L-ornithine and L-arginine
L-ornithine and L-arginine are two amino acids which are often used by bodybuilders and those in the fitness industry to improve how their bodies produce muscle. Both supplements encourage the body to produce more of the Human Growth Hormone (HGH) and will encourage the body to metabolise fat into muscle when used in conjunction with a robust exercise and weight lifting routine.
L-ornithine is mostly used because it helps the body to produce HGH which will lead to increased muscle size and strength. However it also has other benefits including wound healing, collagen production and the synthesis of protein.
This amino acid metabolises to become L-arginine in the body.
L-arginine is used to help rid the body of waste products, in particular ammonia. It is due to the protein building effects of this as a supplement that it is used in the fitness arena. It is known to create creatine in the body which in turn helps in production of HGH.
This amino acid can be found in protein foods such as meat, nuts and dairy products, but can also be found in a number of supplements. It has been suggested that L-arginine can offer benefits such as protection from colds, heart failure, dementia, high blood pressure, migraines and erectile dysfunction. It is also said to boost the immune system and improve performance generally.
If L-arginine is taken in large doses over long periods of time is can cause problems such as indigestion, nausea, bloating, allergies and low blood pressure. It is not recommended that people who suffer from heart conditions or those with diabetes should take L-arginine as a supplement. Safe levels are usually found in food.
So why exactly would both of these amino acids be useful when you are wanting to build a better body or get fitter?
Because L-ornithine becomes L-arginine in the body we will deal primarily with the supplementation of L-ornithine only. It has long been used by athletes because of how it improves the synthesis of protein into muscle and how it is involved in the release of HGH. HGH is well known when it comes to the metabolism of fat.
In addition to these fitness benefits, L-ornithine also has the added benefit of slowing down the ageing process. We age because out bodies start to release less HGH, as L-ornithine promotes the release of more of this hormone, it is thought the ageing process could be slowed if regular doses of the amino acid are taken.
When taking L-ornithine supplements it is recommended that they are taken in the evening as the the body produces more HGH during the hours of sleep. It is also recommended that L-arginine is taken at the same time as the two amino acids work together to enhance the effectiveness of each other.
Generally supplements of 500mg to 2g are taken each evening. It is not recommended that more than 10g is taken in one day as this can lead to minor stomach upsets. It is also not recommended for pregnant women.
While the body is very good at regulating how much of these two amino acids are present, there are times when the body can be depleted of L-arginine and L-ornithine and supplementation can be useful. Clearly the benefits for those who want to build muscles have already been discussed. But it is also useful to know that supplementation may help when the body is under attack from infections and injuries and even burns and after operations.
Before taking supplements of this nature it is wise to consult your doctor.
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