By the end of the article you will know the following:
Do L-arginine, L-ornithine, L-lysine taking help to increase HGH secretion?
How and when to take the amino acids for the best results?
How to stack these amino acids with other workout supplements for synergetic effect?
The amino acids L-arginine, L-ornithine, and L-lysine work perfectly together, reinforcing each other’s functioning.
L-arginine is an amino acid that is essential for the normal functioning of the pituitary gland and the production of growth hormone. The growth hormone accumulates in the pituitary gland, and the body releases it in response to sleep, exercise, and restricted meals.
The additional intake of L-arginine is especially necessary for intensively trained athletes after the age of 30 when its natural secretion drops. Besides, L-arginine is responsible for the concentration of sperm in the male sperm, it improves the immune response and speeds up wound healing.
L-ornithine is an amino acid that stimulates insulin secretion and helps insulin act as an anabolic hormone. An extra dose of L-ornithine will help you lose weight and improve your body shape while you sleep. Also, L-ornithine acts as a hepatoprotection, regenerating liver tissue, and participates in the process of ammonia detoxification.
L-lysine is an amino acid that is essential for growth, tissue regeneration, production of antibodies, hormones, and enzymes. Additional intake of lysine prevents fatigue, promotes calcium absorption and restoration of bone and connective tissues.
Thus, the combination of these amino acids stimulates the secretion of growth hormone in the body, resulting in increased muscle mass and strength.
L-ornithine and L-arginine stack
L-ornithine and L-arginine, two of the several amino acids involved in the secretion of human growth hormone, are among the most popular amino acid supplements today, mainly because they can help you lose weight and improve your body shape while you sleep (i.e. at the time when growth hormone is released).
Taking additional amounts of ornithine will help to increase the level of L-arginine in the body (in fact, arginine is formed from L-ornithine, and L-ornithine is isolated from L-arginine during constant cyclic transformations). Because ornithine and arginine are so closely related to each other, all the characteristics and caveats for one can be addressed to the other.
As a workout supplement, ornithine acts better if taken at the same time and in the same way (on an empty stomach, drinking water, or juice – without any other protein supplements).
L-arginine and HGH release studies
Many studies have been conducted on this issue. I will include some of them. In particular, the effect of L-arginine in conjunction with the other amino acids has been studied.
1) The first study shows which dose is optimal for increasing GH release. 3 groups of people were given oral supplementation of L-arginine. The first group received 0.04 grams of L-arginine per kg of body weight per day, the second – 0.16 grams, the third – 0.28 grams.
During the experiment, it turned out that the growth hormone was best increased in people from the second group. In the first group, HGH didn’t increase enough. In the third group, people often had diarrhea and GIT disorders. If a person weighs 75 kg, then 12 grams of L-arginine per day will provide the best effect on growth hormone secretion – says the researchers’ conclusion.
The best results were in those people who were not overweight but had good physical shape and endurance.
2) Another experiment, in addition to taking L-arginine, also included taking L-lysine – 1.2 grams of each amino acid. This stack increased the growth hormone secretion by several times.
The combination of L-arginine and L-ornithine, taken before bed, showed good results. L-ornithine itself is capable of increasing the growth hormone HGH too. According to some reports, it does this even better than L-arginine does. If we take them together, we get a synergistic effect.
How to increase L-arginine level naturally?
- The first option – the safest and healthiest – is to get it from natural foods. The leaders here are pumpkin seeds (4 grams of arginine per 100 grams of product), sesame seeds (3.5 per 100), pine nuts (3 per 100). If you are choosing the source of L-arginine for children, then pumpkin seeds, in my opinion, are the best option. In addition to L-arginine, they contain a lot of zinc, iron, and antioxidants, which during the period of active growth is not superfluous.
- The second option is to get it by injection. After injections of L-arginine, HGH increases tenfold. For this reason, by the way, doctors use such injections to determine the functioning of the pituitary gland in humans. But doing this without a doctor, especially for a long time, there is a high probability of side effects.
- The third option is pills, powders. This variant is good, but there are disadvantages. First, the assimilation rate is only 20-30%. Secondly, not everyone likes the smell and taste of L-arginine in pure form. That’s why quality HGH sprays consisting of amino acids and growth hormone factors that bypass the digestive system can be a better option. There are different forms of L-arginine. Many prefer the form of AAKG – attached to the molecule of alpha-ketoglutarate arginine or extended-acting arginine. AAKG provides higher levels of nitrogen oxide and for a longer period than pure L-arginine and is better absorbed. Although, pure L-arginine and arginine + ornithine are also a good option.
How to take L-arginine properly?
- It is recommended to take it on an empty stomach or 2 hours after meals. It is not recommended to take after too fatty and protein foods. After taking it do not eat another 2 hours.
- Try to buy L-arginine in pills first to understand how it works. If you notice the actions that I listed at the beginning, you can try to order the powder. The powder is usually cheaper by the amount of an active ingredient and the effects faster than the tablets. The taste, as I said, is specific.
- On training days, take L-arginine before physical activity and 3-5 grams before going to bed.
- On rest days take only before going to bed for 3-5 grams. Try to stack L-arginine with creatine in the days of training to increase endurance and strength. In the days of rest stack L-arginine with L-ornithine for better recovery. I liked it. These combinations work great.
- Drink the pills with plenty of water (300-500 ml).
- The effect of the pills comes in about an hour, the powder – in half an hour. Take this into account to choose the best time of taking.
- It is not desirable to take it all the time. The body quickly gets used to amino acids, so it makes no sense to take it for long periods.
L-ornithine for HGH increase studies
Much has been written about the beneficial properties of L-ornithine, such as the fact that athletes who prioritize endurance, show the best results in the final sprint and improve their performance. This is due to the removal of ammonia from the bloodstream that accumulates during the exercises.
However, the idea that taking ornithine may increase the production of GH is not new, but controversial enough. For example, Finnish researchers, conducting studies on bodybuilders 1 and giving them 2 grams of L-ornithine and 2 grams of L-arginine every day, have not recorded any effect on the level of growth hormone.
The researchers from Poland gave the powerlifters a mixture of 10 grams of L-arginine and L-ornithine and recorded an increase in the level of growth hormone. 2 All this causes controversy and doubts, so the Japanese researchers decided to clarify this.
The Japanese took 10 men for the study, whose average age was 22 years. They received 100 mg of L-ornithine per kilogram of body weight, and then they performed 8 sets of biceps training exercises. Another time, before the training, they received a placebo. This time there should be no error.
Training with the taking of L-ornithine led to a significant increase in the secretion of growth hormone. The Japanese have concluded that trained athletes will have better results than untrained bodybuilders. They also believe that only high doses will increase the production of HGH. They refer to studies conducted by American scientists in 1990, in which bodybuilders received 40, 100, or 170 mg of L-ornithine per kilogram of body weight.
If you are already an experienced athlete and want to increase the release of growth hormone, you will need high enough doses of L-ornithine and L-arginine. For example, an athlete weighing 80 kg will need between 8 and 14 grams. Since trained athletes already do stimulate the production of GH through the training.
Mike Lilley is the author of many articles and reviews on our site. He is a fitness & bodybuilding blogger and co-founder of Boost Hormone. He writes product reviews based on the results of scientific research. From the great variety of information and products in this niche, he recommends only those that include science-based nutritional ingredients. Find Mike Lilley at SelfGrowth.
G M Fogelholm, H K Näveri, K T Kiilavuori, M H Härkönen – “Low-dose amino acid supplementation: no effects on serum human growth hormone and insulin in male weightlifters” – https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8220394/
Int J Sport Nutr. 1993 Sep;3(3):290-7. doi: 10.1123/ijsn.3.3.290.
L R Bucci, J F Hickson Jr, I Wolinsky, J M Pivarnik – “Ornithine supplementation and insulin release in bodybuilders” – https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/1299499/
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