Get in Better Bodybuilding Shape with the Help of L-Arginine

L-arginine is classified as a semi-essential amino acid, which means that our body does produce it naturally, and we usually are not required to supplement it with our diet. However, if you’re into fitness and bodybuilding, you might already know that many athletes supplement their l-arginine intake to increase stamina, muscle performance, and blood flow. If you’re looking to reach your bodybuilding or fitness goals sooner, why not consider adding a l-arginine supplement into your routine? You might be surprised at the results!

In this article, we’re going to discuss:

  • What exactly is l-arginine
  • Why should you consider taking it if you’re a bodybuilder
  • How to take l-arginine and are there any side effects that you should be aware of

What is L-Arginine?

L-arginine is an amino acid produced by your body

woman lifting weights.
Although our body naturally produces l-arginine, many bodybuilders take supplements to give them the muscle mass and strength they’re looking for.

As an amino acid, l-arginine (also referred to as just arginine) is a chemical building block that our body converts into nitric oxide, which increases blood flow all over the body by causing the blood vessels to open wider. This is helpful in cases where someone might be suffering from chest pain (angina), preeclampsia, high blood pressure, or erectile dysfunction. L-arginine can also help with the release of growth hormone and insulin.

Although your body typically produces enough l-arginine on its own, it can also be found in red meat, poultry, fish, whole grains, and soy--or any other type of food that is high in protein. 

Key takeaways:

  • L-arginine is a semi-essential amino acid produced in your body.
  • You can also find l-arginine in protein rich foods like red meat, chicken, and fish.
  • L-arginine can be used to treat conditions that require an increase of blood flow.

Why Should You Use L-Arginine for Bodybuilding?

What are the benefits of adding l-arginine to your workout routine?

man doing a workout.
By adding additional l-arginine to your workout routine, you’re helping your body deliver more oxygen to your muscles, which means great results for bodybuilders.

If you’re into fitness, and specifically bodybuilding, you might have already heard of l-arginine, as it is a popular supplement among that community. But why should you consider adding it to your routine? There are three main reasons that bodybuilders like to increase their intake of l-arginine in order to maximize the results of their work outs.

1. Increase muscle growth

If you’re a bodybuilder, you’re looking to reach certain fitness goals--whether that’s a weight that you want to lift, to increase your workout time and endurance, or get yourself ready for competition--you have a routine in place to realize those goals. Bodybuilders supplement their l-arginine intake because they want their muscles to get bigger and stronger by utilizing the proteins from their diets. 

Because l-arginine assists with protein synthesis and also triggers the release of growth hormone, the result is toned and lean muscle. Fat is reduced under the skin and bodybuilders begin to increase muscle mass.

2. Better endurance and vasodilation

Because l-arginine breaks down to form nitric oxide, this means that it contributes to vasodilation--or the widening of your blood vessels--which relaxes your muscles and increases blood flow to them. More oxygen and nutrients are sent to your muscles during the workout, and for longer periods of time. L-arginine can help contribute to additional workout endurance, and also aid in muscle recovery after your workout. This is especially helpful if you’ve had an injury, and need to work your way back to peak physical performance. L-arginine can help your muscles repair and decrease your recovery time.

3. Boost the immune system

Bodybuilding can put a lot of stress on your muscles and joints--not to mention on your mental health as well! That’s why it’s so important to make sure your immune system is operating at as best it can, and l-arginine can help it do just that. Taking a supplement of l-arginine can help remove free radicals from your system and give your immune system cells the boost they need to keep you healthy.

Key takeaways:

  • L-arginine is a good supplement for bodybuilders looking to build muscle and increase endurance
  • It’s also beneficial to your immune system, ensuring you can stay on top of your game

Are There Any Side Effects to L-Arginine that Would Inhibit Your Bodybuilding Routine?

How much l-arginine should you take, and are there any side effects?

man flexing his muscles.
You’ll need to work out what the best amount of l-arginine you need to take to reach your fitness goals with your healthcare provider.

Now you know how l-arginine can improve your bodybuilding routine, your next question is probably how much should you take, and are there any side effects? Like all supplements, it’s best to discuss your plan with a healthcare professional. That way you can ensure you’re following the right path to building muscle and improving your workout endurance.

Although considered a safe supplement, l-arginine has been known to create mild side effects in some people, including:

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain/bloating
  • Gout 
  • Allergic response
  • Airway inflammation

As far as how much l-arginine you should add to your diet, that depends upon how intense your workouts are and what your fitness goals are, which is why it’s always a good idea to discuss with your doctor first. There is no set dosage amount for bodybuilders, but it’s always better to start low, and work your way up. That way you can avoid any uncomfortable side effects and see how l-arginine works with your body. Anywhere from 3-5 grams is a good place to start, but it’s always important to listen to your body and if you start to develop side effects, reduce your amount.

L-arginine is a great way for bodybuilders to increase their muscle mass, improve the amount of oxygen and nutrients getting to their muscles, and work their way towards longer, better workouts. It might be just what’s missing from your fitness routine!

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