Most of the gym rats and muscle heads are well aware of what these are as they have been around for several years now, but what about the rest the regular folks? We see these ads in the magazines and often on side bars on web sites and social media. They not only are marketed towards the person desiring more muscle gains but also those looking for a kick of extra energy whether it be before a workout in the gym or in the bedroom.
One of the primary ingredients in the vast majority of these products is an amino acid called Arginine [ahr-juh-neen]. This is an amino acid, a building block of protein. It is traditionally considered a non-essential amino acid; however, it can be conditionally essential, meaning that some people’s bodies don’t produce it. Arginine is involved in creatine formation and in the removal of ammonia from the body. Arginine is a crucial part of the nitric oxide pathway and can have an influence on the cardiovascular system through nitric oxide production. It also helps fuel muscle cells and is involved in muscle protein synthesis. It has been shown to be helpful in those with high blood pressure.
Because of its ability to help maintain blood vessel tone, arginine is frequently included as an ingredient in men and women’s sexual health supplements. Guys should know that some blood flow down there is a good thing that “pumps us up”. Exercising regularly and eating heart healthy foods can help blood flow properly through arteries and can help support sexual health.
What is Nitric Oxide?
Arginine is used in the body building world because it is a precursor to nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is a molecule in the body that helps maintain blood vessel tone. Nitric oxide supports blood flow to skeletal muscles, which is why it is often talked about in relation to pre-workout supplements. When nitric oxide is created by the body, blood vessels expand, allowing more oxygen and nutrient rich blood to surge to cells. Increased blood flow to muscles may support recovery by delivering nutrients to muscles more efficiently.
If you have low blood pressure or are prone to herpes or cold sore outbreaks, this may not be for you. Always consult with your doctor before using if you have health concerns.
You can see a video of me describing a pre-workout product with TONS of N.O. features I had a huge role in developing for the company, SizeSlim, here: Video link
Best in fitness,
Roger Bowman, CPT