Arginine – A Heart’s Best Friend

The growing rate of obesity in North America has done nothing but contribute to the increasing number of reported heart ailments.

Arginine - a heart's best friendPoor nutrition and inactive lifestyles are at the center of this health concern, leading to irregular blood pressure, poor blood circulation and malfunctioning tickers.

Although I am assured that most of my readers are far from any instances of heart trauma, I still feel it necessary to introduce you to and discuss an amino acid that will not only improve your cardiovascular ability but also help increase and maintain your lean mass for a superior body composition.

Firstly, if the term amino acid is foreign to you, let me take this opportunity to define and explain. The proteins that make up your body are not derived directly from your diet. Dietary proteins are broken down into in constituent amino acids that the body uses to construct specific proteins as it needs them. In other words, the amino acids, rather than the proteins, are the essential nutrients that help build and repair muscle.

Secondly, the human body – running like a well-oiled machine – can produce 11 amino acids on its own. The other 9 (the essential aminos) must be absorbed through food sources better known as complete proteins (foods which contain all 9 essential amino acids). Complete proteins include:

  • Egg whites
  • Ground beef
  • Chicken
  • Tuna and other fish
  • Milk
  • Soybeans – soybeans being the only vegetable source of a complete protein

Next, a healthy heart is responsible for pumping blood through a network of blood vessels in the body to provide individual cells with oxygen and nutrients. This flow of blood also helps dispose of metabolic waste, aka muscle metabolism. Nitrogen Oxide, produced in the body naturally, is what actually keeps your blood vessels dilated so that blood can flow more easily. Behind this flow of nitric oxide is its producer, the Superman of amino acids: Arginine.

Arginine, considered a non-essential amino acid due to the body’s ability to produce it naturally, is easily depleted through rigorous training making supplementation in some cases essential. Arginine, therefore, becomes a conditionally essential amino acid.

Here’s why:

The benefits of supplementing Arginine into your training diet are endless. In addition to its pump boosting abilities, Arginine may also be used as a tool for weight loss, as it stimulates the pancreas to release insulin, and assists in the release of growth hormones, it will increase lean muscle mass while reducing body fat. Moreoever, Arginine is a component of collagen and therefore aids in building new bones and tendons while acting as a free-radical scavenger. Both actions help speed up recovery after a workout.

Its benefits, however, do not end with muscle building and recovery. As a blood flow enabler, arginine is also used by the brain to encode long-term memory and enhance blood flow to areas of the brain as they become more active and require more energy.

ALLMAX Nutrition has made Arginine supplementation simple. With one dose (1-3 g) of Arginine in the morning on an empty stomach or 30 to 60 minutes before a workout and bed, you can almost instantly feel the effects of a nitric oxide boost with a complementing vascular pump like no other.

Valeria Fazio

Valeria Fazio holds a B.A. Honors degree in history from Carleton University and a diploma in professional writing from Algonquin College. She has been competing in amateur fitness and figure competitions for three years, and has recently qualified for the 2011 Ontario Provincial Figure Championships. As a certified personal trainer and nutritional coach, Valeria helps others in her free time to achieve their fitness goals.

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