Amazing Benefits of arginine in bodybuilding
What is arginine?
Arginine is one of the constituents that make up proteins. Please do not consider it as an amino acid. That is to say that the body can synthesize it from other amino acids or find it in food.
Arginine is involved in various metabolic processes such as circulation and in particular the vasodilation of the arteries. It acts as a precursor of NO (nitric oxide), on the production of growth hormone and creatine, wound healing, support of immunity, and cardiovascular health.
1- Where to find it?
L-arginine is found naturally in animal proteins: eggs, milk, fish, and red meat. But vegetable proteins, particularly nuts, legumes, and cereals: lentils, soybeans, chickpeas, pumpkin seeds, and peanuts also contain them.
It is sometimes interesting to use arginine supplementation when the need exceeds the body’s ability to produce or consume it.
That is the case during intensive training which is very stressful for the body and the immune system. Arginine then speeds up the recovery process.
2- Benefits of arginine in Bodybuilding
Like most amino acids, arginine is involved in the construction of proteins, but not only.
1- Arginine increases muscle blood volume
Increased blood flow would improve the metabolic response to exercise. Notably during a study measuring oxygenation, NO production, and biceps performance and strength.
It showed that while some parameters didn’t change, blood volume increased during the recovery period of each set of resistance exercises.
The increased blood flow allows more oxygen and nutrients are transported to the muscles over a longer period.
2- Improves contraction capacities and physical performance
Arginine may improve resistance training performance in healthy subjects, increase recovery and reduce muscle damage.
3- Arginine increases HGH during exercise
This amino acid is present during protein synthesis and allows muscle growth. As muscle grows, arginine promotes the release of growth hormone and aids in fat metabolism.
Exercise alone is already a powerful growth hormone stimulant, so taking arginine during heavy training would increase GH secretion.
It is people who are not used to exercise who benefit the most. The role of growth hormone and the influx of nutrients act on multiplication.
Simply put, muscle cell size causes muscles to grow and muscle mass to increase.
Associated with ornithine, during an intense training period of at least 3 weeks, arginine increases the concentration of GH.
4- Decrease in stored fat
An as yet unverified animal study in humans has shown that arginine can reduce fatty tissue. Promoting the burning of stored fat helps burn fat for energy.
That is another indirect benefit of arginine, the mechanisms of which do not yet know very well, but which will be important for bodybuilding. Especially since arginine would also reduce appetite.
5- Immune system support
Intense strength training puts a lot of strain on the body, which ultimately stresses and fatigues it and weakens the immune system.
It no longer defends itself against infections, lesions, and inflammations. L-arginine supplementation could improve immune function outcomes, according to a meta-analysis.
The heart and the libido
The production of NO protects the cardiovascular system. But arginine would also fight against hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, smoking… by improving the health of the arteries.
Arginine improves blood flow, oxygenation, and elasticity of all peripheral vessels. In the end, it, therefore, has a positive effect on erection, stamina, and sexual performance.
This amino acid has the same role as a famous blue pill without its side effects. If its effect on sexual potency and libido is not as rapid, it is more lasting.
3- When to take arginine in bodybuilding
The functioning of the immune system is compromised When you train hard. arginine helps prepare the body for recovery and stimulates repair functions before training.
In addition, the “pump effect” of NO improves the muscle’s contraction capacities and ensures the supply of nutrients, opening the floodgates, when the muscle needs them. Performance and motivation are felt.
Arginine is taken 30 minutes before the session, on training days to improve performance and muscle sensation (congestion effect on contraction).
Like all supplements, arginine is not recommended during pregnancy or breastfeeding. Given its vasodilating properties, it is also not recommended for people with heart risk.
4- How to take arginine and dose?
Arginine is available in powder, capsules, or liquid form.
It is sometimes presented alone or with other amino acids, such as proteins or amino acid complexes.
They are sometimes combined with other stimulants like creatine or caffeine in pre-workout supplements to boost energy.
Arginine needs vary according to the level of sports activity. A varied diet provides a good part of it but recommended to consume 3 g per day in the form of supplements to be able to support an increased need on an ad hoc basis.
Although no risks have been reported in healthy people, there is no point in supplementing year-round or consuming high doses. Some intestinal disorders are sometimes reported due to their retention by the intestine when absorption is saturated.
Citrulline is a precursor of arginine. This amino acid has the same effects as arginine with better bioavailability.
Except that arginine is largely retained by the intestine and degraded by the liver. Our body knows how to recycle citrulline into arginine to produce NO.
80% of citrulline supplementation passes quickly into the blood, without being taken up by the liver. Citrulline represents a good alternative.