Arginine question

  1. Question Arginine question

    Hopefully I'm posting this in the right area.

    I've been taking about 5 grams of arginine on the days I work out (pretty much every day except Sundays) and the stuff works. I mean, I get a lot bigger and quicker "pump" when I take it.

    The Arginine I take is kind of a generic that I found at wal mart. Months supply for $14.

    I've tried samples of other brands, Gakic and one by Vyoteck that I cant remember the name of. They all seem to do about the same thing for me.

    I guess my question is, Other than the feeling of being "pumped" more and quicker, is there any real benifit to taking arginine?

    Thanks for any input.

  2. Possibly, but not that much evidence for it.

  3. I think the amino acids that should be supplemented for a bodybuilders are, (and supposedly their benefits)

    - Taurine (improve insulin sensitivity by helping cholesterol to remain soluble)
    - BCAAs (mega dosing, increase protein synthesis among other things)
    - Arginine (increases GH output, increase NO production,increases glycogen synthesis, improve recovery)

    There are a bunch of studies I got on arginine for increasing GH output that clearly shows it works, but not on the other benefits...

  4. The real truth on NO and arginine:
    The link is below, but here are the summary findings.

    • Arginine blood flow stimulators ("nitric-oxide" or "NO2" supplements) have been shown to increase vasodilation, but only in unfed people receiving enormous doses through an IV.

    • Oral arginine supplementation doesn't affect blood flow.

    • A dose as low as 10 grams has been associated with gastric upset when consumed orally. This dose has no significant effect on glycogen storage, even if it didn't cause diarrhea.

    • Time release arginine is supposed to lead to a "perpetual pump" effect. New studies have shown this not to be the case.

    • NO2 was shown to have no effect compared to a placebo on body composition or muscle strength.

    • It's not possible for us to consume high enough levels of arginine to effectively increase nitric oxide levels.

    • Copycat NO2 products are no better than the original supplement. In fact, those that contain glycocyamine should be avoided because of potential health concerns.

    • If you think these products work for you, then you'd better look into the placebo effect.

    • Arginine might temporarily elevate growth hormone levels, but only if you're able to take unrealistic doses. There's little evidence to support that this short term increase in GH would do anything for your physique anyway.

    • In one study, arginine aspartate was shown to increase prolactin by an average of 75%. Prolactin is associated with decreased Testosterone levels.

    • Five grams of arginine consumed during resistance exercise was shown to decrease normal exercise-induced GH output.

    • The positive benefits of oral arginine supplementation can only be achieved through doses higher than the human body can handle. And most (but not all) of this effect is mediated by insulin. So if you want to have blood flow increases equivalent to a huge IV arginine infusion, just manipulate insulin through other means (which will be discussed in the next article.)

    About the Author

    David J. Barr is a Doctoral student at the prestigious University of Texas Medical Branch amino acid metabolism lab, which is almost single handedly responsible for our pre and post-workout nutrition information. An accomplished varsity strength coach, he has certifications with the NSCA and USA Track and Field. In addition to his work for NASA at the Johnson Space Center, David’s research has involved everything from the cellular basis of muscle breakdown to work on critically ill catabolic patients. He can be contacted at [email protected].****556124

  5. Interesting. From that last post, looks like arginine would be something to avoid taking.

    Thanks for the information.

  6. @mindgames, good article

  7. How do you explain when other people do studies and come out with positive results of arginine. It just seems with most all things there are studies going both ways I guess I will just have to try it for myself and see.

  8. I can only explain in three ways:

    1. It is either the placebo effect (see in article summary above)
    2. A hell of a percentage of the population are non responders.
    3. The research quoted is faulty.

    However, I really feel that the 'proven' dosages to make arginine effective is quite damning of this supp.

  9. currently i take NO-Explode for my pre-workout. i was thinking about adding in some l-arginine, would this be overkill?????

  10. Oral arginine supplementation doesn't affect blood flow.

    To quote one study:

    "In fact, one study compared infusions and oral dosing. The researchers found that six grams of arginine had no effect via either route of administration, while it took a 30 gram infusion to cause vasodilation (6). So, it takes a 30 gram IV dose to get results. If we were to get these results from an oral dose, we’d have to take 43 grams because only 70% of it is bioavailable (i.e. 30 / .7 = 43)."


    "The second study of interest evaluated the effects of NO2 on body composition, muscle strength and endurance (8). For eight weeks, subjects took either 12 grams of NO2 or placebo and underwent a resistance training protocol. At the end of the time period, subjects between groups had no differences in either muscle mass or body fat percentage."

    Other opinions and studies do exist, but keep an open mind and beware all the hype.

  11. Custom's got cnidium now. If it's a pump you're after, it's a pretty good product for that purpose.


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