You take it now because:
Recovery is important, without it your muscles are fatigued and
don't function optimally which effects your performance in the gym. A
Journal of Nutrition study found that when arginine was
combined with glutamine'"specifically 6.6 - 7.2 grams of this
combination daily for 30 days'"training efficiency was improved because
muscle integrity and the oxygen capacity of blood carried to the muscle
But it also:
Prevents heart disease.
As you already know, l-arginine helps make nitric oxide (NO) in the
body, which is one of the reasons that it is able to help with muscle
recovery as it increases blood flow. This action also helps keep your
circulatory system healthy as it reduces blood vessel stiffness and
improves blood vessel functioning, as shown by a French study in the
June 2007 issue of the
Journal of Nutrition.
Improves performance in the bedroom. This
is where nitric oxide really comes into (er'¦) play. NO relaxes the
muscles surrounding the vessels that supply blood to your penis and as
a result, your member's blood vessels dilate, increase blood flow and,
hello, he's at attention.
Supports immune function. According to
University of Pittsburgh researchers, arginine may help stimulate the
body's defense system; specifically, T-helper cells and cytokines that
fight off disease. What's more: low levels of arginine in the body have
been documented in causes of trauma and cancer, which means not having
enough in the body can help disease fester.
You take it now because:
That super-hard workout that made you feel oh-so good and taxed
your body sent it into a cycle of stress and muscle damage. Granted,
you need a bit of both to gain some muscle mass'"just not
much. Recently, University of Connecticut (Storrs) researchers found
that taking 1-2 grams of L-carnitine L-tartrate after exercise eases
the stress and the muscle damage that occurs after exercise so you get
just enough to sculpt a killer physique and not get a killer cold. In
addition to helping with recovery, carnitine delivers fat to the
mitochrondria'"the workhorse of our body's cells'"and help the body use
it as energy.
But it also:
Improves blood vessel function.
Boston University researchers found that alpha lipoic acid and
L-carnitine improve blood vessel function and blood pressure. In a
double-blind crossover study, the scientists examined the effects of
combined alpha-lipoic acid/acetyl-L-carnitine treatment and placebo (8
weeks per treatment) on blood vessel function and blood pressure in 36
subjects with coronary artery disease. The carnitine combination
increased the diameter of arteries by 2.3 percent and decreased
systolic blood pressure. While more studies like this one need to be
done, it appears that carnitine does the heart good.
Beats fatigue. Fibromyalgia (FMS) is a
chronic syndrome characterized by widespread pain, troubled sleep,
disturbed mood, and fatigue. It has been recently suggested that FMS
may be associated with metabolic alterations including a deficit of
carnitine. In a clinical trial of 102 subjects, Italian researchers
found that acetyl l-carnitine (LAC) did help alleviate the symptoms of
Their subjects took either of two capsules/day of 500 mg LAC or
placebo plus one intramuscular injection of either 500 mg LAC or
placebo for 2 weeks. Then, for the following eight weeks, subjects took
three capsules daily containing either 500 mg LAC or placebo. Subjects
were then tested four weeks after the study ended. What they found is
that acetyl l-carnitine decreased pain as well as eased other general
and mental health issues in the fibromyalgia patients.
Increases fertility. Leave it to the Italians to find a way to help sluggish sperm swim. In the journal of
Fertility and Sterility,
University of Padova researchers report that carnitine supplements
might help rev up sperm movement. In a small clinical trial, 30 men who
had been diagnosed with decreased sperm motility took 2 grams of
L-carnitine supplements daily for three months. Then for another three
months, the men didn't take anything.
Researchers found that sperm motility improved while the carnitine
supplements were being taken. Also, this improvement was temporary.
Three months after treatment ended, sperm motility was still a bit
better than before the study, but not by much. In addition, those who
experienced the greatest improvement from the supplement had the
sharpest drop in sperm motility after the treatment ended.
Regulates metabolism. Carnitine is a
molecule that plays a unique role in cell energy metabolism;
specifically, the major process by which fatty acids are oxidized. This
function is ubiquitously dependent on carnitine, as the molecule adapts
it to fulfill the needs of different tissues. In skeletal muscle, the
importance of carnitine's function to control and to regulate fuel not
only relates to the metabolism of fatty acids and the capacity for
fatty acid utilization, but also to fat balance and insulin resistance.
Carnitine is a determinant in insulin regulation of fat and metabolic
rate of glucose in skeletal muscle. As a result, it's critical in
determining body composition and risk factors for cardiovascular
disease, obesity, hypertension, and type 2 diabetes, according to a
2003 report in
You take it now because:
If you're a low-carb devotee, creatine is a quick form of energy
that is stored in your muscles. More specifically, creatine turns into
ATP, which you need for your muscles to contract.
supplementation also helps you get the muscular, lean physique you're
working so hard toward. According to a 2001 study published in the
Metabolism, creatine may raise resting metabolic rate by more than 100 calories a day.
But it also:
Increases heat tolerance.
Yes, we know that this is somewhat sports-related, but if you live in
hot climates (and with global warming, don't we all?), this use
shouldn't be overlooked. University of Glasgow researchers examined the
effects of combined creatine and glycerol supplementation on responses
to exercising in the heat. Subjects were given either 11.4 grams of
creatine or 11.4 grams of glucose mixed with water and one gram of
glycerol per kilogram of bodyweight. The results indicated that a
combination of creatine and glycerol is an effective method of
hyperhydration which reduces the body's thermal and cardiovascular
responses to exercising in the heat. This means that your workouts
won't feel as hard and your body won't overheat as quickly as if you
weren't supplementing with the duo.
Prevents Sacropenia. Part of getting
older is losing muscle mass, but it doesn't have to be that way. Also
known as sacropenia, the contributing factors of this loss are physical
inactivity and under-nutrition. You can continue to strength train into
your golden years and beyond; however, muscle loss is still observed in
older adults who perform weight-bearing exercise, say Canadian
researchers. As we already know,
creatine supplementation has the
potential to increase muscle accretion and hydration to cells, and to
facilitate the up-regulation of muscle-specific genes such as
myosin-heavy chains, possibly leading to muscle hypertrophy. For these
reasons, creatine '" in addition to continued weight workouts '" may help
prevent age-related muscle loss.
Fights Muscle Disorders. Progressive
muscle weakness is a main symptom of most hereditary muscle diseases.
Creatine might be helpful for treating them. German researchers
evaluated the efficacy of oral creatine supplementation in muscle
diseases by searching the Cochrane Neuromuscular Disease Group Register
in May 2004 for randomized trials using the supplement. After reviewing
12 clinical trials, researchers found that short- and medium-term
creatine use improves muscle strength in people with muscular
dystrophies and is well-tolerated, but that it did not significantly
improve muscle strength in those suffering from metabolic muscle
Develops Nervous System. As we develop in
creatine plays an important role in developing our spinal
cord during weeks 5 to 11.5, say Swedish researchers in the journal
Specifically, they found that chronic creatine exposure resulted in
significantly higher densities of immunoreactive neurons in the
cultures suggesting a differentiation inducing mechanism of creatine
Keeps Brain Healthy. When it comes to
creatine's influence on the brain, there are not many studies showing
the supplement's ability to improve its functioning. One recent study
American Journal of Physiology: Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology
examined creatine supplementation's effects on the brain. What the Yale
researchers found is that a healthy human brain is malleable and shifts
with seven days of supplementation, with the regions of initially low
creatine showing the largest changes. Overall,
supplementation appears to improve cellular turnover in healthy brains.
You take it now because: It converts glucose
into energy when your body needs to get through a tough workout. And
since it is involved in more metabolic processes than any other amino
acid, it aids in recovery and release of growth hormone. This means
more muscle growth.
But it also:
Glutamine boosts levels of glutathione by prodding your liver to
antioxidant glutathione. Glutathione keeps oxidized fats
in foods (think trans fats) from passing through your GI tract thus
protecting your body from free radicals. This action makes glutamine an
awesome immunity agent that cuts illness short and hastens recovery.
That's why you should take large doses of the amino acid during times
of stress and illness. Many experts recommended taking 2,000 to 8,000
Heals wounds. When it comes to the
relationship between nutrition and wound healing, there is no doubt
that adequate carbohydrate, fat and protein intake needs to occur for
proper curing. Research has suggested that other specific nutritional
interventions can have beneficial effects on healing wounds; more
You take it now because: It stops carb cravings by regulating the brain chemical serotonin that tends to drop when you are dieting.
But it also:
5 Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) is considered a natural alternative to
traditional antidepressants, used to treat depression. When Australian
research wanted to see whether science backed this claim, they
consulted databases looking for clinical trials. Only two of 108 trials
met their criteria and suggested that it was better than placebo at