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  1. #1
    10 30 10 shadar's Avatar
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    L-Arginine vs AAKG vs Di-Arginine Malate vs L-Arginine Ethyl Ester

    Ok, so there are lots of arginines out there. I'm trying to figure out which one (or perhaps more or perhaps none?) to include in a homemade pre-workout stack.

    Here are the different Arginines I've seen readily available:
    L-Arginine
    AAKG
    Di-Arginine Malate
    L-Arginine Ethyl Ester


    Here's my initial thoughts on them:

    L-Arginine: The standard Amino Acid. Not very efficient, takes large quantities to work but will provide a range of benefits, primarily increased pump, increased growth hormone, and increased blood flow.

    AAKG: Much better absorbed than L-Arginine, provides better pump and blood flow but may not provide the GH benefit?

    Di-Arginine Malate: Haven't been able to find too much good info on this one. It seems it is more efficient than L-Arginine but I'm not sure about anything else.

    L-Arginine Ethyl Ester: Supposedly FAR more efficient than any other form of Arginine, dosed at 800-1500mg, but as with CEE there are skeptics. No clue how it effects GH.


    Am I on the right track? Am I totally off on my initial opinions on each?

    What kind of dosage should I be aiming for in a pre-workout homebrew stack?

    Do I want Ornithine to compliment the Arginine? If so do I need OKG or wil L-Ornithine do the trick?

    Thanks in advance!
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  2. #2
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    i usually stack 3g arginine and 3g A-AKG. the bomb in my opinion.
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  3. #3
    10 30 10 shadar's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by the700level View Post
    i usually stack 3g arginine and 3g A-AKG. the bomb in my opinion.
    My initial thoughts were along the lines of:

    1g L-Arg
    .5g L-Arg EE
    2g AAKG
    1g Di-Arg Malate

    But this was just off the top of my head guessing on a combo of all 4. I'm def willing to drop it to just the two you mentioned if that's going to be more useful.

    Any thoughts on Ornithine?
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  4. #4
    10 30 10 shadar's Avatar
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    Any other thoughts on this?
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    i think you're looking way to far into arginine.
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  6. #6
    10 30 10 shadar's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by the700level View Post
    i think you're looking way to far into arginine.
    Well I'm just trying to heavily research every single supp I am going to add to my pre-workout stack.

    Arg just happens to be up first since it starts with A

    I already know the Citrulline is going to be far more important for my workouts. But I want to know as much as I can before I try making my own stack, so I want to rate the effectiveness verse cost on as many products as I can.
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  7. #7
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    For pre-wo i like taking Scivation Xtend + AAKG or CL Purple Wraath + AAKG
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  8. #8
    10 30 10 shadar's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by JBerto View Post
    For pre-wo i like taking Scivation Xtend + AAKG or CL Purple Wraath + AAKG
    Wow, the price on Xtend is pretty good too. It's hard to make your own version for less money.

    I came out to 51.83 to make 90 servings myself. Only difference is mine had a full complex of B's, including a lot of B12.


    I still don't really understand what the differenecs are between the 4 arginines i've posted tho.
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  9. #9
    10 30 10 shadar's Avatar
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    Is anyone here taking Ornithine? I really don't have much experience with it at all and don't know if it's a waste of my time or worth the addition to a stack.
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    Registered User legalgear's Avatar
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    Ornithine is really good stuff. Check into it on pubmed...

    The different Arginines should all do about the same thing (minus the ethyl ester, which I think is bunk). Malic Acid is good for you and is part of the krebs energy cycle, so in theory should impart an energy effect. Arginine has recently shown to be anabolic on it's own stimulating the mTOR pathway like Leucine. Might be good to add into a BCAA product with Leucine...



    1: Int J Mol Med. 2004 Apr;13(4):537-43.Links
    Arginine and Leucine regulate p70 S6 kinase and 4E-BP1 in intestinal epithelial cells.
    Ban H, Shigemitsu K, Yamatsuji T, Haisa M, Nakajo T, Takaoka M, Nobuhisa T, Gunduz M, Tanaka N, Naomoto Y.

    Department of Gastroenterological Surgery, Transplant, and Surgical Oncology, Graduate School of Medicine and Dentistry, Okayama University, Okayama 700-8558, Japan.

    Amino acids, especially branched-chain amino acids such as l-Leucine, have been revealed to regulate activation of p70 S6 kinase and phosphorylation of 4E-BP1 through mTOR signaling pathway. In this study, we showed that a cationic amino acid, l-Arginine, also activated this signaling pathway in a rapamycin-sensitive manner in rat intestinal epithelial cells, and this l-Arginine-induced amino acid signal transduction involved the cationic amino acid transport system. The manner of l-Arginine- and l-Leucine-induced activation of p70 S6 kinase depended on the stimulation time and the concentration of each amino acid, which suggested that the mechanism of this amino acid signal acceptance might be saturable. l-Arginine and l-Leucine induced activation of p70 S6 kinase and phosphorylation of 4E-BP1 in a rapamycin-sensitive manner, which suggested the involvement of mTOR signaling pathway in these effects. l-Arginine-induced activation of p70 S6 kinase was inhibited by NG-Methyl-L-Arginine (NMMA) and L-N5-(1-Iminoethyl) Ornithine (NIO), inhibitors of nitric oxide synthase (NOS) which also block cationic amino acid transporters, system y(+). However, l-Leucine-induced activation of p70 S6 kinase was not affected with treatment of NOS inhibitors. In conclusion, l-Arginine regulates p70 S6 kinase activity and phosphorylation of 4E-BP1 through mTOR signaling pathway, which involves system y(+), cationic amino acid transporters.

    1: J Nutr. 2008 May;138(5):867-72.Click here to read Links
    Dietary arginine supplementation increases mTOR signaling activity in skeletal muscle of neonatal pigs.
    Yao K, Yin YL, Chu W, Liu Z, Deng D, Li T, Huang R, Zhang J, Tan B, Wang W, Wu G.

    Laboratory of Animal Nutrition and Health, Institute of Subtropical Agriculture, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Changsha, Hunan 410125, PR China.

    Dietary arginine supplementation increases growth of neonatal pigs, but the underlying mechanisms are unknown. This study was conducted to test the hypothesis that the arginine treatment activates translation initiation factors and protein synthesis in skeletal muscle. Piglets were fed milk-based diets supplemented with 0 or 0.6% L-arginine between 7 and 14 d of age. Following a 7-d period of arginine supplementation, at 1 h after the last meal, jugular venous blood samples were obtained for metabolite analysis, whereas longissimus muscle and liver were collected to determine the abundance and phosphorylation state of the mammalian target of the rapamycin (mTOR), ribosomal protein S6 kinase 1 (S6K1), eukaryotic initiation factor (eIF) 4E-binding protein-1 (4E-BP1), eIF4E, and eIF4G. Fractional rates of protein synthesis were measured in muscle and liver using the [(3)H]phenylalanine flooding-dose technique. Arginine supplementation increased (P < 0.05) daily gain, the plasma insulin concentration, and protein synthesis in skeletal muscle but not in liver. The arginine treatment enhanced the formation of the active eIF4E x eIF4G complex but reduced the amount of the inactive 4E-BP1 x eIF4E complex in muscle. These changes were associated with elevated levels of phosphorylated mTOR and 4E-BP1 in muscle of arginine-supplemented piglets (P < 0.05). Neither the total amounts nor phosphorylation levels of the translation initiation factors in the liver differed between control and arginine-supplemented piglets. Collectively, these results suggest that dietary arginine supplementation increases mTOR signaling activity in skeletal muscle, but not in liver, of milk-fed neonatal pigs. The findings provide a molecular mechanism for explaining the previous observation that increased circulating arginine stimulated muscle protein synthesis and promoted weight gain in neonatal pigs.
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  11. #11
    10 30 10 shadar's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info!

    I'll prob stick with AAKG then and L-Ornithine. I'd love to do OKG but it seems to be really hard to find powdered... and pretty expensive in caps/tabs.
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    i was taking a pre-w brew of creatine, bcaa's, tyrosine, glycergrow, gaba and alcar with some greent and c.

    about 3wks ago i added aakg(3g) and l-orn(1.5g) and noticed significantly greater pumps during my workouts. as well, upon waking and throughout the day.
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    Originally Posted by shadar View Post
    Is anyone here taking Ornithine? I really don't have much experience with it at all and don't know if it's a waste of my time or worth the addition to a stack.
    I'm taking 3g AAKG with 1.5g Ornithine, it seems to work best at a 2:1 ratio. Here's an older thread that's a good read (you'll have to copy and paste since I can't post links yet):
    forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=445990&highlight=ornithine
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  14. #14
    10 30 10 shadar's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ksheab View Post
    i was taking a pre-w brew of creatine, bcaa's, tyrosine, glycergrow, gaba and alcar with some greent and c.

    about 3wks ago i added aakg(3g) and l-orn(1.5g) and noticed significantly greater pumps during my workouts. as well, upon waking and throughout the day.
    Originally Posted by wolviak View Post
    I'm taking 3g AAKG with 1.5g Ornithine, it seems to work best at a 2:1 ratio. Here's an older thread that's a good read (you'll have to copy and paste since I can't post links yet):
    forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=445990&highlight=ornithine

    Thanks guys. That's what I needed to know about the Ornithine. Also the AAKG.

    Just for s&g I may get a small bit of AEE. Just to test it out. I'll do the 3/1.5 as part of my homebrew though it seems.
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    10 30 10 shadar's Avatar
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    I was reading through that old thread and it reminded me about something.

    What ever happened to Carnosine? In that thread it was listed as a cheap pre-workout supp... but now it seems impossible to find. You can only get Beta-Al, but not carnosine itself...
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    Originally Posted by shadar View Post
    I was reading through that old thread and it reminded me about something.

    What ever happened to Carnosine? In that thread it was listed as a cheap pre-workout supp... but now it seems impossible to find. You can only get Beta-Al, but not carnosine itself...
    You can get Carnosine by itself, there's one brand on BB.com store, NOW...the problem, and reason it doesn't sell much anymore is that Carnosine taken orally is broken down in the GI tract to into Beta Alanine and Histamine. Those are then absorbed by the muscle, and converted back into Carnosine. And most Carnosine you can buy, has a lower base amount of BA, so you'd have to take way more Carnosine then BA as a supplement. I take 6g of BA a day, 2 in the AM, 2 before, and 2 after each workout. Noticed a big jump in overall endurance, was able to get the last rep more easily.. And I love the tingle....

    As for Arginine, I take 6g daily, GNC L-Arginine....3 before & after.. I'm about to start a run of MRI NO2 Black, which will provide 12g daily....
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  17. #17
    10 30 10 shadar's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ricka182 View Post
    You can get Carnosine by itself, there's one brand on BB.com store, NOW...the problem, and reason it doesn't sell much anymore is that Carnosine taken orally is broken down in the GI tract to into Beta Alanine and Histamine. Those are then absorbed by the muscle, and converted back into Carnosine. And most Carnosine you can buy, has a lower base amount of BA, so you'd have to take way more Carnosine then BA as a supplement. I take 6g of BA a day, 2 in the AM, 2 before, and 2 after each workout. Noticed a big jump in overall endurance, was able to get the last rep more easily.. And I love the tingle....

    As for Arginine, I take 6g daily, GNC L-Arginine....3 before & after.. I'm about to start a run of MRI NO2 Black, which will provide 12g daily....
    Thanks for that explanation. Though it still seems odd how hard it is to find carnosine. I can understand it may not be very efficient... but it seems a few years ago it was a cheap supplement. Now there really are few companies selling it and the ones I can find are expensive. Seems odd for a supp to get more expensive over time. I guess it's just that no one uses it so not many companies produce it?

    I just figured it might be a good medium duration beta-alanine producer. Take 2g beta-alanine pre along with 2g carnosine pre and you'll get the beta-alanine now and the beta-alanine from the carnosine in an ?hour? or so. I believe this is actually the method Ultima uses to produce a day long beta-alanine shot... by using a very slow digesting carnosine in their mix to give day long energy. Seemed like a fun thing to play around with myself if I could get myself some carnosine... but I can't find it anywhere at a reasonable price so I'll just skip it I suppose.

    so I guess it just brings me back to OKG. No cheap bulk sources of OKG around?
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  18. #18
    Geordie Boot Boy Robboe's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by shadar View Post
    Here are the different Arginines I've seen readily available:
    L-Arginine
    AAKG
    Di-Arginine Malate
    L-Arginine Ethyl Ester
    I agree with what was said earlier, go with the AAKG and Di-Arg Malate as at least then you get kreb's cycle intermediaries which you should find go quite a long way in invigorating you energy-wise.

    Originally Posted by legalgear View Post
    1: Int J Mol Med. 2004 Apr;13(4):537-43.Links
    Arginine and Leucine regulate p70 S6 kinase and 4E-BP1 in intestinal epithelial cells.
    Ban H, Shigemitsu K, Yamatsuji T, Haisa M, Nakajo T, Takaoka M, Nobuhisa T, Gunduz M, Tanaka N, Naomoto Y.

    Department of Gastroenterological Surgery, Transplant, and Surgical Oncology, Graduate School of Medicine and Dentistry, Okayama University, Okayama 700-8558, Japan.

    Amino acids, especially branched-chain amino acids such as l-Leucine, have been revealed to regulate activation of p70 S6 kinase and phosphorylation of 4E-BP1 through mTOR signaling pathway. In this study, we showed that a cationic amino acid, l-Arginine, also activated this signaling pathway in a rapamycin-sensitive manner in rat intestinal epithelial cells, and this l-Arginine-induced amino acid signal transduction involved the cationic amino acid transport system. The manner of l-Arginine- and l-Leucine-induced activation of p70 S6 kinase depended on the stimulation time and the concentration of each amino acid, which suggested that the mechanism of this amino acid signal acceptance might be saturable. l-Arginine and l-Leucine induced activation of p70 S6 kinase and phosphorylation of 4E-BP1 in a rapamycin-sensitive manner, which suggested the involvement of mTOR signaling pathway in these effects. l-Arginine-induced activation of p70 S6 kinase was inhibited by NG-Methyl-L-Arginine (NMMA) and L-N5-(1-Iminoethyl) Ornithine (NIO), inhibitors of nitric oxide synthase (NOS) which also block cationic amino acid transporters, system y(+). However, l-Leucine-induced activation of p70 S6 kinase was not affected with treatment of NOS inhibitors. In conclusion, l-Arginine regulates p70 S6 kinase activity and phosphorylation of 4E-BP1 through mTOR signaling pathway, which involves system y(+), cationic amino acid transporters.

    1: J Nutr. 2008 May;138(5):867-72.Click here to read Links
    Dietary arginine supplementation increases mTOR signaling activity in skeletal muscle of neonatal pigs.
    Yao K, Yin YL, Chu W, Liu Z, Deng D, Li T, Huang R, Zhang J, Tan B, Wang W, Wu G.

    Laboratory of Animal Nutrition and Health, Institute of Subtropical Agriculture, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Changsha, Hunan 410125, PR China.

    Dietary arginine supplementation increases growth of neonatal pigs, but the underlying mechanisms are unknown. This study was conducted to test the hypothesis that the arginine treatment activates translation initiation factors and protein synthesis in skeletal muscle. Piglets were fed milk-based diets supplemented with 0 or 0.6% L-arginine between 7 and 14 d of age. Following a 7-d period of arginine supplementation, at 1 h after the last meal, jugular venous blood samples were obtained for metabolite analysis, whereas longissimus muscle and liver were collected to determine the abundance and phosphorylation state of the mammalian target of the rapamycin (mTOR), ribosomal protein S6 kinase 1 (S6K1), eukaryotic initiation factor (eIF) 4E-binding protein-1 (4E-BP1), eIF4E, and eIF4G. Fractional rates of protein synthesis were measured in muscle and liver using the [(3)H]phenylalanine flooding-dose technique. Arginine supplementation increased (P < 0.05) daily gain, the plasma insulin concentration, and protein synthesis in skeletal muscle but not in liver. The arginine treatment enhanced the formation of the active eIF4E x eIF4G complex but reduced the amount of the inactive 4E-BP1 x eIF4E complex in muscle. These changes were associated with elevated levels of phosphorylated mTOR and 4E-BP1 in muscle of arginine-supplemented piglets (P < 0.05). Neither the total amounts nor phosphorylation levels of the translation initiation factors in the liver differed between control and arginine-supplemented piglets. Collectively, these results suggest that dietary arginine supplementation increases mTOR signaling activity in skeletal muscle, but not in liver, of milk-fed neonatal pigs. The findings provide a molecular mechanism for explaining the previous observation that increased circulating arginine stimulated muscle protein synthesis and promoted weight gain in neonatal pigs.
    There's an interesting Arg study in rats too (http://jn.nutrition.org/cgi/content/abstract/139/2/230) but i'm just not sold on these translating from porcine to human. I'm no expert in rearing pigs, but i have read a few times that arginine is an EAA for infant pigs (and is also an EAA for infant children too, but i don't know why exactly) but its non-essential for adult humans. Bodybuilders have been hammering arginine for the NO prospect for a fair few years now and i don't recall seeing any spectacular effects so i do wonder just how important it is, especially for someone eating around 150g+ protein a day. Interesting though.
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  19. #19
    nevigsawkufelgnisaton in10city's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Robboe View Post
    There's an interesting Arg study in rats too (http://jn.nutrition.org/cgi/content/abstract/139/2/230) but i'm just not sold on these translating from porcine to human. I'm no expert in rearing pigs, but i have read a few times that arginine is an EAA for infant pigs (and is also an EAA for infant children too, but i don't know why exactly) but its non-essential for adult humans. Bodybuilders have been hammering arginine for the NO prospect for a fair few years now and i don't recall seeing any spectacular effects so i do wonder just how important it is, especially for someone eating around 150g+ protein a day. Interesting though.
    Their low plasma levels from the low level in Mom's milk and a decrease in the activity of enzymes in the chain of endogenous arginine synthesis have been cited as factors that limit their growth. That was one attraction of N-Carbamylglutamate - increase plasma arginine so it's not a limiter in protein synthesis of the little piggies.
    It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.
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  20. #20
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    I am always suspect of the weanling pigs studies translating to humans, but we can at least see that Arginine has the potential to stimulate mTOR similar to Leucine. Still, I can't imagine Leucine will pack on pounds of muscle either, so it's not surprising you don't see people getting HUGE on AAKG supplements.
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  21. #21
    10 30 10 shadar's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by legalgear View Post
    I am always suspect of the weanling pigs studies translating to humans, but we can at least see that Arginine has the potential to stimulate mTOR similar to Leucine. Still, I can't imagine Leucine will pack on pounds of muscle either, so it's not surprising you don't see people getting HUGE on AAKG supplements.

    At the dosages I was thinking about adding it would cost $.23-29 to add Arg/Orn to my pre-workout stack per dose. That's 2 arg, 1 orn, .5 aee (just for s&g). I'm just not sure it's worth it. It sounds like it's really just going to add a pump at this point... and that may mean better nutrient transport or it may not, we don't really know if it's doing anything useful other than making us feel a great pump.

    That money could easily go into adding more Beta Alanine, Citrulline, BCAA, better flavoring, etc. So I'm quite torn. I think I read somewhere a company, maybe BSL, was coming out with a new Pre-workout formula without any Arg because they felt it wasn't worth it.

    Thoughts?
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    Question

    shadar-
    i understand your point because we just cant tell how much, if at all, that the increased pump (which i know for a fact that the aakg/orn did improve for me) and hopefully, increased nutrient absorption, is contributing towards muscular gains.

    what i can tell you is that i have gotten bigger and stronger since i began using the hp aakg and now l-orn. the mirror and my workout log prove it. but, was it those 2 products, lol??

    maybe try it when you have spare caps and dont care if it turns out to be a bust for you.
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  23. #23
    10 30 10 shadar's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ksheab View Post
    shadar-
    i understand your point because we just cant tell how much, if at all, that the increased pump (which i know for a fact that the aakg/orn did improve for me) and hopefully, increased nutrient absorption, is contributing towards muscular gains.

    what i can tell you is that i have gotten bigger and stronger since i began using the hp aakg and now l-orn. the mirror and my workout log prove it. but, was it those 2 products, lol??

    maybe try it when you have spare caps and dont care if it turns out to be a bust for you.

    It seems like there is a HUGE dearth of quality, lab tested, information about so many of these products. Even basic products like arg/orn.

    I will prob eventually test out the arg/orn in my stack, but inititally I may try going without to see how it goes. This is still just in the research stage, testing out a few pre-made formulas still to see what they do for me so I can try to isolate which ingredients I respond to the best.
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