Huberman on Beta Alanine, Beet Juice, & Citrulline for Athletes

Beet Juice, Arginine, and Citrulline: Benefits and Side Effects

In a recent podcast, Andrew Huberman discussed the potential benefits of beet juice, arginine, and citrulline for improving athletic performance, particularly in long-duration activities such as running and swimming.

These compounds are believed to enhance performance by promoting vasodilation, which increases blood flow throughout the body.

However, Huberman also cautioned about the potential side effects associated with arginine and citrulline supplementation.

He noted that these compounds may increase the likelihood of developing cold sores and canker sores, especially in individuals who carry the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1).

HSV-1 is a common virus that resides in the trigeminal nerves, which innervate the lips, eyes, and mucous membranes of the face. When the virus becomes active, it can cause inflammation in these nerves, leading to the formation of cold sores. Huberman explained that arginine and citrulline supplementation might trigger these outbreaks in some people.

It is important to note that HSV-1 is highly contagious and is not necessarily transmitted through sexual contact.

In fact, Huberman stated that approximately 80-90% of people contract HSV-1 by the age of twelve, often through non-sexual means such as touching contaminated objects. While many individuals may experience only one outbreak, stress and increased intake of arginine or citrulline can trigger subsequent episodes.

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