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Arginine and Ornithine Boost GH After Resistance Exercise

The strength atlethe's new best friends.

July 14, 2012

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Resistance athletes know that a good pump comes from the continuous blood flow through the muscles to provide the required nutrients to keep the muscles nourished during heavy bouts of training. That is why arginine, a conditionally essential amino acid, is a regular staple of strength athletes before and after his exercise regimen. Arginine increases blood flow to the muscles by increasing serum levels of nitric oxide, a powerful vasolidator but has a very short half-life. This molecule helps smooth muscles relax, thus resulting in increase blood flow. This effect gives the athlete the "pump" feeling.

Ornithine is an amino acid that is one of the by-product of an enzyme with arginine. This creates urea, an essential compound in the urea cycle that allows the disposal of excess nitrogen in our body. It does not contribute to muscle growth, or protein synthesis, but acts as an intermediate in metabolic processes.

Both arginine and ornithine, when taken together, does wonders for the strength athlete. A study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research measured the effect of 3,000mg arginine and 2,000 ornithine twice a day for three weeks on GH response to heavy resistance training over a placebo group. It has been shown that GH levels did not increase during bouts of exercise, but during post-workout recovery period.

With their many benefits, arginine and ornithine should be a staple to every strength athlete. Remember when taking large doses of arginine for vasolidation purposes to stop after 3-4 weeks of continuous use to prevent your muscles from becoming insensitive to its anabolic effects.

July 14, 2012


  • Zajac, A., Peprezecki, S., Zebrowska, A. Chalimoniuk, M., Langfort, J. Arginine and Ornithine Supplementation Increases Growth Hormone and Insulin-Like Growth Factor-1 Serum Levels After Heavy-Resistance Exercise in Strength-Trained Athletes. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 2010. 24(4), 1082-1090.
  • Arginine. Wikipedia (
  • Nitric oxide. Wikipedia (
  • Ornithine. Wikipedia (