L-arginine (or arginine) is an amino acid that’s become an essential for athletes in recent years. It has numerous healthy properties to help you achieve your sporting goals.
Arginine is much more than a fashionable supplement – it’s an amino acid that can be synthesised by the body, fulfilling a multitude of metabolic functions on a daily basis, and it’s become an essential compound for muscle recovery after intensive training.
L Arginine benefits, according to experts
The benefits of L-Arginine extend beyond the sporting arena, according to Professor and Medical Doctor Stefanie M. Bode Böger of the Institute of Clinical Pharmacology at the University of Magdeburg, who notes that numerous studies confirm the benefits of arginine for vascular health and cholesterol levels.
Below is a list of these and other benefits attributed to L-Arginine:
- Prevents heart disease and heart failure by lowering blood pressure.
- Lowers high cholesterol by reducing the risk of arteriosclerosis.
- Prevents thrombi in blood vessels.
- It is a semi-essential amino acid that your body produces through food and supplements.
- It acts as a vasodilator, improving blood flow from the brain to the muscles of the male sex organ, preventing erectile and endothelial dysfunction.
- It’s a key player in the immune system and is involved in the release of growth hormone, norepinephrine and insulin.
- It’s involved in the development of muscle tissue, preventing the onset of glaucoma.
- It stimulates collagen synthesis, promoting rapid wound healing.
- It promotes efficient excretion of metabolic waste products by the kidneys through urine.
Natural sources of L-Arginine and its consumption in supplements
Another question you’ll be interested in knowing the answer to: what foods are rich in L-Arginine and how would we consume it through sports supplementation?
Natural sources of L-Arginine are made up of foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids (such as nuts and oily fish), red meat, dairy products and foods rich in polyphenols, such as grapes, red fruits or pure cocoa.
Others that stand out are beetroot and watermelon, the perfect fruit to rehydrate your body with water, vitamins, minerals and L-arginine during the hot months.
And to finish the list, eggs and beef, veal, poultry and pork all contain varying amounts of arginine.
Due to the essential role played by this amino acid and its nitric oxide derivative in many metabolic processes, more and more people are turning to L-arginine supplements. As with all supplements, responsible arginine consumption means knowing the recommended dosage and when to take it.
Arginine should be taken during the day, with meals, to increase and maintain blood plasma levels. Despite this recommendation, you can concentrate the doses in two key moments to enhance sports performance and favour night recovery.
- Arginine pre-training: it’s common for athletes to take 3 to 5 grams of arginine a day. This protocol is because of the increased blood flow to the muscles the amino acid provides, leading to rapid repair of muscles that have been damaged during strenuous training, accelerating muscle growth.
- Arginine before going to sleep: if you decide to take arginine before going to bed, you can maximise the production of growth hormone (CH), which aids fatigued legs, suffered by those who have to sit or stand for long hours at work.
Are there any side effects?
Wondering if arginine is dangerous or has any serious side effects? Well, don’t worry, the answer is no! That said, diarrhoea, weakness and nausea have all been noted with excessive consumption of this amino acid.
As a general rule, if you’re taking medication, consult your doctor before adding any supplements to your diet.
Where will I find the best supplements?
At HSN, you’ll find L-arginine supplements with an excellent price-performance ratio.
Did you expect so much from L-arginine? Sometimes, behind a supposedly good sports supplement, lies a truly extraordinary one, whose health benefits are included in the package.
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