Many in the fitness community take l-arginine supplements, but what are some of the benefits for endurance athletes? Find out how l-arginine affects endurance.
According to a study in the European Journal of Applied Physiology, l-arginine supplements may not necessarily benefit endurance athletes. The study, titled “No effect of acute L-arginine on O(2) cost or exercise tolerance”, suggests just what it says.
However, a few years before this study, the same researchers (for the most part) published a study titled “Acute L-arginine supplementation reduces the O2 cost of moderate-intensity exercise and enhances high-intensity exercise tolerance.” So does l-arginine supplementation affect endurance or not? Let’s find out.
L-arginine and Endurance
Athletes drink beet juice as a way to boost their endurance due to their rich nitrate content. In turn, the nitrate converts into nitric oxide, a natural vasodilator that relaxes blood vessels and improves circulation.
By increasing your nitric oxide production, your muscle contractions cost less oxygen and improve your endurance. L-arginine is an amino acid that boosts nitric oxide production, so supplements should also be boosting your endurance.
In their original study, the Exeter University researchers came to the same conclusion but decided to repeat the experiment. The difference between their first and second study is that the first one used a supplement cocktail containing L-arginine. In contrast, their second study showing that arginine may not affect athletic endurance used pure l-arginine.
In addition to l-arginine, the original supplement contained AAKG, citrus bioflavonoids, a-lipoic acid, l-glutamine, l-citrulline, and acetyl l-carnitine. It also contained l-carnitine citrate, l-cysteine, betaine, and inorganic nitrate. In other words, the benefits may have been a result of either one or a combination of the different ingredients.
Nevertheless, their current study also has certain limitations, such as the l-arginine supplement being used having small amounts of other compounds. The researchers note that they “consider it to be unlikely given the similarity of [their] results to other studies in which [nitric oxide] availability was enhanced to a similar degree using pharmacological… or dietary… nitrate interventions.”
While this particular study may suggest that pure l-arginine may not affect endurance, more research is necessary. However, even in this study, we learn that perhaps combining l-arginine with other ingredients may still be helpful for athletes.
In other words, if you’re looking to boost your endurance with l-arginine, you need a supplement that combines it with other circulation-helpful ingredients. The good news is that you can find such supplements, such as L-arginine Plus, one of the most popular supplements.
Its ingredients include l-arginine, l-citrulline, astragin, magnesium, vitamin c, folate, and plenty of other vitamins and minerals. If you want to give your heart health and energy the support it deserves, try L-arginine Plus.