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L-arginine Bodybuilding Benefits & Dosage

L-arginine is an amino acid that is commonly taken by gym goers as a pre-workout supplement to enhance energy and strength.

L-arginine is a semi-essential amino acid that plays an important role in protein synthesis and the development of nitric oxide, which has led to l-arginine’s popularity as a pre-workout supplement. Arginine also plays an important role in cellular functions, muscle development and erectile dysfunction.

Our bodies cannot naturally make l-arginine, so consuming foods high in l-arginine or taking supplements becomes important for bodybuilding.

Foods that are high in l-arginine (other than convenient supplements) include sea food (tuna and lobster), meat (pork, chicken, beef and turkey), dairy products, cereals and several nuts (walnuts, cashews, peanuts and peacans).

What does l-arginine do for bodybuilders?

Specifically during workouts, l-arginine can increase endurance by increasing blood flow (the “pump”) and increasing stamina through the creation of creatine in the body. As a pre-cursor to nitric oxide (NO2), l-arginine expands your blood vessels by relaxing the muscles within the vessels. The increased flow of blood in your body results in an increased supply of oxygen and nutrients to your muscles for a longer amount of time during your workout. This then can help increase recovery and muscle breakdown.

Arginine is broken down by Nitric Oxide Synthase1 and converted into nitric oxide in the body. This is when it heads to blood cells, and begins to dilate them. As this happens you get an increased flow of blood and nutrient delivery will also increase.

Because your muscles are getting more blood, it stands to reason that your output will increase due to the fact nutrient and oxygen flow increases.

Supplementation with this amino acid is also common for erectile dysfunction and high blood pressure.

L-arginine dosage

Typically a good does of l-arginine for bodybuilding ranges from 3-10g daily before and after your workouts. Start at with a lower dosage initially to see how your body reacts to the “pump” before going for a higher dosage.

Is L-arginine safe to take daily?

There is no evidence to suggest that daily l-arginine intake is not safe. Indeed, many people looking to use l-arginine for hypertension will supplement with it every day.

Scientific Citations


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