If you’re interested in improving your health and wellness, you may have heard about amino acids.
Amino acids are requisite for protein synthesis and many other body functions. One such amino acid is arginine, which is required to build muscle and synthesize protein.
L-Arginine is an amino acid that plays a key role in the human body. It is a building block of protein and aids in the formation of nitric oxide. Nitric oxide increases blood flow to organs and tissues, which can help with healing.
And L-Arginine supplements are the most prevalent amino acid supplements on the market today. They are best known for their role in boosting energy and building muscles, but they also have other benefits, such as boosting immune function and aiding in wound healing.
But what exactly is L-Arginine, and how can it benefit you?
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at this fascinating amino acid and explore how it can help unlock your potential for optimal health.
What is L-Arginine?
L-arginine is a conditionally essential or semi-essential amino acid produced by our body. 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 like pregnancy, trauma, illness, and intense exercise, the arginine requirement increases, which one must fulfill via external sources.
L-arginine serves various essential functions in the human body, including protein synthesis, urea cycle, tissue repair, and immune cell function. It is crucial for the development of T-cells, a type of white blood cell that plays a significant role in the immune system.
Moreover, L-arginine is required for the production of nitric oxide, which regulates blood flow, mitochondrial function, and cellular signaling. Besides, it acts as a precursor to other amino acids like glutamate, proline, and creatine.
L-arginine is abundant in various foods, including meat, fish, nuts, eggs, poultry, and dairy products. These food items can help meet the body’s daily L-arginine requirements.
However, in situations with increased demand for L-arginine, such as in athletes and bodybuilders, oral supplementation can be an effective alternative. This form of supplementation is quite common among these individuals.
Health benefits of L-arginine
Scientific studies have indicated that L-arginine supplementation has the potential to offer various health benefits. However, the supplement’s effectiveness may vary depending on the specific application and an individual’s overall health status.
1. Enhance athletic performance
L-arginine has been found to have the potential to enhance athletic performance by improving blood flow and increasing the supply of oxygen and nutrients to the muscles.
This can give athletes the required stamina and endurance during training or workouts.
One study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that 56 male soccer players who took 2 g of L-arginine for 45 days experienced an improvement in their overall athletic performance.
2. Maintain blood pressure levels.
Research studies suggest that L-arginine supplements may be beneficial in preventing elevated blood pressure levels. This is because L-arginine helps generate nitric oxide, which acts as a vasodilator, relaxing blood vessels and significantly reducing systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels.
3. Healthy heart
Clinical trials have demonstrated that L-arginine supplementation may effectively improve the symptoms of chest pain and coronary heart disease.
Additionally, it may help reduce the risk of heart attacks by adjusting the blood flow in the arteries and preventing blood from clotting.
4. Reduce diabetes risk
As mentioned earlier, L-arginine plays a crucial role in producing nitric oxide, essential 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.
One study conducted in 2014 found that the intake of 2 g of L-arginine per day for 45 days improved the lipid profile and fasting blood sugar levels among male athletes.
5. Manage critical illness
Severe illnesses, such as sepsis, burns, chronic diseases, trauma, and surgeries, can significantly deplete L-arginine levels in the body. Therefore, oral supplementation of L-arginine sachets is commonly used to speed up recovery, promote wound healing, and boost immunity in such patients.
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.
Deficiency of L-Arginine leads to
L-arginine is an essential amino acid that plays several vital roles in the body, including protein synthesis, wound healing, and immune system function. A deficiency of L-arginine can lead to a number of health problems, including:
1. Poor immune function
L-arginine plays a crucial role in the function of white blood cells, which are responsible for fighting infections. A deficiency in L-arginine can weaken the immune system, making it more difficult for the body to fight off infections.
2. Slow wound healing
L-arginine is involved in producing collagen, a protein essential for wound healing. A deficiency in L-arginine can lead to slow wound healing and an increased risk of infection.
3. Erectile dysfunction
L-arginine is used to produce nitric oxide, a molecule that helps relax blood vessels and improve blood flow. A deficiency in L-arginine can lead to decreased blood flow to the penis, which can contribute to erectile dysfunction.
4. High blood pressure
L-arginine helps to regulate blood vessel tone and maintain healthy blood pressure. A deficiency in L-arginine can contribute to high blood pressure and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
5. Poor exercise performance
L-arginine plays a role in energy metabolism and can help improve exercise performance. A deficiency in L-arginine can lead to fatigue, decreased endurance, and poor exercise performance.
What are the best dietary sources of L-Arginine?
L-Arginine is an amino acid that the body can produce, but it can be obtained through dietary sources, including animal and plant-based foods. Animal-based sources of L-Arginine include meat, poultry, fish, and dairy products. Plant-based sources of L-Arginine include nuts, seeds, beans, and whole grains.
Here are some foods that are good sources of L-Arginine:
- Meat – Meat is an excellent source of L-Arginine, and it includes beef, pork, chicken, and turkey. You can consume these meats in various forms, such as grilled, roasted, or baked.
- Seafood – Seafood is also a great source of L-Arginine. Fish such as salmon, tuna, and halibut are excellent sources of L-Arginine. Shrimp, lobster, and crab are good sources of this amino acid.
- Dairy products – Dairy products such as milk, cheese, and yogurt are also good sources of L-Arginine. Low-fat or non-fat milk, cottage cheese, and Greek yogurt are some of the best sources of L-Arginine.
- Nuts and seeds – Nuts and seeds are another excellent sources of L-Arginine. Peanuts, almonds, cashews, and pumpkin seeds are high in L-Arginine. Sunflowers, sesame, and flaxseeds are good sources of this amino acid.
- Legumes – Legumes such as soybeans, chickpeas, lentils, and kidney beans are also rich in L-Arginine. They are also excellent sources of fiber, which makes them a great addition to your diet.
- Grains – Grains like oats and quinoa are also good sources of L-Arginine. Quinoa is a superfood that is high in L-Arginine and rich in other essential amino acids.
It is important to note that the amount of L-Arginine in foods can vary depending on how the food is prepared or processed. For example, roasting nuts or boiling legumes can reduce their L-Arginine content. Therefore, consuming these foods in their raw or unprocessed form is recommended whenever possible.
And if dietary foods are not working and are insufficient, you can go for the best dietary supplements available in the market.
Which is the best L-arginine supplement?
The market is flooded with multiple L-arginine dietary supplements in various forms. However, here is a list of some top-notch supplements to ponder.
- Nutrabay Pure 100% L-Arginine.
- Nutrabay Pro L-Arginine Capsules.
- Fast&Up Activate.
- GNC L-Arginine.
1. Nutrabay Pure 100% L-Arginine
Every serving of Nutrabay Pure 100% L-Arginine supplement provides pure L-arginine powder without any additives or fillers. The product contains no banned substance, is vegan-friendly, and is suitable for anyone aiming to build well-toned lean muscle mass.
2. Nutrabay Pro L-Arginine Capsules
If you are not comfortable with taking L-arginine in powder form? Choose Nutrabay L-Arginine capsules.
These capsules provide 100 mg of L-arginine. Just take one serving before your workout and feel the difference in your energy levels and muscle pump.
3. Fast&Up L-Arginine Essentials
Fast&Up L-Arginine is a flavoured formula that provides pure 1500 mg L-arginine in a delicious orange flavor. The effervescent form helps increase exercise endurance and supports the hydration levels of the body.
4. GNC L-Arginine
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 more significant gains, pump, energy, and vascularity.
How does L-arginine work?
When L-arginine is ingested, it is broken down by enzymes in the body and converted into NO. NO then acts as a signaling molecule, causing the smooth muscle cells in the walls of blood vessels to relax and widen.
This allows more blood to flow through the vessels, which can help to lower blood pressure and improve circulation.
L-arginine may also have other health benefits, such as improving immune function, promoting wound healing, and reducing inflammation.
However, more research is needed to understand how L-arginine works fully and its potential benefits and risks. Talking to a healthcare provider before taking L-arginine supplements is essential to ensure safety and proper dosage.
What is the ideal L-arginine dosage per day?
L-arginine supplements are widely available in various forms, such as powder, liquid, capsules, and tablets. However, the dosage of L-arginine supplements depends on the specific reason they are being used.
Athletes and bodybuilders usually prefer 1-3 grams before a workout to improve their endurance and stamina and promote muscle pumping.
Studies support the 6-30 grams dosage to improve high blood pressure or hypertension symptoms.
How to take L-arginine dosage?
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 gynecologist.
L-arginine can interact with certain medications and cause adverse effects, especially in people with pre-existing medical conditions. Therefore, discussing the potential risks and benefits of taking L-arginine supplements with a healthcare provider before starting any supplementation regimen is essential.
Are there any side effects of taking L-arginine?
The supplemental form of L-arginine is generally well-tolerated and 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.
L-Arginine is a powerful amino acid that can help support your health and wellness in many different ways. From boosting your exercise performance to promoting heart health and more, L-Arginine has a lot to offer.
L-Arginine can be obtained through dietary sources, including animal and plant-based foods, and is also available as a supplement. While it is generally safe, it is essential to use this supplement responsibly and under the guidance of a healthcare professional.
With the right approach, L-Arginine offers you the best possible health benefits.
What should L-arginine not be taken with?
Don’t take L-arginine with amiloride (Midamor), spironolactone (Aldactone, Carospir) or triamterene (Dyrenium). These medications can increase potassium levels, increasing the risk of developing a higher than normal level of potassium in your blood (hyperkalemia). Sildenafil (Revatio, Viagra).
When should you not take L-arginine?
Who shouldn’t take L-arginine. Don’t take L-arginine if you’ve had a heart attack. There are concerns that the supplement might increase the risk of death. L-arginine supplements can worsen allergies and asthma.
What are the negative effects of L-arginine?
In clinical trials, arginine has been used safely with minor side effects for up to three months. Possible side effects include abdominal pain and bloating, diarrhea, and gout. It may also cause a worsening of breathing in people with asthma. Arginine may interact with certain medications that lower blood pressure.
What’s the best time to take L-arginine?
The most preferred time to take L-Arginine is before a workout. It should ideally be consumed half an hour before starting your workout. This will increase the Nitric Oxide levels in the body which helps to improve muscle pump, higher workout performance, and improve endurance.
Does arginine affect sleep?
L-arginine affects sleep because it’s a nitric oxide precursor. When nitric oxide is released in the blood, it relaxes blood vessels. This helps to relax the endothelium cells and neural firing. Induced sleep is a positive side effect.
Should L-arginine be taken daily?
How much arginine should you take? There is no standard dose of arginine. Studies have used different amounts for different conditions. One common dosage is 2 to 3 grams three times a day, although lower and higher doses have also been studied