Arginine alpha-ketoglutarate, or AAKG, is a precursor for nitric oxide production and potentially improves blood flow and nutrient delivery (such as creatine or amino acids) to muscles. AAKG gives bodybuilders a stronger "pump" when working out, and is a primary ingredient in nitric oxide powdered supplements. This category contains products which are simply the raw AAKG powder

Alpha-ketoglutarate is used for kidney disease; intestinal and stomach disorders, including bacterial infections; liver problems; cataracts; and recurring yeast infections. It is also used for improving the way kidney patients receiving hemodialysis treatments process protein.

Some people take alpha-ketoglutarate to improve peak athletic performance. Suppliers of athletic nutritional supplements claim alpha-ketoglutaric acid may be an important addition to proper diet and training for the athlete who wants peak performance. They base this claim on studies that show extra ammonia in the body can combine with alpha-ketoglutarate to reduce problems associated with too much ammonia (ammonia toxicity).

Healthcare providers sometimes give alpha-ketoglutarate intravenously (by IV) for preventing injury to the heart caused by blood flow problems during heart surgery and for preventing muscle breakdown after surgery or trauma.

What is Arginine Alpha Ketoglutarate?
L-arginine alpha-ketoglutarate (AAKG) is a salt formed by combining two molecules of the amino acid arginine and one molecule of alpha-ketoglutarate. AAKG is directly involved in amino acid synthesis and protein availability. Many athletes supplement their diets with AAKG as they work to increase muscle mass and strength. AAKG is found in high concentrations in nuts and seeds like peanuts and almonds. It can also be found in chocolate and dairy products.
AAKG is a well-known supplement for body builders and performance athletes wanting to increase nitric oxide (NO) production. AAKG is a major ingredient in many body building formulas.

Arginine is a conditionally essential amino acid. During heavy physical training cycles inadequate amounts are synthesized in the liver from other amino acids. Arginine must be supplied to the body from proteins and supplements. Arginine acts as a precursor to nitric oxide (NO), a vasodilator that increases the intensity and duration of "muscle pump" gained when working out (usually after lifting heavy weights). Muscle pump is the tight, blood-congested feeling in a muscle after it has been used intensely. A rapid influx of blood flows to the muscles to remove toxins and replace supplies of fuel and oxygen.

Creatine Ethyl Ester (CEE) combined with AAKG creates an effective and powerful muscle-building combination.
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arginine alpha ketoglutarate - nitric oxide (L-arginine supplement (6.04)

Benefits / uses
AAKG promotes increased nitric oxide production and enhances blood flow, which in turn leads to better delivery of oxygen and nutrients to working muscle. AAKG creates an anabolic or muscle-building environment in the body by hemodilation or increasing the volume of blood flowing through muscle tissue. This results in increased oxygen and nutrient delivery, better glucose uptake and support for muscle performance.
AAKG is used by many elite power and strength athletes who show deficiency of arginine within the body as it is lost during creatine production. Although the precise mechanism is unknown, AAKG treatment decreases muscle protein catabolism (breakdown) and increases protein synthesis. AAKG may increase amino acid metabolism (glutamine and arginine), which may help explain some of the clinical findings.

The typically recommended serving size for AAKG is 500 mg to 1000 mg one to three times daily depending upon individual needs. Bodybuilders and performance athletes may choose to go with higher amounts depending on the recommendation of their professional trainer. AAKG is not recommended for continuous, high-level use for more than 80 days.

Possible Side effects / Precautions / Possible Interactions:
Arginine alpha-ketoglutarate is a safe supplement. However, overuse can lead to problems that include upset stomach, restlessness and insomnia. Some report that ingesting AAKG before bed can cause difficulty falling asleep. Those experiencing such problems should avoid taking AAKG powder within 4 to 6 hours of bedtime.

Research studies / References
arw High Intensity Training by Drew Baye - NO Supplements? No Way!
arw Jeevanandam M, Petersen SR. Substrate fuel kinetics in enterally fed trauma patients supplemented with Arginine alpha ketoglutarate. Clin Nutr 1999 Aug;18(4):209-17.