Last updated: August 11, 2021

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AAKG is an essential amino acid, especially for strength athletes and bodybuilders. It causes vasodilatation and thus indirectly promotes muscle growth, and it follows that AAKG-arginine alpha-ketoglutarate has established itself as a beneficial and successful muscle-pump dietary supplement, especially for bodybuilders.

With our AAKG - arginine alpha-ketoglutarate test 2021, we have picked out everything for you on the subject of AAKG and explained and described it for you in more detail in the following section. Furthermore, we have selected all the important questions and answers for you to help you with your decision regarding AAKG.

In addition, we have selected the most popular AAKG products for you, shown you purchase and evaluation criteria and answered all your questions regarding AAKG.




The most important facts

  • AAKG-arginine alpha-ketoglutarate is a semi-essential amino acid and forms further from the amino acid arginine and serves as a buffer for essential amino acids.
  • AAKG is an ideal muscle-pumping dietary supplement for strength athletes, but especially for bodybuilders.
  • It dilates the blood vessels, through the action of nitric oxide, and thus leads to vasodilatation and can lower blood pressure considerably.

The Best AAKG: Our Picks

We have selected the best arginine alpha-ketoglutarate products for you. In the following section we have explained the editors' favourites in more detail. We have differentiated between AAKG powder, AAKG tablets, AAKG capsules and AAKG citrulline to help you with your purchase decision.

Buying and evaluation criteria for AAKG products

To help you decide which AAKG to buy, we have selected the most important buying and evaluation criteria for you and described them in more detail in the following section.

Dosage / intake

The dosage depends on the form in which you take AAKG. The most common forms are powder, capsules or tablets.

The AAKG powder is dissolved in a liquid, usually water, but you can also use fruit juices or tea. You should always take the powder or tablets / capsules about 30-15 minutes before training. It is always important to follow the manufacturer's instructions, as each AAKG powder has a different dose, just like tablets and capsules.

In addition, you should always make sure that you take the correct daily dose and do not risk overdosing, as this can cause various side effects, which you should of course avoid.

Taste

Of course, taste also plays a big role. It is especially mentioned that AAKG is much sweeter and not bitter compared to normal arginine.

With tablets and capsules, the taste is neutral, as you swallow the tablets straight away anyway. With powder, on the other hand, it depends on the manufacturer and yourself.

As described above, AAKG is significantly sweeter than normal arginine. However, if you mix the powder with a fruit juice, you will naturally have the taste of the fruit juice in the foreground.

Ingredients

Here again, the manufacturer is decisive with regard to the ingredients of AAKG. With AAKG powder, you should make sure that the powder consists of 100% L-arginine alpha-ketoglutarate. With capsules, the capsule shell can make a big difference.

Either the capsule shell is made of animal gelatine or a vegetable shell made of cellulose. You should therefore always read the ingredients carefully to avoid any unpleasant surprises when consuming the product.

Guide: Frequently asked questions about AAKG products answered in detail

In order to be able to answer the most important questions about AAKG, we have selected the most important questions including answers for you and described and explained them in detail in the following section.

What is AAKG?

In this section we will discuss AAKG and arginine.

AAKG

AAKG (arginine alpha-ketoglutarate) is a post-step of the amino acid arginine and thus also belongs to the amino acids. AAKG is a semi-essential and proteinogenic amino acid that is needed for many functions in the body.

The connection between arginine and alpha-ketoglutarate is considered energy-rich, because alpha-ketoglutarate is formed in the energy cycle of the body cell. (Image source: Rodolfo Sanches Carvalho / unsplash)

Amino acids are conditionally essential if they can be formed from other amino acids in the body, this is called semi-essential. Protogenic, on the other hand, means that body tissue can be formed from L-arginine, not only enzymes and neurotransmitters.

The formation of nitric oxides by arginine causes the blood vessels to dilate.

Arginine

As mentioned above, arginine is a semi-essential and proteinogenic amino acid. Arginine is mainly found in nuts and seeds and can thus be easily supplied to the body.

The formation of nitrogen oxides by arginine causes the blood vessels to dilate. It is considered the amino acid richest in nitrogen, as arginine has four N atoms.

Arginine serves as a supplement for essential amino acids.

Arginine does not have a pleasant taste compared to AAKG. Arginine alpha-ketoglutarate has more of a bitter taste, so it is often preferred in capsule or tablet form, as capsules or tablets are easy to swallow and have little taste.

What is the effect of AAKG?

In this section, the different effects of AAKG products are shown.

Blood pressure and blood flow

Supplementation of AAKG is said to maximise nitric oxide in the body, which in turn is associated with vasodilation. A study was conducted to investigate the effects of AAKG administration on nitric oxide metabolites after weight training. In the end, this increased the L-arginine concentration in the plasma. (1)

In addition, when AAKG is administered, the nitric oxide causes vasodilatation and can thus lower blood pressure enormously and stimulate blood flow. Bodybuilders have taken advantage of this to increase the muscle pump. (2, 3, 4, )

Insulin and blood sugar

It is worth noting that AAKG supplementation has a protective effect on the ß-cells of the pancreas, where the peptide hormone insulin is produced. In addition, the intake of AAKG leads to a maximised insulin secretion. (5, 6, 7, 8)

Muscles

It has been investigated that the oxygen load in a test with a bicycle ergometer was reduced and thus fatigue was delayed by the supply of AAKG. However, it is important to note that the results vary and the effectiveness of AAKG differs from person to person. (4, 9, 10)

Furthermore, a study investigated the effectiveness of acute intake of L-arginine alpha-ketoglutarate (AAKG) on muscle strength and endurance in resistance-trained and untrained men. It was concluded that the intake of AAKG was of no benefit in this regard. (11)

Male potency

Two studies found that AAKG can improve male sperm and the amino acid can also be used to help with childbearing. Furthermore, another study confirmed that AAKG can positively influence erectile dysfunction in men. (12, 13, 14)

When should I take AAKG?

Especially athletes and strength athletes take AAKG. Because you get a better muscle pump, it is very popular among bodybuilders.

The intake of AAKG leads to vasodilatation and a so-called muscle pump, which is of great importance for bodybuilders. (Image source: Anastase Maragos / unsplash)

It is always very important that you adjust your intake to the manufacturer's instructions. Most AAKG products are taken 30 minutes before training, but there are exceptions.

The amount per intake is between 5-8 grams of AAKG and a daily intake of AAKG should be 10-17 grams.

Taking protein in addition to AAKG can maximise insulin secretion.

However, please always bear in mind that an overdose can lead to a wide variety of side effects and imbalances. Above all, fatigue, minimised performance, depression and sleep disorders can be the cause of an overdose.

In order to achieve an ideal result, you should therefore always follow the instructions of the respective manufacturer so as not to cause an overdose.

What types of AAKG are there?

AAKG is divided into three different types. All three types have different aspects that can be of great help to you when deciding what to buy.

The three types of AAKG are AAKG powder, AAKG capsules and liquid AAKG.

To give you a small and better overview of the different types, we have listed a table with the three types and a short description as follows.

Type of AAKG description
AAKG capsules most common type of AAKG, easy to dose, good digestion of the capsules, capsule shell often made of gelatine, therefore not vegan
AAKG powder easy to dose, fast absorption, taste is neutral, cheapest type of AAKG
liquid AAKG often mixed with magnesium, L-ornithine or L-citrulline, thus the effect and absorption is better, usually to buy in shots, no water necessary for intake, should be taken before training

If you are still unsure which type of AAKG is best for you, you can try all three and then decide which one you like best and is ideal for you.

How much do AAKG supplements cost?

Of course, the price of each product depends on the type of AAKG and of course on the manufacturer. Nevertheless, we have created a table for you in the next section, in which a small overview of the prices is shown.

AAKG type price range
AAKG powder 25-170 euros per kilogram
AAKG capsules 40-180 euros per kilogram
AAKG tablets 30-170 euros per kilogram

As you can see, the price varies enormously for all three types. It is also important that you always use pure products and that the products are also of great quality.

What are the side effects of taking AAKG and is AAKG harmful?

Since AAKG is rather difficult to absorb by the gastrointestinal tract, diarrhoea can occur in case of an overdose. Furthermore, nausea and digestive problems can occur.

Besides negative side effects, AAKG can also help with symptoms. You can find out what these are in the following paragraph.

  • Changes in the skin
  • irregular periods
  • premenstrual syndrome
  • Menstrual pain

Furthermore, undesirable effects of AAKG can also occur, such as palpitations, dizziness and vomiting. Supplements with AAKG can also cause side effects that can lead to a visit to hospital.

You should therefore avoid overdoses and always follow everything consistently and closely to avoid such a visit.

Image source: fotomircea / 123rf

References (14)

1. Fahs CA, Heffernan KS, Fernhall B. Hemodynamic and vascular response to resistance exercise with L-arginine. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2009 Apr;41(4):773-9. doi: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e3181909d9d. PMID: 19276857.
Source

2. Willoughby DS, Boucher T, Reid J, Skelton G, Clark M. Effects of 7 days of arginine-alpha-ketoglutarate supplementation on blood flow, plasma L-arginine, nitric oxide metabolites, and asymmetric dimethyl arginine after resistance exercise. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2011 Aug;21(4):291-9. doi: 10.1123/ijsnem.21.4.291. PMID: 21813912.
Source

3. Monti LD, Setola E, Lucotti PC, Marrocco-Trischitta MM, Comola M, Galluccio E, Poggi A, Mammì S, Catapano AL, Comi G, Chiesa R, Bosi E, Piatti PM. Effect of a long-term oral l-arginine supplementation on glucose metabolism: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Diabetes Obes Metab. 2012 Oct;14(10):893-900. doi: 10.1111/j.1463-1326.2012.01615.x. Epub 2012 May 21. PMID: 22553931.
Source

4. Bailey SJ, Winyard PG, Vanhatalo A, Blackwell JR, DiMenna FJ, Wilkerson DP, Jones AM. Acute L-arginine supplementation reduces the O2 cost of moderate-intensity exercise and enhances high-intensity exercise tolerance. J Appl Physiol (1985). 2010 Nov;109(5):1394-403. doi: 10.1152/japplphysiol.00503.2010. Epub 2010 Aug 19. PMID: 20724562.
Source

5. Vasilijevic A, Buzadzic B, Korac A, Petrovic V, Jankovic A, Korac B. Beneficial effects of L-arginine nitric oxide-producing pathway in rats treated with alloxan. J Physiol. 2007 Nov 1;584(Pt 3):921-33. doi: 10.1113/jphysiol.2007.140277. Epub 2007 Aug 23. PMID: 17717015; PMCID: PMC2276988.
Source

6. Méndez JD, Hernández Rde H. L-arginine and polyamine administration protect beta-cells against alloxan diabetogenic effect in Sprague-Dawley rats. Biomed Pharmacother. 2005 Jul;59(6):283-9. doi: 10.1016/j.biopha.2005.05.006. PMID: 15996850.
Source

7. Mohan IK, Das UN. Effect of L-arginine-nitric oxide system on chemical-induced diabetes mellitus. Free Radic Biol Med. 1998 Nov 1;25(7):757-65. doi: 10.1016/s0891-5849(98)00129-4. PMID: 9823540.
Source

8. DiMagno MJ, Hao Y, Tsunoda Y, Williams JA, Owyang C. Secretagogue-stimulated pancreatic secretion is differentially regulated by constitutive NOS isoforms in mice. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2004 Mar;286(3):G428-36. doi: 10.1152/ajpgi.00368.2003. Epub 2003 Oct 9. PMID: 14551061.
Source

9. Álvares, T.S., Meirelles, C.M., Bhambhani, Y.N. et al. L-Arginine as a Potential Ergogenic Aidin Healthy Subjects. Sports Med 41, 233–248 (2011).
Source

10. McConell GK. Effects of L-arginine supplementation on exercise metabolism. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2007 Jan;10(1):46-51. doi: 10.1097/MCO.0b013e32801162fa. PMID: 17143054.
Source

11. Wax B, Kavazis AN, Webb HE, Brown SP. Acute L-arginine alpha ketoglutarate supplementation fails to improve muscular performance in resistance trained and untrained men. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2012 Apr 17;9(1):17. doi: 10.1186/1550-2783-9-17. PMID: 22510253; PMCID: PMC3428651.
Source

12. Morgante G, Scolaro V, Tosti C, Di Sabatino A, Piomboni P, De Leo V. Il trattamento con carnitina, acetilcarnitina, L-arginina e ginseng migliora la motilità spermatica e la salute sessuale negli uomini con astenozoospermia [Treatment with carnitine, acetyl carnitine, L-arginine and ginseng improves sperm motility and sexual health in men with asthenopermia]. Minerva Urol Nefrol. 2010 Sep;62(3):213-8. Italian. PMID: 20940690.
Source

13. Scibona M, Meschini P, Capparelli S, Pecori C, Rossi P, Menchini Fabris GF. L-arginina e infertilità maschile [L-arginine and male infertility]. Minerva Urol Nefrol. 1994 Dec;46(4):251-3. Italian. PMID: 7701414.
Source

14. Chen J, Wollman Y, Chernichovsky T, Iaina A, Sofer M, Matzkin H. Effect of oral administration of high-dose nitric oxide donor L-arginine in men with organic erectile dysfunction: results of a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study. BJU Int. 1999 Feb;83(3):269-73. doi: 10.1046/j.1464-410x.1999.00906.x. PMID: 10233492.
Source

Why you can trust me?

Hemodynamic and vascular response to resistance exercise with L-arginine
Fahs CA, Heffernan KS, Fernhall B. Hemodynamic and vascular response to resistance exercise with L-arginine. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2009 Apr;41(4):773-9. doi: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e3181909d9d. PMID: 19276857.
Go to source
Effects of 7 days of arginine-alpha-ketoglutarate supplementation on blood flow, plasma L-arginine, nitric oxide metabolites, and asymmetric dimethyl arginine after resistance exercise
Willoughby DS, Boucher T, Reid J, Skelton G, Clark M. Effects of 7 days of arginine-alpha-ketoglutarate supplementation on blood flow, plasma L-arginine, nitric oxide metabolites, and asymmetric dimethyl arginine after resistance exercise. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2011 Aug;21(4):291-9. doi: 10.1123/ijsnem.21.4.291. PMID: 21813912.
Go to source
Effect of a long-term oral l-arginine supplementation on glucose metabolism: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial
Monti LD, Setola E, Lucotti PC, Marrocco-Trischitta MM, Comola M, Galluccio E, Poggi A, Mammì S, Catapano AL, Comi G, Chiesa R, Bosi E, Piatti PM. Effect of a long-term oral l-arginine supplementation on glucose metabolism: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Diabetes Obes Metab. 2012 Oct;14(10):893-900. doi: 10.1111/j.1463-1326.2012.01615.x. Epub 2012 May 21. PMID: 22553931.
Go to source
Acute L-arginine supplementation reduces the O2 cost of moderate-intensity exercise and enhances high-intensity exercise tolerance
Bailey SJ, Winyard PG, Vanhatalo A, Blackwell JR, DiMenna FJ, Wilkerson DP, Jones AM. Acute L-arginine supplementation reduces the O2 cost of moderate-intensity exercise and enhances high-intensity exercise tolerance. J Appl Physiol (1985). 2010 Nov;109(5):1394-403. doi: 10.1152/japplphysiol.00503.2010. Epub 2010 Aug 19. PMID: 20724562.
Go to source
Beneficial effects of L-arginine nitric oxide-producing pathway in rats treated with alloxan
Vasilijevic A, Buzadzic B, Korac A, Petrovic V, Jankovic A, Korac B. Beneficial effects of L-arginine nitric oxide-producing pathway in rats treated with alloxan. J Physiol. 2007 Nov 1;584(Pt 3):921-33. doi: 10.1113/jphysiol.2007.140277. Epub 2007 Aug 23. PMID: 17717015; PMCID: PMC2276988.
Go to source
L-arginine and polyamine administration protect beta-cells against alloxan diabetogenic effect in Sprague-Dawley rats
Méndez JD, Hernández Rde H. L-arginine and polyamine administration protect beta-cells against alloxan diabetogenic effect in Sprague-Dawley rats. Biomed Pharmacother. 2005 Jul;59(6):283-9. doi: 10.1016/j.biopha.2005.05.006. PMID: 15996850.
Go to source
Effect of L-arginine-nitric oxide system on chemical-induced diabetes mellitus
Mohan IK, Das UN. Effect of L-arginine-nitric oxide system on chemical-induced diabetes mellitus. Free Radic Biol Med. 1998 Nov 1;25(7):757-65. doi: 10.1016/s0891-5849(98)00129-4. PMID: 9823540.
Go to source
Secretagogue-stimulated pancreatic secretion is differentially regulated by constitutive NOS isoforms in mice
DiMagno MJ, Hao Y, Tsunoda Y, Williams JA, Owyang C. Secretagogue-stimulated pancreatic secretion is differentially regulated by constitutive NOS isoforms in mice. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2004 Mar;286(3):G428-36. doi: 10.1152/ajpgi.00368.2003. Epub 2003 Oct 9. PMID: 14551061.
Go to source
L-Arginine as a Potential Ergogenic Aidin Healthy Subjects
Álvares, T.S., Meirelles, C.M., Bhambhani, Y.N. et al. L-Arginine as a Potential Ergogenic Aidin Healthy Subjects. Sports Med 41, 233–248 (2011).
Go to source
Effects of L-arginine supplementation on exercise metabolism
McConell GK. Effects of L-arginine supplementation on exercise metabolism. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2007 Jan;10(1):46-51. doi: 10.1097/MCO.0b013e32801162fa. PMID: 17143054.
Go to source
Acute L-arginine alpha ketoglutarate supplementation fails to improve muscular performance in resistance trained and untrained men
Wax B, Kavazis AN, Webb HE, Brown SP. Acute L-arginine alpha ketoglutarate supplementation fails to improve muscular performance in resistance trained and untrained men. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2012 Apr 17;9(1):17. doi: 10.1186/1550-2783-9-17. PMID: 22510253; PMCID: PMC3428651.
Go to source
[Treatment with carnitine, acetyl carnitine, L-arginine and ginseng improves sperm motility and sexual health in men with asthenopermia]
Morgante G, Scolaro V, Tosti C, Di Sabatino A, Piomboni P, De Leo V. Il trattamento con carnitina, acetilcarnitina, L-arginina e ginseng migliora la motilità spermatica e la salute sessuale negli uomini con astenozoospermia [Treatment with carnitine, acetyl carnitine, L-arginine and ginseng improves sperm motility and sexual health in men with asthenopermia]. Minerva Urol Nefrol. 2010 Sep;62(3):213-8. Italian. PMID: 20940690.
Go to source
[L-arginine and male infertility]
Scibona M, Meschini P, Capparelli S, Pecori C, Rossi P, Menchini Fabris GF. L-arginina e infertilità maschile [L-arginine and male infertility]. Minerva Urol Nefrol. 1994 Dec;46(4):251-3. Italian. PMID: 7701414.
Go to source
Effect of oral administration of high-dose nitric oxide donor L-arginine in men with organic erectile dysfunction: results of a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study
Chen J, Wollman Y, Chernichovsky T, Iaina A, Sofer M, Matzkin H. Effect of oral administration of high-dose nitric oxide donor L-arginine in men with organic erectile dysfunction: results of a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study. BJU Int. 1999 Feb;83(3):269-73. doi: 10.1046/j.1464-410x.1999.00906.x. PMID: 10233492.
Go to source
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