The many health and fitness benefits of arginine

In the health and fitness world, there is no shortage of supplements, diet pills or muscle powders on the market…most of them being little more than fancy bottles with expensive packaging that contain garbage.

The health supplement industry is rampant with false claims, over-dramatic promises and sheer lies. First and foremost, there is no replacement for a good sound daily diet and exercise plan. Supplements are just that, they ‘supplement’ your foundations (good food and exercise). They cannot help you unless you have the big pieces of the puzzle already in place.

So whether you are looking to lose weight, burn fat or add lean muscle, get your foundations in place first and then tweak the rest later.

These tweaks can be made by adding in a good, natural supplement regimen. Some of these supplements can assist in weight loss; assist in adding muscle, help build up your joints and more. The supplement in review today is Arginine! It can help with a ton of good benefits.

Besides lowering your blood pressure and reducing the risk of angina, (angina is a chest pain due to lack of oxygenated blood to a part of the heart), arginine is one of the fitness enthusiast’s supplements of choice.

Arginine is an amino acid produced within the body and is also found in many foods rich in proteins. Arginine can be used as a dietary supplement to increase oxygenated blood flow to the muscle. This is possible because it’s considered a vasodilator (expands the size of your veins temporarily. It’s like adding another lane to the freeway – it creates more space). The component called nitric oxide is increased by arginine supplementation, essentially allowing a greater volume of oxygenated blood flow through the muscles and body.

Not only does proper dosage of Arginine help blood flow, it also supports extreme endurance and muscle pumps during physical activity, while encouraging growth and development of lean muscle. Arginine also allows the body to heal more efficiently and effectively due to the blood flow increase. The kidneys have a great use for both natural occurring arginine as well as supplemented arginine. When the kidney receives arginine as a supplement it will more effectively remove waste throughout the body.

Depending on what your goal is, the dosage of arginine may vary. Dosages range anywhere from 500mg to 6g depending on your fitness goals; consult your physician for more advice on dosage. The proper times that you would consume arginine for the most efficient results would be on a training day, during your morning meal, as well as pre-workout.

For a day without training you would get the best benefits of arginine by consuming it in the morning and in the afternoon. Some warning labels will suggest that Arginine should not be taken if the particular individual has ulcers, is pregnant or nursing, is at risk of bleeding (such as a hemophilia), or has a history of liver of kidney disease.

Another very valid and important note would be that arginine lowers blood pressure when taken in proper doses.

Users of arginine have experienced faster recovery, a great muscle pump and increases in strength. My personal use of Arginine within a variety of pre-workouts has increased my strength and endurance while providing great blood flow to the muscles. This really helped me push more reps and more weight when arginine was present as a supplement in my daily diet. Depending on how extensive your arginine product and your fitness goals, the price can range anywhere from $29.99 up to $69.99. Visit your local gym, trainer or supplement store for more information on arginine and for more accurate pricing of the exact product that would fit your diet and lifestyle.

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Jack Wheeler is a personal trainer and owner of 360 Fitness in Red Deer. He can be reached at 403-347-1707 or check out for more information.