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Also known as bitter orangeSeville orangezhi chi, and chongcao, citrus aurantium is Sports Performance Enhancers Citrus Aurantium 1 Canadian Academy of Sports Nutrition caasna member of citrus trees and its fruits and leaves have been used for medicinal and athletic purposes. The peels of bitter orange contain synephrine, octopamine, tyramine, hordenine, N-methyltyramine, volatile oils, and carotenoids.

Synephrine has the effects similar to that of ephedrine. It is a mild stimulant that has gotten a lot of attention in the world of sports nutrition. Synephrine mainly stimulates Beta-3 receptors that are responsible for lipolysis and thermogenesis.

Athletic Benefits of Citrus Aurantium:

Since ephedrine has been banned in sports, synephrine – containing citrus aurantium may be a good alternative. The potential athletic benefits are as follows:

  1. May improve athletic performance by acting as a mild stimulant.
  2. Promotes mental clarity.
  3. Helps promote athletic agility.
  4. Useful in weight loss by decreasing appetite and increasing basal metabolic rate (BMR).

Non – Athletic Benefits of Citrus Aurantium:

Citrus aurantium may be beneficial in the following conditions:

  1. Gastrointestinal discomforts, such indigestion, constipation, and abdominal pain.
  2. Insomnia.
  3. Weight management.
  4. Loss of appetite. Sports Performance Enhancers Citrus Aurantium 3 Canadian Academy of Sports Nutrition caasn

Citrus Aurantium Triple Paradox:

Depending on whether you take extracts of the leaves or peels of the immature or mature fruits, citrus aurantium shows three paradox effects:

  1. It may increase appetite, while it could suppress appetite due to a high amount of pectin.
  2. It acts as a mild stimulant, while it has been used as a sedative in insomnia as well.
  3. While some has used it for high blood pressure, it actually increases blood pressure.

Dosage and Interactions:

Citrus aurantium is available as “bitter orange extract” containing 2 – 6% synephrine. The recommended dosage is 200 – 400 mg of the extract. Similar to grapefruit, citrus aurantium interacts with the medications that are metabolized by the enzyme complex called cytochrome P450.


Citrus aurantium should be avoided in the following conditions:

  1. People with high blood pressure.
  2. People with depression who take the medications MAO inhibitors. Citrus aurantium contains tyramine that interacts with MAO inhibitors, leading to hypertensive crisis (a sudden increase in blood pressure).
  3. Heart diseases.
  4. Along with statins, the cholesterol – lowering medications.
  5. Pregnancy and breastfeeding.
  6. Raynaud`s phenomenon.
  7. Peripheral artery disease.
  8. Diabetic vascular involvement.