The amino acid arginine, which occurs naturally in some foods, boosts the body’s production of nitric oxide. Nitric Oxide (N.O.) supplements actually include arginine – not nitric oxide. Arginine is naturally found in foods such as spinach, sesame seeds, crab, shrimp, red meat, chicken, wheat germ, grains, nuts and seeds, dairy products, and white meat turkey. Arginine, also known as L-arginine was first discovered in 1886 and is one of the most common types of amino acids. Necessary for the production of protein, L-arginine also stimulates the release of growth hormone, and other substances in the body and also helps rid the body of ammonia (a waste product) and stimulates the release of insulin and helps to regulate and synthesize proteins. In addition, your body needs L-arginine to make urea, a waste by-product, which helps you expel excess nitrogen when you urinate.
L-arginine acts as a neurotransmitter and its main job is to deliver messages between the body’s cells. Because it also acts as a vasodilator, (enlarges blood vessels to enhance circulation) it also plays a pivotal role in regulating activities of the brain, lungs, liver, kidneys, stomach and other organs. From a muscle building prospective, L-arginine affects the release of certain hormones and adrenaline. It’s also said to speed a muscle’s growth and recovery time and since it also increases blood flow, it’s able to deliver more nutrients to muscles, helping them grow more effectively. Many athletes take L-arginine supplements (or their counterparts), because they believe that they make them workout harder, increase their energy, and help them to achieve massive pumps and improved vascularity while training.
Science suggest that there’s early evidence that L-arginine may help treat medical conditions that improve with increased vasodilation. These conditions include: chest pain, atherosclerosis (clogged arteries), heart disease, heart failure, erectile dysfunction, peripheral vascular disease, and headaches from blood vessel swelling). L-arginine has also been credited for assistance with: wound healing, improved immune functionality, preventing the common cold, and helping the kidneys remove waste from blood.
According to ‘Health Line Blog’ – unless you’re a scientist, there’s no real difference between the ‘L’ arginine and the ‘G’. When an “L” is placed in front of an amino acid (as it can be for any of the twenty in our bodies) it indicates that the amino acid can exist in two possible forms: L or D. D-arginine is often made for research by scientists but is not used commercially. D-arginine is not found in nature and is considered to be the mirror image of L-arginine in terms of its chemical structure. L-arginine is the commercial preparation and is available in the food we eat. The human body only requires L-arginine. If you ever see arginine for sale as a supplement, it will always be the same as L-arginine. The arginine in your body and your food is also the same as L-arginine.
L-arginine is considered to be one that is ‘semi-essential’ so the body does not store it for later use. This means that, while the body extracts enough arginine from the foods that we eat, it is possible to require extra which can come from supplements or from eating particular protein rich foods – listed above. Despite this, it’s still rare to become deficient in arginine.
I personally have been using L-arginine for a few months now and have noticed a huge difference in my total workout performance. Since I began using this supplement, I have increased energy, massive pumps, more vascularity, some fat loss, improved stamina, and an overall sense of self-improvement. I think that taking 1,000 mg of L-arginine 30 mins prior to a workout may give you a similar experience however it’s best for you and your Doctor to establish the appropriate dosage levels. I have a high regard for L-arginine and put it at the top of the list next to creatine in terms of “useful supplements” during my training days. I think the best thing about this type of product is that I seem to ‘feel’ the effects the first day and started to ‘see’ results a week later. If you’re in need of that extra ‘pep in your step’ while working out, I highly recommend you check out the supplement section of Fitness RX for Men to see what exciting supplement products they have to offer with L-arginine as the active ingredient(s).