Sports nutrition is always evolving, but the basics will always hold true: You need adequate macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates, fats) to fuel your body. You can tailor your sources of those nutrients based on your goals (muscle size, weight loss, athletic performance), but that’s the easy part. There are other nutrients that can give you a competitive edge, even if you’re only competition is yourself. Just like you have to say yes to increased calories to build muscle, you should also say NO to grow.
Nitric oxide (NO) is a signaling molecule found throughout the human body. Increased NO production delivers several health benefits, but its effect on muscle tissue and performance is what it’s most known for and why so many athletes and gym goers are always hunting down the best NO supplements.
Of course, athletic benefits and muscle gains aren’t the only reason to consider boosting your nitric oxide production, but they are the most prominent. Here are the main benefits and why you should say NO to grow.
Muscle-Building & Physical Performance
- Improves muscular efficiency and vasodilation (more blood flow and oxygen delivery)
- Decreases recovery time between workouts
- Increases stamina and endurance
- Boosts performance and resistance to fatigue product buildup
- Improves muscle pumps
- Prevents blood clots
- Protects arteries
- Prevents inflammation and hardening of arteries
- Helps regulate healthy blood pressure due to vasodilation
Brain and Cognitive Function
- Improves blood flow
- Maintains healthy nerve cells
- Enhances memory retention and emotional well-being
Digestive System Health
- Helps fortify mucosal lining and healthy intestinal cells
- Protects against oxidative damage
- Decreases intestinal permeability (leaky gut)
The bulk of supplements with NO-specific ingredients contain forms of the amino acid L-arginine (such as Di-L-Arginine or L-Arginine Alpha-Ketoglutarate), L-citrulline, or citrulline malate (L-citrulline with malic acid). Citrulline malate has become the most popular NO booster because of its effectiveness, but each one of these offers positive effects.
There are plenty of foods that provide a potent pathway to increased NO production, but it can take a lot of effort to ensure you’re getting enough beetroot juice, spinach, chlorella, and spirulina throughout the day to make a notable improvement. It’s much easier, efficient, and cost-effective to use a “greens” supplement that delivers all of these NO-boosting nutrients and then some.
Whichever route you choose, the potent muscle-building and performance-boosting effects alone are worth it, and the numerous other benefits give nitric oxide a whole-body health boost. And don’t forget, improved blood flow has a positive effect on sexual performance as well, so it’s a “performance” enhancer whether you’re in the gym or not. So you could say you can use NO to grow in more ways than one.
Note: For information purposes only. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.