Nitric Oxide Supplements: Benefits, Reviews and Analysis
updated June 6, 2018
Nitric Oxide supplementation is very popular among gym goers who are wanting to build muscle, get stronger and increase their overall fitness levels. Yet, a lot of people are confused about just what nitric oxide is and how it can benefit you.
In this article we find out exactly what nitric oxide is, how you can get more of it coursing through your body and what benefits doing so will provide you with. We’ll also discover the 5 best nitric oxide supplements on the current market.
What is Nitric Oxide
Nitric oxide is a molecule that is created within the human body to help cells communicate with one another.
The creation of nitric oxide occurs in the endothelial cells that line the blood vessels. When the endothelial cells are damaged by high blood pressure, high sugar levels, LDL bad cholesterol and smoking. As a result, Nitric oxide production is decreased. That is why your doctor may ask if you are having erectile problems, especially if you are over 40 years of age. It is a warning sign of other health concerns that could affect your overall wellness and cardiovascular health.
High blood pressure causes direct damage to the endothelium. Yet, nitric oxide helps to prevent this damage. That’s because nitric oxide is your body’s most powerful vasodilator. Nitric oxide causes the smooth muscle of the vascular wall to help maintain normal blood pressure.
Muscle Building Benefits of Nitric Oxide
Nitric oxide leads to the increased diameter of blood vessels (knowns vasodilation). This results in increased blood flow to muscles, allowing for enhanced delivery of amino acids, creatine, glucose, oxygen and anabolic hormones to the muscle cell. This is great for people building muscle and can lead to increased muscle strength, power, endurance and recovery.
The vasodilation also means that metabolites produced as a result of energy production (such as lactic acid, and carbon dioxide) all get carried away from the muscle more quickly.
A recent study showed that increasing NO increased the efficiency with which cells import oxygen from the blood. This would affect a key rate-limiting step of exercise performance - getting oxygen into the cell and allowing fuels to be burned for energy. So, the effect of NO would be expected to improve both aerobic and anaerobic performance.
In a study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, two proven NO boosting nutrients (arginine and growth seed extract) were give to university students and the guys who got the nutrients were able to do more exercise with less effort.
Also, increased NO levels have been shown to increase muscle torque, increase muscle fiber growth nd proliferation and increase levels of the hormones testosterone, Growth Hormone (GH), Insulin Growth Hormone 1, (IGF-1) and insulin. It’s also been shown to increase insulin efficiency and increase creatine retention in the muscle.
So, we can see that there aren’t too many aspects of performance, recovery and muscle enhancement that NO doesn’t potentially benefit.
Libido Enhancing Benefits of Nitric Oxide
High blood sugar and LDL cholesterol can cause direct damage to the endothelium. This damage can lead to plaque formation and the disease atherosclerosis. This cardiovascular disease causes the blood vessel to narrow to reduce blood flow. Beside increasing your risk for strokes and heart attacks, this leads to poor performance in the bedroom.
Yet nitric oxide, when at sufficient levels in the blood stream, will help to repair damage done to the endothelium. This will keep it free from plaque formation and calcification. Nitric oxide also keeps blood platelet cells from sticking together. This helps to reduce blood clots to naturally reduce the risk of heart attack. In addition, nitric oxide relaxes the smooth muscle of the vascular wall to properly control blood pressure.
Nitric oxide is the best thing that we have to keep the endothelium healthy and repaired.
Regarding smoking, nicotine directly damages the endothelium. So, if you smoke, the only good healthy choice is to stop. For men, every puff you take directly affects your ability to perform in the bedroom.
Overall Health Benefits of Increasing Nitric Oxide Production
The amazing benefits of improving your nitric oxide production go beyond the bedroom. You’ll have more energy. You’ll feel stronger. You’ll have enhanced vigor and get up and go. And you’ll be more mentally alert.
Taking more nitric oxide into your body will allow you to feel like a teenager again.
Let’s just recap on the benefits of getting more nitric oxide into your system:
It increases blood flow and dilates narrowed coronary arteries, improving circulation and delivering much-needed oxygen to the heart.
Restoring nitric oxide availability lowers blood pressure too, while it also works to prevent red blood cells from sticking together to create dangerous clots and blockages.
Simply put, adequate nitric oxide production is the first step in a chain reaction that promotes healthy cardiovascular function, while insufficient levels of nitric oxide triggers a cascade of cardiovascular problems that eventually results in heart disease.
This is why men who suffer from erectile dysfunction often develop cardiovascular problems like high blood pressure, stroke and heart attacks just a few years later, or even at the same time.
Erectile dysfunction is a warning sign that your nitric oxide levels are too low and your blood vessels aren’t dilating properly, which means your blood is struggling to move around your body and oxygenate your vital organs.
How to Increase Nitric Oxide Production
The 2 crucial amino acids are:
The vitamins that are key to Nitric Oxide production and endothelium health are:
- Vitamin D3
- Vitamin K2
- Pomegranate Concentrate
L-Arginine is what your endothelial cells use to create nitric oxide.
L-Citrulline recycles L-Arginine to turbo charge the endothelium’s ability to produce nitric oxide over an extended period of time. This is a key factor in helping to heal the endothelium and allow for long term production of nitric oxide.
Vitamins D3 and K2 properly regulate calcium levels in your bloodstream. Calcium is needed to start the reaction for the creation of nitric oxide.
Pomegranate concentrate protects nitric oxide against oxidative destruction and enhances the biological actions of nitric oxide.
Nitric Oxide Supplementation
From all of the above, it should be obvious to you that increasing your nitric oxide production is a great thing. However, you can’t just take a supplement that contains nitric oxide. That’s because it is produced inside your body.
What your supplement needs to contain is the compounds that the body uses to create more nitric oxide. These are:
- Vitamin D3
- Vitamin K2
- Pomegranate Concentrate
The 5 Best Nitric Oxide Boosting Supplements
XPI Myonics is a dedicated nitric oxide booster that contains a potent mixture of the following key NO boosting ingredients.
- L-Citrulline - 6 grams
- L-Arginine AK
- L - 2 gramsBetapure - 2 grams
This formulation also contains 300 mg of caffeine, to provide the stimulation you need to power your way through your workout. With 6 grams of citrulline and 2 of arginine, you get almost double the amount found in most NO boosters, making this is a powerful vasodilator.
NutriCost Pre-Workout Complex is an extremely affordable pre-workout that includes some very effective nitric oxide boosters. The formulation includes 6 grams of citrulline malate per dose, long with arginine ornithine and taurine. Ornithine is a known booster of growth hormone, while citrulline increases muscular ATP efficiency.
You also get 300 mg of caffeine per dose to give you a workout energy boost. It comes in a range of delicious flavors and mixes well.
Kaged Muscle In-Kage is unique in that it is designed to give you a nitric oxide boost during your workout. It provides you with a pure dose of Citrulline for nitric oxide boosting, as well as electrolytes and 5 grams of BCAAs in every dose.
Kaged Muscle In-Kage includes a Neuro-Energy mix designed to improve your focus, endurance and training energy while working out. This blend contains caffeine and taurine. This is one of the best intra workout formulas that we have come across.
Promera Sports Pump Extreme is a stand alone nitric oxide booster designed to promote vasodilation with the inclusion of such proven NO boosters as Beta Alanine, Agmatine Sulfate, L-Norvaline, L-Carnitine HCL and caffeine anhydrous. The combined effect of these ingredients is that it will provide you with a rush of energy, focus, and strength. The vasodilation of blood vessels will allow for greater transportation of blood and nutrients to your muscle cells.
Universal Nutrition Animal Pump combines creatine, beta-alanine, and arginine as an all-in-one formula to boost the training effect of your workout. You also get carnosine and caffeine to buffer against workout fatigue. This product contains no sugar, fat or artificial flavors. It is available in a delicious sweet candy flavor that is perfectly healthy for you.
Whole Food Nitric Oxide Boosters
The following foods all boost your body’s natural production of nitric oxide, blood flow and endothelial production. They will give you the same results as Viagra, but will do so completely naturally – with absolutely no side effects.
These foods will also bathe your body in phytochemicals and antioxidants that will protect you from inflammation, autoimmune disease, enlarged prostate, atherosclerosis and cancer.
The superfoods to follow need to be worked into your daily diet.
So, what are these superfoods?
The 10 Super Foods
- Raw Cocoa Powder
- Walnuts, Almonds, Pecans
- Brown Rice
- Red Grapes
- Hot Peppers
You may have noticed that the nitric oxide boosting foods that we have listed as NO boosting superfoods are mostly plant based. Animal based foods are non existent.
Meat does not boost your body’s ability to boost nitric oxide levels. In fact, it does just the opposite, increasing arterial plaque levels, leading to clogged arteries and restricted blood flow.
In contrast, scientists are constantly discovering some new benefit of plant based foods that will boost your libido. Here are a few recent high-lights:
Plant foods are high in this protein. Research has shown that taking just 4.7 grams of glutamic acid daily, could lower systolic blood pressure by an average of 1.5 to 3.0 mm. As we’ve seen already, the lower your blood pressure, the more efficient the supply of blood to your sexual organs.
Plants abound in nitrates, which stimulate the release of nitric acid. In our superfood list we championed spinach and beetroot. But there are many more plants that abound in nitrates.
Linolenic Acid is abundant in many green, leafy plants. It has a powerful ability to reduce blood pressure. In one study, increasing their daily linolenic acid intake by just 1% led to a drop in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure by an average of 5mm. Linolenic acid is plentiful in canola and other vegetable oils. They can also be found in walnuts.
Flavanoids, which are abundant in many fruits and vegetables, have the ability to boost your blood flow. They increase the activity of endothelial nitric oxide. Flavanoids also protect us from heart disease, hypertension and arteriosclerosis.