At some point, every fitness and bodybuilding junkie has been bombarded with outlandish claims of workout supplements promising overnight gains, super strength, and an instant ripped physique. These “magic pills” all claim to give you amazing results, but most of the time, they’re false at best and downright dangerous at their worst.
This might leave you wondering if there are really any pre-workout supplements that actually work – without an endless list of unwanted side effects.
Agmatine sulfate is a naturally-occurring derivative of the amino acid arginine. It carries out many important functions in the body, including acting as a neuromodulator and neurotransmitter within the central nervous system. It also plays an important role in nitric oxide synthesis, which promotes healthy circulation and muscle pump.
Agmatine sulfate is popularly taken as a bodybuilding supplement, but it does much more than give you a serious muscle pump.
Agmatine Sulfate Benefits
Of all the known benefits of agmatine sulfate, its ability to build muscle is the most popular. When used in conjunction with weight lifting and resistance exercises, agmatine helps to fuel muscle growth through a few different mechanisms.
Agmatine sulfate stimulates the production of luteinizing hormone, which has a direct impact on increasing levels of testosterone. (x) Testosterone is an important hormone for building muscle mass because it increases muscle protein synthesis –which helps you get the massive gains you’ve always wanted. (x)
Agmatine also helps regulate the enzyme responsible for the production of nitric oxide. The nitric oxide pump action is important for improving vasodilation and delivering nutrients to muscle tissue. (x)
Some people report having an increased appetite when taking agmatine sulfate powder—another benefit for bodybuilders, as a bigger appetite means a bigger caloric load, which can help build lean, strong muscle faster.
Several studies suggest that agmatine sulfate may provide pain relief. One study in particular examined the long-term use of agmatine sulfate for pain relief and found that it caused no significant adverse side effects. (x) (x) (x)
If you’re a bodybuilder, athlete, at the gym often, or if you suffer from chronic pain, try adding agmatine sulfate supplements to your nutrition regime for relief from post-workout aches or chronic pain.
Depression and Anxiety
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety affects nearly 20% of the adult population, and major depressive disorder is the leading cause of disability for people aged 15-44. (x)
There are various methods to treat depression and anxiety. These include various forms of psychotherapy and medications. (x) While medication is often a necessary component of care, many people are discouraged by the side effects and look for more natural ways to relieve their symptoms. Research is ongoing, but suggests that agmatine sulfate may help relieve symptoms of anxiety and depression.
In one preliminary study, agmatine sulfate was administered to participants who had been diagnosed with major depressive disorder. The duration of treatment was 4-6 weeks, during which time some of the participants showed improvement in their symptoms while not taking additional pharmaceuticals. (x)
Blood Glucose Regulation
Agmatine sulfate regulates blood glucose by activating imidazoline receptors, which help lower blood glucose levels. As an additional benefit, this process also leads to an increase in endorphins, which can boost mood and help maximize your athletic performance for a leaner physique.
Food Sources of Agmatine Sulfate
Agmatine sulfate is a bacteria byproduct, meaning that it’s primarily found in fermented foods like beer, breads, soybean paste, miso, wine, sauerkraut, kefir and ripened cheese. (x)
It can be difficult to get an adequate amount of agmatine sulfate through food alone, especially if you’re taking it for therapeutic or medicinal purposes, which is why agmatine sulfate supplements could be a beneficial addition to your nutrition routine.
Agmatine Sulfate Dosage and Side Effects
Because the supplement can be taken to address numerous health issues, there is currently no standard agmatine sulfate dosage.
The recommended range is 1.6 – 6.4 mg or agmatine sulfate per kilogram of body weight. It is not advised to exceed 6.4 mg/kg of body weight. (x)
Here’s how to calculate dosage based on pounds instead of kilograms:
- 1 kilogram is equivalent to 2.2 pounds.
- To calculate your weight in kilograms, first, take your weight in pounds and divide it by 2.2. For example, if a person weighs 120 pounds, the formula would look like this: 120/2.2 = 54.5kg. There are also online tools that can be used to help you with this calculation. (x)
- Next, take your weight in kilograms and then multiply it by the number of agmatine milligrams to determine your agmatine dosage range.
- For example: 54.5kg x 1.6 mg = 87.2 mg and 54.5kg X 6.4 mg = 348.8 mg. (Feel free to round these numbers if you prefer.)
- The dosage range for a 120lb person would be between 87 mg and 349 mg of agmatine sulfate.
Here’s a table of dosage range in increasing 20lb increments:
- A 120lb person could take between 87 mg and 349 mg of agmatine sulfate each day
- A 140lb person could take between 102 mg and 407 mg of agmatine sulfate each day
- A 160lb person could take between 116 mg and 465 mg of agmatine sulfate each day
- A 180lb person could take between 131 mg and 523 mg of agmatine sulfate each day
- A 200lb person could take between 145 mg and 581 mg of agmatine sulfate each day
It’s important to accurately measure the dosage of agmatine sulfate powder to avoid exceeding the maximum recommended intake unless you first discuss it with your doctor.
Biologically, agmatine sulfate utilizes the same transport mechanisms as arginine, so absorption can be hindered when taken with protein. (x) For best results, do not take agmatine sulfate powder with other supplements and do not exceed the recommended dosage to compensate for hindered absorption if you do.
Reports of agmatine sulfate side effects are more anecdotal than research-based. Sources do cite known side effects of L-arginine, which is closely related to agmatine sulfate. These include mild effects such as bloating, abdominal discomfort, diarrhea, low blood pressure and allergies, particularly those that affect the airways. (x) Anecdotal reported side effects of agmatine sulfate include increased appetite, minor gastrointestinal discomfort and lowered blood pressure.
Agmatine sulfate can interfere with the absorption of some medications. Likewise, certain medication can affect the absorbtion of agmatine sulfate supplements. (x) Anyone with a known pre-existing medical condition should consult their doctor before taking agmatine sulfate to assess the risks of potential medication interactions.
The Bottom Line
Agmatine sulfate is a naturally-occurring amino acid derivative that has proven to be a beneficial agent in a number of health-related applications. If you’re looking to maximize your workout, build lean muscle, ease post-workout pain and boost your mood, agmatine sulfate is a beneficial supplement to add to your nutrition routine.
**The statements in this article have not been evaluated by the FDA. Supplements are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent diseases- instead, they help maintain your long-term health.