What is the Best L-Arginine Supplement to Take in 2017?
You may be aware that l-arginine is becoming increasingly popular on for improving sport performance, but you might have passed over it if you’re not super fit yourself. However, the potential benefits of l-arginine extend beyond athletic performance.
L-arginine can improve blood flow within the body which can have positive effects on many medical conditions.
Are you wondering if l-arginine is right for you? In this article I’m going to fill you in on everything you need to know about this powerful little amino acid as well as sharing my picks for the best l-arginine supplement on the market right now.
What is L-Arginine?
L-arginine is an amino acid, a chemical building block of protein. L-arginine is needed for the body to function properly.
There are a total of 20 amino acids in the human body. Some are classed as essential, meaning that our bodies cannot produce them so we must obtain them through the food we eat.
Others are non-essential, meaning your body can produce them by itself. A third set are considered ‘semi-essential’, meaning your body either does not produce very high amounts or, in certain circumstances, may require more than it’s able to make.
L-arginine falls into this final category - it is classed as semi-essential. Your body can naturally manufacture appropriate amounts L-arginine under normal circumstances but in certain situations might require supplementation.
When your body suffers from injury such as trauma, burns or even a surgical procedure, there is a need for higher amounts of arginine than your body can normally produce.
L-Arginine is found in red meats , poultry, fish and dairy products.
Who Needs L-Arginine Supplements?
If you are recovering from an injury or suffering from cold hands and feet as a result of poor circulation, l-arginine could be of benefit to you. In addition, if you’d like to improve your sport performance, it could be worth trying.
For those with hypertension, supplementing with l-arginine is a natural way to bring down high blood pressure. High blood pressure is associated with cardiovascular disease such as heart attack and stroke in the long term.
What Does L-Arginine Do?
In addition to improving blood flow and lowering blood pressure, this amino acid increases growth hormone which stimulates growth and cell reproduction.
Furthermore, it increases glucose in the bloodstream and prolactin which is a protein that is best known for its role in producing milk in women.
All these hormonal changes affect metabolism and energy levels (source).
Red meat, fish and dairy products are all top foods when it comes to l-arginine content. But of course, not everybody likes the type of food we should be eating as part of a healthy and balanced diet.
L-arginine supplements can help you fill nutritional holes in your diet, especially if you’re looking to reap some of the rewards associated with this particular amino acid.
Sports Training and Performance
We all have things we excel at and areas where we fall short when it comes to hitting the gym. Personally, although I try to include resistance training in my workouts and actually quite enjoy it, weight training isn’t exactly my forte.
It doesn’t seem to matter what I try, I can never seem to achieve that sexy, well-defined lean muscle other women at the gym seem to have. However, due to the ability of l-arginine to stimulate growth hormone, it’s no surprise that this supplement is thought to be useful for people like me. L-arginine could help uso get the upper hand when it comes to achieving those all-important gains.
Regardless of whether you’re male or female, an l-arginine supplement might just be the key to improving your workouts. L-arginine supplements can increase blood flow and thus nutrient saturation in muscle tissues. The end result is a noticeable improvement in muscle performance.
Many athletes use dietary supplements to improve their sporting performance and muscle mass. Studies have been conducted to investigate whether l-arginine supplements have any impact on sporting performance. Results showed a significant positive effect on those who used the supplement in comparison with those who did not (source).
How Does L-Arginine Work?
L-Arginine is involved in production of nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is a very important molecule when it comes to regulation of blood pressure and brain activity.
Studies have shown that drugs which produce nitric oxide or are involved in creation of nitric oxide may be beneficial in prevention of acute stroke (source).
L-arginine helps promote blood flow by allowing the blood vessels to relax. The end result is dilated blood vessels which allow smoother blood flow and thus more oxygen is delivered throughout the body to nourish your organs from head to toe.
Although l-arginine is a vital amino acid, without which our bodies cannot function correctly, moderation is still key. There are concerns that l-arginine supplements could be dangerous if taken in large amounts.
If you have any concerns or are uncertain how to use l-arginine it is always best to speak with your physician or pharmacist before adding this supplement to your stack.
How to Choose the Best L-Arginine Supplement
When looking to purchase an l-arginine supplement, there are a few things you should look out for.
Choose a Reputable Brand
First off, only consider brands that are either well known as a quality supplement manufacturer, or a product that is recommended by your doctor or trainer.
Unfortunately, supplements are big business. In a bid to make a quick buck, some less-than-reputable companies may try to impress you with shiny packaging and outrageous claims while the actual quality of the ingredients take a backseat.
Although it’s a matter of personal preference, some people find have more confidence when a brand manufactures its products in the USA. Our quality control regulations are more strict than many companies abroad. Plus, lots of companies will proudly display how they follow good manufacturing practices (GMP/GMPc) and will often list if they are certified by any official body such as the USDA, FDA or NSF.
Always Check the Label
When looking for a quality product, keep in mind exactly what you are looking for. When looking for a l-arginine supplement, you want something with as few additives as possible.
Many quality supplements may couple L-arginine with some natural extracts, vitamins or minerals often to aid absorption to help your body get the most out of the supplement. However, if the product has an ingredients list as long as your arm with words you can’t even pronounce, it is probably one to avoid.
The Best L-Arginine Supplement
There are a number of l-arginine supplements on the market and even after reading everything I’ve written above, it can be tricky to compare and choose the product which is the best fit for your needs.
That’s why I’ve looked at the most popular l-arginine products out there and chosen five top options which I think will work for almost everyone.
I have listed the pros and cons for each product to help you make an informed decision. At the end you’ll find my overall favorite pick.
Our Choice for the Best L-Arginine Supplement
My pick for the best l-arginine supplement is the Extra Strength L-Arginine from Havasu Nutrition.
Although all of the products on this list are good choices for anyone looking to try an l-arginine supplement, I feel that the capsule form goes down easier than powders or pills. There’s no need to worry about flavor and because the dose is split between two capsules, the size is not excessive.
The money-back guarantee is also a deciding factor for me. Not only does it instill confidence in the manufacturer, it means if it doesn’t do as promised, I won’t have buyer’s regret.