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L-ARGININE FOR ATHLETES

Andrea Fernandes


An athlete doing dumbbell curls

One of the most recent, popular pre-workout supplements for athletes who are looking to boost their performance comes in the form of a naturally-occurring amino acid called L-arginine. L-arginine is a conditionally-essential amino acid. The typical dietary intake of arginine is around 3.5 to 5 grams daily. Suminski and associates reported that the ingestion of arginine (1.5g) resulted in an increase by 2.7-fold in plasma growth hormone concentrations in resistance trained males. 

Amino acids are among the most common nutritional supplements consumed by athletes. Amino acids are involved in various metabolic pathways that affect exercise metabolism. Arginine is basically a conditionally essential amino acid (i.e. it is not essential to be consumed in the regular diet since the body can manufacture the same) that is involved in protein synthesis, the detoxification of ammonia, its conversion into glucose as well as being catabolized to produce energy. In addition to all these physiological functions, arginine has been claimed to have ergogenic potential. Dietary supplements containing arginine are among the most popular ergogenics intended to enhance strength, power and muscle recovery associated with both anaerobic and aerobic exercise.

Athletes have consumed arginine for 3 main reasons: 1) for its role in the secretion of endogenous growth hormone; 2) involvement in the synthesis of creatine; 3) and for its role in augmenting nitric oxide. Arginine administration has been claimed to promote an increase in blood perfusion in the active muscle, increasing substrates that are necessary for improving muscular recovery and protein synthesis during and/or after exercise. Arginine supplementation could also improve exercise capacity by decreasing lactate accumulation, which has been shown to be involved in the development of muscular fatigue by increasing muscular acidity.

Arginine and Creatine

Arginine plays a role in the synthesis of Creatine and that is one possible ergogenic potential of arginine. In the synthesis of Creatine, the three amino acids that are involved are arginine, glycine, and methionine. Creatine has been shown to increase muscular strength and muscle fiber size. In addition, Creatine supplementation enhances performance in swimming, all-out cycling, sprinting, repeated jumping, and resistance training

L-Arginine Benefits and Nitric Oxide

Arginine is a precursor of the cell-signaling molecule nitric oxide (NO). NO acts as a signaling molecule to facilitate the dilation of blood vessels and to decrease vascular resistance. NO is basically synthesized from arginine under the enzymatic control of nitric oxide synthase (NOS). There are majorly three isoforms of NOS that include, endothelial cell NOS (eNOS), neuronal NOS (nNOS), and inducible NOS (iNOS). Skeletal muscle expresses all three forms of NOS, with nNOS predominating. Muscle functions regulated by NO or related molecules include force production (excitation-contraction coupling), autoregulation of blood flow, myocyte differentiation, respiration, and glucose homeostasis. Contractile activity in general greatly increases the production of NO in the muscle, and this is likely due to raised levels of intracellular calcium. One of the key effects of NO on skeletal muscle metabolism is basically to increase the delivery and also the uptake of fuel substrates via its vasodilating effects.

An athlete drinking supplements in the gym

L-Arginine Benefits and Exercise Performance

With all of the above-mentioned effects that arginine possesses in relation to its ergogenic potential, it would seem reasonable that supplementing with arginine would improve exercise performance and also body composition. The efficient flow of blood to working muscles during exercise is vital to performance, so theoretically, a supplement that stimulates vasodilation would be able to boost the delivery of nutrients to muscles while buffering away waste products.

Fast&Up Activate is ideal pre-workout nutrition for getting the best performance from your body, whether you're an athlete, sportsperson or an active fitness enthusiast. An intelligent combination of L-Arginine, Fast&Up Activate helps make sure your body is prepped at its optimum level to gain the maximum from your workout.

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