Arginine, or more commonly refereed to as l-arginine is a basic amino acid and is classified as a semi-essential amino acid. Routinely using the best arginine supplement can have a ton of health benefits.
Its required by the body to make protein and can be found naturally in foods like red meat, chicken or poultry, fish, and dairy foods.
Its marketed and sold as a supplement for its role in improving performance, most notably as a “nitric oxide” booster.
Increasing nitric oxide causes vasodilation (widening of the blood vessels) which allows for increased oxygen and more nutrients to flow to muscle fibers.
This muscle pump or stretching of the muscles allows for further improvements in muscle growth and strength.
Different types and best form of arginine
- L-arginine – Is arginine by itself. Its the most common and most used form of arginine. The only windfall of this form is its poor absorption properties. Voted to be the best form due to having the most research backing it.
- Arginine Ethyl Ester – Allows for easier absorption and utilization by the body, as well as other tissues such as muscles.
- Arginine Alpha-Ketoglutarate or A-AKG – This form of arginine is touted to be more readily absorbed then your standard l-arginine. May have more effect on building strength and muscle gains.
When to take arginine and how much?
The main and sole purpose of taking arginine for bodybuilding or lifting in general is to higher the NO levels (nitric oxide). This is where all the performance benefits come from.
The best time to take arginine is 30-60 minutes before your workouts. This will give your body and muscles enough time to start benefiting from the improved blood flow.
You will noticed greater pumps during workouts, improved energy, increased muscle endurance, less fatigue, and an increased capacity for longer and harder training.
Taking arginine after your workouts can enhance recovery and muscle growth.
The standard dosage for l-arginine is 2,000mg – 6,000 mg
The standard dosage for Arginine Alpha-Ketoglutarate is around 2,000 – 4,000mg due to being more easily absorbed.
What can you stack arginine with?
Arginine works well as a stand alone supplement. However..
More often than not you’ll find arginine along side a few other ingredients.
Sometimes athletes purchase arginine separately, sometimes they go with a supplement that has a few ingredients mixed in for more benefit.
1 – 3 grams of citrulline helps increase the levels of arginine in the blood which will lead to better and more effective increases in nitric oxide.
500 – 1,000 mg of vitamin-c seems to help slow down the degradation and breakdown of nitric oxide so you can reap the benefits longer.
You don’t need to stack these but they do help max out the benefits arginine has to offer.