What is the Connection Between Arginine and Glutamine?

Brandon May

Many bodybuilding supplements contain the amino acids arginine and glutamine, as these two proteins have been shown to increase human growth hormone significantly when taken before exercise. The connection between arginine and glutamine is that their combination dramatically increases growth hormone in most individuals. Aside from building more muscle and losing body fat, research continues to find promise in these amino acids in terms of fighting the normal aging process. Since human growth hormone decreases with age, both arginine and glutamine are taken by many individuals who desire a more youthful feel and appearance.

The chemical structure of glutamine.
The chemical structure of glutamine.

Studies have shown that arginine and glutamine can increase human growth hormone at different levels in most individuals. In an effort to lose body fat and increase muscle mass, many bodybuilders and competitive athletes supplement with these two amino acids in hopes of raising their growth hormone levels. Research is not conclusive on whether or not supplementation works in every individual, as many studies show that different variables influence the rate and pathway of action these amino acids take in the body. These studies do provide hope, however, especially for those who seek a more natural approach to improving growth hormone levels in the body, such as those who have diminished their growth hormone stores through aging.

Bag of oat bran.
Bag of oat bran.

Although arginine and glutamine continue to be scrutinized as two miracle supplements that provide endurance and muscle growth, they are regarded as safe for those who are past middle age and desire to increase growth hormone. Since human growth hormone decreases with age, these two amino acids, which are both known as precursors to human growth hormone, are extremely popular in anti-aging culture. Although the literature remains somewhat sparse on this subject, combining the two amino acids has shown to dramatically increase weight loss and youthfulness in certain individuals. These two amino acids are generally regarded as safe to take in individuals who have completed their long bone growth, yet speaking to a doctor or a supplement specialist will aid in dosage amounts.

Many bodybuilding supplements contain arginine and glutamine.
Many bodybuilding supplements contain arginine and glutamine.

It is generally recommended that arginine and glutamine be taken on an empty stomach before exercise or sleep, for example in the morning or right before going to bed. As both exercise and sleep help stimulate growth hormone at even higher levels, the dosage times are recommended to maximize and increase effectiveness. It is always wise to discuss any supplementation with a doctor to avoid any possible interactions with current medications. Natural alternatives to supplementing with arginine and glutamine include eating eggs, whey protein, milk and oats, as these will aid in increasing the levels of the amino acids in they body.

Oats can be an natural alternative to arginine and glutamine.
Oats can be an natural alternative to arginine and glutamine.

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