Nitric oxide is a popular dietary supplement for athletes and bodybuilding enthusiasts.
You may have come across tall claims by professional trainers on the benefits of this dietary nutrient.
It is expected to increase workout performance and boost your energy and productivity.
Phil Blechman, the author, and nutrition specialist at barbend.com, highly recommends the NOS supplement to bodybuilders. Phil is an expert at testing and rating the top brands of best nitric oxide supplements with a close eye on ingredients that have been shown to work in research.
Most fitness buffs, like Phil Blechman, say that the NOS diet positions you to push harder and make every pump count!
This supplement is a booster for muscle pumps, high-intensity workouts, and bodybuilding.
This article explores nitric oxide supplementation’s reported health benefits and risks.
What exactly are Nitric Oxide Supplements?
Nitric oxide is an important signaling molecule naturally produced in every cell type in the human body.
Nitric oxide supplements could help blood vessels widen and enhance blood flow. This compound also triggers the release of human growth hormones and insulin.
The so-called NOS supplement does not contain actual NO but helps the body to make nitric oxide.
This supplement contains L-citrulline and L-arginine, which help produce and boost nitric oxide levels in the body. The natural ingredients in nitric oxide supplements are beet powder and vegetable extract.
Also, the supplement may contain vitamins E and C, as well as alpha lipoic acid, which boosts nitric oxide production.
L-arginine is naturally found in dairy products, red meat, fish, and poultry. L-citrulline is also an amino acid found in watermelon, nuts, legumes, and meat. They are protein-building blocks with several health benefits.
These two amino acids are manufactured synthetically or from vegetable extracts and are available as powder or pill supplements.
Potential Benefits of Nitric Oxide Supplements
Many sports trainers say that taking NO supplements will build muscles and improve performance in sports. It may also improve blood flow, blood vessel health, enhance heart health, and promote healing.
The uses and benefits of this supplement are many. Yet there isn’t enough scientific evidence to support these claims.
One thing is sure that it’s effective; otherwise, it would have become less popular.
1. Improves athletic performance
Nitric oxide supplements are highly popular among professional athletes and gym-goers.
It improves the blood supply to the muscles by widening the blood vessels. As a result, active muscles during exercise get sufficient supplies of nutrients and oxygen required for power and stamina. It boosts energy, endurance, and exercise performance.
Some analysis shows that nitrate and L-citrulline help improve the performance of runners, cyclists, kayakers, and even swimmers.
2. Heals muscle soreness
Most athletes develop muscle soreness after strenuous or unaccustomed exercise.
Arginine can cause blood vessels to relax. Citrulline malate, a form of L-citrulline, also helps heal muscle soreness. It heals muscle pain by increasing blood flow to active muscles. Increased blood flow allows a higher supply of nutrients required to overcome muscle fatigue.
3. Help lower blood pressure
One of the reasons for high blood pressure is an impaired ability to use nitric oxide in the body.
Taking l-arginine supplements with flavonoids shows the best result in lowering blood pressure.
Studies point out that consuming certain fruits and vegetables quickly reduces blood pressure. This effect is higher after consuming dark leafy green vegetables and beetroot, which have high amounts of nitrate and flavonoids.
5. Helps type 2 diabetes conditions
Recent medical findings indicate a shortage of nitric oxide production in the body as one of the causes of type 2 diabetes.
Therefore, taking nitric oxide supplements may boost the production of NO and may have a reverse effect on diabetic conditions. It helps increase insulin sensitivity, leading to better blood sugar management.
6. Helps treat erectile dysfunction
A major reason for erectile dysfunction is the lack of nitric oxide molecules in body cells.
L-citrulline in this supplement will increase the production of nitric oxide in the body. It can treat ED by improving the blood flow to the penis.
Studies say supplements combining L-citrulline, L-arginine, and French maritime pine bark extract are best for treating ED.
7. Other possible benefits
Many regular users of NO dietary supplements have reported different anecdotal health benefits. These unexpected advantages result from increased blood flow and lower blood pressure.
Anecdotal benefits vary from user to user, with no identical results. They also need proof backed by scientific evidence to ascertain their overall health benefits.
Past research is unable to fully prove whether nitric oxide can truly improve performance to a significant level.
This supplement may help:
- improve weight loss
- faster recovery from injuries and bruises
- enhances liver functions
- remedy for altitude sickness
- help heal a foot ulcer
- boosts immunity and prevents seasonal infections
- improves memory and cognitive functions.
Possible Side Effects of Nitric Oxide
Nitric oxide supplements are generally considered safe when taken at the recommended dosage.
It may cause some side effects to occur in some users. People with certain medical conditions or under medications should be cautious when using supplements.
You should see your doctor if any of the following side effects occur after taking nitric oxide:
- low blood pressure
- dizziness or lightheadedness
- shortness of breath
- blurred vision
- excess sweating
- dry throat
- increase heart palpitations
- unusual tiredness.
Symptoms of overdose include:
An excess of L-arginine and L-citrulline supplements may cause physical discomfort. The following are common NOS overdose symptoms:
- pale skin and lips
- dark urine
- sore throat
- stomach pain and bloating
Doctors do not recommend nitric diet pills to people with herpes, kidney disease, or a history of a heart attack. Pregnant women and children should not use nitric oxide supplementation. It may also interfere with medications for high blood pressure and diabetes.
Always consult your doctor before taking any dietary supplement if you are taking medication or have serious health concerns.
What are the symptoms of nitric oxide deficiency?
The common symptoms of low nitric oxide levels are blurred vision, increased body heat, chronic stress, low energy, and slow recovery from bruises, injuries, and muscle strains.
Can you take nitric oxide supplements daily?
It is safe for regular gym goers and active athletes to take nitric oxide supplements daily in the recommended dosage. To meet their daily requirement, others should eat nitrate-rich foods such as beets and green leafy vegetables. It’s safe to regularly consume nitrate supplementation sourced from beets and vegetables.
What foods are high in nitric oxide?
Beetroot is the finest source of natural nitric oxide booster. Leafy green vegetables such as celery, chard, watercress, lettuce, spinach, and arugula actually contain nitric oxide. The next group to increase nitric oxide production is leeks, Chinese cabbage, celeriac, cucumber, endive, kohlrabi, fennel, and parsley.
Is L-arginine the same as nitric oxide?
No. L-arginine is an essential amino acid that the body uses for the production of nitric oxide. L-arginine supplements are good for athletes and bodybuilders who perform high-intensity workouts. They require higher levels of nitric oxide to be more energetic.
When should I take nitric oxide?
For the best results, take nitric oxide supplements when your energy levels are lowest at night, usually before bedtime. Nitric oxide is a gas that the body produces, and it helps with blood flow.
Is nitric oxide bad for your liver?
If consumed at the recommended dose, it may not cause any problems for your liver. There has yet to be extensive research to prove its liver side effects. However, ingesting a high amount of synthetic sodium nitrate may cause free radical damage to cells in the long run.
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