What is Lysine?
Lysine or L-lysine is an essential amino acid that is needed for health and life. Besides this, lysine is a major player in HGH supplements, and may have a role in helping to increase the natural level of growth hormone production in the body.
Where Does Lysine Come From?
Lysine is common in high quality protein rich foods including meat, fish, eggs, milk and legumes such as soy beans. Low quality proteins from sources such as corn and other grains tend to be lacking in lysine.
It is impossible to live a healthy life without lysine, and being an essential amino acids means that lysine must be obtained through the diet. It is needed for the synthesis of proteins, including muscle tissue, as well as certain hormones, enzymes, and antibodies. So whether you're an elite athlete or the average Joe, you need to ensure that your levels of lysine are topped up to function at your best.
Lysine Benefits for Growth Hormone
Human growth hormone (hGH), as its name suggests is a peptide hormone that is responsible for growth. It is revered among bodybuilders and athletes for its potential anabolic effects. Therefore, any safe way of increasing the body's natural ability to produce growth hormone may be beneficial for lean gains, particularly for those who experience natural declines in hGH production as a result of aging.
At first, arginine was thought to be the golden child of hGH stimulation. However some studies have shown that the supplementation of arginine alone may in fact have little effect on hGH production (Marcell et al, 1999). What may actually have an effect, though, is actually the use of arginine in combination with equal amounts of lysine (Isidori et al, 1981). Therefore, lysine may be as important as arginine in stimulating the release of hGH. More information can be found in our "Natural Growth Hormone Supplements Guide" and "HGH Supplements" articles.
Lysine Negatives & Side Effects
Lysine is generally a safe amino acid that is commonly consumed as part of a healthy diet. It has been said that there are no reported human cases of lysine toxicity (Griffith et al, 1987). However, toxicity studies on young chickens have found that a severe excess of lysine can result in reduced growth (Jones, 1961).
Lysine Recommended Doses and Ingredient Timing
It has been shown that 1.2 g of arginine together with 1.2 g lysine has been effective in increasing the concentration of hGH (Isidori et al, 1981). This, or anything above this is therefore the recommended dosage. Timing for lysine is critical. This combination of amino acids works best when used on an empty stomach before sleep (Besset et al, 1982).
Lysine can be found as a stand-alone amino acid supplement. It is also an amino acid that is commonly found in protein powders, amino acid blends, and HGH supplements.
Lysine should be stacked with all the other essential amino acids to ensure maximum muscle building. If using it as a growth hormone booster, it needs to be stacked with arginine, and this needs to happen in the absence of other nutrients and amino acids.
Besset et al (1982), Increase in sleep related GH and Prl secretion after chronic arginine aspartate administration in man. Acta Endocrinol (Copenh), 99:18-23
Griffith et al (1987), Success of L-Lysine Therapy in Frequently Recurrent Herpes simplex Infection.
Dermatologica, 175: 183-190
Isidori et al (1981), A study of growth hormone release in man after oral administration of amino acids. Curr Med Res Opinion, 1981: 475-481
Jones (1961), Lysine toxicity in the chick. Journal of Nutrition, 73: 107-112
Marcell et al (1999), Oral arginine does not stimulate basal or augment exercise-induced GH secretion in either young or old adults. Journal of Gerontology, 54A: M395-399.