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?