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Creatine Vs Arginine – Which Amino Supplement To Choose?

Madhura Mohan

Posted on March 12 2021

E

 rgogenic supplements promise to give you an endurance boost and help you achieve a competitive edge. This is the reason why ergogenic supplements are continuing to gain momentum within the athletic and fitness community.

Among popular supplements in sports nutrition, protein and amino acids represent the most consumed performance boosters. Today’s topic is not on protein though, it’s on amino… if you could remember, we had posted a blog on BCAA Vs Creatine, in the month of July 2019. We hope you now know the potential benefits of the 2 amino supplements and how to decide among the two? If you’re saying yes, I’d consider that our purpose got fulfilled.

Well, the rationale for use of amino supplements still continues to prevail between creatine and arginine... this is obvious, as choosing the one among the 2 popular pre-workout supplements is definitely a confusing task. Don’t worry! You’ll get your confusions cleared at the end of this blog…

 

What Is The Function Of Pre-workout Supplements?

Basically, pre-workout is a generic term used for a range of bodybuilding supplements.

Pre-workout supplements are performance enhancing supplements that aim to enhance your exercise capacity, endurance, focus, energy during a workout, and decrease time to recover from workout. Pre-workout supplements come in varied formats like capsules, powders, liquids and tablets.

If you don't fuel yourself properly before hard workouts, you'll be less energized, feel weaker and fatigue will soon set in. Pre-workout supplements are designed to help fight this, they help you keep going harder and longer.

Before we go ahead to learn the individual benefits and differences between the amino supplements, I want you all to know one thing. The advantage of taking any amino supplement for that matter, whether it is BCAA, glutamine, arginine or creatine will get your body the direct access to the amino so that you can aim for quicker results.

 

CREATINE | FUNCTION OF CREATINE | PURPOSE OF SUPPLEMENTING

Creatine is an amino acid derived endogenously from arginine, glycine and methionine. Creatine can be obtained from food sources like meat and fish. Although creatine is produced naturally in the body, you only have a limited supply of stored creatine. Moreover, since creatine is found in animal tissue only, vegetarians and vegan won’t able to proclaim the added benefits of this amino.

The purpose of creatine supplementation is to increase the phosphocreatine stores in the body, promote a faster regeneration of ATP required to boost the intense bouts of exercise.

 

 

  • Boosts ATP production and helps you train maximally for longer.

  • Increases water retention in muscles, increases muscle cell volume which may help stimulate protein synthesis.

  • Increases muscle growth by increasing exercise performance capabilities.

  • The faster regeneration of ATP could lead to quicker recovery, allowing you to perform at a higher level in your next workout.

  • Improves muscle mass, muscle strength, endurance, resistance to fatigue and body composition when coupled with resistance training.

 

 

ARGININE | FUNCTION OF ARGININE | PURPOSE OF SUPPLEMENTING

Arginine is a conditionally essential amino made endogenously from glutamine, proline or citrulline. It can be obtained from food sources like nuts, seeds, dairy, meat, whole grains. Although arginine is synthesized in the body, it is not made in sufficient/large amounts to meet metabolic requirements during periods of stress. High-intensity exercises represent situations that promote a decrease in the amino acid concentrations.

The purpose of arginine supplementation is to increase the NO (nitric oxide) levels, which performs as a vasodilator to improve the availability of oxygen and nutrients to the working muscles.

 

 

  • By acting as a precursor to NO, stimulates vasodilation and a better supply of nutrients to the working muscles.

  • Helps with muscle growth because of its role in protein synthesis.

  • Increases plasma levels of insulin and growth hormones in the body which contribute to building leaner and toned muscles.

  • Contributes to increased oxygen uptake by muscles, reduces muscle damage, exercise induced fatigue, increases recovery and contributes to optimal performance.

  • Increases power output, helps in better contractions and delays time to exhaustion.

 

Did you notice the highlighted statements above? This is where the difference in the projected benefits of the amino supplements lies. If Creatine’s benefits come from its ability to generate quick ATP, arginine’s benefits come from its ability to generate quick NO.

 

ROLE OF ATP

Generally, during short-duration, high-intensity exercises, ATP needs are met by both anaerobic glycolysis and phosphocreatine shuttle. While anaerobic glycolysis (breakdown of glucose) is the dominant form of ATP production for exercises between 1 to 2 minutes, phosphocreatine shuttle predominates as the ATP source during maximal effort exercises less than 30s.

ATP is not stored in large amounts in skeletal muscles. Creatine supplementation increases stores of phosphocreatine and ATP generation to power enhanced muscle contraction, decreases muscle fatigue, and prolongs intense workout.

 

ROLE OF NO

NO increases ability to dilate our blood vessels allowing more blood to flow to our muscles. Under regular/normal conditions, NO gets released when there is an increased volume of blood trying to get through the blood vessels. These NO molecules then diffuse from the lining of blood vessels and relax the inner muscles of your blood vessels, causing vessels to widen.

Supplementing with arginine will produce more NO, reduces blood pressure, allows more blood filled with protein, oxygen and nutrients to be available to the working muscles, aiding in muscle pumps, gives anti-inflammatory effect and increased recovery.

 

Now, you may want to know if you can take the 2 supplements in combination…

 

CAN CREATINE & ARGININE BE TAKEN TOGETHER?

You must understand one thing that combining the 2 beneficial supplements doesn’t always translate to improvements. This doesn’t mean you should not combine the 2 supplements. There definitely is no harm in taking the creatine and arginine in combination. Combining the 2 will translate into maximum amount of power you can generate over a short interval, will increase endurance performance. You’ll find these benefits only if you are supplementing to support resistance training, taking them otherwise without doing any exercise will not show expected muscle building results.

 

WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO CONSUME PRE-WORKOUT SUPPLEMENTS?

Pre-workout supplements are best suggested to be consume 20-30 minutes before your workouts. Always refer to the details on packaging and consume the supplement accordingly.

After having gotten sufficient information, you’d definitely want to ask one last question, which is the best among the two? I’d say I totally dislike the dichotomies by usage of terms better, best with respect to the potential individual benefits of the 2 ergogenic aids.

 

Creatine and Arginine are 2 potential pre-workout supplements which power your workouts in their own unique way…Both are effective at muscle building with their purported roles in doing the same being different…

 

Want more information on amino supplements? Browse our blogs, arginine, creatine, glutamine, carnitine, citrulline, beta-alanine and BCAA

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