This post was written by Linda Brown and Published on

Arginine is a conditional non-essential amino acid, which means that is not needed by the body. Supplementation with Arginine has shown potential benefits in fitness and anti-aging applications.

What does Arginine do?


Supplementation with Arginine increases the production of nitric oxide in the body resulting in a loosening of the blood vessels promoting greater blood flow. Ease of blood flow can help to promote better nutrient delivery, & performance.

At its core Arginine relaxes blood vessels making them wider allowing for increased nutrient, and transport of blood and oxygen to and from muscles.

Applications of Arginine in Sports.

Using Arginine as a supplement may be most beneficial when used in sports that are centered around blood flow and nutrient delivery, like resistance training and strength training. The main benefit you will get when using arginine for sports performance is an increase in blood flow, which is useful if you are training for hypertrophy (muscle building, properties). 

Vasodilation and Endurance

When Arginine is taken it increases the production of nitric oxide in the bloodstream widening the blood vessels which allows for improved blood flow to muscles during workouts.

Improved blood flow allows for longer more consistent blood flow to muscles leading to increased performance in the gym and faster recovery from workouts.

Arginine and HGH Production.

Studies have shown Arginine to be effective at increasing resting levels of human growth hormone. In studies done, taking a dose of 5-9 grams of arginine improved baseline human growth hormone levels by 100%.

When arginine was combined with exercise, baseline levels of human growth hormone increased 200% compared to baseline.

Arginine used at a dose of 5-9 grams elicited a growth hormone response when combined with lysine after 90 minutes of consumption; normal blood levels of human growth hormone were elevated 8 times higher than normal levels

To get the most out of Arginine growth hormone response it is recommended to take it 90 minutes before a workout to allow human growth hormone levels to reach peak blood serum levels.

Arginine in Bodybuilding and HGH Supplements

L-Arginine is commonly used in bodybuilding and HGH supplements such as Somatropinne, Growth Factor Plus and Genf20 plus to help boost strength, focus and most importantly human growth production. When picking out your bodybuilding and HGH supplements, make sure l-arginine is in the ingredients list.

Any worthwhile pre-workout supplement or human growth hormone supplement such as Growth Factor Plus needs to have l-arginine as part of its formula otherwise you are just wasting your money.

 L-Arginine Dosage

The Recommended Dose is between 3-6 grams before a workout, although no standard dosage had been established for supplementing with Arginine keeping the dosage under 15 grams though reduces the chances for overdose and side effects

Exceeding the recommended dosage increases the chance of side effects, including upset stomach, nausea, and diarrhea.  To prevent side effects gradually increase your dosage.

Optimal Dosing Cycling

When using Arginine in your workout regimen it is recommended to cycle the use of Arginine every 14 days to avoid tolerance build up. Cycling Arginine prevents your body from getting used to Arginine and allows you to continually see progress in your exercise regimen.

Arginine Side Effects

Side effects have only been shown at high dosages exceeding the recommended dosage of 15 to 30 grams. When staying within the recommended dosage there is little risk of developing side effects. Fallout side effects are uncommon; they are often alleviated by beginning with a beginner dose and slowly increasing the dose of Arginine that is taken.

The most common side effects from arginine are gastrointestinal distress, Diarrhea, nausea, however, reported side effects are only found when on the high end of the recommended doses.

Before starting or changing any supplements that you are taking, be sure to consult your doctor.

References and Citations