How Long Does It Take for L-Citrulline to Work for ED?


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Some people claim they use L-citrulline supplements for ED and see results. But has research confirmed L-citrulline benefits for ED? And if so, how long does it take for L-citrulline to work for ED?

While some research has shown that L-citrulline can offer ED benefits, the data and study volume is very, very limited. And because there hasn’t been any large study on L-citrulline benefits for males dealing with ED, it isn’t clear how long it takes for L-citrulline to work for ED.

What Does L-Citrulline Do?

To understand how L-citrulline might help ED, let’s get into a bit of the science behind how arousals work. 

When you feel aroused, your nervous system sends a signal to the tissue inside your privates, known as the corpora cavernosa. The blood vessels that supply blood to your privates then dilate, increasing blood flow and creating arousal.

One molecule that’s involved in this process is nitric oxide. This molecule plays a key role in relaxing the smooth muscle tissue that controls blood flow to the erectile tissue inside your penis. During this process, an amino acid produced by the body, L-citrulline, is converted to L-arginine, another type of amino acid. 

This is where L-citrulline supplementation comes in: Some people take L-citrulline supplements to produce L-arginine, which improves blood flow by creating nitric oxide, a gas that helps widen blood vessels. Note that it’s also possible to get L-citrulline through foods, namely watermelon but also legumes and meat.

Beyond ED, some people also use L-citrulline supplementation or L-citrulline malate (one of the forms of citrulline that’s a combination of L-citrulline with malic acid) for improved athletic performance and exercise performance, or to improve muscle strength or reduce muscle soreness after a tough workout. It’s also been shown to help people with heart disease or clogged arteries.

L-Citrulline vs L-Arginine

As we mentioned above, L-citrulline converts to L-arginine, which increases nitric oxide production to widen blood vessels. Healthy blood flow and proper vasodilation is an important part of how arousal works, so in theory, L-citrulline could help reduce ED by increasing blood flow to your privates.

L-arginine supplementation (or even nitric oxide supplements like nitrates) is typically not the most efficient way to produce nitric oxide, which is why people may use L-citrulline supplements to increase arginine levels and produce normal arousal.

You may see L-arginine marketed as a natural remedy for erectile dysfunction, but there isn’t much evidence to support this claim, even for mild ED.

(RelatedWhat Foods Help You Get Hard: 8 Foods For Erectile Dysfunction)

L-Citrulline Benefits for ED 

Because ED is an incredibly common health condition for men (around 30 million are affected in the U.S. alone), the number of treatments available is vast. So people googling “L-citrulline benefits for males” probably hope to see a lot of studies explaining the potential benefits.

Unfortunately, the current research on L-citrulline for ED is also very limited.

  • One small study of 24 men with moderate or mild erectile dysfunction found that oral citrulline supplementation was an effective treatment in improving hardness scores and overall satisfaction.

  • Another small study of 13 men similarly found that oral L-citrulline supplementation was effective in treating ED. This treatment, however, was a combination of citrulline supplementation with a polyphenol known as resveratrol and a PDE5 inhibitor — the first line of treatment for most men with ED.

Still, there haven’t been any large randomized clinical trials to assess the safety of L-citrulline for ED treatment.

There are proven treatments for ED, from prescription medications to addressing performance anxiety and other root causes of psychological ED. However, some men may prefer to try L-citrulline — and even alternatives like drinks for ED or eating foods to help with ED — when the usual ED medications don’t work or they experience too many side effects.

How Long Does It Take for L-Citrulline to Work for ED?

Since there hasn’t been a large study to assess whether L-citrulline supplementation improves arousal, the answer to “How long does it take for L-citrulline to work for ED?” isn’t clear.

The duration of treatment for both studies we mentioned above was two months, with patients taking a placebo (an inactive drug) for one month, followed by another month of oral citrulline supplementation.

More research would be needed to fully understand not only how long L-citrulline takes to work for ED, but also whether oral citrulline supplementation is effective when it comes to arousal.

L-Citrulline Dosage for ED

The exact L-citrulline dosage for ED is also unclear, once again due to the limited amount of studies.

In the first study on oral L-citrulline supplementation we mentioned, patients received a dosage of 1.5 grams of citrulline each day for a month. Meanwhile, the second study saw patients receive 800 milligrams of L-citrulline along with 300 milligrams of transresveratrol each day.

One source recommends an L-citrulline dosage of 2,000 milligrams three times a day, or 1.76 grams of citrulline malate for every 1 gram of citrulline you might take for circulatory health. However, there isn’t much research to support this dosage.

L-Citrulline Side Effects

Though research on the effectiveness of L-citrulline for ED is limited, this dietary supplement is believed to be safe. Citrulline has been used as an oral supplement for many years without reports of serious safety concerns.

In fact, a review of citrulline malate supplements found only a couple of mild L-citrulline side effects were experienced:

  • Nausea

  • Diarrhea

Generally speaking, any supplement or medication that causes vasodilation or otherwise affects blood pressure should not be taken without medical advice first, especially if the person taking it takes other medications to address high blood pressure or similar issues.

In other words, if you want to take oral L-citrulline supplements for ED, consult with a healthcare provider first.

(RelatedThe Best ED Pills for Men: Pros & Cons of ED Medication)

L-Citrulline for ED: Should You Take It?

ED is the inability to attain and maintain an erection sufficient for satisfaction, and it affects many men. 

Fortunately, there are several treatment options out there. For instance, something as simple as lifestyle changes, like an improved diet or increases to exercise is sometimes even enough for men with mild ED. You might even consider different types of therapy, as depression and anxiety can sometimes play a role in ED.

But when it comes to L-citrulline supplements as a possible treatment option for ED, here’s our take:

  • An amino acid produced by the body, L-citrulline may help to create more nitric oxide, which, in turn, helps promote healthy blood flow. 

  • Increased blood flow is one part of the process of getting an erection. So many people may turn to L-citrulline supplements to increase blood flow and reduce ED.

  • The research on L-citrulline for ED is thin. And while this supplement doesn’t appear to have significant adverse effects, there are many other proven treatments for erectile dysfunction to consider.

  • One of the most common treatments is an oral medication known as PDE5 inhibitors. These work by relaxing the arteries and increasing blood flow to your penis to improve erectile function.

  • The most common PDE5 inhibitors are sildenafil (the active ingredient in Viagra), tadalafil (Cialis), vardenafil (Levitra) and avanafil (Stendra). They’re available as either oral medications or chewable ED mints.

  • While a natural treatment like L-citrulline may sound more appealing, prescription medications have plenty of research to support their effectiveness. 

If concerns about possible medication side effects or drug interactions is why you’re weighing options like L-citrulline for ED, talk to your healthcare provider. 

This article originally appeared on and was syndicated by

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5 Best Drinks for Men With ED

5 Best Drinks for Men With ED

Watermelon, dark chocolate and bananas may all be great foods to eat to keep hard, but what do you wash them down with? 

As you eat foods that help you get hard, you might be wondering if there are also drinks to help with ED. What about special tea? Does drinking water help you perform?

Look, it would be great if you could hydrate your way to harder erections, and to a certain extent, you certainly can (more on that soon). But know that if you’re looking for powdered supplements or magic potions, we have bad news: there’s no such thing as a “performance enhancing” drink. 

There are, however, some drinks that you might want to try if you’d like to shift the balance in favor of your arousal health.


While it’s known that certain foods can improve erectile health and help with ED, what drinks for ED can help? Is there a best juice for ED or any other kind of best drink for ED?

While there’s no one best drink for ED, there are some drinks that might give you some benefits.

Marcos Elihu Castillo Ramirez/istockphoto

Although the evidence isn’t that strong, one 2013 review found drinking pomegranate juice was associated with improvements in ED in several studies.

The most likely reason for this is that the antioxidants in pomegranate juice have been found to enhance nitric oxide levels.

Nitric oxide is a naturally produced molecule that promotes blood flow throughout your vascular system. That makes it important for your physical functioning — including the ability to get and maintain arousal.

Research has found that nitric oxide plays a role in erectile function by relaxing the vascular muscle that supplies your genitals with blood when you’re aroused.

FYI: grape juice has also been found to increase nitric oxide levels, and its flavonoids may benefit vascular health.

While the evidence of the effects of pomegranate juice isn’t very clear, this juice for ED may be worth a try. Or you can try drinking grape juice if you prefer the taste.


The most refreshing summer beverage for ED is watermelon. We’re calling it now — next year’s summer drink trend.

Look, watermelon is technically a food, but when juiced, it’s more than just a refreshing beverage — it’s one of the best sources of l-citrulline out there. 

L-citrulline is an amino acid noted for its benefits to blood flow and vascular function, which are important parts of physical performance and bedroom performance. And yes, we’re pretty sure eating slices of it works fine too.


Looking for the best juice for ED that can also totally stain your clothes? (Hey, we’re not going to judge). It comes from the beetroot, in our opinion and the opinion of our laundry detergent.

Okay, there’s no strong evidence of beet juice treating ED, but beet juice can increase nitric oxide in your blood, which may help to open up blood vessels — like those around your genitals — and promote the blood flow needed to get hard.

Beet juice may also affect blood pressure. If you have high blood pressure (hypertension), foods that are high in nitrates like beets and beet juice can lower your blood pressure.


There are a few reasons to avoid milk, like lactose intolerance or concerns about hormones, but medical experts wouldn’t suggest avoiding it for ED. 

Drinking milk may help with arousal, according to a 2003 study. It found that foods with the amino acid L-arginine — such as dairy — can help relax your muscles and improve blood flow. 

Also, kids who grew up in the ‘90s get some nostalgia from a good milk mustache, so… that’s a benefit.

(Related: The 5 Best Drinks for Erectile Dysfunction)


While the world’s most popular sources of natural caffeine are good for your health, we’re not talking about the flavored, canned and bottled drinks you get at gas stations. But if you’re a coffee or tea drinker struggling with ED, you may be in luck.

Caffeine may improve blood flow, according to a 2005 review, as well as relax the smooth muscle that cause and sustain arousal. Another study found that consuming 170mg to 375mg of caffeine per day was enough to significantly reduce reports of ED, compared to those who didn’t consume that much. 

The jury’s out on the benefits of caffeine in improving functioning, but we’ll take our coffee anyway.

Nikolay Ponomarenko/istockphoto

You don’t need to read studies on men’s health and desire to know that alcohol isn’t great for you. 

Call it alcohol-induced ED, drinking affects your central nervous system, arousal and performance.

Oh, and the sugary drinks that are often mixed with alcohol aren’t a part of a healthy lifestyle either — obesity and heart disease are both serious risks of a diet rich in sugars and they increase your chance of developing ED.

Do with this info what you will, but alcohol in moderation is generally thought to be best for everyone and everything — including your bedroom performance.


Some drinks may have an impact on your risk of sexual dysfunction, but unless you become severely dehydrated, what you drink probably isn’t going to be the biggest player in how easy it is for you to get hard. More often than not, ED is a result of better-established reasons for ED, like the psychological causes (stress, depression or performance anxiety) or the physical causes (genetial health, testosterone levels or cardiovascular health).

In these cases, other approaches to ED treatment make more sense. We like to break them into two categories:

(RelatedThe Best ED Pills for Men: Pros & Cons of ED Medication)


ED medications called PDE5 inhibitors work to encourage getting hard via increased blood flow to your genetials. These medications include:

  • Viagra (sildenafil). Sildenafil, or generic Viagra, provides relief from ED for around four hours.

  • Cialis (tadalafil). Tadalafil is a long-lasting medication that can provide relief from ED for up to 36 hours.

  • Stendra (avanafil). A newer ED medication that’s fast-acting, avanafil is less likely to cause certain side effects than older medications. 

  • Levitra (vardenafil). This oral medication can provide relief from ED for slightly longer than sildenafil.


Being overweight or obese, drinking excessive alcohol, smoking, having a sedentary lifestyle and using certain types of medication can all increase your ED risk, as well as affect your overall health. Because of this, the best preventative measures are regular exercise, eating a nutritious, well-balanced diet, and quitting smoking and other unhealthy habits.

Another issue that may cause problems is your mental health. Bedroom performance anxiety is a fairly well known psychological issue, but anxiety, depression, low self-esteem and negative body issues can all cause psychological ED in otherwise healthy individuals. 

The best solution? Therapy and medication. 


Like the potion guide in your favorite video games, we can point you to the best drink to last longer in bed and drinks to increase arousal, as well as give you the honest answer about whether energy drinks cause ED or if olive oil and lemon juice can treat it.

We also have guides for PE, foods that help ED and a deeper dive into water and how it helps your arousal.

The bottom line is that there’s no magic tonic. Hopefully, however, the health benefits we’ve outlined above give you some ideas of what to sip while you ponder better approaches to improving your functioning. 

  • An extra cup of coffee, grape juice, beet juice or even milk could help with ED or the health conditions that cause it. 

  • More importantly, cutting down on your booze could prevent alcohol-induced ED from taking hold. 

  • If all else fails, there are plenty of science-backed ED treatments approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that a healthcare provider can prescribe.

  • If the cause of your ED is psychological in nature and not related to your physical health, it may be time to schedule a consultation with a mental health professional.

The best treatment, of course, is to talk with your healthcare provider about your symptoms and learn more about the best ED treatments for you. 

This article originally appeared on and was syndicated by



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