Arginine is a basic amino acid and is classified as a conditionally essential amino acid. The typical dietary intake of arginine is 3.5 to 5 grams daily. It is good to understand the amino acid before you start taking the supplements.
It is mostly seen in pre-workout formula and is popular because of three main reasons:
- It’s a role in boosting nitric oxide.
- It’s a role in the secretion of endogenous growth hormone
- It’s involvement in the synthesis of Creatine
- Helps Boost Nitric Oxide
Arginine is the substrate for the enzyme nitric oxide synthase (NOS), which is responsible for the production of nitric oxide (NO). NO is a signaling molecule that has a distinct ability to increase blood flow to muscle tissue.
The process of blood flow improvement is triggered by a cascade of cellular reactions which relax the smooth muscle walls of blood vessels and cause vessel dilation (widening) to facilitate greater blood flow.
A recent study conducted on healthy men who consumed 6g of L-arginine at one trial and placebo in the second. One hour after taking the L-arginine and the placebo, subjects performed an incremental exercise test to exhaustion. The primary finding was that L-arginine supplementation reduced the amount of oxygen required to perform the exercise. This means that individuals accomplished the same exercise load, but with less energy expended. In other words, they were more efficient after supplementing with L-arginine. L-arginine supplementation also increased the time to exhaustion by 26% during high-intensity cycling.
These findings provide evidence that L-arginine supplementation (6g in a single dose) improves exercise efficiency and tolerance leading to the performance boost.
- It’s the role in the secretion of endogenous growth hormone:
Growth Hormone is a peptide hormone that works to stimulate growth and regeneration of cells within the body and is well known for its uses as an anabolic agent in sports and bodybuilding.
There are indications that L-arginine augments the effects of exercise training on insulin sensitivity and capillary growth in muscles.
L-arginine has been documented to be a substance important in the secretion of not only GH but also various other hormones; including insulin, glucagon, adrenaline, and noradrenaline. It is even suggested to reduce insulin sensitivity.
- it’s involvement in the synthesis of Creatine
And finally, the small but impactful function of the arginine would be to synthesize creatine, which is one of the sources of ATP providing energy. To know more, click on our video on Creatine.
This proves that it’s a perfect supplement for bodybuilders. Most studies describe supplementation with a dose of approximately 3g per day to show exercise-induced benefits. GNC L-Arginine falls under the perfect range and it’s shown to prove beneficial in boosting your sports performance.
However, it is worth experimenting with the dose per day and evaluating your response in regards to fatigue, the degree of muscle pump, and of course relative to the state of your current diet.