AAKG (L-arginine alpha ketoglutarate) Supplement Review

One supplement you may run across is AAKG (L-arginine alpha ketoglutarate).  This one looks like a variation of the “nitric oxide booster,” marketed as something that will improve your performance.

As I’ve mentioned before, I think “NO boosters” are a complete waste of time in terms of making you bigger or stronger.  L-arginine does seem to have the potential to improve sexual health/potency (when taken with another supplement), but the hype about it building muscle should be ignored.

A recent study suggests AAKG does not improve strength or performance.  16 men (8 trained and 8 untrained) were given either 3000 mg of the supplement or a placebo 45 minutes prior to training (randomized, double-blind study).  Their one-rep max (1RM) was tested on both the bench press and leg press.  The subjects also trained with 60% of their 1RM to failure.  This test was repeated one week later.

Not surprisingly, there was a difference between the trained and untrained men in terms of strength and performance.  But the study found no differences between those taking the supplement and those taking the placebo.

Conclusion: “The results from our study indicate that acute AAKG supplementation provides no ergogenic benefit on 1RM or TLV as measured by the standard barbell bench press and leg press, regardless of the subjects’ training status.”1

This study is limited (only 16 subjects an two training sessions).  But shouldn’t an effective “pre-workout supplement” show some measurable difference?  You decide.

1. JISSN, 2012, 9:17 Acute L-arginine alpha ketoglutarate supplementation fails to improve muscular performance in resistance trained and untrained men


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