You may have heard bodybuilders talking about agmatine sulfate before. It’s a popular pre-workout supplement that increases testosterone and helps you build muscle.
But in the last few years, researchers have discovered that agmatine affects more than just muscle growth. Your brain uses agmatine to influence your mood, energy levels, and pain response.
Taking agmatine sulfate as a nootropic can give you a mental boost as well as a physical one. Here’s how agmatine sulfate works, and how you can use it for better cognition and mood.
What Is Agmatine Sulfate?
Your brain makes agmatine by breaking down L-arginine, an amino acid (and popular workout supplement) that you get from your diet. Your neurons then store the agmatine in brain regions that influence mood, pain, and focus.
Agmatine can help boost your mood naturally and may even relieve pain.https://www.cell.com/trends/pharmacological-sciences/fulltext/S0165-6147(00)01460-7 It also may improve your cells’ resistance to stresshttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7874780/ and could boost nitric oxide levels, which potentially allows your tissues to access more oxygen.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1217329/
Agmatine is an important compound for both your brain and your body, and it’s also a powerful supplement. Agmatine sulfate is a highly absorbable supplement form of agmatine.
4 Benefits of Agmatine Sulfate
Because agmatine influences so many different systems in your body and brain, you can get a wide variety of benefits when you take it as a supplement. Here are 4 benefits you might experience when taking agmatine sulfate.
1. Better Mood
Agmatine sulfate may help boost your mood.
In a 2013 study, people with clinical depression took 2-3 grams of agmatine sulfate daily. All participants saw a rapid and long-lasting decrease in depression symptoms with no side effects. … Continue reading
It’s worth noting that the study was fairly small. However, a number of other studies have found that agmatine reliably reverses depression in animals, in many cases after a single dose,https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30125592/https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11930146/https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33220274/ and researchers are currently testing agmatine as a safer alternative to prescription antidepressants.https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27836390/
Take this quiz to find the right supplement blends for your unique brain.
2. Pain Relief
If you struggle with muscle soreness or another kind of long-lasting pain, you may want to try agmatine sulfate.
In a 2010 study, people recovering from herniated discs took either agmatine sulfate or placebo every day for two weeks.
The people who took agmatine sulate saw a significant decrease in pain,https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20447305/ and a follow-up study found that their pain continued to be lower than members of the placebo group a full 80 days after the initial trial ended.
The researchers concluded that taking agmatine sulfate short-term could cause a long-lasting reduction in pain.
3. Stress Relief
Researchers theorize that agmatine acts as a natural way to reduce both physical and psychological stress.https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15028576/
Several studies have found that agmatine relieves stress and anxiety in rats and mice,https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17011547/https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20394743/https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28302445/https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29964071/ and humans produce more agmatine in response to stressful situations.https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17927294/
Agmatine shows promise as a way to relax and increase your stress tolerance. We need more research in humans— but animal research on agmatine’s effect on stress and anxiety is promising enough that you may want to experiment with it and see how you feel.
4. Higher Testosterone
Fitness enthusiasts often reach for agmatine as a pre-workout supplement because of its potential to increase your luteinizing hormone levels.https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/030439409511750Q?via%3Dihub Luteinizing hormone tells your body to produce more testosterone, which can help with muscle gain and fat loss.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK539692/
In addition, studies in rats have found that agmatine boosts metabolism, preserves muscle, and mimics the effects of calorie restriction, preventing weight gain on an unhealthy diet.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3975019/
If you’re already taking agmatine sulfate as a nootropic, it may be worth timing the dose before your workouts. You could see if you notice a difference in your muscle growth—or, if you love self-data, you could take a testosterone test to look for hormone differences before and after starting agmatine.
How Much Agmatine Sulfate Should You Take?
Most of the studies referenced in this article gave participants somewhere between 2-3 grams of agmatine sulfate per day. That seems to be enough to activate both the mental and physical benefits of agmatine. Agmatine usually comes as a bulk powder, which means you’ll have to weigh it out before each dose.
You can also take agmatine as part of a larger nootropic stack. This nootropic quiz can help you figure out which nootropics are best for your unique brain and goals, and will help you figure out the right dosages and forms for each nootropic (including agmatine).