L arginine supplement products are quickly becoming one of the most popular supplements for athletic men – but do they really work? Let’s find out.
L-arginine is a naturally occurring amino acid that provides several benefits.
One of the touted l-arginine benefits is its ability to boost performance for workouts.
According to Scott Forbes, a doctoral student in exercise physiology, “L-arginine is a precursor for nitric oxide that is known to improve blood flow.”
“[L-arginine] may aid the delivery of important nutrients to working muscles and assist with metabolic waste product removal.
Secondly, L-arginine [increases] growth hormone levels in the blood.”
These l-arginine bodybuilding benefits may be the reason why supplements are becoming so popular among those who are fitness-focused.
Does L-arginine Work?
L-arginine helps in the release of growth hormone, which itself provides many benefits like increasing the use of fat as fuel.
However, the benefits of l-arginine supplements on physically active people may not be as conclusive, according to conflicting studies.
“One of the reasons for this is that the amount an individual has to consume has not been clearly established.”
Forbes says that “this information is rarely provided by the manufacturers of such products.”
Forbes put his theory to the test by examining two different doses of L-arginine on athletic men.
He finds the amino acid supplements interesting because they “can increase growth hormone response, and so can increase muscle mass.
Also, it has an impact on insulin, which is another anabolic hormone. A recent hot topic has been about nitric oxide as a vasodilator.
The theory is that if you can vasodilate your arteries you can potentially enhance blood flow to the muscles and enhance nutrient delivery and waste product removal.”
L-arginine is not without merit, as it is often prescribed to older adults.
These adults take supplements for hypertension, heart disease, and endothelial dysfunction.
However, the studies usually don’t focus on younger and physically active populations.
Forbes study went over the effects of l-arginine on 14 physically active, physically fit men around the age of 25.
As for the l-arginine dosage, Forbes explains his methods:
“After a 10-hour overnight fast, and no breakfast, we gave them a different dose of L-arginine
– either .075 g per kilogram of body mass for the low dose, .15 g per kg of body mass for the high dose, or a placebo.”
The results demonstrated that neither group of physically active men saw a significant increase in growth hormone.
They also didn’t see a significant increase in nitric oxide, insulin, or insulin-like growth factor-1.
According to Forbes study (which can be found here), the impact of l-arginine supplements may depend on an individual’s health and fitness level.
Ultimately, since there are conflicting studies, more research is necessary to reach a conclusive consensus on the benefits of L-arginine for athletic men.