Nitric Oxide for Workouts – 8 Promising Benefits & All You Should Know

Nitric Oxide for Workouts – 8 Promising Benefits & All You Should Know

Jan 24, 2024

Nitric oxide (NO) is an impressive molecule naturally created in the human body, influencing various physiological functions. To naturally boost nitric oxide levels, you can engage in regular exercise, eat foods rich in nitrate (like beets and leafy greens), and ensure you have enough amino acids in your diet.

Nitric oxide boosters (NO boosters) can significantly contribute to increasing muscle strength and enhancing endurance. Many individuals regularly incorporate them into their routine, often without realising it. Supplements designed to increase nitric oxide production often incorporate a blend of amino acids, plant extracts, vitamins, and minerals.

This article explores nitric oxide supplements, unveiling the remarkable benefits they can provide for your body. These advantages range from improvements in cardiovascular health and enhanced exercise performance to cognitive benefits and beyond. The potential of nitric oxide for workouts is truly extraordinary.

What is Nitric Oxide?

Nitric oxide (NO) is a vital element within the human body, playing roles in blood vessel dilation, hormone release stimulation, neurotransmission signalling, and regulation. The synthesis of nitric oxide involves pathways dependent on nitric oxide synthase, both dependent and independent. Supplementation of nitric oxide yields various benefits, such as improving cardiac health, enhancing exercise performance, mitigating high blood pressure during pregnancy, addressing erectile dysfunction, and promoting healing processes and respiratory response. The advantages associated with nitric oxide for workout are particularly noticeable in individuals who are untrained or moderately trained. Elevating nitric oxide levels is achievable through supplementation with L-arginine and L-citrulline. L-arginine directly contributes to NO synthesis, while L-citrulline acts as a precursor to L-arginine, further converted to NO by the enzyme NO synthase. L-arginine supplements are linked to increased respiratory response and improved exercise performance, while L-citrulline, often combined with malate and other molecules, enhances workout capacity.

What are the Health Benefits of Nitric Oxide?

Regulation of blood flow:

Nitric oxide for workout serves as a potent vasodilator, relaxing the walls of blood vessels and enhancing the flow of blood, oxygen, and nutrients to muscles, which increases muscle endurance.

Function of the immune system:

Nitric oxide for workout enhances the production of white blood cells and their ability to eliminate harmful pathogens, contributing to the regulation of the immune system.

Neurotransmission:

Acting as a neurotransmitter in the brain, nitric oxide aids in facilitating communication between neurons, promoting memory and learning processes.

Sexual function:

Nitric oxide plays a crucial role in vasodilation, particularly important for optimal erectile function in men, exerting a significant influence on sexual performance.

Exercise performance:

Nitric oxide for workouts is popular among athletes and fitness enthusiasts due to its ability to increase blood flow, elevate oxygen supply to muscles, and enhance endurance and overall performance.

Manage type 2 diabetes:

Individuals with diabetes often experience impaired nitric oxide production, contributing to adverse health effects. Some studies suggest that L-arginine has the potential to lower insulin levels and impede the progression of diabetes, but more research is required before it can be confidently recommended as a treatment.

Helps manage muscle soreness:

Citrulline malate, a variant of L-citrulline, has been suggested to potentially alleviate muscle soreness by enhancing nitric oxide production. However, the effectiveness of citrulline malate in reducing muscle soreness can be influenced by factors such as the dosage administered and the type of exercise performed.

What do nitric oxide supplements contain?

Supplements targeting nitric oxide for workout comprise L-citrulline and L-arginine. Numerous clinical trials conducted by researchers to assess the efficacy of nitric oxide supplements have yielded varying results.

L-arginine, an amino acid and fundamental protein component, occurs naturally in red meat, poultry, fish, and dairy products. It is also synthetically produced in laboratories and available in various forms such as tablets, powders, or creams.

Similarly, L-citrulline, another amino acid present in meat, nuts, legumes, and watermelon, can be produced in a laboratory and formulated into pills or powders by manufacturers.

L-arginine directly contributes to NO synthesis, while L-citrulline acts as a precursor to L-arginine, further converted to NO by the enzyme NO synthase. L-arginine supplements improve respiratory response and boost exercise performance, whereas L-citrulline, often combined with malate and other molecules, enhances working capacity. Studies involving beetroot juice indicate a substantial increase in plasma nitrite levels, recognised as markers of NO, following its consumption. While nitric oxide for workout supplementation may lead to mild to moderate side effects, utilising smaller or divided doses could help mitigate some of these issues. It's important to note that, given its potential to worsen certain health conditions and interact with specific medications, nitric oxide supplementation should only be undertaken under medical supervision.

What are the Side Effects of Nitric Oxide?

While nitric oxide supplements are typically deemed safe, it's essential to be mindful of potential side effects. These may include the risk of stomach discomfort and diarrhoea, along with the possibility of experiencing dark red stool and urine.

It is advised individuals contemplating the use of nitric oxide supplements  consult with their doctor beforehand, as the likelihood of experiencing side effects from the supplement may increase if you have any of these medical conditions such as high blood pressure, heart issues, have other health concerns or are taking medications.

Individuals with a history of heart attacks, who then take nitric oxide, not only face the risk of recurring heart attacks but also gastrointestinal problems. While nitric oxide is often promoted as a potential enhancer of heart health, it's crucial to acknowledge that, for certain individuals, the opposite effect may be true.

Conclusion

Although nitric oxide for workouts has been available for decades, they have not been recommended for other specific health benefits due to the lack of substantial scientific evidence supporting its efficacy. Instead, doctors may lean towards recommending lifestyle adjustments or medications that have been scientifically proven to effectively treat medical conditions.

In general, nitric oxide for workouts tends to have few side effects for most individuals, prompting some people to consider trying them. However, individuals must confirm that they do not have underlying medical conditions that nitric oxide may adversely affect.

Before incorporating nitric oxide for workout or any other supplement into their routine, individuals should always consult with their doctor to ensure they are making a safe and healthful choice.