L-Arginine is a non essential Amino Acid meaning that our body produces enough in healthy individuals for the daily needs.
So, why is it taking a lot of attention if we already have enough? Because not always we are in healthy conditions, especially when we are starting an exercise program after a lifestyle filled with drugs, sex and rock n’ roll (not that is bad, but it can be pretty heavy on our body after a while).
While it can be found in most of your food, L-Arginine supplementation can really boost your performance at the beginning of your training period.
When I first started to exercise I’ve designed a program to train my cardiovascular system to let my blood flow and get cleaned up as soon as possible. My target was to start with a 20 minutes warm up run prior the weight training.
However, after 10 minutes I was having difficulties to catch my breath and stay up to pace!
I’ve decided to take it easy by slowing down the speed and eventually I was able to reach 15 minutes before my head start to spin, and my energies were depleted.
Knowing that L-Arginine is good for transporting oxygen in the blood I’ve deciding to give it a shot and I’ve prepared a simple “pre-workout water” with water, honey and L-Arginine to sip 20 minutes before my exercise time (I use honey to get energy and to sweeten the drink, Arginine taste is quite strong!).
As a result, not only I was able to sustain the 20 minutes run, but I was able to get thru the whole beginner pumping iron program!
The Science stuff:
L-Arginine is a protein’s Key Amino Acid and is well known for:
- Increase growth hormone levels
- Protects against heart disease
- Lowers blood pressure
- Improves poor circulation
- Aids in the production of creatine, an important source of energy
- Lowers ammonia levels, which can be increased due to frequent exercise
One of the good reasons to take L-Arginine is to build muscle mass, so if you are in a weight loss program and need to build up some muscles you should give it a try. It’s also suggested to treat erectile dysfunction.
One thing that I wan to point out is the addition of Alpha GPC in my “pre-workout water“.
Alpha GPC is a natural choline compound found in the brain and is recognized as a safe non-prescription drug. It enhance the cognitive functions of the brain and is giving significant results in the cure of Alzheimer’s disease (Wikipedia).
Alpha GPC is a cholinergic substance used for its cognitive enhancing abilities; there is also evidence that it can reduce the rate of age related memory loss. Alpha GPC also has athletic implications as it can enhance the production of growth hormones as well as muscle strength.
However, my focus during training while using Alpha GPC got a very good boost and once I started my program I was getting more and more pumped up on my training, movements, sets and pauses.
With this set up I was able to sustain the 20 minutes run to warm up and continue with weight training afterwards with a nice enjoyment smile on my face. I wasn’t doing superman crazy things, but I was able to steadily finish my program in a strong and productive way with a good push coming from within.
L-Arginine is a great help after periods of rest or sickness to help you to get back in your training habits.