While it has proven, understood benefits, with dozens of supplements featuring it, L-ornithine may cause unwanted side effects. It’s generally very safe, but there are a few things you should keep in mind before taking it.
What Are The Risks?
L-ornithine provides athletic support by helping flush out excess ammonia and nitrogen from muscles during exercise. This improves endurance and reduces fatigue, but because L-ornithine works by increasing urinary output, some people may experience discomfort.
If you aren’t adequately hydrated, increasing urinary output can lead to mild dehydration, which causes dry mouth, weakness, dizziness, or sluggishness. Maintaining hydration is necessary for everyone, but it’s especially important for athletes taking L-ornithine.
While staying hydrated is common sense, L-ornithine also sometimes has the unexpected effect of causing diarrhea. It increases nitric oxide production in the colon, which stimulates water absorption and diarrhea.
Thankfully, this unwanted side effect has only been observed in large doses or L-ornithine, at least 20 grams, or nearly 4 times the maximum recommended amount.
If you’re taking L-ornithine as a stand-alone supplement, experts recommend a maximum of 6 grams daily for optimal benefits and safety.
For the overwhelming majority of uses, L-ornithine is perfectly safe. It’s all-natural and widely used without problems. However, if you allow yourself to become dehydrated or take far more than the recommended amount, you will likely experience discomfort.