Agmatine sulfate is one of the more recent ingredients you'll find in pump supplements. It's known as a nitric oxide booster. Yet, it doesn’t always get the same respect as other pump-boosting compounds.
Still, you’ll find agmatine in many of the best pump pre-workouts. There’s a reason for that - it works! Let’s take a deep dive and find out more about agmatine sulfate.
What Is Agmatine Sulfate?
Agmatine is naturally produced by the body. It is derived from L-arginine through decarboxylation and is stored in neurons. It is often used to shield your brain from toxins and strokes and helps protect against pain and depression.
Because of its stored location in the brain, agmatine may enhance focus, cognition, performance, and mood.
First discovered in 1910, agmatine is naturally created in the body from the amino acid arginine. It’s synthesized in the brain and stored in neurotransmitter vesicles in neurons. It has cognitive benefits even though it’s a potent pump compound. (1)
How Does Agmatine Work?
In the body, agmatine converts from arginine by a process known as decarboxylation. This is the extraction of carboxylic acid from arginine. Carboxylic acid is commonly used in the food and beverage industry as a flavoring. Agmatine is also produced in small amounts by the mitochondria.
In terms of bodybuilding, the main function of agmatine is to delay nitric oxide synthase production. It does this by affecting three enzymes. These are iNOS, nNOS, and eNOS.
Here’s what each of these enzymes does:
- Inducible NOS (iNOS) – Excessive amounts of this enzyme can cause inflammation.
- Neuronal NOS (nNOS) – This enzyme encourages communication in the brain. If there’s too much nNOS, it will inhibit neuronal growth and repair.
- Endothelial NOS (eNOS) – This enzyme signals vasodilation in the blood vessel lining. This means increased blood flow. Of course, that means it promotes the pump. It also delivers oxygen and nutrients to muscles while removing cellular waste products.
Agmatine blocks iNOS and nNOS production while increasing eNOS production.
Agmatine Sulfate Benefits
Now that we’ve seen its mechanism of action, let’s look at agmatine sulfate benefits:
- Enhanced Pumps
- Increased Workout Energy
- May Reduce Stress Thereby Reducing Cortisol
- Increases Insulin Sensitivity
- May Provide Short Term Pain Relief
- Helps Combat Erectile Dysfunction
- Supports Healthy Blood Pressure Levels
Does Agmatine Increase Testosterone?
Agmatine is not generally considered a potent testosterone booster. However, recent studies indicate that agmatine stimulates luteinizing hormone production in rats. More LH means more testosterone.
There’s no doubt there should be more human research. Still, higher testosterone levels create an ideal hormonal environment for muscle growth. If agmatine can help increase testosterone, that will mean more muscle growth potential. (2)
What Does Agmatine Sulfate Do In Pre Workout?
Agmatine is a pump-enhancing ingredient. An agmatine pre workout means it will be part of a complex of pump ingredients. The pre-workout can be high stim or no stims at all.
Agmatine Increases Timespan Of Nitric Oxide In the Body
Agmatine is most well-known for its ability to prolong nitric oxide in the body. Agmatine blocks the synthase NOS that breaks down NO. This means when your body produces more NO, naturally or through supplementation, Agmatine will help prolong the pumps and benefits associated with NO.
Agmatine Can Help Build Muscle
Agmatine releases the luteinizing hormone LH which in turn, can increase testosterone levels in the body. Increased testosterone levels can help you build more muscle while training.
The best pre-workout and the best pump enhancer belong to MRI Performance. Both Black Power Pre-Workout and NO2 Black Muscle Pump contain agmatine sulfate. Using the 1-scoop dose, there’s 500 mg in each.
For hardcore users, the max 2-scoop serving provides an impressive 1g dose. Use the two together as part of the ultimate pre-workout stack, and you have an insane 2g of agmatine per serving. Combine that with the rest of the formula, and we’re talking pumps you won’t believe!
Agmatine can also help enhance endurance as it reduces pain perception by blocking pain receptors. It can also enhance mood as it increases antioxidant protectors in the brain while protecting it from damaging high levels of cortisol.
As such, athletes can expect to have increases in NO life and training, reduced pain, the ability to build more muscle while maintaining focus.
Agmatine Pre Workout
Agmatine is in both Black Power Pre Workout and NO2 Black Muscle Pump. No doubt, this is a far-reaching supplement with a myriad of benefits. Yet, the main benefit for bodybuilders is huge pumps.
No question, the pump is a big deal for many bodybuilders. That’s no surprise. Who doesn’t want to see huge muscles when they look in the mirror! The combo of size and vascularity can be awe-inspiring!
Does Agmatine Sulfate Give You Energy
Agmatine can promote mental energy due to its cognitive benefits. Also, agmatine can increase muscular performance. It does this through increased blood flow. As noted, it carries nutrients and oxygen to your muscles. It also removes waste products. This leads to greater muscular efficiency and improved performance.
How Does Agmatine Affect Stress & Anxiety?
Studies suggest that agmatine may help combat the effects of stress. During times of stress, agmatine production increases in the body. This is a protective response. In addition, agmatine helps the brain cope with stress.
One way it does this is by helping to reduce anxiety. Decreased stress levels mean cortisol levels are under control. Cortisol is a destructive catabolic hormone. It releases in response to physical and mental stress.
The bottom line here is it will wreak havoc with your gains. That means it’s important to keep it under control. By doing that, you can stay anabolic. Of course, staying in an anabolic environment is a primary key to gains. That's a bodybuilder's dream! (3,4,5,6)
Agmatine And Insulin Sensitivity
Some animal studies suggest that agmatine may enhance insulin sensitivity. The studies were conducted on insulin-resistant rodent test subjects. Agmatine increased the production of beta-endorphin in the adrenal glands. These endorphins improve the absorption of blood sugar into the muscles. Therefore, they will be used for muscular energy. (7)
Can Agmatine Relieve Pain?
There have been some studies suggesting that agmatine may naturally relieve pain. This primarily includes pain caused by inflammation. It also includes pain caused by spinal cord injuries and neuropathy. Agmatine helps to lower levels of glutamate in the brain. This, in turn, decreases the perception of pain. (8)
Agmatine And Erectile Dysfunction
Agmatine, like other nitric oxide boosters, helps reduce symptoms of erectile dysfunction. The logic makes sense. After all, nitric oxide boosters increase blood flow. An erection is caused by blood flow into the tissues of the penis.
When it comes to erectile dysfunction, decreased blood flow is a culprit. The causes of erectile dysfunction are indeed more complicated. Still, a nitric oxide booster can help blood get to the muscles of the penis. That means improved erection quality. (9)
Does Agmatine Lower Blood Pressure?
Another benefit of agmatine is that it may help lower high blood pressure. It can help the body maintain normal, healthy blood pressure levels. There are several advantages to this. Normal blood pressure means improved overall health. It also means better nutrient delivery. These two factors contribute to a better muscle-building environment. (10)
Agmatine And Cognitive Function
When it comes to agmatine sulfate benefits, most people think in terms of better pumps. That’s the main reason bodybuilders and athletes consider using it. Yet, agmatine has more cognitive benefits than many people may realize.
There’s a lot of agmatine research as an antioxidant. There’s also research regarding anti-aging and longevity. Furthermore, it is believed that agmatine sulfate has neuroprotective benefits.
This includes combating oxidative damage and Central Nervous System (CNS) injuries. As noted above, it’s thought that agmatine limits glutamate receptor activity.
As we know, agmatine inhibits iNOS and nNOS and increases eNOS. One of the agmatine sulfate benefits is protection against brain damage caused by a stroke. This is because increased eNOS dilates blood vessels. In turn, this improves blood flow to the brain.
Another effect of a stroke is a lack of oxygen. Less blood flow means reduced oxygen to the brain. By decreasing iNOS and nNOS, brain damage caused by stroke is limited. (11)
Agmatine sulfate works synergistically with every other pump enhancer in these two powerful formulas. There can be no doubt, Black Powder and NO2 Black are the ultimate pre-workout products. The combination creates the most powerful pre-workout stack you can buy. Don’t forget to grab this potent combo before your next training session!
Agmatine Sulfate References:
- Reis, D. J., & Regunathan, S. (2000). Is agmatine a novel neurotransmitter in the brain?. Trends in pharmacological sciences, 21(5), 187–193. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0165-6147(00)01460-7
- Kalra, S. P., Pearson, E., Sahu, A., & Kalra, P. S. (1995). Agmatine, a novel hypothalamic amine, stimulates pituitary luteinizing hormone release in vivo and hypothalamic luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone release in vitro. Neuroscience Letters, 194(3), 165–168. https://doi.org/10.1016/0304-3940(95)11750-q
- 11) Aricioglu F, Regunathan S, Piletz JE. Is agmatine an endogenous factor against stress? Ann N Y Acad Sci. (2003)
- 12) Taksande BG, et al. Agmatine, an endogenous imidazoline receptor ligand modulates ethanol anxiolysis and withdrawal anxiety in rats. Eur J Pharmacol. (2010)
- 13) Gong ZH, et al. Anxiolytic effect of agmatine in rats and mice. Eur J Pharmacol. (2006)
- 14) Cortisol: Why?The Stress Hormone? Is Public Enemy No. 1 | Psychology Today. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-athletes-way/201301/cortisol-why-the-stress-hormone-is-public-enemy-no-1
- Chang, C. H., Wu, H. T., Cheng, K. C., Lin, H. J., & Cheng, J. T. (2010). An increase of beta-endorphin secretion by agmatine is induced by activation of imidazoline I(2A) receptors in rats' adrenal glands. Neuroscience Letters, 468(3), 297–299. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neulet.2009.11.018
- Fairbanks, C. A., Schreiber, K. L., Brewer, K. L., Yu, C. G., Stone, L. S., Kitto, K. F., Nguyen, H. O., Grocholski, B. M., Shoeman, D. W., Kehl, L. J., Regunathan, S., Reis, D. J., Yezierski, R. P., & Wilcox, G. L. (2000). Agmatine reverses pain induced by inflammation, neuropathy, and spinal cord injury. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 97(19), 10584–10589. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.97.19.10584
- Toda, N., Ayajiki, K., & Okamura, T. (2005). Nitric oxide and penile erectile function. Pharmacology & Therapeutics, 106(2), 233–266. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pharmthera.2004.11.011
- Raasch W, et al. Agmatine, an endogenous ligand at imidazoline binding sites, does not antagonize the clonidine-mediated blood pressure reaction. Br J Pharmacol. (2002)
- Mun, C. H., Lee, W. T., Park, K. A., & Lee, J. E. (2010). Regulation of endothelial nitric oxide synthase by agmatine after transient global cerebral ischemia in rat brain. Anatomy & cell biology, 43(3), 230–240. https://doi.org/10.5115/acb.2010.43.3.230