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Arginine: discover all the benefits of the amino acid

In the beauty and fitness world, many people have heard about Arginine. But not all people know what its indications are, what benefits it can offer, how it should be used, etc.

Eliza Schmitz, technical coordinator at Walter’s Academy, explains that Arginine is an essential element, but our body does not produce it, so in order for us to have it in our body, it must be ingested or applied, as in hair, for example.

David Bernardino, hairstylist at Visage Coiffeur, highlights that Arginine is present in most of the amino acids that make up the hair fiber, including keratin, and helps in the process of healthy hair growth.

Bernardino adds that Arginine applied to the hair favors the exchange of nutrients between the root and the wires, unclogging the hair bulb (where new wires are formed) and providing healthy birth and growth.

But Arginine is not only known for the benefits it provides to the hair. It has also been used by those who want to lose body fat. Carla Cotta, functional nutritionist at Equilibrium SPA da Mente, highlights that it is an essential amino acid and precursor of nitric oxide, a gas that has an affinity for fat (lipophilic) and has several functions in metabolism, such as vasodilation.

In this sense, it can be said that Arginine offers benefits both in topical and oral use.

Benefits of using Arginine orally

Carla explains that Arginine is more of an aid in the elimination of fat or loss of body fat. “It also aids in building lean mass (muscles) as well as increasing muscle strength and stamina,” she says.

The nutritionist explains that Arginine can help those who want to lose weight, as it stimulates the production of nitric oxide – which has an affinity for fat -, facilitating the mobilization of fat more efficiently.

“Arginine’s main function is muscle health, as the oxygenation of cells is potentiated. It is as if it improves the oxygenation of the cells, through the synthesis of nitric oxide, since Arginine is a source of nitrogen”, says Carla.

Arginine also provides muscle gain, according to the nutritionist. “Because there is an increase in nitrogen synthesis, a protein that promotes lean mass/muscle gain. By increasing the muscles, there is an increase in caloric expenditure and with that also a greater ‘burning’ of calories and fat”, she highlights.

Topical use of Arginine

Eliza highlights that Arginine is an amino acid present in keratin and that helps in the growth and fortification of the hair strand, preventing hair loss. “It stimulates microcirculation for better nutrition of the bulb, favoring the exchange of nutrients between the root and the thread, providing strength and preventing the threads from breaking and consequently falling out”, she explains.

David Bernardino points out that Arginine helps in the process of healthy hair growth. “When used in hair products, such as shampoo, conditioner, masks and serums, it forms a protective film over the strands, closing the scales. This makes the hair stronger, more resistant and less susceptible to damage from external factors, such as pollution and sun rays, which cause breakage and consequent fall,” he says.

Bernardino highlights that the application of Arginine in the hair is a highly recommended treatment, especially for those who have dyed or bleached hair, as it favors the exchange of nutrients between the root and the wires, unclogging the hair bulb (where new wires are formed). and providing healthy birth and growth.

How to use Arginine?

Arginine for oral use is easily found in supplement stores, but the correct thing is to consume it only with nutritional and/or medical advice.

Nutritionist Carla explains that the ideal is that the dose is stipulated according to each person. “She can take one in the morning and another dose post-workout. Consumption should be guided by a doctor or nutritionist. An individual who eats properly already consumes an average of 5 to 6 grams of arginine per day. Indications for athletes or practitioners of physical activities can vary between 50mg to 20g / day, and must be guided by a professional”, she highlights.

Regarding topical use, hairstylist Bernardino explains that Arginine is present in shampoos, conditioners, masks, serums, leave-ins, especially in keratin-based products. “National and international brands already manufacture products with the amino acid”, he says.

Technical coordinator Eliza highlights that Arginine is widely used in the form of hair treatment, in the composition of masks that aim to nourish and rebuild the fiber. “Each professional has their own way of application and handling, so that the desired effect is achieved”, she says.

8 hair products with Arginine

In the gallery below you can see some hair products in which the amino acid is present:

Contraindications of Arginine

Nutritionist Carla explains that, in the long term, the (oral) use of arginine may not have the desired effect, if not well administered or guided. “That’s because the stimulation of protein synthesis for lean mass depends on other nutrients and a balanced diet,” she says.

In other words, it’s no use going around consuming Arginine of your own volition, without professional guidance, and expecting positive results (weight loss and muscle mass gain). It is essential to associate this consumption with a healthy diet, the practice of physical activities, always according to the recommendations of a doctor or nutritionist.

Carla adds that individuals with heart disease, pregnant women, women who are breastfeeding, diabetics, individuals who have heartburn, ulcers, gastritis and other stomach disorders should avoid supplementation as it increases stomach acidity. “It is also contraindicated for herpes symptoms,” she points out.

The topical use of Arginine also deserves attention. Bernardino points out that, although many brands today manufacture products (shampoos, conditioners, etc.) with the amino acid, care must be taken, as too much use can cause hair breakage instead of providing positive results. Therefore, in the case of hair, the ideal is always to talk to a professional you trust to find out exactly what your hair needs.

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