Arginine AKG (AAKG) is often used before weigfht training as a way to boost nitric oxide levels to dilate blood vessels and therefore increase muscle pumps. There are many benefits associated with increased muscle pumps, including fascia stretching to allow for greater growth, better nutrient delivery possibly enhancing recovery, as well as the sought after “pumped” look. A study published in the journal Nutrition actually found that AAKG can increase strength as well.
35 subjects participated in the study, all men ages 30-50 who regularly trained with weights. For 8 weeks some of the subjects supplemented with 4g AAKG 3 times daily and the rest of the subjects took a placebo supplement. All subjects participated in a particular resistance training routine involving 4 days/weeks of reistance training.
AAKG was found to increase 1 rep maximum weight on the tested bench press exercise and to increase wingate peak power performance, while body composition and endurance tested on the quadriceps muscle were unchanged. These results give evidence for AAKG as a supplement for strength gains, although it doesn’t seem to do much for endurance or body composition. One downside of this study is that the dose of AAKG used is quite a bit higher than what is typically used. Typical dosage of AAKG is in the range of 3-5g daily and this study used a total of 12g daily, so to get the strength increasing benefits of AAKG one may need to take a higher than typical dose.
Campbell B, Roberts M, Kerksick C, Wilborn C, Marcello B, Taylor L, Nassar E, Leutholtz B, Bowden R, Rasmussen C, Greenwood M, & Kreider R. (2006). Pharmacokinetics, safety, and effects on exercise performance of L-arginine alpha-ketoglutarate in trained adult men. Nutrition (Burbank, Los Angeles County, Calif.). 22(9), 872-81.
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