The Effects and Benefits Of Taking L-Arginine
What Is L-Arginine?
L-Arginine is an essential amino acid generally found in our diet.. it is also commonly used as a supplement to help athletes increase their nitric oxide activity in their body.. Nitric oxide helps to dilate or open the blood vessels, allowing for increased blood flow to the muscles. It is also found in natural Viagra type supplements, as it is believed that the increased nitric oxide produced by supplementation with L-Arginine may help to improve erection quality and longevity.
For pre workout purposes, studies have shown that a suitable dose is around 3-6g… L-arginine can be taken up to 3 times a day with a total recommended daily dose of 15-18g
Note – It has been shown that L-Cittruline supplementation is effective at raising and maintaining elevated arginine levels for longer periods of time, so its quite common to see these two grouped together.
Taking over 10g at one time of L-Arginine has been shown to cause diarrhoea and gastrointestinal distress
The Affects Of L-Arginine
It has been shown to increase
- Blood Flow
- Growth Hormone
- Nitric Oxide
- Plasma Arginine
- Aerobic Running Capacity
- Insulin Secretion
- Endothelial Function
- Lean Mass
- Anti Oxident Enzyme Profile
It Can Also Help Reduce
- Blood Pressure
- Fat Mass
- General Oxidation
- Oxygenation cost of Exercise
There have been a number of clinical studies, both on rodents and athletes from different sports backgrounds.. to be honest, the results have been somewhat erratic…
One study followed a mix of experienced and untrained bodybuilders as they took 3g of L-Arginine 45 minutes before weight training… the results were disappointing with no apparent benefits from this level of supplementation –
In another study doses of 6g per day over 3 days also failed to provide any benefits when trialled by Judo Athletes…
On the other side of the spectrum, the same amount (6g) for 3 days was given to trained cyclists who all demonstrated better performance and an increased time to exhaustion…
More longer term studies lasting up to 4 weeks at doses of between 2.8 and 5.7g daily have also provided rather mixed results.
L-Arginine is found in a great deal of pre workout supplements, and for some users its effects will be beneficial…it does show promise, but it does appear to be highly unreliable when taken in supplement form and its effects/benefits will vary across the board from user to user.