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Getting the best out of each workout means pushing yourself beyond your usual limits—and how well your exercise goes depends on how you're feeling at the time.
If you're tired or unfocused, it can be hard to push through the physical and mental barriers required for those epic gains.
So, giving yourself an extra push each time through supplementation can help you achieve much bigger gains over time.
Word is getting out that boosting the amount of nitric oxide in your system is a great way to assist you in your quest to work harder and push yourself beyond your usual limits.
So what’s all the fuss about? Let’s find out.
What is nitric oxide?
Nitric oxide (NO) is a gas formed when nitrogen and oxygen combine—and it occurs naturally in the body.
NO is involved in many vital bodily functions, including brain health, blood flow, and digestion—it also helps improve blood flow by acting as a vasodilator.
This means that it can help increase the oxygen flow around your body, which is why athletes take supplements to try and raise their NO levels to achieve bigger and better results.
While there are no supplements that actually contain nitric oxide, there are supplements available with ingredients that have been scientifically proven to raise NO levels.
These include L-arginine and L-citrulline, which have been the subject of numerous studies. This extensive mix of studies has shown them to be great at increasing nitric oxide levels in the body. Beta-alanine is another ingredient that has been shown to increase NO levels in athletes.
The benefits of increasing nitric oxide in your body
There's little doubt that nitric oxide provides tremendous health benefits—and raising your NO levels can help maintain your overall health. It can also give you an added advantage in the gym.
Let's look at five of the main pros of nitric oxide.
1. Nitric oxide improves vasodilation
Vasodilators help to relax muscle cells in your blood vessels, which helps to promote the flow of blood and oxygen around your body.
Nitric oxide can, therefore, help with cardiovascular health, allow you to feel more energised, and improve athletic performance.
2. It can reduce hypertension and high blood pressure
As NO allows more blood to flow through your system, it can help those who suffer from hypertension and high blood pressure by improving the blood flow to the heart.
3. It can help with erectile dysfunction
As an erection relies on an increased blood flow to the penis, NO can help with erectile issues by helping to ensure there is sufficient blood flow.
NO-boosting supplements such as l-arginine are often prescribed to treat erectile dysfunction.
4. It can help with artery disease
Those suffering from artery disease will have reduced blood flow to the arms and legs. Nitric oxide can help to expand the arteries to increase blood flow around the body, and lower blood pressure.
5. It can help with issues such as angina
A reduced blood flow to the heart can result in angina. Patients suffering from this condition are often prescribed nitric oxide-boosting medication, which relaxes the artery walls and helps increase blood flow to the heart.
5 epic benefits of nitric oxide for athletes
Nitric oxide boosting is a method used by athletes for performance enhancement as it increases blood flow, enabling oxygen to travel around the body more freely. This results in increased exercise performance and bigger gains over time.
Let’s take a look at the most epic benefits of boosting your NO levels for athletes.
1. Improved exercise performance
If you increase nitric oxide production in your body, you can expect to improve exercise performance.
When you work out, your body cries out for additional oxygen as it tries to cope with the demands of your exercise.
Increasing the blood and oxygen flow through your body means there will be other resources when you need them most.
The result? You can push harder for bigger gains and better athletic outcomes.
2. More endurance
The main function of nitric oxide is to widen blood vessels to increase circulation, which will help deliver oxygen to your muscles when you need it.
Studies show that this will not only increase your endurance, but it also means you’ll get a much better quality workout.
3. Reduced muscle soreness
L-arginine and citrulline have been found to be particularly good at raising NO levels in the body and helping to decrease muscle soreness.
By tackling DOMs and muscle soreness, you’ll be able to bounce back from your workouts quicker—giving you the best possible chance of exceeding your muscle-building or performance goals.
4. More energy
As the blood vessels widen, your blood flow will increase and deliver more oxygen to your body, giving you an added boost of energy, and a better oxygen uptake.
The result? You’ll be able to squeeze every last drop of body-boosting goodness from your training sessions. Epic.
5. A greater tolerance to tougher workouts
Nitric oxide can help to improve tolerance to high-intensity exercise—which means you'll be able to push yourself harder and for longer, giving you a more significant benefit to each workout.
The downside of too much nitric oxide
As with all methods of supplementation, looking at the potential side effects and why they occur is essential.
The most common side effects from nitric oxide supplements are…
- Allergic reactions
- Stomach pains
It's important to note that these side effects are rare and often caused by more than the recommended dose.
NOTE: Getting proper medical advice is also essential if you have any underlying health conditions, especially cardio issues, kidney disease, or breathing issues.
How to increase your nitric oxide levels
You can increase nitric oxide levels in your body in three ways…
These are safe ways to increase NO levels in your body, improve your athletic performance, and get the significant gains you deserve.
Let's take a look at the best way to implement each of these NO-boosting methods.
A healthy diet is essential if you're incorporating some heavy workouts alongside it—but a few tweaks here and they can help you further.
Adding food to your diet, which will help to raise your NO levels, will benefit you greatly, and all it takes is a few minor changes to what you add to your plate.
So, which foods are the big NO-boosters?
To increase your nitric oxide levels through your diet, it's important to add plenty of leafy vegetables containing plenty of nitrates.
Spinach and kale are excellent sources of nitrates, although it's best to eat them raw, as the more they’re cooked, the less nitrates they're likely to contain.
It's essential to incorporate fruit into your diet daily, but concentrating on citrus fruits is a good idea if you want to get your NO levels up high.
This is because they contain a high percentage of vitamin C, which is great for raising nitric oxide levels.
Nuts and seeds
These are always a good choice when working out. The good news is that they’re also great for helping produce nitric oxide. This is due to the arginine they contain, which is involved in producing nitric oxide.
With all this healthy eating comes a craving for a sweet treat now and again, and it's a good idea to be prepared for this so you stay on track.
Dark chocolate can be a good choice as it contains flavonoids that help stimulate nitric oxide production in the body. It's a good idea to choose a dark chocolate brand with a lower sugar count.
Beetroot is rich in dietary nitrates, which the body can use to convert to nitric oxide. Several studies have shown that consuming beetroot juice or beetroot extract can significantly increase nitric oxide levels in the body.
Scientific evidence shows that exercise can seriously increase the levels of nitric oxide production in the body—and you will struggle if you don't have enough nitric oxide in your system.
Those with a sedentary lifestyle tend to have lower NO levels in their system—so the trick is to keep moving.
The best exercise for raising nitric oxide is known as a ‘nitric oxide dump’—a variation of HIIT or high-intensity interval training.
It's a short workout that helps elevate your heart rate quickly and gets your lungs working to full capacity.
The exercise involves arm raises, squats, arm swings, and shoulder presses, which you perform as three sets of 10 reps. This gives your whole body a decent HIIT workout and gets the blood flowing.
Nitric oxide supplementation
As we can only get a limited amount of the nutrients we need to raise NO levels through our diet, it's a good idea to consider supplements, too.
Taking nitric oxide supplements will help ensure that you raise NO levels sufficiently. Supplements that have been scientifically proven to increase nitric oxide levels include…
- Citrulline Malate
- Green Tea Extract
Read: Our essential guide on how to boost nitric oxide naturally for more NO-boosting tips.
Get more gains with CrazyBulk
CrazyBulk's Nitric Max supplement has been formulated with premium NO-boosting ingredients, including Iron, l-arginine, citrulline malate, beta-alanine and green tea extract.
It's a premium nitric oxide booster designed to improve blood flow and oxygen circulation during workouts by boosting your natural nitric oxide levels to the extreme.
You'll experience a treasure trove of performance-boosting benefits, from heightened energy and endurance to rapid recovery rates and mind-blowing pumps. Go get some.
Is it Safe to Take Nitric Oxide Supplements Every Day?
Providing you don't have any underlying health conditions, it should be perfectly safe for you to take NO supplements every day.
L citrulline and l arginine supplements are natural substances that shouldn't have any adverse effects on your health.
If you’re in any doubt, it's always best to consult a medical professional.
What are the main benefits of boosting nitric oxide in the body?
An elevated level of nitric oxide will enhance your athletic performance, giving you more oxygen resources to draw from.
This will help you to work harder and for longer. It will also help to alleviate muscle soreness.
Who shouldn’t take nitric oxide supplements?
People with low blood pressure, kidney disease, cardio or breathing issues should consult a doctor before taking nitric oxide supplements.
Can nitric oxide supplements boost exercise performance?
A nitric oxide supplement will give you an added boost and a better quality of exercise performance.
When raising nitric oxide levels, it's best to follow the scientific evidence and look at three main factors: diet, exercise and supplementation.
Watching what you eat is a no-brainer to improve your health and overall physical condition, but if you want to push things further, include plenty of nitric oxide-boosting foods in your diet.
High-intensity exercise is also great for getting levels up, especially if the exercise involves using your entire body.
The Nitric Oxide Dump will help get things moving in the right direction. To ensure you're adequately topped up with the right amount of nutrients to boost your nitric oxide levels to the max, take a quality supplement daily.
Nitric oxide increases blood flow, which will help to energise you, enabling you to push harder during workouts for bigger gains. It will also help to alleviate muscle soreness and muscle fatigue.
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