L-arginine is an amino acid that helps the body produce nitrous oxide. This gas is responsible for lowering blood pressure, dilating blood vessels and improving circulation, allowing the body to do the same amount of activity while using less oxygen. L-arginine also decreases lactic acid and ammonia in the muscles, both of which play a part in muscle fatigue and soreness. Runners can benefit from an l-arginine supplement because it allows them to keep running for longer periods without tiring. L-arginine supplements usually come in capsule form, but runners may also opt for powdered l-arginine if they need a higher dose than pills provide. Consult your doctor to determine your dosage needs.
Refrain from eating for at least one hour before taking L-arginine. This ensures your stomach acid will not destroy most of the supplement before your body can absorb it.
Take out the number of pills recommended on the product label or by your doctor. If you are taking a powdered supplement, measure out the correct dose of powder with a measuring spoon.
Pour at least 8 oz. of water into a glass. Swallow the pills with the water and finish the entire glass to assist in dissolving the pills. If you are taking powdered l-arginine supplements, stir the powder into the glass of water until it dissolves and drink the mixture.
Start running within two hours of taking L-arginine because it becomes less effective at producing nitric oxide over time.
- "Journal of Applied Physiology": Acute L-arginine Supplementation Reduces the O2 Cost of Moderate-intensity Exercise and Enhances High-intensity Exercise Tolerance; Andrew Jones,et. al.; August 2010 ;
- MedlinePlus: L-arginine
- Mayo Clinic: Arginine
- Ray Sahelian, M.D.: L-Arginine
- University of Michigan Medical School: L-arginine