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July 05, 2023
In our quest for vitality and peak performance, testosterone optimization has become increasingly popular. Among the myriad of supplements and strategies, one intriguing option is L-arginine.
Could this amino acid, known for nitric oxide production, be the solution to naturally bolstering testosterone levels?
With the assurance of enhanced energy, increased muscle mass, and a revitalized sense of masculinity, it's no secret why boosting testosterone is popular. However, with so many products promising the world, knowing what to believe is challenging.
In this piece, we delve into the evidence around l-arginine. It's a common ingredient in most test boosters, but we will answer the burning question: Does l-arginine increase testosterone?
Table of Contents:
L-arginine is an amino acid, which is a building block of protein. It is a nonessential amino acid, meaning the body can synthesize it, even if we don't get it specifically from our food. However, because it is crucial in various physiological processes, we can increase our intake through diet or supplements.
One of the primary functions of L-arginine is producing nitric oxide (NO). Nitric oxide is a potent vasodilator, which helps widen and relax our blood vessels. This enhanced blood flow has some incredible benefits for us fitness enthusiasts.
First and foremost, increased blood flow means more oxygen and nutrients are delivered to our muscles, which can improve muscle endurance, recovery, and overall performance during workouts. Imagine feeling that extra pump and endurance while smashing through your reps. Pretty awesome, right?
Moreover, the improved blood flow facilitated by L-arginine can contribute to better nutrient absorption and waste removal. This means that the vital nutrients you consume, such as proteins and carbohydrates, are efficiently transported to where they are needed most.
Now, L-arginine's effects may only be robust in some. Factors such as individual physiology, diet, and exercise routine can influence how your body responds to L-arginine supplementation. However, many fitness enthusiasts have reported positive outcomes when incorporating L-arginine into their supplementation regimen.
Testosterone is regulated by the endocrine system, specifically the hypothalamus and pituitary glands. These glands release hormones that signal the testes to produce testosterone. In addition, L-arginine may stimulate your body's production of luteinizing hormone, which may lead to an increase in testosterone production.
As a man, boosting testosterone has a ton of benefits. It can improve your output in the bedroom, gym, and office. However, despite the claims, few nutritional supplements reliably boost serum testosterone levels. The question is, is the amino acid l-arginine able to improve male sexual health?
Although l-arginine has been shown to increase testosterone in animals, it doesn't directly stimulate human testosterone production1. However, here are a few ways l-arginine can indirectly address low-t symptoms.
As with most supplements, there are a few different types of l-arginine. Here are some of the most common and effective:
This is the standard arginine form found in supplements. The body absorbs and converts it easily to nitric oxide through nitric oxide synthase. As such, it's considered the most effective form for increasing nitric oxide production and promoting blood flow.
Looking for a product recommendation? You can't go wrong with NOW Supplements L-Arginine. It's extra strength, so you get 1,000mg of L-arginine per serving, and Now is GMP Quality Assured, meaning the entire manufacturing process has been thoroughly examined.
AAKG combines L-arginine and alpha-ketoglutarate. The addition of alpha-ketoglutarate is to enhance energy and experience less fatigue during workouts. However, the research is mixed.
A good product recommendation is Bulk Supplements AAKG Powder, which has received tons of positive reviews due to its ability to improve energy and blood flow.
Although not technically arginine, L-citrulline is an amino acid that the body turns into arginine. It has overtaken arginine in popularity as a supplement for boosting nitric oxide levels and improving exercise performance.
L-citrulline supplementation may be preferable for some individuals as it has better bioavailability and can lead to higher arginine (and nitric oxide) levels than direct arginine supplementation.
I really like Havasu Nutrition's L-Arginine, as it combines both L-citrulline and L-arginine into one supplement. A blend of L-arginine, L-citrulline, and beet root powder, this supplement results in an awesome pump, muscle growth, and endurance.
Another great product that combines both is BlueEarth, which contains 5,000mg of L-arginine and 2,000mg of L-citrulline in every serving. You'll also get plenty of other vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, vitamin D3, vitamin K2, vitamin B3, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, folic acid, magnesium, chromium, and black pepper extract.
Another great option for guys taking L-arginine specifically for T-boosting purposes is a testosterone booster, a natural supplement that combines L-arginine with multiple other test-boosting ingredients.
Prime Male is a testosterone booster that includes ingredients that lead to improved libido, increases testosterone levels, more muscle mass, and a better mood. Many of the other ingredients in this product even made our list of 8 Best Supplements To Increase Testosterone Naturally, including magnesium, ashwagandha, zinc, black pepper, and D-aspartic acid.
Looking for more great testosterone boosters? Check out our article on the 7 Best Testosterone Boosters!
The general effective dose of l-arginine is between 3 and 6 grams. However, higher doses of L-arginine, 6 to 20 grams per day, have been used in some studies to improve exercise performance.
If you take l arginine in 10g doses, it could cause gastrointestinal discomfort. If you want to try a higher dose, divide it into multiple doses throughout the day.
Since little research exists on l-arginine directly increasing testosterone levels, 3-6g is an excellent place to start.
The time it takes for L-arginine to work can vary depending on the specific purpose for which it is being used and individual factors.
Here are some general considerations:
While the research on the benefits of L-arginine is ongoing, several potential advantages have been identified. Here are some key areas where L-arginine provides benefits, supported by scientific studies.
How does l-arginine compare to other testosterone-boosting supplements?
L-citrulline and L-arginine are amino acids that produce nitric oxide, which can support blood flow and vascular health. Interestingly, citrulline appears more effective than arginine in increasing systemic arginine levels9. If you are looking for all of the benefits of l-arginine, l-citrulline is a better way to achieve them, but neither will directly impact t-levels.
They both can, however, help you have a better workout, which can indirectly improve testosterone production. To find a good pre-workout featuring citrulline and more, check out our 15 Best Pre-Workout Supplements.
And remember, you can also grab a product like Havasu Nutrition's L-Arginine, which combines both products into one supplement.
D-aspartic acid (DAA) is an exciting supplement that burst onto the fitness scene as a good test booster over a decade ago. The preliminary research showed it significantly impacted testosterone. However, recent research on resistance-trained men has garnered mixed results10.
And, since some research suggests D-aspartic acid can affect testosterone, it gets the edge compared to l-arginine.
To learn more about how it improves t-levels and additional D-aspartic acid benefits, take a look at our article: Can D-Aspartic Acid Increase Testosterone?
Maca is a root vegetable commonly used as a supplement for various purposes, including sexual function and fertility. Some studies suggest that maca may positively impact sexual desire, but limited evidence supports its direct effect on testosterone levels. L-arginine and maca are equally effective at indirectly influencing testosterone.
If you want to add maca to your supplement stack, take a look at our 7 Best Maca Root Supplements.
Here are some more common questions about L-arginine.
L-arginine has many health benefits and is considered safe even at higher dosages. So, yes, arginine is good for you.
While arginine promotes blood flow and nutrient delivery to muscles, muscle growth primarily relies on proper nutrition, resistance training, and overall training program design. Take l arginine to support exercise performance and workout recovery, which will indirectly increase muscle size.
Yes, L-arginine has been shown to improve erectile dysfunction.
Specific benefits of L-arginine for men may include potential support for erectile function, improved exercise performance through enhanced blood flow, and potential cardiovascular health benefits.
L-arginine can support exercise performance and overall cardiovascular health in women.
Although studies suggest that L-arginine benefits aspects of sexual function, such as erectile dysfunction, it's important to note that L-arginine does not directly boost testosterone.
That said, arginine may enhance athletic performance, improve blood flow, and support cardiovascular health. All of these things can indirectly improve symptoms of low testosterone. So, if you feel the downsides of low t, supplementing with arginine is still a good idea and can yield some serious results in the gym.
If you aim to maximize testosterone, start with lifestyle factors. Ensure you get enough sleep, eat a well-balanced diet, and minimize stress as much as possible.
Once you have healthy lifestyle habits in place, a natural testosterone booster is the next piece to your T-boosting puzzle. Head to our article on the 7 Best Testosterone Boosters to find the best one for you! And for more information on a testosterone booster that includes L-arginine, check out our Prime Male Review!
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