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Does L-Arginine Increase Testosterone? What Science Says

Reviewed by: Jacek Szymanowski (Certified Nutritionist, S&C specialist, M.Sc.Eng. Biotechnology)

Because L-Arginine doesn’t appear to interact with the parts of the body that produce testosterone, it’s highly unlikely that it will increase testosterone whatsoever. While there may be a very indirect connection based on exercise performance, it will be incredibly minimal at best.

Does L-Arginine increase testosterone? Testosterone is produced as part of the body’s Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Gonadal (HPG) Axis. Because L-Arginine does not interact with this axis, it will not increase test production. It may have a minor effect on exercise performance, which could be indirectly linked with test levels in the long term. 

l-arginine testosterone effect

L-Arginine and Testosterone – Is There a Connection?

There is no direct connection between L-Arginine and testosterone. While L-Arginine supplementation may benefit exercise performance, it does not appear to interact with the body’s system for producing testosterone. 

Let’s take a closer look at L-Arginine’s relationship with testosterone. 

1. L-Arginine Role in the Body

L-Arginine is a nonessential amino acid, meaning it is produced by the body, although it’s also found in most protein-rich foods. L-Arginine participates in NO production, which then has a vasodilatory action. This is why L-Arginine is often used as an ergogenic aid. 

Results surrounding the use of L-Arginine vary. However, a meta-analysis found that high doses of 10-12g do appear to produce some acute effects when taken 60-90 minutes before exercise, and chronic effects when taken daily. These effects are mainly related to anaerobic exercise, although some benefits to aerobic exercise have also been shown. 

athlete holding supplement capsules

With this being said, L-Arginine’s impact on exercise appears to stem from its effects on NO production and vasodilation, which has nothing to do with testosterone. 

2. HPG Axis

Testosterone is produced via the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Gonadal (HPG) axis. This essentially connects the brain to the pituitary gland, and gonads, and is the system responsible for sex steroid production including testosterone. Because L-Arginine plays no role in the HPG axis, it will have no direct effect on testosterone production. 


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Is there a Link Between L-Arginine and Testosterone?

There is no direct link between L-Arginine and Testosterone. While L-Arginine’s impact on exercise may have a long-term indirect effect on testosterone, there’s no reason to believe supplementation will make any difference in test production. So, any supplement claiming to be an “L-Arginine Testosterone Booster,” is simply making outlandish marketing claims. 

It’s worth noting there are studies that tested intravenous supplementation with L-Arginine, which allows for greater doses to be taken, and may increase secretion of Growth Hormone. However, these results are likely not possible through oral supplementation alone. 

Ways L-Arginine Can Benefit Men’s Health

There are other ways L-Arginine can benefit men’s health, mainly through exercise performance, lowering blood pressure, and improving sexual function. 

As mentioned, L-Arginine may have a minor effect on both anaerobic and aerobic exercise performance. 

athlete taking vitamins

In addition to this, its relation to NO production may be beneficial for treating high blood pressure and erectile dysfunction. However, we recommend consulting with your doctor before using L-Arginine for these purposes, as there may be more effective treatments available. 

4 Best Ways to Increase Your Natural Testosterone Production

While L-Arginine isn’t effective for testosterone, there are plenty of ways to naturally increase testosterone production. These are mainly related to sleep, exercise, nutrition, and stress – let’s get into it!

1. Sleep

First, try and sort out your sleep schedule. This is because testosterone is produced during high-quality sleep. So, a low-quality sleep routine, will likely lead to less overall testosterone production. Aim to sleep 7-9 hours a night and establish nighttime habits that support better sleep quality. 

2. Exercise

Both aerobic and resistance training both appear to help increase testosterone. Regular exercise will also help you maintain a healthy body weight which is another major factor in increasing testosterone production. 

3. Nutrition (Vit. D, Magnesium, Zinc, Cholesterol)

Nutrition is also important for testosterone. While nutrition plays a huge role in total body weight, there are also specific nutrients related to test production. Namely, deficiency in Vitamin D, Zinc, and Magnesium, are all related to lower test production. Therefore, supplementing with these supplements may be beneficial for test production, especially if you’re deficient.  

4. Stress Management

Finally, high stress levels lead to unhealthy cortisol levels which is also associated with lower testosterone. Maintaining a lower stress lifestyle will therefore be conducive to higher test levels. Supplementation with Ashwagandha may also be beneficial for reducing cortisol and increasing testosterone. 

Our Recommendation – ZMO and KSM-66 Ashwagandha by Transparent Labs

If you’re looking to increase testosterone levels via supplementation, we don’t recommend prioritizing L-Arginine. Instead, consider a combination of ZMO and KSM-66 Ashwagandha, both from Transparent Labs. 


Transparent Labs ZMO

First, ZMO combines Zinc, Magnesium, and Oyster Meat Powder (which contains high levels of Zinc and Magnesium, as well as 59 total trace minerals). As mentioned, if you’re deficient in Zinc and Magnesium, supplementation can make a significant difference in your test levels, while it likely won’t make a difference otherwise . Each serving contains 35% of your DV for Magnesium and 100% of your DV for Zinc. Consider combining this supplement with additional Vitamin D to cover all your bases for test production. 

KSM-66 Ashwagandha

ksm-66 transparent labs
  • Item form: Capsules
  • Best for: Muscle gain, fat loss, stress and anxiety, sleep quality, balance hormones,
  • Type: Adaptogen
  • Servings per container: 60
  • Suitable for vegans: Yes
  • Other ingredients: Rice flour, Hypromellose, Vegetable magnesium stearate
  • Price per serving (1 capsule): ~$0.33
  • Company founded: 2015
  • Recommended by athletes: Hafthor Jullius BjornssKelsey HensonPaul Sclar

Beyond this, Ashwagandha may be another beneficial supplement. This herb has been shown to increase sleep quality and reduce cortisol, which is likely why it’s also linked to increased testosterone. Each serving of Transparent Labs’ Ashwagandha contains 600mg of the herb, which is a clinically effective dose. 

Just be aware that there is minimal long-term research available on this supplement, so you may want to monitor how it affects you and cycle off of it after ~8 weeks of daily use. Consider taking several weeks off before repeating this process, and ceasing use immediately if you notice any unwanted side effects. 

Transparent Labs is a highly trustworthy brand, with all of its supplements containing no artificial ingredients whatsoever. The ZMO will cost you ~$0.97 per serving, while the Ashwagandha costs ~$0.33 per serving, making both of these supplements highly affordable. 


Because L-Arginine does not interact with the body’s production of testosterone, it’s highly unlikely to have any impact on the production of this hormone. At best, there may be some minor benefits to exercise performance, which may indirectly impact testosterone production in the long term. Overall, L-Arginine’s effects will be very minor, which is why we don’t generally recommend it as a sports supplement. 

If you’re interested in supplements that will help with test production, you’re much better off using ZMO and KSM-66 Ashwagandha from Transparent Labs. 

Have you ever used L-Arginine? How about ZMO and Ashwagandha? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below. 


  1. Mayo Clinic Staff, “L-Arginine” Mayo Clinic,,be%20used%20orally%20and%20topically. (Accessed Apr. 3, 2024)
  2. Aitor Viribay, et. al, “Effects of Arginine Supplementation on Athletic Performance Based on Energy Metabolism: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis” Nutrients, 12(5), 1300; (2020).
  3. A. Acevedo-Rodriguez, et. al, “Emerging insights into Hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis regulation and interaction with stress signaling” J Neuroendocrinol. Oct; 30(10) (2018).
  4. J C Floyd Jr, et. al, “Stimulation of insulin secretion by amino acids” J Clin Invest. Sep, 45, 9.  (1966).
  5. Robert Z. Edwards, “Improving Low Testosterone Naturally,” Whole Health, (Accessed Apr. 3, 2024)
  6. Michael Hull, “How can you increase testosterone naturally?” Examine, (Accessed Apr. 3, 2024)
  7. Stephen J. Smith, et. al, “Examining the Effects of Herbs on Testosterone Concentrations in Men: A Systematic Review” Adv Nutr. May; 12(3): 744–765. (2021).
  8. Photos made by Torokhtiy Media Team.

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Camila Parente Santos

Author: Camila Parente Santos
Sports Nutritionist

Experience: 7 years

Camila has worked as a Nutritionist for 7 years. In addition to being a nutritionist, she is an amateur weightlifting athlete for 2 years. Camila has experience at Flamengo’s football base and in a food supplement company and currently provides services at a clinic. At the moment she is coursing a postgraduate study in Sports Nutrition.

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Jacek Szymanowski

Reviewed by: Jacek Szymanowski

Certified Nutritionist,
M.Sc.Eng. Biotechnology
Performance architect
Strength and Conditioning Specialist

Experience: 20 years

With over 30 years of fighting experience, specialization in nutrition coaching for athletes, and expertise in metabolic health and dietary strategies, Jacek offers a comprehensive approach to optimizing your performance and well-being. Backed by a Master of Science degree in Biotechnology, Jacek remains at the forefront of scientific advancements, ensuring that his coaching is always evidence-based and up-to-date.

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