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L-arginine, also referred to as just arginine, is an amino acid that is found in many foods and in many workout supplements. Arginine is used in many reactions in the body, so it is important that you have enough of it to keep yourself functioning at your best.

The human body is able to produce enough L-arginine for healthy adults. But extra arginine could be helpful for adults with carious health conditions. This is also true for people who eat vegetarian or low-protein diets or who are under large amounts of stress.

L-arginine is an amino acid that builds up cells, creates nitric oxide, and more. It can have many positive effects on your heart health and blood pressure, energy levels, and more.

How L-Arginine Works

L-arginine is an amino acid, which means that is a building block that helps create proteins. Proteins are used to build up muscles and bones and grow new skin. They are also used to produce new blood cells, heal wounds, and help improve your immune system.

When arginine is inside the body, some of it is converted to nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is a gas that is made by both animals and plants. This gas is used in many processes in the body, including dilating blood vessels and controlling blood pressure.

L-arginine is used in many ways in the body and is needed to perform a wide range of functions. So, it is important to have plenty of arginine in the body so that enough proteins and nitric oxide can be made.

How L-Arginine Works

The two main functions of L-arginine in the human body are to make nitric oxide and to create proteins to build muscle and other tissues. For both of these paths, there are many health benefits that can be seen.


When nitric oxide is in the blood, it helps to dilate, which means to open up, the blood vessels. This helps blood flow more freely in the body and can reduce symptoms of high blood pressure. L-arginine can affect both your systolic and diastolic blood pressure.


While L-arginine cannot prevent a heart attack from occurring, it can help treat current heart conditions. The increased blood flow from the nitric oxide can improve blood flow to the heart and to other tissues in the body to heal them. L-arginine also has antioxidant properties and helps to fight free radicals that try to destroy the body’s cells.


Human growth hormone, or HGH, is a major player when it comes to muscle growth, muscle recovery, and energy levels. Taking L-arginine supplements may boost your body’s production of HGH, which can increase your results from your time in the gym. Some studies say that it may be better used after workouts for recovery. This is because it may inhibit the natural effects that exercise can have on human growth hormone production.


Weightlifters and athletes often take L-arginine supplements to increase nitric oxide release. This increased blood flow to the muscles helps bring them extra oxygen and get rid of lactic acid that builds up throughout the workout. Extra oxygen in the muscles makes them work better for a longer period of time. Extra energy and stamina during workouts can also contribute to increased weight loss.

The extra blood flow can be very beneficial for individuals who suffer from poor circulation, diabetes, or arthritis. Blood flow can help warm up your muscles and joints to make movement easier and less painful.


L-arginine is an amino acid and is a building block for proteins. Proteins are responsible for growing muscle cells and tissues. Taking this supplement may speed up the body’s recovery process after workouts. It may also increase muscle growth and improve results.

In the body, arginine leads to many other amino acids being produced, including creatine, L-glutamate, and L-proline. All of these amino acids can lead to strength gains and better muscle repair after workouts. They can also help decrease joint pain during exercise.


One of the major benefits of L-arginine is its ability to reduce inflammation and boost the effectiveness of the immune system. Arginine works as an antioxidant to get rid of free radicals in the body. By destroying these cells, L-arginine can preserve living cells and slow down the aging process. Preventing cell destruction can also reduce the risk of being diagnosed with many chronic diseases.

The nitric oxide produced by the body also can impact the central nervous system. In the brain, nitric oxide is used as a neurotransmitter. It can also help protect against potential health threats. L-arginine can detoxify the body and reduce ammonia levels in the blood. Ammonia is produced when proteins are broken down.


Nitric oxide keeps the immune system working properly, helps to regulate blood pressure, and lowers inflammation levels in the body. It is also beneficial for improving memory and brain function. L-arginine produces nitric oxide, so taking it is a great way to keep nitric oxide levels high.


If you suffer from type-2 diabetes, taking L-arginine may have positive benefits for you. Arginine can have a direct effect on insulin sensitivity and beta cell function. The human body releases insulin, which brings glucose into the body cells. Glucose is an energy source for tissues and cells. Type 2 diabetics experience insulin resistance, making it harder for glucose to enter the cells.

L-arginine can increase insulin senstivity. This means that less insulin is required to clear glucose out of the bloodstream. This supplement may also increase the function of beta cells, which produce insulin.

Arginine can also have a positive effect on your cardiovascular health. Individuals with type 2 diabetes are at an increased risk for heart disease and problems with blood vessel function. These two issues arise because of a decrease in nitric oxide production. For diabetics, and enzyme breaks down L-arginine in the body, keeping it from producing nitric oxide. Taking extra L-arginine can combat this problem.


Erectile dysfunction can arise because of either physical or neurological reasons. Whatever the cause, if a man does not have enough nitric oxide in his body, he may struggle to achieve an erection. This is because the blood vessels in the body are not able to push through enough blood.

L-arginine can increase the amount of nitric oxide in the body and increase blood flow. Nitric oxide can also cause the smooth muscles of the corpus cavernosum, or body of the penis, to relax. This can make achieving an erection easier.

Low levels of nitric oxide in the blood can also have an effect on fertility for both men and women. This can include decreased sperm production in men. Nitric oxide levels may be lowered even further with high levels of stress. If you experience high amounts of stress regularly or need help with infertility, L-arginine may be beneficial.

What to Look For When Buying L-Arginine Supplements

L-arginine can be acquired from many foods that are eaten every day. Foods from animals that are high in protein, such as red meat, eggs, fish, and dairy products, are a great source of arginine. L-arginine can also be found in grains, wheat germ, oats, seeds, nuts, corn, and other foods.

While you get L-arginine through your diet, a great way to ensure that your body is getting enough of it is by taking a supplement. L-arginine supplements come in four main forms: L-arginine, L-arginine alpha-ketoglutarate (AAKG), L-arginine HCL, and di-arginine malate. The first two of these are the most commonly sold.

There is not much research about which form is better to use. But, generally speaking, the less additives and extra ingredients, the better. Some L-arginine supplements may include some vitamins, minerals, or natural extracts. Beyond these, products with many other ingredients that may be difficult to read should probably be avoided.

Proper Dosing for L-Arginine Supplements.

Most supplements come in pill or tablet form. Each pill usually contains between 1000 and 1500 milligrams of L-arginine. The amount L-arginine that you should take each day depends on the health benefits that you are trying to get.

One study showed that when given a dose of six grams of arginine, the human body can only absorb around 70 percent of it. Another study stated that only 20 percent of a single 10-gram dose of arginine was absorbed.

It is true that taking more L-arginine can be beneficial, but this data suggests that it is only helpful up to a dose of around six grams at a time. Any dosage over this amount has a much lower chance of being absorbed and can result in a higher incidence of negative side effects.

For Heart, Diabetes, Erectile Dysfunction, and Blood Pressure Conditions

If you use L-arginine to help control your blood pressure or to aid with a heart condition, taking between three to six grams per day is best. This total dosage can be divide into two or three doses, as you see fit.

For Exercise Performance Benefits

You may be taking L-arginine to increase your stamina, energy, or muscle growth for workouts and weightlifting. Studies have shown that taking five to nine grams split up into a few doses throughout the day tends to offer the best results.

For Preventing Inflammation and Promoting Health

One dose per day between 1000 and 1500 milligrams of L-arginine is ideal for promoting general wellness. This is also an optimal dose if you are taking this supplement as an anti-inflammatory agent.

Possible Side Effects of L-Arginine

In clinical trials, only minor side effects have been noted. The most common of these include abdominal pain, stomach bloating, and diarrhea. You may also experience gout, worsened allergies, or low blood pressure.

If you suffer from asthma, taking L-arginine can actually make your symptoms worse. So you should be cautious if you choose to use it and you have asthma. You should also check with a doctor first before taking this supplement if you suffer from liver or kidney problems, low blood pressure, or a bleeding disorder. Also, consult a doctor if you have had a heart attack or have a history of heart problems.

Women who are pregnant and children should not take this supplement. L-arginine supplements have not been tested on these groups. Taking arginine should be avoided to prevent any unwanted issues or complications.

Interactions of L-Arginine with Other Drugs

If you regularly take medications, you should talk to your doctor before taking L-arginine. This is especially true if you take blood thinners or medications for heart conditions, erectile dysfunction, or lowering blood pressure. L-arginine can compound the effects of these medications and may be harmful.

Best L-Arginine Supplements

Our top 10 list of L-Arginine supplements is organized to reflect what you most value in your supplements. First and foremost is quality. All of our top ten supplements meet high standards of quality and come from brands with a proven record in excellence and purity. Another important factor in deciding the top ten was cost. You don’t have to pay through the nose to get a high-quality L-Arginine supplement. In addition, all the companies represented on our list have stellar records with customer service and prompt shipping. This ensures that your supplement experience is enjoyable from the first click to your final dose.

#1 - L-Arginine

With the highest quality L-Arginine available, Nutricost L-Arginine maximizes the benefits of this incredible amino acid. Each power-packed serving delivers an incredible 500 mg of pure, unhindered L-Arginine in its most bioavailable form without fillers, additives, or contaminants. With 300 servings per container at just around 4 cents per serving, Nutricost L-Arginine provides several months of premium nitric oxide support. Keep Reading »

#2 - Universal Nutrition NOX 3

As a triple action nitric oxide formula, Universal Nutrition NOX 3 provides your body with the "perpetual pump" you've been looking for. Specifically designed to efficiently deliver blood to the muscles during workouts, NOX 3 enhances muscle volume and increases the supply of oxygen as well as nutrients that travel to the muscle tissue. With added ingredients that have anabolic and anti-catabolic properties, NOX 3 can also boost the levels of the body's growth hormone for more muscle growth and recovery. Keep Reading »

#3 - Infinite Labs Arginine AKG

Effectively improve your workouts and fuel your body with the very best ingredients found in Infinite Labs Arginine AKG. Arginine AKG is a nonessential amino acid that supports the production of nitric oxide and the regulation of blood flow throughout the body. The recommended dosage before a workout is 3-6 grams, and Infinite Labs Arginine AKG conveniently packages 3 gram servings that can be used in support muscle pumps, muscle performance, and overall stamina. Infinite Labs Arginine AKG is the perfect supplement to take alone or add to your favorite stack. Keep Reading »

#4 - PrimaForce AAKG

PrimaForce has once again created a powerful, straight-forward formula that keeps it simple yet extremely effective. PrimaForce AAKG offers an incredible 250 grams of pure, unhindered Arginine Alpha-Ketoglutarate with no fillers, binders, or additives. PrimaForce AAKG is unflavored and extremely easy to mix into your favorite drink or homemade protein bars. Each super concentrated serving goes to work quickly and provides prolonged benefits, including enhanced NO production, improved hormone secretion, faster wound healing, greater endurance and strength, and a healthier immune system. Keep Reading »

#5 - Nutrakey Arginine AKG

For those who prefer the convenience of ready-to-go capsules over powders, Nutrakey Arginine AKG is king. Unlike regular arginine, arginine alpha-ketoglutarate by Nutrakey is specially developed for maximum bioavailability and absorption by the body. While normal l-arginine isn’t available for use by the liver, arginine akg is the most effective delivery system for sustained nitric oxide production. Each powerful serving activates the mind-muscle connection and delivers explosive muscle pumps to keep you energized, powered up, and ready to push your muscles to perform. Keep Reading »

#6 - Twinlab L-Arginine Fuel

Effectively improve your workouts and fuel your body with the very best ingredients all found in TwinLab L-Arginine Fuel. This potent formula utilizes the most powerful and effective amino acid for improved circulation, strength, muscle growth, and endurance. L-Arginine is beneficial for enhancing nitric oxide production and vasodilation. For around 15 cents per capsule for a 90 capsule body, TwinLab L-Arginine Fuel combines the latest technology with the most effective amino acid to take your workouts to a whole new level. Keep Reading »

#7 - Havasu Nutrition Extra Strength L Arginine

Havasu Nutrition Extra Strength L Arginine stacks Arginine HCI & Arginine Alpha Ketoglutrate with Citrulline, a precursor to Nitric Oxide production. This synergistic blend promotes optimal nitric oxide production, relaxing blood vessels and improving blood circulation for maximum nutrient transport. Keep Reading »

#8 - NOW L-Arginine

NOW L-Arginine delivers a simple little amino acid that does a big job in keeping your blood moving efficiently through your body and your blood vessels dilated. Supplementing with NOW L-Arginine increases nitric oxide production, which provides cardiovascular support for improved blood flow, oxygen delivery, nutrient transportation, and waste removal. NOW L-Arginine offers an incredible 120 tablets per bottle, each tablet super concentrated with 1,000 mg of premium L-Arginine. The tablets dissolve quickly and release slowly, offering amino acid support for several hours after ingestion. Take 1 to 3 tablets daily for double strength, premium grade L-Arginine support. Keep Reading »

#9 - Doctor's Best L-Arginine Powder

Want the very highest concentration with none of the fillers? Choose Doctor’s Best L-Arginine Powder. This incredible dietary supplement delivers an incredible SIX grams of high-quality L-Arginine HCl per serving - with 50 servings per bottle! Doctor’s Best L-Arginine Powder contains no added colors, flavors, fillers, additives, or unnecessary ingredients. It is gluten free, Non-GMO, vegetarian, and vegan. Add one easy to mix serving to water, juice, or your protein shake to help support athletic endurance and boost nitric oxide production. Doctor’s Best L-Arginine Powder will have your muscles bulging with power to experience results that are truly unreal. Keep Reading »

#10 - Olympian Labs A-AKG Powder

Olympian Labs A-AKG is a pre and post-workout powder that helps attain a deeper level of training, increased muscle pump, and provide sustained muscle growth in a shorter time frame. Olympian Labs A-AKG Powder is stimulant free and can be used alone or added to your favorite stack. Each serving delivers nothing but pure, fast-acting A-AKG, so you can decide what dose is right for you. It is gluten free, allergen free, and non-GMO. Take Olympian Labs A-AKG Powder pre and/or post-workout to help increase your workout performance and boost muscle mass growth and definition. Keep Reading »

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