“I need help with exercise and sexual performance. Will Arginine help me?”
Over the last few years, Arginine supplementation has been a hot topic in the world of sports as well as a natural cure for lack of libido and sexual dysfunction. The news has even reported that it may be a miracle for curing heart disease. But, how do you know whether you need it? You may have a deficiency if you have certain conditions such as severe burns and other skin ailments, jaundice, liver disease, bacterial infections, constipation, alopecia or hair loss, protein deficiencies, malnutrition, and lack of blood oxygen. Bodybuilders believe that Arginine is crucial for muscle growth due to its protein synthesizing and vasodilation abilities. Other athletes benefit from Arginine’s immune boosting properties. See the benefits listed below.
What is Arginine?
Performing a host of physiological functions, Arginine is a semi-essential amino acid contributing to protein’s building block. It is considered semi-essential because your body usually produces it on its own. However, you may need to supplement when your body is deficient in cases such as listed previously or if you have certain sports performance goals. Foods high in Arginine include seeds, soy, tofu, peanuts, almonds, seaweed, beef, poultry, and fish.
Arginine, also known as L-Arginine and AKGG, is converted into citruline and nitric oxide. Nitric oxide causes vasodilation which increases blood and nutrient flow to your tissues and muscles. Your body also needs Arginine to get rid a waste product called urea.
Numerous benefits are found with Arginine. As sexual beings, some believe the greatest benefits are Arginine’s ability to reverse erectile dysfunction for men. However, it shall be duly noted that Arginine’s vasodilation capacity promotes sexual response in women much more. According to Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy (2001), 73.5 percent of women who took the supplement in a clinical study received heightened desire, stimulation, and orgasm. What a big difference to the 31 percent of men who received the same benefits! This special amino acid also provides many other health benefits:
•urea metabolism and excretion
•maintain immune and hormone functions
•dilates and relaxes arteries for better blood flow
•increases human growth factor
•improves symptoms of clogged arteries, angina, and coronary artery disease
As previously noted, you can get Arginine through your diet. Supplementing for deficiencies or sports performance is a necessity. As little as 1,200 milligrams has been shown to be helpful in clinical studies.
For normal supplementation: Take 5.4 grams for every 100 grams of mixed dietary protein per day.
For bodybuilders: You may take up to 20 grams safely, though that much may not be necessary. It is recommended that you start with a small dosage for one week while taking note of the benefits and side effects. Increase the dosage gradually until you’ve maximized benefits and minimized side effects. Start off with 2 grams prior to, and then 2 grams immediately after, training. You may also want to stack it with your protein and creatine shake.
For best effect, cycle Arginine every 12 weeks.
Side Effects of Arginine
Clinical studies have shown that Arginine is safe with minor side effects for up to three months. Side effects may include abdominal bloating or discomfort and diarrhea. Some reports indicate possible worsening of asthma.
As with all supplementation, you may want to consult with your physician before taking. If you are on prescription medication or have any major illnesses, please check with your doctor first.