One of my clients asked me this week what was L-Arginine and if she should take it to build muscle. I knew it was an amino acid and that it help build muscle but I was exactly sure how. So Heidi this is for you!
Arginine is an amino acid, in your body it changes to nitric oxide. It is a precursor to nitric oxide which is a neurotransmitter that help blood vessels relax or dilate and also improve circulation and bring new blood into the body. It is found in red meat, fish, poultry, wheat germ, nuts and seeds and dairy products.
What does L-arginine do for your body? It helps you heal wounds, help kidneys remove waste from your body, maintain immune and hormone function. Its presence is necessary for protein synthesis. Potential benefits is that in lowers blood pressure in some people improves cardio vascular conditioning because of the vessel dilation. When it becomes nitric oxide it expand blood vessels by relaxing muscle during your workouts. Increased blood flows means oxygen and nutrients are sent to your muscles for longer amounts of time which can reduce muscle damage, increase recovery and provide optimal performance. When the size of a muscle increases, L-arginine sends a signal to muscle cells, which encourages the release of growth hormone and aids in fat metabolism.
Having more blood flow can improve your overall health and immune system by taking away free radicals and increase the effectiveness of cells in your immune system. When you workout you stress your muscles by lifting, there is a certain tear and recovery that occurs (myocine and acitine in muscle fibers) so this can be used for omptimal health.
There is no set dosage, for sedintary people it is said we make enough L-arginine in our a bodies but it is different with every body and lifestyle. I should state some studies have shown that 1200mg per day may be helpful. More active your are the the more you can use low dose looks more like 3-5g. Side effect include nausea, diarrhoea, and weakness. I usually will only try one thing at a time to isolate a viarable and see what my body responds, 8-12 weeks then cycle off to see the benefits and let my body make it on its own.
Hope that helps and as always, consult your doctor before anything.
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Living the good, fit life in Seattle, WA. Stay tuned for more bilingual fitness tips and nutritious recipes.