The stress of intense exercise elevates levels of ammonia while altering the distribution of white blood cells known as lymphocytes. Studies have shown that carbohydrates, glutamine and arginine can blunt the increase of ammonia during exercise. New research published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition looks at how arginine combats ammonia buildup while subjects are low-carb dieting.
Scientists has 38 martial artists follow a low-carb diet for 4 days while supplementing with 100 mg of arginine per kg of body mass. A 160 pound subject would have received 7.3 grams of arginine daily. Compared to a control group of low-carb dieters who received a placebo, the arginine users showed a 75% increase in lymphocytes compared to a 220% increase in the control group. Arginine also helped reduce ammonia buildup. Just when you thought you knew everything an amino acid had to offer, a new study adds to the list!