Nitric Oxide Boosters for Exercise? Here's What You Need to Know
The term “nitric oxide” has become a hot button topic in the world of health and fitness. This unique compound in the body is said to be able to increase intra-workout performance while supporting repair and recovery. As a response, the industry has gone N.O. boosting crazy, placing popular nitric oxide support ingredients into pre, intra, and post-workout supplements.
Are N.O. boosters all that they are cracked up to be? Or is it just more hype from an industry that’s worried about making a profit more than your fitness goals? Let’s take a look at what nitric oxide supplements are and whether or not you should be buying them.
Nitric Oxide Supplements: What are They?
Here’s the thing: Your body makes nitric oxide BUT it only makes so much. Your body isn’t creating nitric oxide specifically to support your workouts. Rather, it’s creating nitric oxide to promote a number of bodily processes.
So why the sudden interest in boosting nitric oxide levels in the body?
Studies suggest that by increasing nitric oxide levels via natural methods or supplementation, you will be able to support blood flow, anti-inflammatory response, and recovery. This is where supplements come into play. They are an easy way to spike nitric oxide production. Is it really worth it though?
What the Science Says About N.O.
When you increase the levels of nitric oxide in the blood, even if for a short awhile, you may experience several different benefits.
- This is a big benefit. The better your blood flow, the better your nutrient delivery. Also, the more efficiently your body can wipe away lactic acid build-up. Increased levels of nitric oxide may support increased blood flow.
- If you’ve ever been in a weight room, you know that feeling when you do too many repetitions and you can feel the blood pooling into the muscle. It’s called “the pump” and if you want to see results, that’s what you should be aiming for with every set. Nitric oxide helps to promote and amplify that pump, which may support your fitness goals.
- Studies show that nitric oxide provides anti-inflammatory benefits, which will help with recovery and muscle soreness.
- Speaking of recovery, nitric oxide is very helpful post-workout. As mentioned above, it increases blood flow to enhance nutrient delivery while it quickens the removal of lactic acid build-up, which is responsible for muscle soreness.
Which Ingredients Boost Nitric Oxide Levels?
If you step foot into a supplement store, you’re going to be swarmed by employees who are paid to push certain products on you. Do your research before you buy. If you take a look at the popular studies, you’ll notice that the most commonly used ingredients for nitric oxide boosting are as follows:
- AAKG (Arginine Alpha-ketoglutarate)
Tell Us What You Think!
Do you use nitric oxide boosting supplement?
What benefits have you noticed?
Let us know in the comments below!
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Bescós R, Sureda A, Tur JA, Pons A. The effect of nitric-oxide-related supplements on human performance. Sports Med. 2012 Feb 1;42(2):99-117.
Álvares TS, Meirelles CM, Bhambhani YN, Paschoalin VM, Gomes PS. L-Arginine as a potential ergogenic aid in healthy subjects. Sports Med. 2011 Mar 1;41(3):233-48.