Arginine has many health and sports benefits. But what is arginine and how does it affect the body? Nutrimuscle tells you everything there is to know about arginine.
What is arginine?
Arginine is a semi-essential amino acid, meaning the body can normally produce it, but additional supplies are needed under certain conditions (rapid growth or healing from injury). Arginine is a precursor to nitric oxide, a molecule that plays an important role in regulating blood circulation and blood pressure.
Arginine also drives protein production in the body and is involved in many essential biochemical processes. It is present in many foods, such as meat, poultry, dairy products, nuts, seeds and legumes. It can also be isolated via food supplements.
Arginine, its benefits for health and in sport
The health benefits of arginine are numerous and diverse. They concern the health of the organism such as muscular performance.
Strengthening the immune system
Arginine plays an important role in the body's immune response by stimulating the production of white blood cells. Therefore, arginine helps reduce the risk of diseases and infections. Studies have shown that arginine supplementation improves the immune response in people with chronic illnesses.
Arginine for bodybuilding
Arginine is often used by bodybuilders and athletes to stimulate muscle growth. Indeed, this amino acid promotes the production of growth hormones, a hormone that stimulates muscle growth and tissue repair.
Additionally, arginine increases the production of creatine, which is used to provide energy to muscles during exercise. By coupling arginine with glycine, it is possible to reap all the benefits of creatine without the need to supplement. However, not supplementing with creatine implies higher arginine requirements.
Arginine has been shown to reduce inflammation within the body. It therefore speeds up post-workout recovery and limits aches. It is also used in the healing of wounds and wounds.
Improved blood vessel health
Arginine is a precursor to nitric oxide, which plays a key role in regulating blood circulation and blood pressure. In fact, arginine improves the health of blood vessels by promoting the relaxation of the smooth muscles that surround them. This helps blood circulation and reduces blood pressure.
Improved sexual performance
Arginine is known for its beneficial effects on sexual performance, especially in people suffering from erectile dysfunction. By promoting the production of nitric oxide, arginine improves blood circulation in the vessels of the penis and limits erection problems. Studies have also suggested that arginine has aphrodisiac power in women.
Protection of the nervous system
Thanks to its inhibitory effect on inflammation and its action on blood circulation, arginine helps protect the nervous system from excess ammonium.
How to take arginine?
The assimilation of arginine varies depending on the form in which it is consumed. Although arginine is found in certain food products, the most effective is to consume it in the form of a food supplement (powder or capsule).
When consumed orally, arginine is rapidly absorbed in the small intestine and then enters the bloodstream. Once in the blood, arginine is transported to organs and tissues where it is used to produce nitric oxide.
The rate at which arginine is absorbed is influenced by various factors such as stomach acid levels, consumption of other foods, the form in which it is consumed, as well as the presence of other nutrients.
Consuming arginine with food may slow its absorption, while consuming it on an empty stomach promotes its assimilation.
Can you take arginine before sleeping?
Studies have shown the link between good quality sleep and a sufficient level of arginine in the body. In fact, this amino acid neutralizes the ammonia present in cells, responsible for insomnia and other sleep disorders. In addition, it regulates cortisol levels, which helps reduce stress and make it easier to fall asleep.
Contraindications and side effects
It is strongly not recommended for pregnant women, people with herpes and people with heart problems to supplement with arginine.
Arginine does not cause side effects when taken according to the dosage. In case of overdose (>15 g/day), arginine can cause nausea, intestinal upset and insomnia.
What you must remember
Arginine is a semi-essential amino acid that is necessary for the production of proteins in the body and is involved in many essential biochemical processes. It is present in many foods, and arginine supplements are also available in the form of tablets, capsules, and powders.
The benefits of arginine are numerous, both for health and muscle development. Be careful, however, not to exceed the recommended daily doses.