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  • Ingredients Explained: L-Arginine

    Ingredients Explained: L-Arginine

    What is L-arginine

    L-arginine, a semi-essential amino acid, is both produced by the body and available as a supplement. It plays a crucial role in various bodily processes, such as the creation of nitric oxide, which boosts blood flow and circulation and therefore in theory, improves your workouts.

    Why would someone take L-arginine

    From a training perspective, L-arginine has been shown to enhance exercise performance by increasing blood flow, dilating blood vessels, and promoting the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to muscles (Journal of Sports Science and Medicine 2005; Current Sports Medicine Reports 2009). Some research also indicates that L-arginine stimulates the production of growth hormone and insulin, which can aid in muscle growth and recovery (Nitric Oxide 2008). L-arginine may also reduce muscle fatigue and improve endurance.

    Additionally, some people take L-arginine for its potential health benefits, including improving heart health, enhancing sexual function, aiding in wound healing, and reducing symptoms of conditions such as angina and erectile dysfunction. 

    Who’s L-arginine not for

    Whilst a body of research supports L-arginine benefits in exercise performance, there are some things to consider.

    If the goal of supplementing with L-arginine is to improve nitric oxide production and exercise performance, a cheaper alternative like L-citrulline may be a better option. This is because L-citrulline is absorbed more efficiently through the intestines than L-arginine (Khalaf et al., 2019). If you have experienced gastrointestinal discomfort or bloating after taking a pre-workout, it may be due to a high dose of L-arginine mixed with caffeine.

    L-arginine may interact with some medications, such as blood pressure medications, and may cause side effects such as gastrointestinal discomfort and bloating. People with liver or kidney problems should consult their physician before taking L-arginine supplements.

    What to look for in an L-arginine supplement

    When choosing an L-arginine supplement, look for one that is as pure as possible, with the highest concentration of the amino acid. L-arginine malate 2:1 is a widely available alternative to pure L-arginine, while L-arginine malate 1:1 is less ideal. Note: Some companies may not specify the type of L-arginine on their label - don't be afraid to ask!

    How to take L-arginine

    L-arginine supplements can be taken orally. The recommended dosage can vary based on the individual's needs. Typically you’ll find that the dosages range from 1g-10g

    When to take L-arginine

    The suggestion around when to take L-arginine will vary based on the individual's needs, as well as the purpose behind its use. 

    Can L-arginine be used with other supplements

    We previously mentioned that L-arginine is a common ingredient in pre-workout supplements as a nitric oxide enhancer. However, we prefer other compounds, such as L-citrulline, over L-arginine for pre-workouts.

    Some research suggests that it may not pair well with medications, such as Viagra, so it is important to consult with a healthcare professional before combining supplements with medication, especially if you have an existing condition.

    What differs from product to product

    As previously mentioned, L-arginine comes in a variety of grades. Our suggestion? Go for the good stuff, aka 100% pure L-arginine. With that in mind, choosing between products is easy peasy - simply pick the one that fits your budget and/or aligns with your preferred brand.

    References:

    Ali A, Al-Sohaibani M, Al-Daghri N. (2005). "Effects of oral administration of L-arginine on athletic performance of young soccer players," Journal of Sports Science and Medicine, 4, pp. 112-116.

    Nosaka N, Suzuki K. (2008). "The role of nitric oxide in exercise performance and adaptations," Nitric Oxide, 19(2), pp. 149-156.

    Madar Z, Chen J, Lipsitz LA. (2009). "The effects of L-arginine supplementation on athletic performance," Current Sports Medicine Reports, 8(6), pp. 305-311.

    Khalaf, D., Krüger, M., Wehland, M., Infanger, M., & Grimm, D. (2019). The Effects of Oral l-Arginine and l-Citrulline Supplementation on Blood Pressure. Nutrients, 11(7), 1679.

  • Achieve Your 2018 Goals with L-Arginine, Protein, and Creatine

    The New Year is approaching fast and it's right about now that resolutions and goals are being made for 2018. Losing weight and building muscle are the most popular goals each year and while the foundation of these goals is built around nutrition and exercise, supplements can dramatically increase your chances for success. Three supplement ingredients in particular, L-arginine, whey protein, and creatine, can help you achieve your fitness goals.

     

    What is L-Arginine?

    L-Arginine, a non-essential amino acid, has a variety of duties in the body, including assisting with protein production and utilization.

     

    Benefits of L-Arginine

    L-Arginine is an ideal pre-workout ingredient to use as it can support several fitness benefits including performance, weight loss, and muscle building. Studies suggest that L-arginine can support the following:

     

    • May enhance exercise performance via increased nitric oxide production
    • May promote muscle building through increased work output
    • May support post-workout recovery by reducing inflammation and alleviating soreness

     

    How Can L-Arginine Help You Achieve Your Fitness Goals?

    Studies show that L-arginine is a potent nitric oxide booster, which may help with increasing performance. Better performance may equate to being able to achieve specific acute variables for muscle building, performance enhancement, or fat loss. What's more, L-arginine can support post-workout recovery to get you back in the gym faster.

     

    Create your very own supplement for 2018 by using the Amino Z Supplement Builder. Providing you with only scientifically proven ingredients, the Amino Z Supplement Builder lets you choose which ingredients to use and the dosage of each.

     

    What is Whey Protein?

    Whey protein has become a staple in most homes for muscle building or meal replacement. Whey protein can come in concentrate or isolate form. It provides the amino acids you need to support a variety of fitness goals.

     

    Benefits of Whey Protein

    Countless studies have been focused on whey protein and it has applicable benefits inside and outside the fitness world. Studies show that whey protein can be used for the following benefits:

     

    • May promote lean muscle growth via increasing the anabolic environment inside the body and boosting protein synthesis
    • May enhance post-workout recovery by providing muscle repairing amino acids
    • May ensure healthy weight management as a health meal replacement option

     

    How Can Whey Protein Help You Achieve Your Fitness Goals?

    If you want to build muscle, whey protein is a necessity. It contains amino acids, which have been shown to promote anabolism and muscle growth. Whey protein is also an ideal supplement for performance athletes as it may help with recovery and gains. Those looking to lose weight can use it as a meal replacement.

     

    What is Creatine?

    Creatine has been used just as long as whey protein and it's considered one of the veterans of the industry. This amino acid by-product provides the muscle tissue with a direct form of usable energy called adenosine triphosphate (ATP).

     

    Benefits of Creatine

    The newest forms of creatine are rapidly absorbed by the body and provide a number of scientifically validated benefits including:

     

    • Converts into adenosine triphosphate (ATP) which may increase energy levels and force output
    • May be able to increase intra-workout strength levels – In turn, this may help to promote muscular hypertrophy
    • May support post-workout recovery

     

    How Can Creatine Help You Achieve Your Fitness Goals?

    Once converted, creatine provides the preferred form of energy for muscle tissue. This can dramatically enhance your intra-workout or competition performance. It's also going to be a key factor in your recovery and how quickly you get yourself back into the gym.

     

    Make sure that 2018 if your year for fitness success. Try the Amino Z Supplement Builder today!

     

    References

    1. K. Hnia, J. Gayraud, G. Hugon, M. Ramonatxo, S. De La Porte, S. Matecki, et al. L-Arginine Decreases Inflammation and Modulates The Nuclear Factor-?b/Matrix Metalloproteinase Cascade In Mdx Muscle Fibers. Am J Pathol, 172 (6) (2008), pp. 1509-1519.

     

    1. B.I. Campbell, P.M. La Bounty, M. Roberts. The Ergogenic Potential of Arginine. J Int Soc Sports Nutr, 1 (2) (2004), pp. 35-38.

     

    1. Tsutsumi R, Tsutsumi YM. Peptides and proteins in whey and their benefits for human health. Austin J Nutri Food Sci 2014;1(1): 1002.

     

    1. Phillips, S. M., and L. J. Van. "Dietary Protein for Athletes: From Requirements to Optimum Adaptation." Journal of Sports Sciences. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2011. Web.

     

    1. Blomstrand E, Eliasson J, Karlsson HK, Köhnke R. Branched-chain amino acids activate key enzymes in protein synthesis after physical exercise. J Nutr. 2006 Jan; 136(1 Suppl):269S-73S.

     

    1. Negro M, Giardina S, Marzani B, Marzatico F. Branched-chain amino acid supplementation does not enhance athletic performance but affects muscle recovery and the immune system. J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2008 Sep;48(3):347-51.

     

    1. De Lorenzo A, Petroni ML, Masala S, Melchiorri G, Pietrantuono M, Perriello G, Andreoli A. Effect of acute and chronic branched-chain amino acids on energy metabolism and muscle performance. Diabetes Nutr Metab. 2003 Oct-Dec;16(5-6):291-7.

     

    1. Kreider RB. Effects of creatine supplementation on performance and training adaptations. Mol Cell Biochem. 2003 Feb;244(1-2):89-94.

     

    1. Robert Cooper, Fernando Naclerio, Judith Allgrove, and Alfonso Jimenez. Creatine supplementation with specific view to exercise/sports performance: an update. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2012; 9: 33. Published online 2012 Jul 20. doi: 10.1186/1550-2783-9-33.
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