Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science Education

Degree Level



Health, Human Performance and Recreation


Dr. Michelle Gray


Dr. Inza Fort

Second Reader

Dr. Paul Calleja


All previous investigations evaluating the effectiveness of citrulline malate (CM) as an ergogenic aid involved male subjects. The purpose of this investigation was to evaluate the ergogenic effects of CM supplementation on upper- and lower-body, submaximal, resistance exercise performance in trained females. Based on previous results, we hypothesized supplementation with CM would increase performance in females. This study utilized a randomized, double blind, crossover design. Testing trials took place within the Human Performance Laboratory and/or the University of Arkansas: Donna Axum Fitness Center. An a priori sample of 14 subjects were required, therefore this study included 15 female. Subjects reported for three visits. Visit one included demographic/body composition, and one-repetition maximum (1-RM) measurements. On subsequent visits, subjects consumed CM (8 g dextrose+8 g CM) or placebo (8 g dextrose) prior to beginning exercise. The protocol included: six sets of upper-body exercise and six sets of lower-body exercise at 80% 1-RM with one minute rest between each upper- and lower-body set and two minutes rest when transitioning from upper- to lower-body exercises. Repeated measures ANOVA determined trial differences. Paired-tests evaluated differences between total repetitions, initial and final halves, and the initial, middle, and final thirds of each exercise between trials. During the final half of upper-body exercise, subjects completed significantly (p = .04) more repetitions when consuming CM (12.13±2.85) compared to placebo (11.13±2.75). Similar results were observed during lower-body exercise. Total repetitions (66.73±30.49 vs. 55.13±20.64, p = .03), repetitions completed during the middle third (18.36±6.71 vs. 15.29±5.78, p = .05), final third (17.57±7.19 vs. 14.21±7.15, p = .02), and final half (26.50±10.70 vs. 21.71±9.76, p = .04) of exercise were significantly greater for CM compared to placebo, respectively. In trained females, CM supplementation increased performance during submaximal resistance exercise. These data have attractive implications for female athletes competing in sports with strength-based requirements.

Keywords: ergogenic aids, Citrulline malate, nitric oxide, and exercise performance in females, strength training, and all related derivatives.

Available for download on Thursday, November 22, 2018