Arginine is a ‘non-essential’ amino acid that causes the secretion of human growth hormone from the pituitary gland. A dose of arginine an hour before a weightlifting workout speeds muscle building and fat loss. Read more here about how to do this right.
Role of Arginine for Increasing Growth Hormone Levels
Here is a great example of success using L-arginine to boost human growth hormone levels:
Researcher Sandy Shaw used this protocol by taking 10 grams of arginine before doing bench presses. She lost 25 pounds of fat and gained 5 pounds of muscle within 6 weeks on this regimen.
Clinical studies have shown that various doses of arginine have a wide range of effectiveness. Based on these studies, the smallest effects can be expected at dosages of less than 3 grams. The impact of arginine also shows a diminishing response with aging. The greatest growth hormone responses occur in subjects with the lowest body fat composition and the highest aerobic capacity.
This means that the impact of arginine on GH release increases with decreasing body fat composition and with increasing aerobic fitness. Arginine will work better as you increase your fitness.
Starting dosages for arginine as a supplement are 2 to 5 grams on an empty stomach one hour before exercise and before bedtime. Side effects may include stomach upset, nausea, and diarrhea. However, these can be minimized by starting at low dosages (1 gram) and building up slowly.
Effects of Arginine on Exercise Performance
Arginine enhances exercise performance because it is one of the main ingredients, along with glycine, that goes into the biosynthesis of creatine in the liver. Creatine is important for high-intensity, short duration exercises for muscle building.
This means that arginine provides a two-fold boost in exercise performance by stimulating growth hormone levels and creatine synthesis.
Positive effects of arginine also include boosting the immune system, fighting cancer, protecting the liver, promoting healing of burns and wounds, enhancing male fertility, and restoring sexual function in impotent men. Most of these benefits come from stimulating GH secretion. However, arginine restores sexual function because it is a precursor to nitric oxide, which plays a key role in getting and maintaining an erection.
Enhancing Performance with Additional Amino Acids
Bodybuilders get even better results by combining arginine with other amino acids, such as ornithine, lysine, and glutamine. This is called stacking. When taken together, these amino acids have a synergistic effect on grwoth hormone release.
A beginner’s stack is 2 grams each of arginine and ornithine and 1 gram each of lysine and glutamine. An advanced stack would include 2 grams each of all four amino acids. The arginine-lysine-glutamine trio is especially important because it stimulates insulin levels, even on an empty stomach. The combination of GH and insulin in the absence of food drives the incorporation of amino acids into muscle. When taken before bedtime, this combination also stops the body from breaking down as much muscle tissue as it normally does during a night’s sleep.
For getting more from your own growth hormone,