The supplement companies seem to have a supplement for everything. Recently, we have seen a lot of buzz around nitric oxide supplements. Touted as the next big thing to boost performance, nitric oxide or NO supplements are flying off the shelves!
Is NO really the supplement you need?
In this post, we will go beneath all the hype and dig out the truth about NO supplements. We will tell you what it does so that you know if the supplement is right for your needs.
We will begin by discussing the role of NO in various physiological functions.
Why Nitric Oxide Is Important for Us
N.O. is one of the most important elements for heart health. Almost all cells in our bodies create NO, which has a role in various physiological functions.
One of the most important of those functions is the relaxation of blood vessels. Nitric oxide relaxes the muscles of your blood vessels and widens the vessels by transporting oxygen.
As a result, NO improves blood flow to different muscles in our bodies. Naturally, that includes skeletal muscles too!
In technical words, NO is a vasodilator.
The discovery of this characteristic by scientists led to a number of studies and huge research on the subject. Experts found that improved blood circulation made NO a solution for preventing heart diseases. In fact, a number of studies found NO to-
- Bring down stiffness of arteries
- Cut back blood pressure
- Improve circulation
Since then, we have made many interesting discoveries on nitric oxide. Researchers found the vasodilation effect of NO to reduce the demand on skeletal muscles.
NO also plays a part in waste removal, keeping muscles healthy and oxygenated.
Next, we will see why athletes and sportsperson consider NO to be a vital physiological performance enhancer.
Improve Endurance and Performance
The vasodilation effects of NO are responsible for boosting performance and endurance. Just like caffeine, nitric oxide supplements can make workouts feel less challenging or easy.
NO also increases the transport of oxygen and nutrients to muscles. By improving circulation, NO also reduces the workload on your muscles.
As a result, your muscles have more energy and strength to support intensive workouts. You will be able to work out longer and increase your reps and weights.
If you are looking to build muscles, nitric oxide can be a good thing to maximize exercise gains.
Nitric oxide may also boost the activities of mitochondria that produce energy. It even reduces the oxygen cost you incur during exercising. Overall, NO is a good choice to enhance your athletic performance.
What Research Says
According to Healthline, nitrates or NO can improve performance in the gym and tracks. Even runners, cyclists, kayakers, and swimmers can enhance performance by taking nitric oxide supplements.
In short, we have enough evidence to conclude NO improves performance and endurance.
N.O. Supplements May Reduce Muscle Soreness
Ingredients in NO supplements like citrulline malate helps our bodies produce NO. The NO then sends more oxygen and nutrients to the muscles. The process also helps clear toxins from muscles that come as a result of exercising, like ammonia and lactic acid.
By providing more oxygen and nutrients, nitric oxide reduces the load on muscles. It also clears toxins to keep muscles from damage.
Now, research shows NO can even reduce DOMS or muscle soreness. You will feel less of those pains, cramps, and discomfort that come 24 – 72-hours after working out. As a result, you can stay fit and energetic for all of your future gym sessions.
What Research Says
A few studies exist that test the impact of NO on muscle soreness. In one study, researchers gave citrulline malate to one group of athletes. The other group received a placebo. Both groups did maximum reps of bench press.
By the end of the study, the group getting citrulline experienced 40% less muscle soreness, both at 24 and 48-hours after training.
On the whole, you can say nitric oxide reduces sore muscles and facilitates recovery.
Enhanced performance, reduced muscle soreness, and improved recovery are the hallmarks of nitric oxide supplements. Athletes, bodybuilders, fitness freaks are mostly concerned about these results of NO. However, the element has quite a few other benefits for average persons.
Reduces Blood Pressure and Keeps Heart Healthy
Those who have high blood pressure are not able to utilize the NO in their bodies. As a result, you may need dietary nitric oxide to make up for the loss.
Healthline mentions at least 6 – 7 studies that found NO-boosting ingredients to reduce systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure.
Nitric oxide supplements can keep your heart healthy by lowering blood pressure and improving circulation. As a result, you can reduce the risks of serious heart ailments.
People who work out a lot or stay active should always try to keep their heart-healthy. That way, you will always have optimum circulation to produce more energy and stamina. You can say a healthy heart indirectly helps athletes to improve performance and reach their fitness goals.
Health Benefits of Nitric Oxide Supplements
As we can see, nitric oxide supplements do play a big part in boosting endurance and performance. It can even reduce muscle soreness and aid recovery. Along with that, NO supplements can provide various health benefits like-
- Controlling blood sugar levels
- Delay the progression of type 2 diabetes
- Increase in insulin sensitivity
- Improving conditions of erectile dysfunction
- Enhancing weight loss
- Alleviates altitude sickness
- Facilitating recovery from injury or trauma
A Few Words on Nitric Oxide
NO is a gas. You will not find any ingredient called nitric oxide in your NO supplement. What you will find are ingredients that help us produce NO. Things like citrulline, arginine, nitrates, and so on.
You can search for the ingredients on Google to see if they are backed by science. The most common ingredient is citrulline malate, which boosts our levels of NO in blood.
Nitric oxide supplements may be a good choice for athletes to boost performance and endurance. As we have seen, NO is needed for a number of purposes.
But in truth, most of us do not get the required levels of nitrate from our diets. Also, our bodies tend to produce less NO as we age. For all those people who need more NO, supplements can be a suitable way to achieve their fitness goals.
You can also boost your nitrate from eating various foods like beets, leafy veggies, meat, and nuts.