NCUK Tip #20: The power of L-Arginine…
So those of you that know me, or have been following my page for a while will know, and fully understand my feelings around the importance of amino acids. For those of you who dont know me, or are new to this page: I believe amino acids (proteins) are THE most physiologically influential nutrients in existence.
That basically means amino acids are the most important nutrients in terms of health and performance. To prove this point I point you in the direction of the ancient Greeks â?? who weâ??re pretty clever people I believe. Protein in Greek means of first importance… Simple!
In previous articles Ive talked of the power of individual amino acids, from glutamine and its role in immune function, to leucine and its role in making muscle (for those of you who havent got a clue what Im on about, nows the time to jet over to my page and catch up…).
This time Im going to inform you of the remarkable effects of L-Arginine. Now some of you may have already heard of L-Arginine, its a popular ingredient in the pre-workout supplements that are so popular now-a-days.
(WARNING: this one is explosive hold on to your hats…)
Some of the science surrounding L-Arginine:
L-Arginine is responsible for the creation of Nitric-Oxide (NO), which is acts as the signalling molecule to facilitate the dilation of blood vessels, and decreases vascular resistance, which ultimately regulates blood pressure.
- What that means to me and you: L-Arginine increases the flow of blood around the body, increasing the delivery of energy (glucose) to the working muscles, decreases blood pressure, and can result in that pumped up (vasodilated) effect.
- Just an interesting side note, I was writing Nutrition articles last year for a company that were developing a cure to heart disease â?? major statement I know â?? but guess what, there product was based around this L-Arginine/Nitric-Oxide relationship and how it effects blood pressure… Genius?
L-Arginine also stimulates the production of growth hormone, thought to be attributed to the suppression of endogenous somatostatin secretion.
- What that means to me and you: L-Arginine consumption can increase the production of growth hormone.
Finally L-Arginine is associated with the synthesis of creatine â?? we all know about the beneficial effects of creatine donâ??t we (for those that donâ??t scroll down to the creatine article now…). Arginine, glycine and methionine (all amino acids… see what I was saying about the importance of amino acids, donâ??t see any carbohydrates mentioned in these important processes do you?) are involved in the creation of creatine within the human body.
- What that means to me and you: L-Arginine consumption can increase the natural production of creatine â?? the most powerful ergogenic aid (in my opinion).
Jeez, donâ??t know about you but the first time I encountered the vast benefits of this otherwise unknown amino acid around two years ago in some sweaty library in Leeds I was blown away!
Quick recap for those of you still slightly blurry eyed, L-Arginine can:
- Increase the natural production of growth hormone
- Increase the natural production of creatine
- Stimulate the production of Nitric-Oxide
Look out for it in pre-workout supplements, the best contain it, the worst donâ??t… generally because itâ??s a relatively expensive.
NCUK over and out.
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