What is L-Arginine?
L-Arginine, which is also known as Arginine, is an amino acid. It is being categorized as non-essential amino acid, because our bodies can’t make it on its own and we need to obtain it from our diet. Some good sources of L-Arginine in food are dairy products, read meat, fish and poultry. L-Arginine can be obtained not only from food. Various L-Arginine supplements are being made in laboratories those main aim is to improve exercise performance, heart health, brain performance and etc. Once we obtain this acid our body converts it into another chemical, which is called Nitric Oxide. This particular chemical causes our blood vessels to become wider, which in turn increases blood flow in our body.
In addition to that L-Arginine is known to stimulate the release of insulin, HGH and some other substances. Getting sufficient amount of Arginine is important for our bodies, because this acid helps to maintain hormone & immune system function, enhances healing of wounds, helps kidneys to eliminate waste from our body, relaxes & dilates our arteries and provides other benefits.
L-Arginine and Human Growth Hormone.
Some studies on L-Arginine suggest that supplementation of this amino acid might enhance a release of HGH in the body. It is thought that Arginine works by inhibiting secretion of Somatostatin (natural inhibitor of HGH), which in turn leads to higher levels of human growth hormone. Increase in HGH is associated with benefits like growth of lean muscle mass, enhanced strength and energy.
One of the studies that was done on L-Arginine showed that supplementation of this amino acid (doses of 5 – 9 g) can help to increase HGH levels by ~100%. The other study, which was published in 1981, tried to evaluate L-Arginine and L-Lysine effectiveness to increase HGH when taken orally. Participants of this study were given 1.2 mg of L-Lysine (hydrochloride) and 1.2 mg of L-Arginine (Pyroglutamate). Combination of both of these amino acids resulted in large GH release, which was maintained for a couple of hours.
Increased HGH levels is not the only benefit of taking L-Arginine. As it was mentioned previously this amino acid is converted into NO. Nitric Oxide can be very useful during workouts. Since it helps to increase blood flow it means that nutrients and oxygen can be supplied to muscles throughout exercise routine more adequately. All this effect can enhance healing, minimize muscle damage and provide other benefits for bodybuilders.
In case you are considering taking L-Arginine supplement as a HGH releaser there are a few things to keep in mind. Based on a few studies of this amino acid, the effectiveness of L-Arginine tend to decrease with constant use. Due to this it might be worthwhile to take this supplement in cycles. So a schedule like 6 weeks on and 2 weeks off might help to increase effectiveness of this Arginine. The use of L-Arginine is also not suggested for young people without doctor supervision. Of course, this recommendation only applies for young people who have grown in the past 5 years.
Are there any Side Effects?
In general, taking supplements containing moderate Arginine doses is considered to be safe. Clinical trials of L-Arginine showed that this supplement can be taken safely for a period of at least 3 months. In rare cases it is possible that supplementation of this amino acid might result in side effects like diarrhea, bloating as well as abdominal pain.
In case you are taking any medications for heart condition, erectile dysfunction, blood pressure it is important to know that L-Arginine might cause interaction with them. If you currently have asthma or herpes virus it is important to know that L-Arginine might make these conditions worse. The effects of Arginine supplementation for breastfeeding or pregnant women are not fully known. So in these cases it is important to consult with your doctor prior to taking supplements containing this amino acid.
One of the studies on Arginine tried to evaluate how different doses of this amino acid affects HGH. Findings of this study suggest that taking 5-9 grams of L-Arginine orally results in growth hormone increase. Some participants in this study also took higher dosage of L-Arginine (13 grams); however higher GH response wasn’t obtained and participants experienced gastrointestinal distress.
So as with any supplement, taking larger dosage of this amino acid might increase the risk of potential side effects. If you want to stay on a safe side it is always best to start with a lower dosage and then increase the dosage gradually within a few weeks’ time.