Recently, L-arginine has also gained popularity outside of the gym due to its many proven benefits. If you’re looking for the best L-arginine supplement, here’s what you need to know to get the best results and choose the right product.
In supplement form, arginine, more commonly called L-arginine, can improve circulation as a precursor to nitric oxide (NO), a vasodilator that widens your blood vessels and allows for increased blood flow.
This is why many athletes use L-arginine for pre-workout energy. It is also a component of much male enhancement and erectile dysfunction supplements.
Arginine is an amino acid or protein-building block found in animal products such as meat, fish, and eggs. It is considered conditionally essential, meaning most healthy people can synthesize enough to meet their needs without supplementing.
However, pregnant women, infants, and people with critical illnesses or injuries may require more arginine than they can produce on their own.
What is L-Arginine Supplement?
L-Arginine is one of the critical amino acids our body needs. The body uses this conditionally essential or semi-essential amino acid in protein synthesis, the urea cycle, and tissue repair. L-Arginine is converted to nitric oxide and citrulline, which act as vasodilators.
Additionally, glutamic acid acts as a precursor to amino acids such as proline and creatine and is essential for the proper functioning of our immune system. L-Arginine is essential for the development of T cells, which are white blood cells that play a central role in the immune response.
Although our bodies can produce Arginine, external supply may be necessary for some situations such as pregnancy, intense exercise, infancy, trauma, and critical illness. Meat, nuts, poultry, fish, lentils, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, dairy, and soy products are a few L-Arginine foods. It can also be obtained by taking L-Arginine supplements, which are commonly available in capsules, powder, liquids, and tablets.
Who Should Use L-Arginine Supplement?
Most people can get enough L-arginine without having to supplement. However, there are some cases where the amino acid is missing. Even when not deficient, some people may benefit more from L-arginine supplements than others. These include:
- Aging People: The body’s ability to produce nitric oxide decreases with age
- Vegetarians and vegans: These people may not be getting enough arginine, especially if they don’t eat a lot of nuts and seeds.
- People with Digestive Problems: May not be able to metabolize proteins well.
- Smokers: Damage from free radicals can reduce arginine levels
- Type 2 Diabetes Patients: There is an increase in enzyme levels that break down arginine.
- Unfit People: Studies generally show that people who are not fit get better results from L-arginine supplements than highly trained athletes.
Benefits of L-Arginine supplement
As Science Direct writes, “L-arginine is one of the most metabolically versatile amino acids.” Because of its importance, there are many benefits to taking L-arginine supplements.
While the core benefits all relate to L-arginine’s ability to increase nitric oxide (and thus increase blood flow), the benefits extend far beyond that. Taking L-arginine can improve energy levels, aid glucose uptake, and reduce plasma lactate, among many other benefits. Here are just a few of the important ones.
1. Pre-Workout Benefits of L-Arginine
L-arginine is often included in the best pre-workout supplements. Once ingested, L-arginine is rapidly converted to nitric oxide. Blood vessels dilate so more nutrients can reach your muscles during exercise.
The increase in NO from L-arginine supplements results in:
- More energy during exercise
- increased power
- better recovery
- Lean muscle gains
- Ability to work longer without fatigue
Numerous studies support the pre-workout benefits of L-arginine. In this study, for example, researchers concluded that taking L-arginine increased aerobic exercise capacity.
2. Post-Exercise Benefits of L-Arginine
Trainers usually recommend taking L-arginine after your workout. The supplement improves blood flow, helping your body eliminate wastes such as lactate and ammonia that cause muscle fatigue. It also helps distribute growth hormones and increases creatine production.
As a result, L-arginine has these post-exercise benefits:
- Minimizes post-exercise fatigue
- Decreases recovery time between workouts
- improves healing
- Replenishes glycogen stores faster (when combined with a carbohydrate)
- Increases gains by aiding protein synthesis and tissue repair
- It prevents muscle breakdown by preventing the catabolic effects of intense training.
3. L-Arginine for erectile dysfunction
L-arginine supplementation has been highly studied as a treatment for erectile dysfunction. It is important to understand that most cases of erectile dysfunction (at least non-psychological ones) are caused by the body’s inability to dilate blood vessels and get enough blood into the penis.
All major erectile dysfunction drugs (Viagra, Cialis, Levitra) work by increasing nitric oxide.
L-arginine supplements can be viewed as an alternative to ED medications as they naturally increase nitric oxide.
Numerous studies show that taking L-arginine can treat erectile dysfunction. Many urologists recommend L-arginine over Viagra for mild to moderate cases of ED. Note that L-arginine for ED is particularly effective when combined with yohimbine hydrochloride or pycnogenol.
4. Metabolism Benefits of L-Arginine
There is much more research to be done on this topic. However, preliminary studies show that taking L-arginine can increase metabolism.
The metabolic benefits likely relate to how L-arginine regulates hormones, glucagon, growth hormone, and insulin sensitivity. This is very good news for those who want to lose weight.
5. L-Arginine and Creatine Synthesis
One of the most popular exercise supplements, creatine is a protein-like molecule important for energy production.
Some of the benefits of creatine include:
- Improved performance, especially during high-intensity activities
- power gains
- Faster workout recovery
- Regulation of neurological health
Arginine and creatine are interrelated in the body. Studies have found that L-arginine supplementation can increase muscle creatinine by 1-2%. There’s still a lot of research to be done, but taking L-arginine supplements can help you reap the benefits of creatine naturally.
6. L-Arginine and Growth Hormone Release
One of the most talked-about benefits of L-arginine is that it can increase growth hormone, the hormone touted for improving muscle growth, fighting signs of aging, burning fat, and much more.
At doses of 5 to 9 grams of L-arginine, studies have found increased growth hormone. The increase in growth hormone was greatest when L-arginine was combined with exercise.
However, keep in mind that these large doses of arginine are required to increase the amounts of growth hormone. This high dose of L-arginine can cause side effects such as diarrhea. The best way to increase growth hormone is still to exercise. Therefore, do not take L-arginine just for its growth hormone benefits.
7. Fertility Benefits of L-Arginine
Taking L-arginine supplements has been shown to improve fertility in both men and women. In men, L-arginine can improve sperm count, quality, and fertility. In women, studies show that L-arginine improves implantation.
8. Heart Benefits of L-Arginine
L-arginine is often recommended for people with cardiovascular conditions, as it relaxes blood vessels and arteries. Studies show that L-arginine may benefit people with conditions such as angina and congestive heart failure.
7 Best L-Arginine Supplements for 2023
These supplements contain only L-arginine and are best for people who may need to, supplement in instances of pregnancy, Diabetes, workouts, injury, or illness.
Note: Prices from Amazon and company websites are correct as of publication, but are subject to change.
We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Here’s our process.
1. Best L-arginine supplement for illness: Havasu Extra Strength L-Arginine
4.2 out of 5 stars (37,729)
This is one of the most popular brands of L-arginine supplements. The supplement is made in the USA and has high-quality standards.
Best For: People who need a potent L-arginine supplement to fight illness or drastically improve training.
Unlike other L-arginine supplements listed here, it contains several ingredients formulated to optimize blood flow. The ingredients are 400mg of pure L-arginine, 400mg of AAKG, 400mg of L-citrulline (a very strong NO booster), and cayenne pepper (a thermogenic).
The only downside to this supplement is that it is very expensive. The entire bottle contains only 35 grams of active ingredients. If you’re taking a high daily dose of L-arginine, you’ll quickly go through a bottle.
2. NOW Double Strength L-Arginine
4.5 out of 5 stars (11,375)
Because they offer excellent supplements at an affordable price, NOW is a highly well-known supplement company. L-arginine HCL weighs 1 gram for each pill. Since L-arginine is not pure in its HCL form, you could only be getting 0.7 grams of L-arginine in every tablet.
Even after accounting for this, your purchase still represents a great value. Each container has 120 pills, and they are reasonably priced (especially if you buy more than one bottle at a time). You may easily change your dose by taking more or fewer tablets.
Best For: People who want to boost their workout performance without spending a fortune.
3. Bulk Supplements Pure L-Arginine Powder
4.5 out of 5 stars (3,507)
This is the L-arginine supplement to use if you’re on a tight budget. It is manufactured entirely of L-arginine and has no additives or fillers.
L-arginine weighs 100 grams in total per supplement bottle. L-arginine lasts for 16 days if you take 6 grams a day (3 grams x 2 doses). By purchasing the supplement in huge bulk containers, you may save money.
Just remember that this L-arginine pill is powdered. L-arginine has an unpleasant flavor! Consequently, be ready to swallow it fast or purchase some empty capsules to cap it yourself.
Best For People looking for the cheapest pure L-arginine supplement available.
4. Havasu Nutrition L Arginine Capsules Ultimate Supplement for Performance
4.3 out of 5 stars (4,220)
Price: $ 31.66
I’ve been consuming this stuff for approximately two weeks. In the first few days of wearing it, I saw a difference in everything I did, from my work to playing with my kids at home, not just in the gym. Other things made my training easier, but I was exhausted from going to the gym at work or engaging in family activities. This item gives me energy for all of my daily activities. There are also no negative consequences.
5. L-Arginine by Pure Label Nutrition
4.2 out of 5 stars (769)
The majority of this supplement’s constituents are AAKG, but you’ll also find modest quantities of pure L-arginine and L-arginine HCL. Additionally, 20 mg of L-arginine/L-pyroglutamate is included.
Pyroglutamate has been demonstrated to enhance brain health despite little research on it. It is beneficial in the treatment of erectile dysfunction when coupled with L-arginine. (32)
People who use L-arginine to prevent illness and improve training outcomes are likely to find great benefits from this formula. Yes, it is really expensive (a single bottle contains only about 63 grams of L-arginine in total). It is a high-quality product, though.
6. L-arginine Nature’s Bounty
4.5 out of 5 stars (7,567)
- This supplement is put through a number of quality testing during the production process to ensure that it is totally effective.
- A tablet should be taken three times a day with meals; each bottle includes 50 tablets.
- According to Nature’s Bounty, including L-arginine in your diet can enhance nitric oxide generation and blood circulation in the body.
7. Puritan’s Pride L-arginine 1000 Mg Capsules
4.5 out of 5 stars (5,866)
- Arginine is one of 20 amino acids, the building blocks of protein
- Product Note: Exposure to heat or sunlight may lead to melting/damage of the product. Hence customers are expected to be available during the product delivery
- Arginine can serve as a source of energy and is involved in various pathways throughout the body
- Arginine supports the effect of exercise and is one of the most important amino acids involved in immune function
- Fitness Type: Post Workout
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