Many health experts today recommend the use of natural therapy for weight loss and L-arginine is a naturally derived amino acid. L-arginine, an amino acid, is found in foods like dairy products and meats. It helps in bodybuilding, muscle development, and improved performance.
These benefits have been researched with most conclusions being made after extensive studies.
One study showed that L-arginine improves DNA synthesis and mitochondrial bioenergetics, which may also be responsible for the beneficial effects of Arg on intestinal mucosal cells.
L-arginine is produced by the body in adequate amounts to elevate the action of a nitric acid in the body. It also has biochemical components that enhance the metabolism of fats.
The key functions of l-arginine include: Supporting weight loss
- Supporting kidneys in excretion
- Improving the flow of blood
- Boosting immunity
- Improving recovery after an illness
- Increasing the output of the growth hormone
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Can L-arginine help with Weight Loss?
Yes, it can. Here is how.
- L-arginine has been proved to stimulate fat metabolism, which in turn helps in weight loss.
It is mostly given to people dealing with obesity to help burn the fat and enhance the formation of muscle mass. Supplementing with l-arginine allows your body to use accumulated fats as a source of energy.
The accumulated fat is burnt to produce energy and to aid in muscle mass formation and development. L-arginine thus boosts your body metabolism as well as forms building blocks for muscle formation.
As a result, you lose fat mass but retain your muscle mass.
To test the efficacy of l-arginine on weight loss, a research study was conducted. L-arginine supplements were given to obese males who had type 2 diabetes to see if it would help in weight loss.
The study had more than 300 subjects who were subjected to the l-arginine and placebo groups.
They consumed 1000kcal per day and exercised 90 minutes every day for five days in a week. They also took 8.3g of l-arginine per day.
The results from the 21-day study showed that l-arginine increases weight loss. People who got l-arginine showed that 100 percent of the weight loss was all fat compared to those on placebo who lost up to 40 percent muscle mass.
- Larger doses of l-arginine for weight loss allow for faster fat burning, which is needed in the development of a leaner body:
The upper recommended l-arginine amount per serving is 5 to 10 grams. You should start with a lower serving and increase the dosage as you continue to use the supplement. It stimulates more body fat burning and formation of muscle, thus making it ideal for people looking to lose weight.
This supplement is highly effective in the treatment of obesity. However, excessive use can lead to harmful side effects.
- Burning belly fat:
Amino acids are known to aid in bodybuilding. For instance, l-arginine minimizes the action of the adipose tissue, which is the belly fat. Obesity is mainly characterized by stores of belly fat. The more a person accumulates the belly fat, the higher the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases.
- Stimulates production of HGH
L-arginine also increases the levels of HGH (Human Growth Hormone) that supports increased metabolism. However, it increases HGH levels when taken in very large amounts. Taking large amounts of the supplement is not advisable, however, because it can cause side effects such as stomach cramps and diarrhea.
- Increased energy:
Additionally, l-arginine is an ingredient long used in supplement formulas. It has been used for a wide range of functions including the enhancement of sports performance and boosting cardiovascular health. Since it is a nitrogenous acid, it stimulates the production of a nitric oxide whose making function is to dilate the blood vessels. Increased blood flow through the body increases energy and enhances the overall body performance.
Dilated vessels ease the work of the heart, thus improving your cardiovascular health by lowering your blood pressure. They also transport blood faster to different pressure points, which increases your energy for workouts.
Besides increasing your energy, dilated blood vessels also act as a treatment basis for erectile dysfunction.
Some studies have pointed out that it increases semen production, implying that could boost sexual performance. It prevents renal dysfunction in patients with type- 2 diabetes.
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L-arginine should be taken at least 3 times a day: in the morning and one each before and after working out. The recommended dose is between 2 to 6 grams. This can be taken before working out to increase blood flow, thus increasing your energy. Mix it with water or your favorite fruit juice and consume immediately. 2 to 5 grams of l-arginine can be mixed with 150 ml of water or juice and should be consumed immediately.
L-arginine should be taken over a prolonged period if the user wants to enjoy the benefits. It is also important to note that weight loss does not occur immediately; as such, you need to use it consistently for maximum results.
It should be taken all through the year to maintain lower body fat and muscle mass. Although l-arginine is effective, it might not produce the best results alone. It is important, therefore, to combine l-arginine supplements with exercises for optimal results.
Eating a balanced low-calorie diet is also recommended. The foods that do not have many calories include salads, soups, vegetables, and fruits. This is because foods with lower energy density will work to improve weight loss results.
This is because they take up a big space in your stomach, thus keeping you feeling full. This, in turn, keeps you grounded within your weight loss goals.
Different manufacturers have different concentrations of l-arginine in their products so it is advisable to read the nutrient quantities to know how much to take.
When starting out this regiment, you can start with small doses and adjust as your body gets used to the supplement. For maximum efficacy, combine the supplement with an exercise regime.
What are the Benefits of Supplementing with L-Arginine?
Bodybuilders want to lose body fat without losing muscle mass. Supplementing is one of the major methods that have proved effective in the cutting and bulking phases.
L-arginine can enable you to maintain or lose body fat levels. The goal of cutting is to ensure that you lose as much fat and keep your muscle mass by metabolizing the fats.
This will promote muscle formation and keep your body fat at low levels.
Below are 7 of the benefits of using L-arginine for weight loss
- Healthy weight loss: L-arginine reduces fat mass and increases muscle mass. L-arginine is known to increase the activity of insulin, which manipulates hormones that metabolize fats. It also increases strength for exercises, thus making it effective in a weight loss program. L-arginine has also been proven to help increase muscle strength and mass in elderly people.
L-arginine also increases your exercise tolerance and muscle recovery. According to a study done and published by the Journal of Applied Physiology, healthy volunteers who took a drink with 6 grams of l-arginine exercised longer and used oxygen better than those placed on placebo.
The exercises began after an hour after consuming the drink, meaning that l-arginine is effective at enhancing performance.
- Boosts nitric oxide levels: L-arginine supports the production of nitric oxide that supports weight loss. The main function of this acid is to boost blood flow. It dilates blood vessels, thus providing an increased blood flow that provides additional energy. Nitric acid also increases the functionality of lipase that facilitates fat breakdown.
- It also increases the action of AMPK, an energy balance controlling protein. Nitric acid also depresses the genes that support fat production. Since it dilates the blood vessels, it promotes blood flow to insulin-sensitive areas around the body, a function that also increases metabolism. It also increases the molecules contained in the brown fat tissue that boost the burning of fat.
- Modulation of genes in fat metabolism: L-arginine inhibits deposition of fat by favoring the metabolism of fats to form muscle mass. This will prevent the accumulation of fats and the development of muscle mass. It works by modulating the action of lipid metabolizing genes in the white adipose tissue and skeletal muscles.
- Stimulates brown fat development: the body has two types of fat i.e. white fat and brown fat. White fat accumulates calories while the brown fat burns them. L-arginine increases body metabolism and prevents the development of white fat. It also stimulates the production of brown fat, which burns more calories. This boosts the body metabolism and is essential in treating obesity.
- Improves insulin and glucose levels: Balancing insulin and glucose levels prevents carbohydrates from being deposited as fats. L-arginine supplements improve the action of insulin, especially for high-fat diets. Studies have been conducted to show that l-arginine increases the sensitivity of insulin. Balanced blood sugar levels promote healthy metabolism of carbohydrates. Another study that was looking into the effects of l-arginine supplements on a blood clotting disorder reported an increase in insulin sensitivity.
- Burns stubborn belly fat: This conclusion was made after a study was done with its findings revealing that using l-arginine resulted in a reduced waist circumference in a few weeks. A sample of 20 people was given 3mg of l-arginine every day for a period of 12 weeks. The weight reduction averaged at 3kg and waist circumference at 4cm less.
- Enhances the effects of regular weight loss supplements and techniques: Based on a trial done on patients on a low-calorie diet supplementing with l-arginine, it can be concluded that l-arginine improves weight loss when combined with other programs.
Side-effects after L-arginine
- L-arginine can reactivate dormant viruses: L-arginine and Lysine compete in intracellular transport. This means that when one is being transported inside a cell, the other one is not. Lysine prevents replication of viruses while l-arginine is necessary for the development of some viruses. This means that viruses can be reactivated, thus making you sick.
- A study that was done on L-arginine's effect on improving heart function and stiffness of blood vessels after a heart attack showed no real benefit. This benefit was dismissed since the evidence showed no direct impact on heart function.
- The supplement could cause diarrhea and bloating when taken in large amounts. Additionally, it can worsen asthma effects and lead to low blood pressure.
- It can interact with medication for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diuretics, and Viagra among others. This means that you have to consult your doctor before using the supplement, especially if you are under medications.
- It raises potassium levels putting people with liver or kidney problems at risk
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Knowing the side effects of a supplement should be an essential consideration before deciding to take arginine supplements. Before taking an l-arginine supplement, therefore, it is important to consult with your doctor to avoid contraindications with other supplements and medication.
It is also important to combine l-arginine with a workout regime for optimum weight loss. Combining the use of l-arginine with aerobic and muscle building exercises will help maintain your muscle mass when losing weight.
More studies need to be done to ascertain the effects of l-arginine. In the meantime, however, short-term use is showing amazing results when dealing with weight loss. It has been shown to improve metabolism, improve cardiovascular health, and reduce levels of belly fat.
This means that you could use it to achieve short-term results as long as you combine the supplement with a workout program and consult your doctor before using it.