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Contents of this Article
- Top 10 L-Arginine Products Compared
- Frequently Asked Questions About L-Arginine Supplements
Amino acids are extremely important to the function of the human body.
They build the essential proteins within us and serve countless key roles in our bodies. Some amino acids are obtained from external sources, such as our diets.
Arginine is an amino acid that we obtain from our diets, as well as create within our bodies. Arginine helps heal injuries, remove kidney waste, and boosts immune system function.
It also creates nitric-oxide, which relaxes and widens arteries and blood vessels. This in turn enhances blood flow.
It is semi-essential, meaning that your body can produce enough under normal circumstances, but sometimes it needs a little help from our diets and/or from supplements.
When taken in supplement form, this amino acid is generally referred to as L-Arginine.
In order to help you find a good product we’ve researched & compared the best l-arginine supplements on the market right now.
Top 10 L-Arginine Products Compared
1. NOW Foods L-Arginine
NOW Foods L-Arginine is a powerful arginine supplement in convenient pill form. It also has no sugar, yeast, salt, wheat, gluten, corn, soy, shellfish, milk, or egg. This product is made by an established company within the industry.
What’s in it:
- 1000mg free form L-Arginine
Who makes it: Known for its all natural products, NOW foods has been around since 1968 when it was founded by Elwood Richard. Their mission is to “to provide value in products and services that empower people to lead healthier lives.” It is based out of Bloomingdale, Illinois and produces and distributes natural foods and supplements.
|Where to Buy NOW Foods L-Arginine|
2. Jarrow Formulas Arginine
This product is simply L-Arginine with all of its benefits wrapped into one little pill. It is multi purposed, meaning it is not only useful for athletes and bodybuilders. It has a better dosage than previous L-Arginine supplements on the list, but it does contain some fillers and additives.
What’s in it:
- 1000mg L-Arginine (as L-Arginine hydrochloride)
Who makes it: Jarrow Formulas was founded in 1977 and incorporated in 1988. They produce nutritional supplements such as vitamins, minerals, probiotics, enzymes, amino acids, and standardized herbal concentrates. The company funds research on some supplemental ingredients in order to ensure that consumers redeem the “full biological value” of their products.
|Where to Buy Jarrow Formulas Arginine|
3. Infinite Labs Arginine AKG
Pure arginine pills at a potent dose, higher than anything you’ve seen so far at a whopping 3g per serving. It is a powder that can be mixed with water to make an L-Arginine drink, or thrown in with your favorite shake. It is created by a cutting-edge science backed company dedicated to providing customers with the best supplements.
What’s in it:
- 3g Arginine AKG (Arginine Alpha ketoglutarate)
Who makes it: Infinite labs is a vitamins and supplements producer based out of Florida. They provide safe, tested, quality supplements to their consumers that can only improve their health. Their standard is “Safety & Efficacy.” The company was purchased in 2009 by a man who already had experience in the field, and has made sure that his company produces supplements that are trustworthy, backed by science, and not by marketing hype.
|Where to Buy Infinite Labs Arginine AKG|
4. Cellucor NO3 Chrome
This is a good arginine formula that has complementing ingredients to enhance the effects of L-Arginine. It has a quality dose of L-Arginine with L-Norvaline alongside it.
What’s in it:
- 1250mg L-Arginine nitrate
- 83mg vitamin C (as calcium ascorbate)
- 10mg calcium (as calcium ascorbate)
- 655mg extreme vascularity complex
- 100mg L-Norvaline
Who makes it: Cellucor is an award winning leader within the industry that is committed to improving results. They are all about sports nutrition, and maximizing gains. Their mantra is “results matter.” They were founded in 2002, and they focus on bringing in new technology and innovation in order to keep their products on the cutting edge.
|Where to Buy Cellucor NO3 Chrome|
5. Twinlab L-Arginine
This supplement is pure L-Arginine. It is not mixed with any other active ingredient. It is taken as a capsule. The aim of this supplement is to harness the true potential of L-Arginine in a simple supplement that is high quality, and can be taken easily.
What’s in it:
- 500mg L-Arginine (as L- Arginine hydrochloride, L-Arginine)
Who makes it: Twinlab manufactures bodybuilding supplements, vitamins, minerals, herbs and teas. It has been one of the top selling supplement brands for forty years and counting. They are one of the pioneers of the supplement market. It was founded in 1968 by David Blechman, who had already had 20 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry. They developed a liquid-protein supplement, now known as Amino Fuel Liquid, which put them on the map.
|Where to Buy Twinlab L-Arginine|
6. AllMax Nutrition Arginine
This is one of the most powerful L-Arginine supplements on the market. Because it is a powder, it is easily assimilated. The L-Arginine in this supplement is in an 11-stage process that produces Japanese-grade ultra pure arginine from pure vegetable sources. The company that produces it is established and trustworthy. The product provides you with the most L-Arginine per serving, allowing you to break the effective 5g threshold in only one serving. The price is fair for the value, so you know you are getting what you paid for.
What’s in it:
- 5 g L-Arginine HCI
Who makes it: AllMax uses pharmaceutical grade ingredients in a cGMP certified facility, meaning that they have current Good Manufacturing Practices. Their facilities are also government inspected to ensure that no contaminants get into their products. They test every product batch before they hit the shelves, and they ensure that they are providing you with exactly the amount of ingredients that the label claims. They have been supplying their customers with these quality supplements for over 15 years.
|Where to Get It|
7. Olympian Labs Arginine & Ornithine
Olympian Labs created an L-Arginine supplement formula that includes the amino acid L-Ornithine. L-Ornithine and L-Arginine are closely related, and can work together. L-Ornithine by itself is a non-essential amino acid, and has some similar benefits as L-Arginine.
What’s in it:
- 500mg L-Arginine Hydrochloride
- 250mg L-Ornithine Monohydrochloride
Who makes it: Olympian Labs has been around for 20 years, and they are motivated to help their customers achieve “optimal health, well-being, and balance.” They make sure to steer clear of artificial dyes, preservatives, and sweeteners. Their facilities are cGMP certified, meaning that they have current Good Manufacturing Practices. Their mission is to offer the highest quality supplements on the market.
|Where to Get It|
8. AI Sports Nutrition Agmatine
This product is not an L-Arginine supplement, it is actually an Agmatine supplement. Agmatine is a chemical byproduct of arginine breakdown within the body. It is not an amino acid, it is the chemical derivative of L-Arginine that functions as a neurotransmitter; and has not been as extensively researched as L-Arginine for benefits and side effects.
What’s in it:
- 250mg agmatine sulfate
Who makes it: AI Sports Nutrition was founded in 2006 in the U.S. The company’s primary focus is on muscle gains, intense workouts, and bodybuilding. The founder has had this goal in mind since he was only 12, and continues to aspire towards this goal with all of his products.
|Where to Get It|
9. PrimaForce Agmatine
This is another agmatine supplement, not an L-Arginine supplement. Remember that Agmatine is a neurotransmitter and chemical byproduct of L-Arginine. This is a pre-workout supplement, and taking it about 45 minutes before a workout is what the manufacturer recommends. It provides a quality dose of agmatine sulfate for a good price.
What’s in it:
- 750mg Agmatine Sulfate
Who makes it: PrimaForce is an athletic supplement company dedicated to producing products with quality, pharmaceutical grade ingredients. They pride themselves on making sure that all ingredients are tested before being thrown into a formula. They have over 34 products available on the market.
|Where to Get It|
10. GAT NITRAFLEX
This supplement is an intense pre workout that is loved in the bodybuilding community. It has a lot of caffeine and really gives you a buzz that you can sustain throughout your workout session. L-Arginine is added but it is not the main focus of the supplement.
What’s in it:
- 325mg caffeine
- NITRAFLEX™ Propriecuetical blend, 7365mg
- Includes Vasoactive Arginase-Regulating ComplexAcute Energy, Focus, Intensity, Neuromodulating, Endurance Complex
- Clinically-Studied Testosterone-Enhancing Complex
- Includes L-Arginine
Who makes it: German American Technologies is a hardcore bodybuilding supplement producer, and even supports bodybuilders through sponsorship. 2015 Arnold Brazil Champion Big Ramy is sponsored by GAT and promotes GAT products. Their focus is on extreme gains and powerful performance, and their supplements are all engineered with that purpose in mind.
|Where to Get It|
Frequently Asked Questions About L-Arginine Supplements
What is L-Arginine?
L-Arginine is the supplemental version of arginine; that amazing amino acid you just read a little bit about. Arginine can be found naturally in foods high in protein, such as meat, nuts, fish, and soybeans.
It is also naturally produced within the human body. L-Arginine offers the same benefits as arginine, it is just the concentrated supplemental version. There are twenty different versions of Arginine, and the “L” version is the one that is used for supplements, and is the only one that should be used as a supplement, because it is the “free form” version.
This amino acid was first isolated from a lupine seedling in 1886. It was discovered to trigger protein building within the human body. Because of this, L-Arginine has been studied as a supplement for bodybuilding, healing wounds, enhancing sperm production, and reducing bodily tissue waste. It has also been studied for cardiovascular disease treatment and prevention.
L-Arginine helps the endothelial cells produce nitric oxide, which is necessary for maintaining healthy blood circulation. The endothelial cells are in the lining of all the blood vessels in your body. Nitric oxide is a gas that is a byproduct of L-Arginine and produced by both plants and animals. Understanding what nitric oxide does helps you to understand the benefits of L-Arginine, because arginine (or L-Arginine) is necessary for nitric oxide production.
What Are L-Arginine Supplements?
L-arginine supplements are exactly what they imply. They supplement your diet with arginine in the form of L-Arginine, one of the twenty different types of this key amino acid. The average American diet consists of around 5g of arginine, usually derived from not-so-healthy red meat. Better natural sources for your health includes fish, tofu, and nuts.
The issue is that it is recommended for your health to consume 6 to 9 g of L-Arginine daily. In order to consume this much, you would have to eat 2.5 pounds of tofu, or a half pound of tuna! Top arginine supplements allow a person to obtain the recommended amount, without eating large amounts of red meat, or eating large amounts of other protein sources.
What Are the Uses & Benefits of L-Arginine?
L-Arginine also plays a role in the function of the immune system, and this is because it not only stimulates protein production, but is also required for the production of white blood cells. This means that L-Arginine can be used to help people recover from illness and cancer treatments, which take a huge toll on the immune system.
Besides surgical recovery, it is commonly taken to prevent colds and prevent and treat infections. The combination of protein production stimulation and white blood cell production stimulation makes the best arginine supplements powerful recovery tools.
Arginine supplements are also used to increase production of human growth hormones in the body. These hormones include amino acids (including creatine, L-proline, and L-glutamine) and prolactin. It improves metabolic health by allowing more glucose to enter the cells, which means it helps the body burn fat. It also improves muscle strength.
Because arginine helps to increase human growth hormones, it has profoundly positive effects on the metabolism, and skeletal-muscular system.
Studies have also been conducted on L-Arginine’s impact on type II diabetes. In one study, it was discovered that L-Arginine “evoked large increases in insulin secretion from the pancreas of diabetic rat.” This suggests that it could have the same effect on humans, because rats can be from 85% to 99% genetically identical to humans. Currently, the evidence suggests that L-Arginine may stimulate insulin production.
Who May Benefit from L-Arginine?
- Athletes and fitness enthusiasts – L-Arginine supplements are a favorite in the athletic community because of the nitric oxide it creates in the body. Nitric oxide has been shown to reduce muscle fatigue, improve endurance levels, increase energy, speed up recovery rates, and increased use of glucose (which means burning body fat). On top of all of these naturally enhancing health benefits, L-Arginine has been shown to trigger the production of proteins in the body. It also has been shown to increase lean muscle mass. So, arginine benefits help you burn fat, build muscle, and improve performance.
- Stress – When combined with L-lysine, L-Arginine was shown to reduce symptoms of anxiety. It may reduce symptoms of anxiety alone as well, but more research must be done to confirm this. Its ability to reduce high blood pressure and open red blood cells indicates that it has stress-relieving properties.
- Sufferers of heart and blood vessel conditions – Congestive heart failure (CHF), chest pain, coronary artery disease, and leg pain due to blocked arteries are all examples of conditions that can be aided through L-Arginine supplementation. The nitric oxide that L-Arginine helps create in the body helps to improve blood circulation and relax blood vessels.
- Aging individuals – Aging individuals can greatly benefit from L-arginine because of the nitric oxide that it is capable of creating through the endothelial cells. Endothelial cells are the linings of our arteries and our blood vessels, and these cells need arginine in order to create enough nitric oxide to maintain healthy blood circulation. Research suggests that our ability to produce nitric oxide decreases as we age, and taking arginine supplements can possibly counteract that.
- Migraine sufferers – Migraines are a neurovascular disorder, and L-Arginine improves vascular health. To translate, this means that migraines are partially caused by constricting blood vessels, and L-Arginine helps dilate blood vessels. This means that for some migraine sufferers, L-Arginine could be beneficial in reducing symptoms.
- Vegans and vegetarians – Sometimes it is hard with a vegan diet to ensure that you are eating enough dietary protein. An L-Arginine supplement can help ensure that your body is getting enough amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins.
Are There Any Side Effects of L-Arginine?
The side effects of an L-Arginine supplement occur when there is a large dose taken at once, or when it interacts with preexisting conditions or pharmaceutical drugs. Some of the preexisting conditions that L-Arginine may worsen include allergies and asthma, herpes, cirrhosis, and low blood pressure. It may increase the risk of death from a heart attack in aging individuals. More than a dose of 10 g can cause diarrhea and gas.
What Interacts with L-Arginine?
L-Arginine can interact with pharmaceutical drugs, and here are some that should not be taken in conjunction with L-Arginine supplements:
- Antihypertensive drugs
- Nitroglycerine isosorbide (increases blood flow to the heart)
- High blood pressure medications
People who have high levels of arginine in their bodies should avoid supplementing themselves with more L-Arginine. Speak to your doctor before taking l-arginine.
How Do I Take L-Arginine?
Safe methods of taking L-Arginine supplements include taking it by mouth, shot, or application to the skin. The most common way to supplement is by mouth, in the form of an L-Arginine capsule, pill or powder.
Arginine supplements do not have to be consumed with food, but they may be better absorbed with food. Powders are more easily assimilated in the digestive system than pills.
How Do I Pick a Good Arginine Product?
- Company reputation – It is important that you are purchasing your supplements from a trustworthy and established company. Sometimes established means that they have been in the industry for more than twenty years, but sometimes it means that they are certified manufacturing facilities that have been government tested. A great way to make sure that the company is trustworthy is to look for a cGMP certification, meaning that they have current Good Manufacturing Practices. Ultimately, make sure that you research the company before you make a purchase.
- Amount of L-Arginine per serving – In the world of supplements, you have to make sure you are getting the most bang for your buck. Knowing the effective doses of the particular supplement you are looking for is crucial. For L-Arginine, anything less than 5g in a day may not be effective. It also depends on your purpose for supplementing.
- Additives and Preservatives – some L-Arginine supplements contain additives, fillers, and preservatives. This is not always a drawback, because in some cases they are there to help the body absorb the L-Arginine. In other cases, it is just there to take up space.
- Tested Ingredients – Some supplements use agmatine instead of L-Arginine. Agmatine is a chemical derivative of L-Arginine that acts as a neurotransmitter. It is good to look into how much research has been conducted on the ingredients in your supplements.
- Added vitamins and amino acids – This is mostly a personal preference. Some L-Arginine supplements contain additional vitamins and amino acids which compliment and enhance the benefits of arginine supplements. If there is still a sufficient dose of L-Arginine in the supplement, then this can be a major benefit! If you are looking for pure L-Arginine, then steer clear of longer ingredients lists.
- Assimilation – Assimilation refers to how well the body can absorb a supplement. Generally speaking, a powder that is mixed in water is more easily assimilated than a pill.
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About the Author
Austin Meadows is an independent writer and consultant specializing in health and wellness topics. With more than 7 years of experience writing in the natural health industry, Austin strives to deliver accurate, concise and research based information to his readers. Contact Austin about this article