Pre Workout Without L-Arginine

Human Window Staff
By Human Window Staff
Updated on January 22, 2019

When it comes to finding a good pre workout without L-Arginine, there are a few things you need to be aware of.

The chances are, if you’re looking for a supplement that doesn’t use L-Arginine, then you’ve likely already had an adverse reaction to this ingredient, or you’ve heard about some of the side-effects of it that you’d rather avoid.

If you’re looking to find out more about pre workouts with and without L-Arginine, then read on.

There are plenty of quality pre workout supplements on the market these days, and the good ones contain a blend of scientifically backed ingredients designed to help get you performing at your best in the gym.

However, there are also a fair few supplements out there that use questionable ingredients, or substances that can cause nasty side effects.

We don’t think that there’s any need to take any kind of supplement which uses any risky ingredients. As always, your best bet is to keep things simple and choose a product with a good ingredients profile and that is backed up by solid customer reviews.

The final point on that list is where L-Arginine comes into play. Let’s take a look at exactly why this ingredient can be found in lots of pre workout supplements.

L-Arginine – What You Need To Know

L-Arginine is what’s known as a conditionally essential Amino Acid. Sources of L-Arginine include meat and seeds, and you can usually get it from your diet.

The reason why it’s included in some pre workout supplements is because it’s believed to help raise Nitric Oxide levels in your body, which can lead to enhanced Muscle Pumps.

We all love that feeling of bulging muscles after a great gym session – and many pre workouts have been specifically formulated to help to enhance this effect.

RELATED: The Five Best Pre Workout Supplements on the Market

Why would you want to raise Nitric Oxide Levels in your body? Basically, doing so is going to enhance muscle pumps, making your post-training pumps more intense.

There are lots of advantages of using a pre workout which enhanced muscle pumps, the problem is that L-Arginine simply isn’t the most effective ingredient to achieve this,

Although you’ll find plenty of claims online that L-Arginine is effective at raising Nitric Oxide levels to enhance muscle pumps, the scientific evidence for this is limited at best.

The reason for this is that L-Arginine is not very readily absorbed by the body, meaning that its effects are limited or non-existent.

L-Arginine – The Side Effects

L-Arginine isn’t actually too much of a risky ingredient for a pre workout supplement. The main reason why we don’t like to see it used in pre workouts is because it’s just not that effective.

We’d much rather see supplement manufacturers use proven ingredients that are genuinely going to help you get the most out of your workouts, rather than use something like L-Arginine, which has lots of hype but not much evidence to back it up.

Pre Workout Fatigue

A good pre workout will help you stay energized in the gym (Photo: Adobe Stock)

The main L-Arginine side effect to be wary of is the increase risk of developing cold sores.

No one likes getting cold sores (they’re caused by the HSV type 1 virus), and dietary L-Arginine is believed to contribute to an increased risk of suffering from them.

The reason for this is because L-Arginine is believed to lower levels of L-Lysine when consumed – and L-Lysine is known to prevent things like cold sores and genital herpes.

So although the side effects of L-Arginine are not really too drastic according to the latest research, the fact that it’s basically quite an ineffective pre workout ingredient should be of more concern.

What To Look For Instead of L-Arginine In A Pre Workout

Now, we’ve already explained that L-Arginine is used in pre workout supplements in a bid to raise Nitric Oxide Levels to contribute to better muscle pumps.

This is a good thing, the only problem is that L-Arginine is not the most effective ingredient at doing this, because it’s not very well absorbed by the body.

Our top recommended alternative pre workout ingredient for muscle pump is L-Citrulline. In case you didn’t know, this is an amino acid which is extracted from Watermelons.


L-Citrulline is an amino acid extracted from watermelons (Photo: Flickr)

Citrulline Malate is the pre workout ingredient for muscle pumps that we recommend above all others. (By the way, Citrulline Malate is simply L-Citrulline with added Malic Acid).

The reason why is because Citrulline Malate has been shown to both boost blood flow to the muscles and increase Nitric Oxide levels.

It’s more effective than taking L-Arginine directly because Citrulline Malate converts into L-Arginine in your kidneys, meaning that the problem of the poor absorption rate is no longer an issue.

L-Citrulline has plenty of scientific studies showing that it can help to improve muscle pumps, which is why we recommend it as one of the top pre workout ingredients around.

Anything Else To Bear In Mind?

There is so much hype and mis-information out there in the health and fitness industry these days that it can become difficult to separate fact from fiction.

Looking for the best supplements usually comes down to one thing – the ingredients.

But no matter how much hype there is around a particular supplement, or how good the claims might be, remember that there is no substitute for hard work.

Before taking any kind of fitness supplement, you should always make sure that you’re training hard and eating right.

The simple fact of the matter is that there is no pre workout, fat burner or other product that will help you to reach your fitness goals unless your diet and training regime are on point.

That’s why we always recommend to address those two things first before considering any supplementation.

Wrapping Things Up

So, that brings us to the end of our guide to finding a pre workout without L-Arginine.

We’ve explained just why you’ll want to avoid this particular ingredient (increased risk of cold sores, and ineffective for muscle pumps), and why you should instead look for a pre workout which uses Citrulline Malate as an alternative.

The reason for this is that L-Arginine is not well-absorbed by the body when taken orally, while Citrulline Malate is converted into L-Arginine in the kidneys to get past this issue.