L-Arginine is an amino acid — a building block of protein — 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.
Many 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. Still, 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). Therefore, if you 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 Supplements
- Best L-Arginine: NutraChamps L-Arginine
- Best L-Arginine Powder: L-Arginine Base
- Best L-Arginine Capsules: Now Foods Supplements L-Arginine
- Best L-Arginine for Nitric Oxide Boost: Havasu Nutrition Extra Strength L-Arginine
- Best L-Arginine for Sustained Release: Doctor’s Best Sustained Plus Immediate Release L-Arginine
Editor’s note: The content on BarBend is meant to be informative in nature, but it should not be taken as medical advice. The opinions and articles on this site are not intended to diagnose, prevent, and/or treat health problems. It’s always a good idea to talk to your doctor before beginning a new fitness, nutritional, and/or supplement routine.
Each capsule contains 500 milligrams of L-Arginine, alpha-ketoglutarate, and citrulline malate — three amino acids converted to nitric oxide and may increase blood flow. These capsules are vegan-friendly and third-party tested for purity, according to the manufacturer. Additionally, they are produced in a Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) facility.
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. In addition, these capsules also include grape seed extract and ginger root powder, two ingredients some may see as superfluous.
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.
Who Should Buy NutraChamps L-Arginine
- Folks who want alpha-ketoglutarate and citrulline malate in addition to L-Arginine
- Anyone who values third-party testing of their supplements.
- People who prefer their supplements produced in cGMP facilities.
Who Shouldn’t Buy NutraChamps L-Arginine
- Those who want a pure L-Arginine supplement.
- Those who prefer powder-based supplements to tablets or capsules.
Overall, this is a really great choice to get L-Arginine into your supplement routine. However, it is not an L-Arginine-only supplement. If you want a pure L-Arginine supplement, go for one of the other picks on this list. Otherwise, this is the option to add to the cart.
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Best L-Arginine Powder
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. Each bag contains 1,333 servings, so if you are interested in buying in bulk, this is likely the best option considering it’s very competitively priced.
If you are really opposed to supplements with a strong taste, this may not be for you. However, if you like mixing your supplements into liquid, this is the top powder L-Arginine we tried.
This supplement provides 1,000 milligrams of L-Arginine per 1,000-milligram serving. There are no additional ingredients beyond the namesake and it is free of sugar, dairy, soy, yeast, and gluten.
Who Should Buy L-Arginine Base
- Anyone who wants to buy L-Arginine in bulk.
- Those who appreciate mixing their supplements in liquid.
Who Shouldn’t Buy L-Arginine Base
- Folks who prefer an unflavored L-Arginine supplement.
- People who want supplements in capsule or tablet form.
When it comes to buying in bulk, BulkSupplements lives up to their name. The amount you get for the price tag is unmatched. So if you like powder supplements, look no further.
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Best L-Arginine Capsules
Each NOW Foods capsule contains 1,000 milligrams of free-form L-Arginine. It is non-GMO, kosher, and free of gluten and soy. In addition, each batch produced adheres to both mandatory U.S. FDA Current Good Manufacturing Practices (CGMP) regulations and voluntary Natural Products Association (NPA) GMP regulations. That means that they comply with sanitation, processing, documentation, and testing requirements designed to promote consistent quality and safety.
These capsules are compatible with vegetarian and vegan diets. In addition, each bottle contains 250 capsules (125 servings), and each capsule is less than an inch long, potentially making them easier to swallow.
Now Foods Supplements L-Arginine
NOW Foods offers 500-milligram capsules that contain nothing but L-Arginine. The price is on the more affordable end of the market when compared to other competitive options.
Who Should Buy Now Foods Supplements L-Arginine
- Those who want products that meet cGMP standards.
- Folks who follow vegetarian or vegan diets.
Who Shouldn’t Buy Now Foods Supplements L-Arginine
- People who prefer powder supplements.
- Anyone concerned about their supplements being too warm when delivered during hotter months.
These are a great all-around pick for those looking for an L-Arginine capsule supplement. The price is on the lower end of the competitive market and the manufacturing practices implemented are top-notch.
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Best L-Arginine for Nitric Oxide Boost
On a cost-per-serving basis, these are among the more expensive L-Arginine supplements that we looked at, but that is a trade-off to have more ingredients beyond just L-Arginine. Each capsule contains 400 milligrams of L-Arginine, AAKG, and L-Citrulline malate, in addition to 100 milligrams of beetroot powder. Each batch is third-party tested for purity.
Gelatin is used in forming these capsules, so they are not compatible with people who follow vegan diets. However, they are sugar-free, unflavored, and priced at 71 cents per capsule. In addition, they’re gluten-free and manufactured in cGMP facilities without artificial flavors, colorings, or preservatives.
Havasu Nutrition 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.
Who Should Buy Havasu Nutrition Extra Strength L-Arginine
- Those who value the addition of AAKG, L-Citrulline, and beetroot powder.
- Folks who appreciate supplements produced to cGMP standard.
Who Shouldn’t Buy Havasu Nutrition Extra Strength L-Arginine
- People trying to keep their spending down.
- Anyone who wants a pure L-Arginine supplement.
If you are happy to have the blend of ingredients offered instead of a pure L-Arginine supplement, Havasu provides a good product despite the slightly higher price tag.
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Best L-Arginine for Sustained Release
Each two-tablet serving of Doctor’s Best product provides 1,000 milligrams of L-Arginine. The ingredient list is fairly short compared to many competitors — just what’s needed to produce the tablet plus the L-Arginine. Each batch is non-GMO, gluten-free, and absent soy. Additionally, they are compatible with vegan diets. The price point is rather low at 13 cents per tablet.
Each batch is produced in facilities that are GMP-certified and are third-party tested for quality assurance. Each bottle contains 120 tablets (60 servings).
Doctor’s Best Sustained Plus Immediate Release L-Arginine
Each two-tablet serving of this supplement provides 1,000 milligrams of L-Arginine. It is GMO and gluten-free and is compatible with vegan diets.
Who Should Buy Doctor’s Best Sustained Plus Immediate Release L-Arginine
- Those who value third-party tested supplements.
- People looking for a potentially lower dose of L-Arginine (each tablet contains 500 milligrams).
- Folks on a tighter budget.
Who Shouldn’t Buy Doctor’s Best Sustained Plus Immediate Release L-Arginine
- Anyone who prefers a powder L-Arginine supplement.
The tablets are bilayered, with half offering sustained-release L-Arginine and the other offering immediate release L-Arginine. This can be valuable for anyone who needs a nitric oxide boost over an extended period.
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How We Decided Our Picks
L-Arginine is an amino acid that may create nitric oxide and improve blood flow in the body. Before adding it to your daily routine, it’s wise to consult with a medical professional. However, if you opt to start taking L-Arginine, there are a few key factors to consider.
Some L-Arginine supplements will contain just that: L-Arginine. Others may say L-Arginine on the container but actually contain a complex of other amino acids or ingredients. So take a peek at the label to ensure you know what you’re getting.
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 measure how much of the supplement you’ll get more accurately.
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.
While third-party testing for purity is not widely available, it’s still a good idea to look at the ingredients list. Sometimes companies will add superfluous additives or flavorings that do not provide any real nutritional value.
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What To Consider Before Buying
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 folks use it for various reasons, it’s wise to consult a medical professional before adding it to your diet.
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.
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.