Supplements: L-arginine

l-arginine-300x155As the fit lifestyle is rapidly gaining new fans the supplement market keeps growing and expanding. Of course everyone who’s serious about their health and fitness will not spare money of supplement which will help them become better and more efficient. But before purchasing any supplements (especially those expensive ones) it is worth to take a look at some facts and consider the pros and cons.

L arginine is an amino acid found in many protein high foods. Despite having many functions its main role is to serve is as a nitric oxide booster – beneficial particularly to the cardiovascular system and the healthy functioning of blood vessels. We also need it for protein syntheses, wound healing and removing urea and nitrogen waste from the body.

Benefits

According to some studies supplementation with l-arginine can improve the function of blood vessels and improve coronary blood flow. Additionally it lowers blood pressure and can even reduce angina and other symptoms in people with heart disease. It has been known to be used as additional treatment in heart condition patients.

L- arginine supplements  claim to help with erectile dysfunction. Since it is a precursor of nitric oxide responsible for vasodilation it is claimed to improve blood flow also it that area in the body.

In addition to the above, l-arginine has the ability to fight free radicals, and potentially signal muscle cells, release growth hormone as well as remove bad cholesterol.

How would it enhance muscular development? It has an impact on insulin, which is an anabolic hormone. Also, if you can dilate your arteries, you enhance blood flow to the muscles and enhance nutrient delivery and waste product removal. More nutrients = better development.

L-arginine takes part in fat metabolism and regulating salt levels in the body.

 

Side Effects

Despite several studies confirming the effectiveness of l-arginine in treating certain conditions other studies such as the one conducted by researchers at Stanford University found that arginine doesn’t help people with arterial issues and can even make the condition worse. Claims were made that given to heart patients, l-arginine increases mortality rates. It is therefore logical to assume that it shouldn’t be taken as a supplement without consulting your doctor.

L-Arginine supplements have been shown to worsen asthma symptoms and increase lung inflammation.arginine

Also, some studies are skeptical about the erectile dysfunction improvement or muscle growth as benefits of l-arginine.

In large doses l-arginine has been known to cause headaches, nausea, diarrhea and weakness.

Conclusion

So far the studies aren’t really conclusive and supplementation should be approached with caution. If you are serious about your healthy lifestyle and training, there is nothing wrong with trying natural supplements such as l-arginine, just remember to buy from trustworthy sources and consult a physician especially if you suffer from any health conditions.

L-Carnitine

L-Carnitine

L-carnitine supplements are one of the supplements gaining popularity in recent years as the fitness and sport industries conquer the new territory of more and more ‘civilians’. Since it’s become popular for everyone from physical workers to office rats to be fit and nutrakey-acetyl-l-carnitine-250g-supplement-centralspend most of their time in the gym or fitness studio, supplements such as l-carnitine have been in their prime. But what is it, what are the uses and side effects and is it worth the money?

The science behind it

L-carnitine is an amino acid –like and vitamin-like substance related to the B vitamin group. It used to be referred to as vitamin BT. It is a compound which helps transport fatty acids from the blood into the mitochondria so that they can be used as energy. L- carnitine is important for energy and metabolism of fats. If you want to utilize fat effectively or take even more advantage of your fat ‘melting away’ during exercise – l-carnitine is your guy. It has also been found to reduce fatigue which will help you stay active and make your workouts more intense.

The benefits

  • Fat burning – of course the primary function is fat metabolism and turning fat cells into energy by oxidizing them. Supplementation with l-carnitine is very helpful during weight loss.
  • Muscle Mass Increase-  Since it increases endurance and strength- it promotes lean muscle mass growth
  • Bone Mass Retention- Studies show that L-Carnitine decreases bone loss associated with old age.
  • Heart Condition Prevention – is often used alongside heart medicine for heart conditions and in people who have suffer heart attacks.
  • Kidney Treatment – your kidneys produce carnitine, so in kidney diseases it is also often used as treatment
  • Infertility – according to research, l-carnitine can help improve both sperm count and quality of sperm
  • Type II Diabetes Prevention – regulates metabolism increasing glucose oxidation, glucose storage, as well as glucose uptake
  • Support of the Immune System – l- carnitine is an antioxidant, it protects us from free radicals doing damage to our cells. Will support your immune system and protect you from health issues starting with the common cold all the way to life-threatening diseases
  • Improved Brain Function – as we age, cognitive function decreases. L-carnitine supports healthy brain function especially in seniors

 

Side Effects

Does it all sound too good to be true? L-carnitine supplements have been shown to cause a few side effects, a high dose can cause nausea, abdominal cramps, vomiting, and diarrhea.

A positive ‘side effect’ is an unexpected one and not related to fitness so much. One study from Italy has shown that l-carnitine was more effective than testosterone therapy for treating male erectile dysfunction and infertility. There are two reasons for this – firstly, it increases blood circulation and vascularity and secondly it improves the quality of the sperm.

Our Judgment: It’s worth a try

 

To conclude, l-carnitine has been tested enough to prove it does work and it’s safe. Therefore, it’s worth a try, especially if you are serious about your gym progress. Before you consume any supplement, research the proper dosage and possible interactions (with medicine you take and/or other supplements).

*It is recommended to take l-carnitine with carbs which spike insulin and enhance muscular uptake.