A single supplement has the power to improve your heart protection, the growth of your muscle and your athletic performance. This supplement is an amino acid called arginine.

Our ancestors ate a generous amount of this amino acid arginine. Unfortunately, our modern foods don’t give us enough. Arginine safely delivers a boost of healthy actions that make you stronger in several ways. It’s easy it is to use arginine to improve your health and more muscle strength.

Muscle loss can occur naturally while we age. The truth is that healthy muscles are critical to your good health. They boost your resting metabolism, maintain your activity and keep you trim. With arginine, you can prevent muscle loss and restore lost muscle because muscles use arginine as raw material to make nitric oxide (NO).

Nitric oxide can stimulate muscle growth. Around 2-3 hours after your work out, your muscle cells activate growth factors via nitric oxide. These growth factors activate stem cells to grow into new muscle cells. After 24 hours the stem cells start to develop into more muscle cells. If you increase your nitric oxide production in this period you’ll get stronger faster.

Clinically this boost in muscle mass has been proven. One study showed that 3 grams of arginine dramatically boosted muscle mass and strength in just 8 weeks. It also reduced body fat.1

The second action of arginine is in the muscle, where arginine works as a building block for another amino acid called creatine. Your body needs creatine to build and maintain healthy, strong muscles. By helping your body to make more creatine, arginine helps you keep your muscles healthy, strong, and lean.

A third action of arginine deals with the heart and cardiovascular system. Arteries feed all your organs, especially your heart. All arteries are lined by cells called endothelial cells, which react to certain stimuli. Heart disease develops when these develop plaque, which makes them become rigid and blood flow is restricted. An increase in nitric oxide has huge benefits because it helps keep your endothelial cells healthy, more flexible and open.

Most doctors often prescribe aspirin or cholesterol lowering statin drugs to counteract this effect. Recent studies show that arginine may be effective too, since it increases the elasticity of your blood vessels. Arginine thus gives you another safe alternative to improve your heart health.

Healthy endothelial cells allow your vessels to dilate so your heart can move blood easier. In one study, vessel dilation increased from 2.2% to 8.8% with an arginine supplement. Another study found that taking oral arginine helped arteries dilate better for people with high blood pressure.

Better blood flow can also increase sexual performance, for both men and women. Arginine increases nitric oxide, which helps this process by relaxing your endothelial cells allowing vessels to dilate. Thus, arginine may act like a natural erectile medication if enough is taken.

A recent study showed that men taking 2.8 grams of arginine a day had an 80% improvement in erectile function over the course of two weeks.2 Nitric oxide is important for female sexual arousal, too, so arginine is a supplement that both men and women can benefit from.

To maintain healthy muscles, prevent heart disease, and improve erectile dysfunction, you can take arginine in a capsule form. Take 500 mg to 1000 mg each day for prevention.

However, for the best effects on your muscles or to fix a specific problem that has already occurred, you can take it in powder form. To build lost muscle, improve sexual performance, or reduce chest pains, start with a loading dose of 5 grams daily for two weeks. Then take 2.5 grams daily for maintenance. One especially good product for this is NO2Explode.

Because arginine is an amino acid, proteins compete with its absorption. For this reason, you will absorb more of it if you take it between meals on a relatively empty stomach. Simply take a teaspoon of powder and mix it with water.

1 Angeli, G., et al, “Investigation of the effects of oral supplementation of arginine in the increase of muscular strength and mass,” Rev. Bras. Med. Esporte. March/April 2007;(13)2:112e-115e
2 Stanislavov, R., Nikolova, V., “Treatment of E.D. with pycnogenol and L-arginine,” J. Sex. Marital Ther. May/June 2003;29(3):207-13