Arginine is one of those essential amino acids that is only essential on a conditional basis, meaning we need arginine at a certain age and only under certain circumstances. As adults, we get most of our arginine from dairy products and most meats including beef, poultry and seafood. Arginine is also found in most forms of vegetables, grains and substances like flour, granolas, oatmeal, nuts and seeds.
So what’s the big deal about arginine?
Arginine facilitates a reduction in body fat, while increasing lean muscle mass and also inhibits the absorption of dietary fats. Researchers have found arginine to be helpful in stimulating a biochemical process called “muscle protein synthesis” where the energy acquired through the diet is used towards adding lean muscle growth instead of fat.
Body builders have been known to take arginine at high intakes as it has been linked to increasing “growth hormone” levels in the body and stimulating muscle growth.
A way to judge if arginine is a supplement you may want to take is by evaluating the strength of your muscles. The first step is to increase overall protein and exercise. If you have done that and are still struggling to lose body fat, then adding arginine can help protein work better in your muscles and aid in shedding any unwanted body fat. Arginine may also help your blood pressure and general circulation.