Nitric oxide has been widely studied and even helped three scientists win a Nobel Prize for Medicine in the 1990s.
It is also one of the most misunderstood elements, as people often confuse it with the laughing gas you receive from the dentist (which is nitrous oxide) or car fuel (which is nitromethane).
Nitric oxide is a gas which is produced naturally in your body. It helps cell communication and is created when enzymes break down the amino acid arginine. Nitric oxide supplements are safe when used as the manufacturer intended. With any supplement, it is important to follow the dosage instructions on the label. Too much nitric oxide can result in dangerously low blood pressure.
A healthy diet, plenty of rest between workouts and supplements such as nitric oxide can help you reach your goals. Take charge of your health by signing up for a PRO Plan today for access to certified personal trainers, workout plans, nutrition trackers, and more!
What Is Nitric Oxide?
Nitric oxide is made from an amino acid called L-arginine. You often see it abbreviated by its chemical name, NO. Prescription drugs for a variety of diseases, including cardiovascular problems and impotence, use nitric oxide as their active ingredient.
Since nitric oxide is a gas, supplements that list nitric oxide as an ingredient actually contain L-arginine, an amino acid that produces nitric oxide. There are other substances which increase or sustain nitric oxide production in your body, such as cacao and ginseng.
Many bodily functions are assisted by nitric oxide. It helps your immune system to protect you from diseases. Nitric oxide also works as an anti-inflammatory agent, which is useful in controlling ailments such as arthritis.
Nitric oxide has also been shown to alleviate blood pressure issues due to its ability to dilate blood vessels. For example, people prone to heart attacks are helped by nitroglycerin, which works by distributing nitric oxide throughout the body to loosen vessels that are constricted. This gets lifesaving blood and oxygen to the heart and muscles.
How Does Nitric Oxide Help With Bodybuilding?
The art of successful bodybuilding is comprised of several components. Eating correctly, putting just the right amount of strain on your muscles during weightlifting workouts, and giving your muscles time to heal are all important parts of the process. Nitric oxide can help at every step.
Some people mistakenly believe that muscles are built while you exercise. However, it is during your downtime that muscles actually grow. When you stop and allow your muscles to fix themselves after being worked to their highest capacity, they get larger and give you that look of lean, bulging muscle.
If you work for your muscles, your muscles will work for you. They need the proper amount of nutrients, hydration, and blood flow.
Increased blood flow to your muscles can help you achieve longer workout sessions and nitric oxide does this by expanding the blood vessels. It also aids in keeping your blood from clustering together, which acts almost like a blood thinner.
You raise the amount of nitric oxide in your system by exercising. Think of it as a continuous circle. The more you work out, the more oxygen is needed by your body so your heart beats faster. This causes your blood vessels to expand and that creates more nitric oxide for the blood which increases blood flow.
For bodybuilders, lifting weights can make your body produce more lactic acid, which causes you to feel sluggish and tired. Nitric oxide helps to get rid of lactic acid so you have more energy for working out. Because nitric oxide aids your body in healing itself, that ever-important recuperation period after exercising takes less time.
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Can You Get Nitric Oxide From Foods?
You can increase nitric oxide in your body through diet. Eating foods rich in arginine such as fruit, milk products, and nuts will help your body produce more nitric oxide. In addition, you can keep more nitric oxide in your body after it is produced by increasing your intake of foods like garlic and soy items.
Websites such as the USDA’s Choose My Plate website have complete information on how to eat right for every situation.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Do I have to take supplements?
Unless your doctor has instructed you to take certain supplements, you do not have to take them.
Are supplements safe?
Whether or not dietary supplements are safe to take depends on a number of factors. Learn more about the safety of supplements here.
What supplements do I need to take?
No one can answer that aside from your doctor. To learn more about the various supplements that doctors commonly recommend, check out this article.
A proper supplement regimen paired with a healthy diet and regular exercise is the perfect way to stay fit. Go PRO today for access to certified personal trainers, workout plans, and more to get the most out of your healthy lifestyle.