Arginine Dosage Found in Protein Powders and Effect on Shingles Symptoms

The Latest Research on Soy Supplements and Arginine in Whey Protein

The world of dietary supplements is continually evolving, with new research often prompting shifts in popular opinion and consumption habits. One area that has been the subject of much recent research is the use of soy supplements and the benefits of different types of protein, specifically whey protein and its arginine content.

Whey Protein Lysine/Arginine Ratio

The balance of amino acids in a protein source is a vital aspect of its nutritional value. The lysine/arginine ratio in whey protein has been a topic of interest among nutritional scientists. Lysine and arginine are both essential amino acids, but their effects in the body are different. Lysine is often associated with muscle repair and growth, while arginine is known for its role in the synthesis of nitric oxide, a molecule involved in blood vessel dilation and improved blood flow. Researchers suggest that a balance between these two amino acids is crucial for optimal health benefits, and whey protein typically offers a favorable lysine/arginine ratio.

Does Whey Protein Have Arginine?

The question “does whey protein have arginine” is common among fitness enthusiasts and health-conscious individuals. The answer is yes. According to research, whey protein is a complete protein, meaning it contains all nine essential amino acids, including arginine. While the arginine content may vary depending on the specific brand or type of whey protein, it is generally present in significant amounts.

Arginine in Whey Protein

Arginine in whey protein plays a crucial role in various bodily functions. It is a precursor for nitric oxide, which aids in vasodilation and thus improves blood flow. This can be particularly beneficial for athletes or those involved in intense physical activity, as increased blood flow can improve oxygen and nutrient delivery to muscles. Arginine also plays a role in protein synthesis, making it essential for muscle growth and repair.

Is Whey Protein High in Arginine?

While whey protein does contain arginine, it is not particularly high in this amino acid compared to other protein sources like soy protein or certain types of nuts and seeds. However, the arginine in whey protein is highly bioavailable, meaning it is readily absorbed and used by the body.

Does Whey Protein Contain Arginine?

Yes, whey protein does contain arginine. As mentioned earlier, whey protein is a complete protein and, as such, includes all essential amino acids, including arginine.

Protein Powder Low in Arginine

While some individuals seek protein powders high in arginine, others may need to limit their intake of this amino acid due to specific health conditions. In such cases, protein powders low in arginine may be more suitable. Certain plant-based proteins, for instance, pea protein, tend to have a lower arginine content than whey or soy proteins.

Low Arginine Protein Powder

For individuals seeking low arginine protein powders, options do exist. Pea protein and rice protein powders, for instance, tend to have lower arginine content compared to other protein sources. As always, it’s important to read labels carefully, as the arginine content can vary between brands.

Protein Powder Without Arginine

Completely arginine-free protein powders are rare, as arginine is an essential amino acid found in most protein sources. However, there are protein powders with relatively low levels of arginine. If you need to limit your arginine intake, consult with a healthcare provider or a nutritionist to help identify the most suitable options for you.

Arginine and Shingles

Shingles is a viral infection that results in a painful rash, usually appearing as a single stripe of blisters on either side of the body. It is caused by the same virus that leads to chickenpox. There is a theory that arginine might exacerbate shingles outbreaks because the virus that causes shingles requires arginine to multiply. However, current research is not conclusive, and more studies are needed to fully understand the link between arginine and shingles.

Protein Powder High in Lysine

Lysine is an essential amino acid that plays a critical role in muscle repair and growth, calcium absorption, and the production of enzymes and hormones. If you’re looking to increase your lysine intake, certain protein powders are particularly high in this amino acid. Whey protein, for example, is known for its high lysine content. Additionally, a few plant-based proteins, such as pumpkin seed protein and quinoa protein, are also high in lysine. It’s crucial to remember that while lysine is important, a balanced intake of all essential amino acids is necessary for overall health and wellness.

The world of dietary supplements, particularly soy and whey protein, is a complex one, with ongoing research continually shedding new light on the benefits and considerations of different protein sources. It’s important to understand your personal nutritional needs and consult with a healthcare provider before making significant changes to your dietary supplement regimen.

In a previous interview with Healthynewage:

Arginine Dosage in Protein Powders and the Effects on Shingles Symptoms

Question for Dr. Leia: I want to use protein powder in my daily health shakes but I am unable to use whey protein powders because of the Arginine dosage, which is listed as an ingredient.

The reason for this, is I had shingles last year and still have uncomfortable shingles symptoms that Arginine aggravates. Soy and Hemp protein powders don’t seem to work for me because they cause diarrhea and bloating. Is there a protein powder that you know about that I could try and may be compatible for those who are suffering from Shingles and do not want to aggravate Shingles symptoms?”

Dr. Leia’s Answer: Dear Luise, protein powders usually list the amount of each amino acid on their containers. The traditional major protein powders are:

  1. whey
  2. rice
  3. soy
  4. hemp

Looking on the label for the ingredient specificity, you will find that each amino acid is listed in milligrams or grams. Comparing a few different brands of whey protein powders, I found that the amount of arginine is usually one fourth the amount of lysine.

Lysine is actually a good amino acid to take if you have shingles or the herpes zoster virus in your body because this virus does not like lysine, but in contrast, it thrives in the presence of arginine as you mentioned. However, in noting the ratio of arginine to lysine in soy powder, I find that arginine is slightly higher than lysine in soy powders.

Here are the facts regarding the arginine dosage which I found on a few labels:

  1. Soy protein powder contained 1954 mg. of arginine and 1634 mg. of lysine.
  2. Whey powders contained 500 mg. of arginine and 2 gm. (or 2000 mg.) of lysine.
  3. Rice protein powder contains about 900 mg. of arginine and 300 mg. of lysine.
  4. Hemp protein powder contains 1053 mg. of arginine and 342 mg of lysine.

From these comparisons of the dosages of arginine, I think that it would be better to try whey powder than soy, rice, or hemp protein powder. Of course, not all protein powders are equal, so I advise you to read the labels and then if you are brave, to try the protein powders.

It may be that any or all of the protein powders would aggravate your problem, however, rationally, it would seem that whey protein powder would be the choice of powder for you in relationship to your concerns about arginine and shingles.

I don’t know of any protein powders which will deliberately eliminate the arginine, because it might be too costly to produce and extract and it would also give an unbalanced amino acid product. Good luck in your search for a protein powder which agrees with your body.

Just from hearing about your symptoms with using soy and hemp protein, I would advise you to think about supplementing with digestive enzymes if these protein powders continue to give you so much digestive upset.

By Dr. Leia Melead