There’s a reason no one cycles protein the way they do carbs: Because protein is awesome and you always want get plenty of it. If there are days you cannot get enough protein—you’re fasting, traveling, you’re vegan, or maybe you have a short-term medical condition—a new study shows that a daily hit of L-citrulline can help you hold onto your muscle.
A study published in the journal Clinical Nutrition took eight subjects and put them on a low-protein diet for three days. On the fourth day they were given a dose of L-citruline and experienced an increase in the synthesis of new muscle protein. This action had no effect on insulin levels.
More research is needed to determine the mechanism of action and L-citrulline’s effect on muscle breakdown, but for now it looks like a promising solution if you ever have to cut back on your daily protein.
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