You may have heard of arginine as a supplement that’s popular among bodybuilders. It is often used by avid exercisers and athletes who are looking to lose body fat. While a magic pill for weight loss is not on the market yet, arginine might be just what you need to help convert more protein into muscle.
A healthy diet and regular exercise combined with L-arginine can help burn fat, even in inactive states, and who does want to burn more calories while sleeping?
Arginine improves the balance of nitrogen in your body, which in turn causes blood vessels to open wider for improved blood flow. It also stimulates the release of growth hormone, insulin, and other substances in the body.
What Is L-Arginine
Arginine is an amino acid, building block of protein that is naturally produced in your body and is also found in many foods. Foods rich in protein, such as dairy products, meats, fish, nuts, gelatin, oats, wheat germ, and soybeans are great sources of arginine. It can also be found in some unhealthy, but delicious foods like chocolate.
In most cases, people already produce the amount of arginine their body needs, but it is also sold as a dietary supplement, usually in a form called L-arginine. The supplements can improve liver function, build muscle, and enhance exercise performance, and have been seriously studied as treatment for heart disease, erectile problems, and even headaches.
Why Give Your Body Something It Produces on Its Own?
While your body does produce arginine on its own, the body can become deficient due to injuries or various health conditions. Signs that you may need to supplement your diet with L-arginine include slow healing of wounds, hair loss, constipation, and skin rashes.
L-arginine supplements may be necessary to those fighting infection, burns, undergoing dialysis, experiencing rapid growth, or those with trouble processing urea. Anyone wishing to lose weight, build muscle, or strengthen the immune system also may want to consider supplementation.
A typical dosage of arginine is 2 to 3 grams of arginine, but as with any supplement, it is important that you speak to your doctor about dosage, particularly if you have a history of high cholesterol, high blood pressure or impotency.
Improve Your Love Life and Fertility
In a study published in a 1999 issue of BJU International, researchers found that 5 grams of L-arginine daily for six weeks improved the sexual function in men with erectile dysfunction. Because L-arginine stimulates nitric oxide in the body and increases blood flow, it is thought to help with erectile dysfunction, increasing the flow of blood to the genital area as well.
The Journal of the American Medical Association reports that 43 percent of women and 31 percent of men suffer from sexual dysfunction, which is broadly defined as the inability to fully enjoy sexual intercourse. For women, this can include a low sex drive or the inability to experience an orgasm. Men experience sexual dysfunction as impotence, also referred to as erectile dysfunction.
Based on hundreds of studies, L-arginine has become known as a safe and effective prosexual nutrient for men and women. Both men and women report that L-Arginine seems to increase their desire for sex, and some also report that L-Arginine gives them greater endurance and more powerful orgasms.
L-Arginine can be an excellent supplement for anyone wanting to increase his or her sexual arousal, improve performance, and overall health. Unlike prescription drugs, like Viagra, both men and women can take the supplement.
Other Health Benefits of L-Arginine
Aside from increased muscle mass and helping with sexual dysfunction, L-arginine has many other health benefits. They include:
- Promotes circulation resulting in improved blood flow
- Stimulates the release of growth hormone
- Improves immune function
- Reduces healing time of injuries
- Plays a role in the formation of bone and tendons
- Supports normal blood pressure
Image: Alex E Proimos