Category: Athletic Performance, Amino Acids Everyone needs to take a sufficient amount of arginine, as groups with increased needs of this amino acid are adolescent children, athletes, people who are overweight and people who are old of age.
Intake of arginine by trained people can strengthen their immune system, thereby allowing them to train harder and to avoid the unpleasant consequences of overtraining. Overweight people recovering from injury, and those with erection problems, would also experience improved physical condition if they intake arginine.
Dose: 3.5 - 15g/day
Forms to use: L-Arginine HCl
Time Taken: 30-45 min before a workout
L-arginine (here and after referred to as arginine) is a positively charged amino acid, which is classified as essential or conditionally indispensable at certain conditions.
Every fitness enthusiast has heard of L-Arginine, but few know that it neutralizes free radicals.
What Is L-Arginine?
Generally, the body can not synthesize arginine alone enough to meet its own needs.
There are, however, several cases where this is not so.
Arginine is an essential amino acid for young children.
In stressful body conditions such as trauma, burns, and inflammations, arginine also becomes an essential amino acid for the adult organism and is therefore very important to be taken in sufficient quantities with food and/or supplements.
How Is It Produced?
Arginine is produced through fermentation with the help of the bacteria Corynebacterium (Brevibacterium), Bacillus, Serratia and Escherichia coli.
Major Physiological Effects Of Arginine:
It participates in the building of muscle tissue; it is included in the composition of proteins but has also many other actions.
Optimal Doses And Way Of Intake:
Arginine should be taken between 3.5 to 15 grams daily.
People with impaired cardiac function should consult a doctor before taking arginine. Since the safe daily intake doses of arginine as a supplement have not yet been established, you are advised to take it at a low dose per week, to note the positive and negative effects and then to increase the dose until you make the positive effects to the maximum and the negative ones - to the minimum.
Possible Side Effects:
Overdosage may cause diarrhea, general weakness, and nausea.
You should be particularly attentive to arginine if you are taking the following medicaments: Ibuprofen, organic nitrates, sildenafil citrate.
If you are taking yohimbine, you should know that arginine enhances its action.
Why Should We Take It?
Everyone needs to take a sufficient amount of arginine, as groups with increased needs of this amino acid are adolescent children, athletes, people who are overweight and people who are old of age.
Intake of arginine by trained people can strengthen their immune system, thereby allowing them to train harder and to avoid the unpleasant consequences of overtraining.
Using steroids can also benefit from the supplementation of arginine because these people often have high levels of "bad" cholesterol - a condition which is improved with the intake of arginine.
Overweight people recovering from injury, and those with erection problems, would also experience improved physical condition if they intake arginine.
Additional Physiological Effects:
Even though not essential amino acid, arginine has many physiological effects, because it:
stimulates the release of growth hormone and prolactin secretion by the pituitary, and also glucagon and insulin from the pancreas when taken in high doses;
neutralizes the ammonia that is formed in the degradation of amino acids by the formation of urea;
is a precursor for the formation of nitric oxide (one of many so-called signal molecules in the body), creatine, L-glutamate, L-proline, L-ornithine, and polyamines tuftsin peptide, which is considered an immunomodulator (improves the functioning of the immune system);
neutralizes free radicals;
acts blood-expanding (including in the genitals area);
lowers blood pressure;
is a glycogen amino acid - can be converted to D-glucose and glycogen if the body needs them, or can be degraded to release energy;
supports the regulation of the salt level in our body;
significantly increases the amount of so-called "T-killers" - white blood cells that naturally kill damaged and cancer cells in our body.
How Is Arginine Absorbed By The Body?
After food digestion, arginine is absorbed from the small intestine through active transport and enters the enterocytes, as part of it gets metabolized inside them.
The utilized part of arginine is transported to the liver where it is again partially metabolized. The remaining amount of arginine is transferred to the big circle of circulation, where it is distributed to various tissues in the body.
The highest concentration of arginine in the blood plasma can be observed 1-2 hours after eating/supplementation.
Which Foods Contain Arginine In The Greatest Amount?
The main source of L-arginine is plant and animal proteins.
A small amount of free arginine is found in vegetable juices and fermented foods such as Miso (soy cheese) and yogurt. Soy proteins and other vegetable proteins are richer in arginine than the animal sources that are richer in lysine. It is assumed that soy proteins lower the level of cholesterol in the blood due to the high content of arginine.
Arginine in large quantities can be found in nuts and seeds as peanuts and almonds, as well as in raisins and chocolate.