Nitric Oxide Supplements: Should You Use Them?

Should You Supplement With Nitric Oxide?

It’s seemingly impossible to open any type of muscle or workout magazine without seeing a bunch of ads for nitric oxide supplements. There are a plethora of these products proclaiming that the use of their nitric oxide formula will not only be having you perform better at whatever your athletic passion is, but it will also help you build bigger, and stronger muscles as well. You needn’t look far to find some either. A quick walk down the health food or sports nutrition aisle in your local grocery store will reveal any number of nitric oxide supplements, all promising the same aforementioned glory.

Nitric oxide is a very important signalling molecule that is essential for many processes in the human body, both physiological, as well as pathologically. It has been in favor for quite a while, even though it is known as a simple molecule, with many different scientific organizations and groups. In fact, a group of nueroscientists back in 1992 enthusiastically proclaimed it the “molecule of the year”. In 1998, a study finding nitric oxide to be a vital signalling molecule for cardiovascular function won the Nobel prize.

So while nitric oxide is vital for our normal, daily bodily functions, it is also used extensively for neonatal vascular dilation in the capillaries in the lungs when treating pulmonary hypertension.

Nitric oxide synthases are specific enzymes that break down arginine and thus forms the nitric oxide gas in our bodies. The effect of nitric oxide in our body, beyond it’s role as a signalling molecule, which is essential for intracellular communication, is also one of increased vasodilation. This has been shown in over 30,000 scientific papers as having a profound effect on the increasing of blood, and therefor, oxygen flow.

As a longtime Austin personal trainer, I am repeatedly queried about the effects, as well as the safety of various supplements. Nitric oxide is no different. In the health and fitness world, we look at nitric oxide, as we would any potentially beneficial supplement, from the standpoint of how it can possibly benefit us in terms of performance, recovery, or hypertrophy.

As we exercise our muscles, they become rapidly depleted of oxygen, and in turn, start producing lactic acid, as well as intercellular respiratory waste byproducts such as carbon dioxide. This process causes a burning sensation within the working muscles, and an eventual fatigue, as there is little to no oxygen fueling them. If we were to supplement with nitric oxide prior to working out, we would have an increased dilation of our blood vessels and capillaries. This would be of enormous benefit, as increased vasodilation would mean a substantial increase of blood flow which would resupply the muscles with much needed oxygen as well as nutrients, while simultaneously removing the byproducts of exertion such as the aforementioned lactic acid and carbon dioxide with greater efficiency and volume. In short, this would afford the trainee the ability to perform extra repetitions, especially of an aerobic exercise as more fuel, in the form of oxygen will be present, but also anaerobically, as the lactic acid, etc, will be carried away, thus diminishing the burning sensation.

Nitric oxide will help muscles recover quicker, because with increased blood flow, as noted above, comes increased nutrient and oxygen flow, as well as an increased ability of the body to whisk away the byproducts such as lactic acid.

Most nitric oxide supplements are primarily composed of the 2 amino acids arginine and citrulline, which are both precursors to nitric oxide. Arginine has been demonstrated to have a profound effect on the reduction of ammonia as well as plasma lactate which equates to muscles being able to be under a load for a greater period of time before exhaustion mandates a rest. This means more reps and more sets, and if done properly, leads to more hypertrophy gains. Vasodilation coupled with an increased blood flow are 2 great reasons to consider supplementing with nitric oxide, and or arginine, but there’s an even greater reason why bodybuilders, as well as top level professional athletes supplement with them and that is growth hormone production. Many papers and studies have concluded over the years that there is a definitive correlation between exercise, combined with the ingestion of arginine, and the rise of growth hormone production.

Citrulline, while not positively linked to a greater production of growth hormone, is more readily absorbed in the body than is arginine, thus making it a valid choice for the replenishment of nitric oxide before a workout if arginine is scarce.

Regardless if you’re a top level athlete, a seasoned workout enthusiast, or a professional bodybuilder, the effects of supplementing with nitric oxide has been well documented to be effective, while simultaneously being safe. Since the 2 main compounds are readily available individually, one can choose a pre made nitric oxide enhancer, or do it themselves, so to speak. Any way you go about it, you will be giving yourself a greater chance of succeeding in your fitness and/or athletic goals, and in a shorter time frame as well.

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Nitric Oxide Supplements: Should You Use Them?
Article Name
Nitric Oxide Supplements: Should You Use Them?
Nitric oxide supplements are said to be of great benefit as a pre workout supplement. Austin personal trainer Andy Bruchey discusses their effectiveness, as well as their limitations in this essay.
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Andy Bruchey- Complete Fitness Design
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Complete Fitness Design
Complete Fitness Design
3100 W Slaughter Ln Austin, TX 78748

About Andy

My name is Andy Bruchey and I am a longtime Austin personal trainer having founded Complete Fitness Design over 20 years ago. I specialize in weight loss/gain, including the addition of quality, lean muscle mass, corrective flexibility, post injury rehabilitation, nutrition, and sports specific training for professionals. Contact me today to see how I can help you!
3100 W Slaughter Ln Austin , Texas 78748 512-484-2270