Tag Archives: l-arginine

preworkout safety

Workout Supplement Cautions

DHEA (Dehydroepiandrosterone)

DHEA is a common supplement used by bodybuilders because of its effect on testosterone and strength. DHEA levels drop beginning at the age of 30, causing decreased muscle mass and libido.

DHEA seems to be a great addition to a workout stack, but there are several reported side effects. Due to the fluctuation of testosterone levels, DHEA can cause psychological disturbances including anger and insomnia. Supplementing with DHEA can also cause gender-specific alterations such as shrinking of testes or unwanted hair growth.

DHEA is likely safe when taken as directed; however, it is important to contact a physician prior to use.

Vitamins C and E

VitaminC[1]These vitamins are found in most workout supplements acting as natural antioxidants. Both vitamins C and E offer many benefits including weight management support, healthy skin, and improved immune function.

It is safe to use vitamins C and E; however, it is much more beneficial to consume these vitamins through whole foods rather than supplements. Overdoing these supplements can result in fewer mitochondria meaning less energy and growth.

Tribulus Terrestris

Tribulus Terrestris is a common ingredient in testosterone boosters and pre workout supplements. Tribulus claims state that the supplement increases testosterone levels, thus improving strength, muscle mass, and sex drive.

There have been no dangerous side effects reported from Tribulus supplementation, so it appears safe to consume. The problem with Tribulus is that there are very little studies to back up the claims stating this supplement supports testosterone or performance enhancement.

Yohimbe

Yohimbine is a popular supplement taken to increase energy and fat loss, which is why yohimbine is a common ingredient in weight loss and pre workout supplements.

This supplement needs to be treated just like other stimulants. Too many stimulating supplements can cause anxiety, high blood pressure, increased heart rate, and insomnia. When using supplements in this category, it is always wise to start at the lowest dose possible to assess tolerance.

Effective and Safe Pre-Workout Supplements

Whey Protein Make sure you have some whey protein and some Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAA) like isoleucine, leucine, and valine. The whey is the same protein you needed when you were a child to help you grow big and strong while the BCAA’s help your body use the protein more effectively and reduce delayed muscle soreness.

While some workout supplements have approximately 900,000 ingredients, taking the time to make sure you know what each one is and what it does can not only give you a better workout, it can save your life. Also remember that any of the beneficial ingredients – such as caffeine – can be harmful if taken in improper amounts.

The Bottom Line

Taking supplements daily is an excellent way to feel better and work harder; however, some dietary supplements do have side effects. It is always recommended to speak with a doctor before taking any dietary supplement.

caffeine is found in coffee

Pre-Workout Supplements: Do I need anything more than caffeine or am I wasting money?

With the flashy marketing and high-pressure sales tactics favored by supplement companies, pre-workout supplements may come off as snake oil. And to be honest, some pre-workout supplements are ineffective, overpriced, and full of nasty filler that will do more harm than good (see: belly fat).

That being said, there are a few supplements that I highly suggest including in your pre-workout blend in addition to caffeine. We all know that caffeine supplements can boost your energy levels, but what other supplements can have an impact on your workout? Let’s take a look at my three favorite pre-workout supplements other than caffeine: L-arginine, creatine, and beta-alanine.

L-arginine

 

Muscle growth

L-arginine can help with muscle growth

L-arginine is an amino acid that shows significant promise in increasing natural production of growth hormone, boosting testosterone levels, and reducing fatigue. L-arginine is the precursor to nitric oxide, and increased nitric oxide production is a great thing for exercise.Why? Nitric oxide is responsible for vasodilation.

When vasodilation occurs, blood vessels widen. Wider blood vessels equal better blood flow. Better blood flow equals more effective oxygen transportation. More oxygen equals more intense workouts. It is as simple as that! Also, for you men out there, I can report that l-arginine is a big boost in the bedroom!

Creatine

Creatine can be added to protein shakes

Creatine can be added to protein shakes

If you’ve spent any time in the workout community, you’ve heard about creatine. Creatine is an organic acid found in many foods, especially fish. Creatine powder’s main function is to supply energy to the cells, in particularly to muscle.

If you eat meat on a regular basis, your body probably has a standard supply of creatine. If you don’t… well, I hate to tell you, but you’re probably deficient. That being said, even meat eaters can benefit from a creatine supplement regimen because the more creatine your body has, the more energy is supplied to your cells. More energy translates into more intense and productive workouts. Great deal, right?

Beta-Alanine

Beta-alanine is another amino acid, and if you’ve ever taken a pre-workout blend before, then you know EXACTLY what beta-alanine does. You know that tingly, powerful, stimulant feeling you get after taking your pre-workout? That’s beta-alanine doing its job.

 

Beta-alanine can help increase muscular endurance

Beta-alanine can help increase muscular endurance

Beta-alanine is all-around my favorite supplement other than caffeine because it helps with weight-loss, stamina, and muscle recovery. It is an all-in-one miracle supplement, and I say that with 100 percent sincerity.

Conclusion

So, knowing that these three supplements (plus caffeine) are decent is one thing, but how do you go about introducing them to your workouts? You can do what I do, which is buy the bulk supplement powders and cap my own pre-workout pills, but I recognize that the capping process is labor intensive and some of you may have busy schedules. So what do you do? Simple, check out the nutrition labels on pre-workout blends and keep an eye out for these supplements. Speaking from experience, both MusclePharm Assault and Cellucor C4 are good choices.

L-Citrulline and L-Arginine are good pre-workout and provide for muscular gains.

L-Citrulline vs L-Arginine For Pre-Workout Supplementation

Introduction to Pre-Workout Supplementation:

Athletes everywhere have used supplements to enhance and improve their workouts ever since the nutritional industry was in its infancy. There are a number of things that should be considered when choosing such a product. The first of these considerations is energy. Obviously, in order to power through an intense workout you need a lot of energy. Of course, you also want this energy to come from a natural source since having to deal with side effects like an energy crash an hour or so later is just not worth it.

Another benefit sought from pre-workout supplementation is an ability to support muscular gains. This way, you will also put yourself in the best position to recover faster from your workouts and to translate the hard effort into real benefits. Some of the best supplements to be used before a workout are L-Arginine and L-Citrulline.

L-Arginine Benefits:

L-Arginine is an amino acid that has a number of positive benefits associated with its supplementation. These benefits include the ability to help the body produce and synthesize proteins. Proteins are essential in the process of muscular repair and growth. It is also thought to stimulate the production of growth hormone like natural sterols. These are also quite effective in helping the muscles rebuild and grow larger after an intense workout.

This supplement is also thought to help remove cortisol and other waste products in the body. Cortisol is chiefly responsible for stress levels throughout the body. Therefore, its removal can lead to a more focused and intense workout, potentially even helping one to remain more energetic throughout.

L-Citrulline Benefits:

One of the most popular benefits associated with L-Citrulline is its ability to help reduce body fat levels. It is also incredibly helpful in maintaining your natural energy production, which can often drop off considerably during a hard workout. Another excellent benefit is that it acts as a vasodilator. This has the effect of helping to open and expand blood vessels. This may be also why it can lead to a reduction in blood pressure levels.

For weight and strength training athletes, this supplement also helps in the release of nitric acid. This chemical helps to build proteins and re-form muscles that have been torn down from intense training. Citrulline acts in the urea cycle to remove lactic acid from the body which is produced as working muscles become fatigued. Couple this together with the ability of the supplement to enhance ATP (energy) production and it easy to see how this can lead to a much improved workout.

Citrulline vs Arginine Pre Workout

Overall in the question of L-Citrulline vs L-Arginine, both of these supplements can certainly be helpful as a before workout addition. Instead of being forced to choose one or the other, why not stack them together and take both?