L-Arginine is an amino acid – a building block of protein – that’s naturally found in a variety of foods. While most folks who follow a well-balanced diet will naturally get enough l-arginine in their diet, some may benefit from using it as a supplement. L-arginine (or arginine, as it’s often called) is believed to play a role in creating nitric oxide, which can increase blood flow. As a result, l-arginine is sometimes used to treat cardiovascular conditions, including angina and high blood pressure, though more research is needed to determine its effectiveness in these regards. As with any supplement, you should consult a medical professional before adding it to your diet. 

A lot of l-arginine products are geared toward athletes, marketed as a pre-workout supplement intended to increase stamina and energy. Some evidence indicates that l-arginine may serve these purposes, but more research is needed to fully justify the marketing claims about its efficacy, as experts suggest different supplements may produce nitric oxide more effectively (1) (2) (3). If you do decide to invest in an l-arginine supplement, it’s important to know how to distinguish between the various options available on the market.

Best L-Arginine

Editors’ Choice:

Nutra Champs L-Arginine

Pros:

  • Each capsule contains 500mg of l-arginine, alpha ketoglutarate, and citrulline malate, three amino acids that are converted to nitric oxide and may potentially increase blood flow. 
  • These capsules are vegan-friendly and third party tested for purity, according to the manufacturer. 
  • Produced in a Good Manufacturing Practices facility. 

Cons:

  • On a cost per serving basis, this is a bit more costly than some of the supplements on the market that are solely l-arginine. 
  • These capsules also include grape seed extract and ginger root powder, two ingredients some may see as superfluous. 
Nutra Champs L-Arginine
Nutra Champs L-Arginine
Nutra Champs L-Arginine

For folks looking for an l-arginine pre-workout supplement designed to boost nitric oxide, you may consider Nutra Champs L-Arginine. Containing l-arginine and l-citrulline, these capsules are marketed as being designed to enhance blood flow.

Contender:

NOW Foods L-Arginine 500mg

Pros:

  • Each NOW Foods capsule contains 500mg of l-arginine. 
  • These are produced in a Good Manufacturing Practices certified facility.
  • Non-GMO, Kosher, and soy-free.

Cons:

  • Gelatin is used in these capsules, meaning they are not vegan-friendly.
NOW Foods L-Arginine 500mg
NOW Foods L-Arginine 500mg
NOW Foods L-Arginine 500mg

For a more straightforward l-arginine option, NOW Foods offers 500mg capsules that contain nothing but l-arginine. Available at a very competitive price, these capsules may be a good option for folks who are solely in need of l-arginine. 

Also Consider:

Havasu Extra Strength L-Arginine

Pros:

  • Each capsule contains 400mg of l-arginine, AAKG, and l-citruline malate, in addition to 100mg of beet root powder. 
  • The manufacturer claims these capsules are third party tested for purity. 
  • Havasu claims these capsules will help with endurance, energy, and heart support for athletes. 

Cons:

  • On a cost per serving basis, these are among the most expensive l-arginine supplements that we looked at.
  • Since gelatin is used in forming these capsules, these are non-vegan.
Havasu Extra Strength L-Arginine
Havasu Extra Strength L-Arginine
Havasu Extra Strength L-Arginine

Marketed as being beneficial for endurance, energy, and heart support, Havasu Extra Strength L-Arginine is a complex with multiple ingredients. These capsules are intended to serve as a pre-workout nitric oxide booster. 

Best Bulk Powder

BulkSupplements L-Arginine Powder

Pros:

  • BulkSupplements L-Arginine powder has only one ingredient: l-arginine.
  • According to the manufacturer, each batch of this powdered supplement is lab tested for purity. 
  • BulkSupplements touts this powder as supporting immune and circulatory health as well as boosting athletic energy and stamina.
  • As each bag contains 1,333 servings, this should last you for a while. 
  • Very competitively priced. 

Cons:

  • A lot of reviewers have mentioned that this l-arginine powder has a pretty unpleasant taste.
  • For folks with a busy schedule, mixing a powder into a drink may be a bit time consuming.
BulkSupplements L-Arginine Powder
BulkSupplements L-Arginine Powder
BulkSupplements L-Arginine Powder

If you’re looking to avoid capsules or tablets, BulkSupplements offers a very straightforward l-arginine powder. On a cost per serving basis, this is one of the most affordable l-arginine supplements on the market. 

Methodology

L-Arginine is an amino acid that may play a role in creating nitric oxide and improving blood flow in the body. Before adding it to your daily routine, it’s wise to consult with a medical professional. However, if you do opt to start taking l-arginine, there’s a few key factors to consider.

Ingredients

Some l-arginine supplements will contain just that: l-arginine. Others, however, may say l-arginine on the container but actually contain a complex of other amino acids or ingredients. Take a peek at the label to ensure you know what you’re getting. 

Form

For a lot of folks, swallowing a few capsules may be more convenient. Others, however, may wish to drink their supplements in liquid form, and so may wish to turn to a powder. A powder also allows you to more accurately measure how much of the supplement you’ll get. 

Cost

To determine the value of each supplement, you can divide the total cost by the number of servings listed. Notably, this is not just the amount of capsules or tablets in a container, as some serving sizes may encourage multiple pills per serving. 

Purity

While third party testing for purity is not widely available, it’s still a good idea to take a look at the ingredients list. Sometimes companies will add in superfluous additives or flavorings that do not provide any real nutritional value. 

BarBend Tips

  • Consult a medical professional before adding l-arginine to your daily regimen. 
  • If you do start taking l-arginine, it may be wise to start slowly, perhaps with a half dose, to get used to what it does to your body. 

L-Arginine is an amino acid that’s pretty popular in supplement form. Though it is used by folks for a variety of reasons, it’s wise to consult a medical professional before adding to your diet. 

References 

  1. Suzuki I, Sakuraba K, Horiike T, et al. A combination of oral L-citrulline and L-arginine improved 10-min full-power cycling test performance in male collegiate soccer players: a randomized crossover trial. European journal of applied physiology. 2019;119(5):1075-1084.
  2. Gonzalez AM, Walsh AL, Ratamess NA, Kang J, Hoffman JR. Effect of a pre-workout energy supplement on acute multi-joint resistance exercise. Journal of sports science & medicine. 2011;10(2):261-266.‌
  3. English N. Why L-Arginine Isn’t Such a Great Pre-Workout. BarBend. https://barbend.com/l-arginine-pre-workout/. Published January 16, 2017.