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Effects of Citrulline Supplementation on Different Aerobic Exercise Performance Outcomes: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Nutrients. 2022, V. 14, n. 17, 3479
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Supplementation with Citrulline (Cit) has been shown to have a positive impact on aerobic exercise performance and related outcomes such as lactate, oxygen uptake (VO2 ) kinetics, and the rate of perceived exertion (RPE), probably due to its relationship to endogenous nitric oxide production. However, current research has shown this to be controversial. The main objective of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to analyze and assess the effects of Cit supplementation on aerobic exercise performance and related outcomes, as well as to show the most suitable doses and timing of ingestion. A structured literature search was carried out by the PRISMA® (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) and PICOS guidelines in the following databases: Pubmed/Medline, Scopus, and Web of Science (WOS). A total of 10 studies were included in the analysis, all of which exclusively compared the effects of Cit supplementation with those of a placebo group on aerobic performance, lactate, VO2 , and the RPE. Those articles that used other supplements and measured other outcomes were excluded. The meta-analysis was carried out using Hedges’ g random effects model and pooled standardized mean differences (SMD). The results showed no positive effects of Cit supplementation on aerobic performance (pooled SMD = 0.15; 95% CI (−0.02 to 0.32); I 2 , 0%; p = 0.08), the RPE (pooled SMD = −0.03; 95% CI (−0.43 to 0.38); I 2 , 49%; p = 0.9), VO2 kinetics (pooled SMD = 0.01; 95% CI (−0.16 to 0.17); I 2 , 0%; p = 0.94), and lactate (pooled SMD = 0.25; 95% CI (−0.10 to 0.59); I 2 , 0%; p = 0.16). In conclusion, Cit supplementation did not prove to have any benefits for aerobic exercise performance and related outcomes. Where chronic protocols seemed to show a positive tendency, more studies in the field are needed to better understand the effects.
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