Amino acids are requisite for protein synthesis and many other body functions. One such amino acid is arginine, required to build muscle and synthesize protein.
L-arginine is a conditionally essential or semi-essential amino acid that our body can produce. This amino acid constitutes approx. 7–5% of the total amino acids in our regular diet and absorbed in the small intestine. During some conditions, the arginine requirement increases like pregnancy, trauma, illness, and intense exercise, which one must fulfil via external sources.
Meat, fish, nuts, eggs, poultry and dairy products are L-arginine-rich foods. In addition, oral supplementation of L-arginine is an excellent alternative and quite common among athletes and bodybuilders to serve the increased needs.
The body uses L-arginine in protein synthesis, urea cycle, tissue repair and immune cell function. Arginine is necessary for developing T-cells, which are white blood cells hence play pivotal roles in the immune system. It’s required to produce nitric oxide, which is involved in blood flow regulation, mitochondrial function, and cellular signalling. Additionally, it acts as a precursor to amino acids like glutamate, proline, and creatine.
Since L-arginine has so many critical roles in our body, a deficiency can disturb cellular and organ function and lead to severe adverse health outcomes.
Health benefits of L-arginine
Studies have demonstrated that L-arginine has numerous potential benefits when taken as a supplement. However, the results may vary depending upon the application and health of an individual.
- Enhance athletic performance: L-arginine has the potential to improve blood flow and increase the supply of oxygen and nutrients to the muscles. Hence, it is significant to provide stamina and endurance during training or workouts. A study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition observed improvement in overall athletic performance when 56 male soccer players took 2 g of L-arginine for 45 days.
- Maintain blood pressure levels: Studies show that L-arginine supplements may help prevent elevated blood pressure levels. Because of its role in generating nitric oxide, L-arginine help relaxes blood vessels by acting as a vasodilator and significantly reduces systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
- Healthy heart: Clinical trials exhibit that L-arginine could improve the symptoms of chest pain and coronary heart disease and reduce heart attack risk by adjusting the blood flow in the arteries and preventing blood from clotting.
- Reduce diabetes risk: As already discussed, arginine is needed for nitric oxide production. This nitric oxide is significant in determining how our body responds to insulin. Therefore, increasing nitric oxide availability may help enhance the function of cells that secrete insulin, allowing our body to use blood sugar more efficiently. A study conducted in 2014 found the intake of 2 g of L-arginine per day for 45 days may improve the lipid profile and fasting blood sugar levels among male athletes.
- Manage critical illness: Severe illnesses like sepsis, burns, chronic disease, trauma and surgeries deplete L-arginine levels to a large extent. Hence, oral supplementation of L-arginine sachets is commonly used to speed up recovery, wound healing and build immunity.
What is the ideal L-arginine dosage per day?
L-arginine supplements are extensively available in powder, liquid, capsule, and tablet form. However, the dosage depends upon the reason for which it is used.
- Athletes and bodybuilders usually prefer between 1-3 grams before a workout to improve their endurance and stamina and promote muscle pumping.
- Studies support the dosage between 6-30 grams to improve high blood pressure or hypertension symptoms.
One must take L-arginine strictly under expert supervision to treat any medical condition for diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma, kidney and cardiovascular disease.
Similarly, pregnant and lactating women should never take L-arginine without consulting their gynaecologist.
Are there any side effects of taking L-arginine?
The supplemental form of L-arginine is generally well-tolerated and is safe to use. One must read the label carefully and never exceed the recommended dosage.
L-arginine higher doses side effects include nausea, diarrhoea, bloating, indigestion and abdominal pain.
L-arginine tablets may interfere with certain medications or supplements like blood thinners, anti-diabetic medicines, diuretics, coenzyme Q10, etc.
Which is the best L-arginine supplement?
The market is flooded with multiple L-arginine dietary supplements in various forms. However, here is the list of some top-notch supplements to ponder.
- Nutrabay Pure 100% L-Arginine.
- Nutrabay Pro L-Arginine Capsules.
- Fast&Up Activate.
- GNC L-Arginine.
Every serving of this supplement provides pure L-arginine powder without any additives or fillers. The product contains no banned substance, is vegan-friendly and suitable for anyone aiming to build well-toned lean muscle mass.
Not comfortable with taking L-arginine in powder form? Choose Nutrabay L-Arginine capsules that provide 1000 mg L-arginine. Just take one serving before your workout and feel the difference in your energy levels and muscle pump.
This is a flavourful formula that provides pure 1500 mg L-arginine in a delicious orange flavour. The effervescent form helps increase exercise endurance and support hydration levels of the body.
It contains superior quality 1000 mg L-Arginine tablets to support muscle recovery and relaxation. The formula enhances nitric oxide levels to aid blood flow to the muscles for greater gains, pump, energy and vascularity.