What is L-arginine? What are the benefits for bodybuilding? Well if these are things you are wondering about then you are definitely reading the right article! In a continual effort to educate readers about fitness and nutrition we are tackling one question at a time that people have posed. Today we are talking about the L-arginine benefits.
What is L-arginine?
L-arginine is one of the amino acids in our body that is used in the synthesis of many proteins. It is labeled as ‘non-essential’ because it is not required for a ‘healthy’ diet. But if you workout for any reason (general health, bodybuilding, athletics) then it is pretty useful to have in your system!
Out of the 20 amino acids used in your body it is one that you probably do get a decent amount of from regular food intake. It can be found in all types of meat, dairy, nuts, and whole wheat products. Some vegans might be more susceptible to deficiencies but bodybuilders should have an average supply from a high protein diet.
What are the benefits for bodybuilding?
It is a valuable amino acid to the fitness group because of the role it plays in cellular function and the development of muscle size. For general health purposes it can also aid in fights against high blood pressure and congestive heart failure. It is also an immune system booster which is vital to anyone who is constantly stressing their body with workouts as you are more susceptible to sickness or infection.
Specifically the L-arginine benefits for bodybuilder have to do with lean muscle mass. Along with the protein synthesis this amino acid helps out by signally to the body to release more growth hormone as well as working to promote fat metabolism (which is a process dealing with how fat is stored and then used for energy).
L-arginine also helps with muscle conditioning and endurance by assisting with blood flow and circulation. The increased blood flow helps to speed up recovery as well as work with endurance by making sure cells are effectively supported with oxygen and other things they need when they need it.
How Much and When?
To get the maximum L-arginine benefits you should be taking about 3 to 6 grams before and after a workout. Sometimes it can cause side effects like diarrhea or nausea so it is a good idea to initially try it only after your workouts for a week to let your body get used to it being in your system in the pure form. From there you can increase the amount but do not take more than 30 grams in a day. While you do get it from food sources, in capsule form it gets into the bloodstream at an opportune time to assist with muscle growth and conditioning.
Ideally you would use a cycle of this amino acid to maximize the benefit. Like many supplements, it has diminishing returns as the body gets used to having it in the system. You should cycle either 6-weeks or 8-weeks on and then an equal time off for maximum L-arginine benefits.