L-Citrulline vs Beet Powder- [Which One Is Better?]

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Written By David Falcone

People are out looking for anything that enhances their performance or enhances recovery after a workout. This is why the sports nutrition market is dominated by performance-enhancing products. These nutrition products improve energy, performance, muscle recovery, and muscle growth. 

But, when it comes to L citrulline vs beet powder, then the question arises. 

Beetroot powder has high nitrate content compared to L-citrulline. Even though L-citrulline improves performance slightly, however, it may decrease NO levels. This is why beet powder is a better precursor for performance enhancement and post-workout results. Taking L-Citrulline alone doesn’t do much. 

Now, let us first have a proper understanding of NO. Then we will move towards its precursors. 

L- Citrulline Vs Beet Powder 

L- Citrulline Vs Beet Powder 

The majority of sports nutrition products consist of protein supplements. However, nonprotein products are also getting popular for energy, strength, and muscle pumps. And nitric oxide (NO) is becoming common, especially in pre-workout supplements. 

Nitric Oxide basically spikes blood flow to muscles and is known to enhance endurance capacity and performance. But you can’t just eat NO directly. 

Instead, you can have it through the consumption of vegetables such as beetroot. Also, you can have it through the L-Citrulline supplement. L-Citrulline is a precursor of L-arginine, which increases endogenous nitric oxide. 

So, which one is better for NO precursor? Obviously, every NO supplement is not equal. 

1. Nitric Oxide 

Basically, nitric oxide is a gas that your body produces naturally. Its main function is to increase blood flow by relaxing your vessels. This is why you will find it in most of the pre-workout strength boosting supplements. 

However, these supplements don’t contain Nitric oxide. But instead, they contain nitrates as a precursor. These precursors are amino acids such as L-arginine or L-citrulline. 

Also, beetroot in the form of powder or liquid is another precursor. These precursors basically encourage NO production in your body. So, the performance of beetroot vs nitric oxide in our body is necessary. This, as result, makes it easier for the body to transport life-giving ingredients. 

Let us see the benefits that follow when blood circulates through arteries more efficiently. 

Improved Performance

Nitric oxide supplements are becoming common among athletes and gym enthusiasts. Because when NO increases blood flow, energy levels, strength, and stamina increase automatically. Furthermore, it is found that NO improves performance during endurance exercises.

In addition to that, NO supplements lead to better muscle pumps resulting in muscle building. 

Faster Recovery Time 

After intense workout sessions, muscles obviously get sore. Nitric oxide seems to not just increase performance but decrease muscle soreness as well. This is because it helps clear waste products related to soreness such as ammonia and lactate. 

So, how much nitrate in beetroot powder is there? The nitrate content is about 16478.1μg/g. It means that beetroot powder can offer you enough nitric oxide to ensure higher performance. This way you can work out harder with less recovery time between workout sessions. 

Let us see other NO benefits at a glance.

  • Eliminate symptoms of erectile dysfunction.
  • Can lower blood pressure.
  • Increase growth hormone.
  • Decrease fatigue.

Why Are Nitrate Oxides Considered Risky Supplements?

Generally, all supplements come with certain amounts of health risks including nitrate oxide supplements. Because these supplements contain large amounts of other ingredients. For instance, caffeine can have adverse effects, especially on young and newbie trainers.

This is why sports dietitians often suggest food first approach to nutrition, especially to newbie gym-goers. But still, if someone wants to go for supplements, USADA recommends only dietary supplements. And never forget to check out if these supplements are verified by a third-party program.

Now let us move on toward major NO supplements namely L-citrulline and beetroot powder.

2. L-Citrulline 

L-Citrulline 
Source: https://drbvitamins.com/

L-citrulline was first found in the watermelon and is a pure amino acid found naturally in the body. It is most commonly used as a nitric oxide precursor in workout supplements. L citrulline benefits include decreasing fatigue and increasing endurance. 

L-citrulline absorbs better than L-arginine as a NO precursor. NO precursor L-citrulline would first convert into L-arginine and then into NO. However, as we mentioned earlier, L-citrulline might decrease NO levels. 

Furthermore, L-citrulline doesn’t go through metabolism through the intestine or liver. It inhibits an enzyme namely arginase that actually breaks L-arginine. So, basically, L-citrulline doesn’t supplement with L-arginine itself but instead increases its levels in the body. 

As a result, L-arginine spikes arginine in blood and consequently NO production in the body. Thus, the blood flow to muscle increases. 

You may also look into if l-citrulline can cause hair loss if you are considering taking it. 

L-Citrulline Vs Beetroot Effectiveness

Effectiveness rating is the measure of any supplement about its ability to improve cycling performance. It simply means seeing whether or not any supplement does what it claims to. And the evidence for L-citrulline to improve cycling performance is better than beetroot powder. 

Suggested L-Citrulline NO Dosage

Well, honestly there is no recommended dosage of nitric oxide or even nitrate. Also, there is no FDA-approved figure for boosting it. But still, the safe amount is given below.

  • 1000 milligrams.
  • 3 times a day.

3. Beetroot Powder

Beetroot Powder

Beetroot powder is trendy among athletes for a reason. Compared to amino acids like L-citrulline, beetroot powder is more reliable in boosting NO levels. Not to mention beets are backed by more scientific studies for efficacy than any other NO supplement. 

Even though beets are backed by solid evidence for therapeutic evidence. Most beet products don’t contain enough amounts of nitrate to make a noticeable difference. So, citrulline vs beets is compared based on their nitrate production. 

Dietary nitrate supplementation such as beetroot powder is shown to increase the time of exhaustion during HIIT exercises. However, these benefits are observed to be effective only in sub-elite athletes. It is unclear if the effects are long-term even with high doses of NO supplementation. 

In addition to that, the efficacy of these dietary supplements is dependent on a range of factors. Check out these factors below.

  • Duration of workout.
  • The intensity of exercise.
  • Type of exercise.
  • Supplementation protocols.
  • Amount and dosage of the supplement.
  • Duration of supplement.
  • Training status of an athlete.

Standardized Supplement- [Beetroot Powder Standardization]

High-quality and low quality supplements are different based on the standardization of natural sources. Standardization keeps in check the specific level of an ingredient in a given source. So simply put if beetroot is not standardized, you won’t know how much NO you are getting. 

In addition to that, popular athletic supplements have varying amounts nitrate levels. And generally, beetroot powder is standardized in low nitrates. One study found that even beetroot increased NO level, but didn’t enhance performance or blood flow. 

Suggested Dosage For NO in Beetroot

  • 6.4 to 12.8 kg NO per body weight
  • 1 teaspoon can contain NO equivalent to 3 whole beets.

L-Citrulline Plus Beetroot Combo

Just as you take sam-e and NAC together, you may wonder about beet powder and l-citrulline combo. Beetroot nitrates combined with L-Citrulline have shown mixed results for performance enhancement. The combo supplementation did not reduce markers of EIMD exercise-induced muscle damage. However, the performance of participants was better. 

In addition to that, in the measure of hormone levels, positive results were yielded. Cortisol levels were lower and anabolic or catabolic hormonal balance was better. 

It’s worth mentioning that the dosage was 3g per day for Citrulline and 2.1g per day for beetroot (300mg/day). And the dose was given for about 9 weeks. And the conclusion found simply means that there was no benefit seen in terms of muscle recovery.

Here are some supplements that you can try with them to increase your performance, strengths, and muscles. 

CARDIO CLEAR 7This supplement can ensure a healthy heart and helps to maintain healthy cellular energy.
UP N GO ENERGYThis supplement provides vitamins, ocean source minerals, antioxidants, and nutrients that keep you healthy.

Final Verdict

Whether it’s beetroot powder vs L citrulline, there isn’t enough research about them. We have seen that beetroot might have some role in performance enhancement. However, the amount in the product isn’t enough to have any noticeable effect. 

In addition to that, the benefits of beetroot are only observed in the sub-elite for a temporary period. Long-term effects are still unknown. It is also established from studies that beetroot doesn’t have any muscle recovery effect.

Furthermore, L-Citrulline might even decrease the NO level. And the combo of beetroot and L-citrulline have only effects on anabolic hormonal balance.

FAQ’s:

  • Does beetroot juice have the same effect as beetroot powder?

Simply No. Beetroot juice is not as effective as beetroot powder. Beetroot powder contains more organic acids, like citric acid and ascorbic acid. But, beetroot powder supplement making can decrease them. Beetroot juice lacks nutrients like bioactive compounds, phenolic compounds, carotenoids, etc. 

  • How much nitric oxide is present in beetroot powder?

Beetroot powder supplement contains 1.5% nitrate per gram of raw material. A 180-pound person needs 450 mg of beetroot nitrate extract. It means you need 30gms of beetroot extract to get 450 mg of natural nitrate. And you need to consume that amount daily which is not practical or healthy. 

  • How long does it take for beetroot powder to kick in?

You need to take beetroot powder at least 3 hours before the workout. Because 3 hours is the time to reach peak plasma nitrate after consumption. 

Conclusion

The choice between L-citrulline vs beetroot powder would be pretty clear by now. Both of them contain nitric oxide but in amounts ineffective for any significant change. It might also be clear that beetroot has a high content of nitrate.

However, for any practical benefit, you would need a lot of it. So personally, I would recommend natural nutrient sources instead of supplements. That’s all.

Have a good day!

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