second Monday. Results show that when the subjects were using the citrulline malate were able to perform more reps in the later sets, and also had less reported muscle soreness.

Here's the problem I see. If you give someone a brand new workout, and then have them perform it once, and then again a week later, I would expect them to perform significantly better the second time around, and also have less muscle soreness. I read through the whole article, I see no control for this "learning effect." They don't actually show the data at all. What if, by "coincidence" 2/3 of the subjects who got the citrulline malate got it on the second workout of the week instead of the first. It seems like it would be a really important variable to control for. Either make sure you split it 50/50, which I don't see that they did, since they say it's a double blind, or control for it when you interpret the results, which I also don't see that they did.

Doesn't surprise me to see some bunk study touting the benefits of some new supplement, but it seems like a relatively well-respected journal, so I feel like I might just not get it.

I am I just missing something?
Nicholas Wyss is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-24-2010, 03:44 AM   #2
Spencer Mackay
New Member
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 43

Nicholas, this is just the process that needs to be used when you decide whether something works or not; It's refreshing to see a study done on 'trained' subjects, more often than not these studies are done using those in a non-trained state because it's much easier to standardise.

Also bear in mind that soreness is extremely subjective; someone who squats every day to maximum will have a different perception of soreness than someone who does fifteen minutes of machine weights twice a week.
Spencer Mackay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-24-2010, 01:02 PM   #3
Steven Low
Super Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 3,091

You're not missing anything.

Most studies have flaws like this.

The best way to find if something works is if there's a general concensus about it (e.g. creatine, BCAAs, whey, etc all show fairly consistent beneficial results) or try it yourself.
Posts NOT intended as professional medical, training or nutrition advice.
Site // Bodyweight Strength Training Article // Overcoming Gravity Bodyweight Book
Steven Low is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-27-2010, 12:15 AM   #4
Nicholas Wyss
New Member
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 33

Thanks for the feedback. If you look at table 2 at the end of the article, it doesn't show who worked out when, but it shows some of the data. If you notice, on the 8th set, it says that 100% of the test subjects were "responders," which I assume means they performed better with the citrulline than without it. I find that really hard to believe, especially if half of the subjects that took citrulline on the first workout instead of a week later. Who knows though. By the way, sorry for putting this in the wrong section, it obviously belongs in the supplements section.
Nicholas Wyss is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2011, 11:57 AM   #5
Cain Morano
New Member
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Columbia, MD
Posts: 38

As a scientist, I found that there is no such thing as an iron clad study. Even really good studies leave questions - this is why there is research and not 'search', because every experiment produces leads, questions, and sometimes useful answers that we try to verify through repetition. So it (science) is all actually just an ongoing venture. Really it all just points in further directions. There are always some other variables to consider, especially with people, and especially with fitness programs - which is like arguing religion and politics.

The study looks 'okay', I think it is at least strong enough to go with the conclusion that CM is possibly a supplement to enhance performance and recovery. I also would not assume the biochemical roles they attribute to certain compounds, e.g. CM, is entirely correct or fully defined.

Originally Posted by Steven Low View Post
You're not missing anything.

Most studies have flaws like this.

The best way to find if something works is if there's a general concensus about it (e.g. creatine, BCAAs, whey, etc all show fairly consistent beneficial results) or try it yourself.
That's my strategy when dealing with information. Over so many sources you will start to see trends in a supplement's use and results. And when you try it and it works, even if it is placebo effect - you got the results you wanted! That's a problem with self experimentation...
Cain Morano is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 05:45 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9 Beta 3
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Subscribe to our Newsletter

Receive emails with training tips, news updates, events info, sale notifications and more.

Submit your question to be answered by Greg Everett in the Performance Menu or on the website

Submit Your Question

Catalyst Athletics is a USA Weightlifting team of competitive Olympic-style weightlifters with multiple national team medals.

Read More
Olympic Weightlifting Book
Catalyst Athletics
Contact Us
Products & Services
Weightlifting Team
Performance Menu
Magazine Home
Subscriber Login
About the Program
Workout Archives
Exercise Demos
Text Only
Instructional Content
Exercise Demos
Video Gallery
Free Articles
Free Recipes
Recommended Books & DVDs
Olympic Weightlifting Guide
Discussion Forum
Weight Conversion Calculator