Trying to build lean mass? Take glutathione and L-citrulline, say researchers

Researchers suggest that people who are trying to build lean mass should take glutathione and L-citrulline supplements. Their suggestion comes after finding a positive association between these supplements and muscle strength.

In their study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, the researchers recruited 75 resistant-trained men aged between 18 and 35. The participants were non-smokers, at a low risk for cardiovascular disease, and had not taken any nutritional supplements three months before the study.

Then, the researchers randomly divided these men into three groups with 25 participants each: One group consumed 200 milligrams (mg) of glutathione and 2 grams (g) of L-citrulline per day; another group took 2 g of L-citrulline malate daily; the third group took 2.52 g of cellulose placebo each day. Participants consumed the supplements an hour before exercising. Their workout plan included a variety of presses, rows, and curls. On days when they did not exercise, they took their supplement in the morning with breakfast.

After four weeks of supplementation, the researchers observed positive results. Compared to the placebo and L-citrulline-only group, the glutathione and L-citrulline group exhibited significant increases in muscle strength and lean mass. Although they did not see any significant changes between groups in terms of volume, they observed a significant relationship between lean mass and strength at the eighth week for the bench press exercise, and saw a significant relationship between lean mass and leg press strength at the fourth week. However, there were no significant changes in body mass, fat mass, and total body water after the eighth week.

“However, the data suggest that [glutathione plus L-citrulline] increased lean mass over placebo after four weeks, and that a similar increasing tendency compared to placebo existed after eight weeks,” wrote the researchers.

Based on the findings of the study, the researchers concluded that taking glutathione and L-citrulline together can increase muscle strength and lean mass. (Related: Can Glutathione Improve Athletic Performance?)

Foods that help in resistance training

People who strength train also need to eat properly by choosing high-quality protein sources and eating them at the right time. Protein plays a vital role in metabolism and muscle health. Together with carbohydrates and fat, protein helps keep the body performing at its best.

Although there are protein supplements available, it is best to get most of your protein from foods. Here are some of the best food sources for high-quality protein:

  • Eggs and egg whites: Eggs are one of the best protein sources available because they have all the essential amino acid building blocks for healthy muscles.
  • Lean beef: Lean beef is a great source of protein. Consume 20 to 30 grams of lean beef after exercise.
  • Legumes: Legumes, such as lentils, beans, and peas, are great because they are not only rich in protein, but also in carbohydrates. Lentils also contain B vitamins that boost metabolism, magnesium for healthy bones, and iron for healthy red blood cells.
  • Protein-rich soy: For those who don’t eat meat, soy is a great protein source. It is also rich in heart-healthy fats and has zero cholesterol.
  • Whole grains with protein: Quinoa, a mild grain with a chewy texture, contains higher amounts of protein than most whole grains.

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