L-Arginine is a non-essential amino acid that is important for many different bodily processes.
Arginine HCL, on the other hand, is a synthetically manufactured form of arginine that combines the amino acid with a hydrogen chloride molecule and can be found in either powder or capsule form.
It is mostly used by athletes to increase oxygen delivery and blood flow during exercise.
Hydrogen chloride is combined with arginine to make the supplement more palatable and to enhance its absorption by the human digestive system.
It is also used for exercise performance, erectile dysfunction, immune system performance, and cardiovascular conditions, such as hypertension (high blood pressure).
L-Arginine HCL and Athletic Performance
One of the main effects of arginine is that it causes vasodilation, or an increase in the diameter of blood vessels, being able to accomplish this by stimulating the smooth muscle endothelial cells that line the blood vessels to produce a compound called nitric oxide.
Nitric oxide stimulates blood vessels to relax and expand, increasing the flow of blood and oxygen to the muscles during intense exercise, especially resistance training.
An increase in blood flow and oxygen delivery during exercise will sure enhance performance, allowing muscles to produce more strength and delaying the onset of exercise-induced fatigue.
When nitric oxide levels are low, blood circulation slows down and areas of the body may not receive adequate blood supply.
Thus, the most complications that arise from low nitric oxide levels are connected to the heart and blood vessels.
Other complications that may arise from low nitric oxide levels include restless leg syndrome, congestive heart failure, clogged arteries, cold hands and feet, high blood pressure, chest pain, coronary artery disease, loss of feeling in the limbs and decreased mental capacities.
Thus, the lack of oxygen caused by poor circulation may result in many daily activities, becoming exhausting endeavors.
L-Arginine HCL and Hormone Production
L-Arginine is an important catalyst for the production of human growth hormone, or HGH, and when ingested, arginine HCL stimulates the anterior pituitary gland to release HGH, thus, increasing plasma levels of HGH circulating throughout the body.
It has been observed that naturally elevated levels of HGH have many benefits, including an increase in muscle recovery and repair, regulation of metabolism, body fat reduction, and the optimal functioning of the heart and kidneys.
Taking L-arginine in conjunction with other amino acids, specifically, lysine and ornithine will magnify this effect.
Other Benefits of L-Arginine HCL
L-Arginine HCL may have a wide range of potential benefits beyond its use as a performance enhancer for sportspersons.
There are credible reports that possible benefits of arginine HCL supplementation include improving surgery recovery time, treating congestive heart failure, reducing chest pain in coronary artery disease, and reducing bladder inflammation.
It can also be used in treating erectile dysfunction, improving kidney function, and maintaining healthy body weight in individuals suffering from muscle-wasting diseases such as HIV.
Topical Application of L-Arginine
L-arginine can be applied topically as a cream, usually being used to speed up post-surgery recovery, improve sexual function in both men and women, and decrease healing time for wounds, in this form.
The l-arginine hydrochloride is available in many forms that include creams and other topical applicants, intravenous (IV) liquid, tablets, and capsules.
The most commonly used forms of L-arginine being those that are taken orally, namely tablets and capsules.
Those with allergies or asthma should avoid taking L-arginine hydrochloride, to avoid worsening the condition.
This supplement may also increase the severity of symptoms associated with the herpes virus and can cause the virus to proliferate.
Individuals who are listed for surgery should stop taking L-arginine hydrochloride at least some weeks before the scheduled date, same as those who have recently undergone a surgical procedure or suffered a heart attack should not take L-arginine hydrochloride.
Furthermore, L-arginine should not be combined with medications to treat erectile dysfunction, since both L-arginine and medications for erectile dysfunction may lower blood pressure.
Low blood pressure on its own, may result in dizziness, faintness, or loss of consciousness.
Side Effects of L-Arginine HCL
L-Arginine HCL may have adverse effects on individuals who have liver and kidney disease, as well as on some persons recovering from a heart attack.
L-Arginine HCL may also upset the balance of potassium in the bloodstream, causing dehydration, nausea, stomach cramps, and diarrhea, if you have a potassium deficiency.
If you are taking blood thinner medications- arginine HCL supplementation may thin your blood even further, increasing your risk of impaired wound healing, and individuals with chronically low blood pressure are advised not to take arginine, as it may lower blood pressure even further.
This could lead to fatigue and dizziness.
Be sure to speak with a specialist before taking L-arginine hydrochloride to make sure the supplement is safe for your body systems.
Consult your physician before using arginine HCL as a treatment for any of these conditions.