Nitric oxide (NO) gas was first identified In 1772 by Joseph Priestly. NO was just an atmospheric pollutant those days. In the 1980s, a researcher by the name of Robert Furchgott was researching how blood vessels dilated. Endothelial cells line the inner sides of blood vessels and are in direct contact with blood. His findings were a breakthrough. Without the endothelial cells, the smooth cells which lay behind were unable to dilate. What factor was causing this? The unknown factor was called EDRF (Endothelial Derived Relaxing Factor)
Ferid Murad found that nitroglycerin, a common medication for angina and hypertension in those days, also released NO.
Finally, in 1986, Louis Ignarro identified Nitric oxide with EDRF. All the pieces fit now.
Understanding the involvement of gas in the critical functioning of the human body was a monumental discovery by these three scientists.
For this colossal find, Furchgott, Ignarro, and Murad won the Nobel Prize for Medicine and Physiology in 1998.
Nitric oxide, the magic molecule, is produced naturally in the body. It dilates blood vessels, thereby increasing circulation. Nitric oxide in the body widens and relaxes blood vessels. A few medications such as Viagra hitch on the nitric oxide pathway to utilize blood vessel dilation and improve blood flow to the penis, enhancing erections.
Athletes benefit the most through the controlled use of NO.
Then you have what we call Nitric oxide boosters. These boosters are amino acids that do not contain NO but help in creating NO. These supplements are a section that includes L-citrulline and L-arginine. The results of multiple clinical trials by researchers on nitric oxide supplements have been on the positive side.
L-arginine is a protein-building block, an amino acid naturally found in dairy products, red meat, fish, and poultry. In the laboratory, it’s is manufactured as a cream, powder, or pill. L-citrulline is also an amino acid-rich in watermelon, legumes, nuts, and meat.
Without consuming nitric oxide supplements, the typical consumption per person is around 5gm of L-arginine per day. An article in the Journal of Medicine states that this is converted into nitric acid to benefit various body organs.
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Many people believe that intake of nitric oxide supplements will boost blood flow to improve body performance in sports, augment heart health, and provide many other bodily benefits. Potential uses and benefits are their oxide supplements but are there enough medical studies to validate these claims.
Positive Researched Benefits of Nitric Oxide Intake
The journal Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications has laid down several heart-boosting effects of nitric oxide supplements. It lists cutting down arterial stiffness, bringing down blood pressure, and intensifying carotid arterial blood flow. One thing to note is that these tests were conducted on animals and not humans.
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Researchers are of the theory that delivering oxygen delivery muscles could be supplemented by taking nitric oxide supplements. NO has the potential to increase athletic performance and reduce soreness post a workout.
The journal ‘Sports Medicine’ in an article has pointed out that taking nitric acid supplements may magnify tolerance to exercise. However, it applies to those who have exercised irregularly or only exercised at a moderate rate. Sadly, the research has shown that the results of nitric oxide supplements were unclear among elite athletes.
The choice of young males for research studies constricted how nitric oxide supplements may affect females and older people.
Because nitric acid supplements enhance blood flow, researchers have conducted studies to establish if this could boost blood flow for those with people with a condition of erectile dysfunction (ED). Some studies in an article subscribing to the journal ‘Future Science OA’ suggest that nitric acid may bring down ED in those with mild to moderate ED.
A form of high blood pressure called preeclampsia that occurs in pregnancy can be fatal for both the woman and the baby.
A study carried out in 2005 by the ‘European Journal of Clinical Investigation found that those pregnant women who took L-arginine for prolonged periods fared better in terms of lower blood pressure than those who did not take any L-arginine.
Although many studies are needed, the results for women struggling with high blood pressure are promising.
What’s happening in your bed is closely connected with what’s happening in your arteries.
Nitric oxide is a fundamental molecule that ranks high up the chain. It is quite a deal apart from nitrous oxide or “laughing gas.” Not a laughing matter for that. It depends on how long you will live. And it is an intrinsic part of sex and heart health.
The Endothelium or the blood vessel lining is where nitric oxide originates. The Endothelium is intense to the chemical and physical conditions inside the blood vessels. When the Endothelium senses heart-healthy diseases such as low cholesterol and physical activity, they release more nitric acids. Which is a great thing? Blood vessels are expanded by NO, increasing blood flow and cleaning out plaque growth and better blood clotting.
On the other hand, if the Endothelium detects high cholesterol, high blood pressure, emotional distress, or smoking, it automatically cuts down on the amount of nitric acid. As a result, Atherosclerosis (heart disease) gets a foothold.
The release of Nitric oxide is the causative element that results in penile erection. Viagra and similar drugs reduce erectile dysfunction by hooking up to the next nitric oxide pathway. Are Atherosclerosis and impotence related closely? Absolutely. Any lifestyle pattern that encompasses smoking, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol causes both snags.
My grandfather took nitroglycerin for his chest pains. This medication works by being converted into nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is the body’s nitroglycerin.
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A nitric oxide molecule is a natural product of your body. It holds excellent gravity for your well-being overall. Its prime concern is vasodilation, which relaxes the inner muscles of the blood vessels, causing them to widen and raise the blood circulation. Thus, nitric oxide production surpasses mere essentials; it is vital as it allows nutrients, blood, and oxygen to be transported throughout the body effectively and without a hitch. On the flip side, a limited capacity to produce nitric acid sufficiently is the precursor of heart disease, erectile dysfunction, and diabetes. Good for us, their many means to maintain an optimal level of nitric acid in your body.
Mommy has rapped you enough for dunking those vegetables. She knew what she was doing. Nitrate is one vital compound found in vegetables.
Vegetables that are tops in nitrates are:
Consumption of vegetables, transforming nitrates into nitric oxide, which we are all aware of by now, confers a wide array of health benefits that directly impact heart health and workout performance.
Many analyses have pointed out that consuming nitrate-rich veggies can bring down blood pressure comparable to medications.
In athletes, the scales tip over sharply, with solid evidence favoring athletes, especially from beetroot as a source of diet for increasing performance sharply.
Unfounded fear is that some people shy away from nitrates because they are harmful and lead to cancer. So NO is most likely a fallout that commonly uses sodium nitrates as conservatives and for color in cold cuts, hot dogs, and bacon. But, unfortunately, excessive consumption leads to bowel cancer, and handily, the blame is on nitrates.
Nitrate can form from compounds called N-nitroso, such as nitrosamine, which have the infamy to cause cancer.
Vegetables that clock up over 80% of nitrate intake have antioxidants like vitamins and C, which form N-nitroso compounds.
To sum it up, nitrate content in vegetables is a go, go, go. However, nitrates measure a different ballgame. Therefore, it is best to keep a safe distance.
Sadly, nitric acid is an unstable molecule that breaks down rapidly in the bloodstream,m so constant recharging is necessary.
Consuming antioxidants is the answer. Antioxidants are the key to putting the brakes on the downslide, increasing the nitric acid’s stability, and counterfeiting disintegration.
Antioxidants are entities that neutralize free radicals. Free radicals are the nemesis of nitric acid contributing to their abbreviated lives.
Antioxidants are found almost in all food. Especially:
- Vitamin C- This is the king of al antioxidants. It lends a hand to your body forming connective tissue. That encompasses bones, skin, cartilage, and tendon. It also churns out brain chemicals that help communicate with brain cells.
- Vitamin E- Free radicals have damaging effects. These are attributed to disease and aging. This is where antioxidants step in to protect the cells. Another important role they function is to keep the immune system strong.
- Polyphenols- This class of antioxidants is in cohorts with several pluses of health: reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and a greatly diminished risk of cancer.
- Glutathione- This has been unanimously hailed as the “mother of all antioxidants.” Glutathione has been hailed as the master antioxidant and the detoxifier of every cell in your body.
It is no sweeping wonder that several studies have confirmed that the ingestion of nitric oxide progenitors, for instance, citrulline or nitrates combined with antioxidants,s generates higher levels of nitric oxide in the body by negating its breakdown.
The bottom line is this:
Vegetables are nitrate high and also inherently rich in antioxidants. No wonder here that veggies play a dominant and influential role in maxing the nitric oxide level optimally.
Many dietary supplements are available in the market as “Boosters for Nitric Oxide.” Nitric oxide is not a constituent of these boosters, but they contain ingredients that create nitric oxide in the body.
The two most frequently used constituents are L-citrulline and L-arginine.
L-arginine is an essential conditional amino acid. Hence it needs to be had under certain conditions in your diet, whereas healthy adults make all they need. It turns out nitric oxide directly through a procedure, the L-arginine nitric oxide pathway.
Many studies have advanced support for using L-arginine for blood flow increase,e but this is limited to some populations.
L-arginine effectively lowers blood pressure,e including for pregnant women.
Evidence on the capacity of L-arginine to increase blood flow or promote exercise performance benefits is still a moot point.
L-arginine has been considered safe at a dosage of 20gm daily but can cause digestive distress at 10gm per day.
As a dispensable amino acid, L-citrulline can be manufactured by your body all it requires.
The process of converting L-arginine to nitric oxide is a byproduct that is L-citrulline. Therefore, recycling L-citrulline to L-arginine, the utilization of which bolsters the body’s natural creation of nitric oxide, is the right goal. Essentially, L-citrulline tops up the amount of L-arginine inside the body rather than what L-arginine on its own accomplishes. Therefore a more significant portion of L-arginine breaks down before it ends up in the bloodstream.
Studies indicate a more favorable disposition for L-citrulline. It increases blood flow, hike exercise tolerance, and brings down blood pressure. In addition, it is relatively considered safe with minimum safety risks even with doses that are high.
Nitrate is converted to nitrate oxide in the mouth by particular bacteria. Mouthwash kills this bacteria. NO production goes down, and blood pressure ups the onset of diabetes as nitric oxide regulates insulin. One study found that people who use mouthwash twice a day are 65% more likely to develop diabetes.
Therefore to maintain sufficient nitric oxide production, it’s best to use mouthwash sparingly.
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Nitric oxide supplements are for sale in many stores. They unanimously claim to boost workout performance and leverage endurance.
Nitric oxide occurs naturally in the body and is responsible for increased blood flow.
Nitric oxide supplements contain additives that promise to produce more nitric oxide in the body.
But does it pan out? Unfortunately, the jury is still out on this one.
You have heard about nitric oxide supplements, which improve workout performance and heft up your production in general. You may even see these in pre-workout formulations.
The body produces nitric oxide, a gas that helps with blood flow. The role of nitric oxide supplements is to heighten the amount of nitric acid in your blood, which helps to increase the blood flow targetting working muscles and helps reduce fatigue while working out.
Theoretically, nitric oxide could whip up wonders for your fitness routine. And as for scientific evidence, we’ll see about that soon.
You must be bursting with questions. Are nitric oxide supplements safe? Do they work? Off the cuff, some of these products might not be nitric acid supplements at all. While they may be labeled supplements and boosters, they don’t contain any nitric oxide. The boosters mean such compounds as L-arginine, for instance.
L-arginine necessitates nitric oxide production, and research is in two minds about whether ingesting it in the form of a supplement will expand nitric oxide production. But would exercise and performance be impacted, and health improved.
It is noteworthy that many so-called boosters supplements may contain subsidiary ingredients that have not come out due to insufficient research r and regulation. Hence, efficacy and safety are thorny issues.
Nitric Oxide falls in the category of a gas manufactured by the body, and a paramount goal is to induce vasodilation or the increase of blood flow.
The secretion of nitric oxide is by endothelial cells in the body, which pave the blood vessels’ inner walls. It sends some form of a trigger that allows the muscles to relax. Blood flow control has a part in many body functions, including the comanagement of blood pressure and sustaining erections.
Nitric oxide supplements do not hold nitric oxide. In lieu, they contain substrates that are understood to shake your body to develop more nitric acid. Think L-citrulline or L-arginine. If you are consuming L-arginine or nitrate, the whole plan is to stimulate the fusion of nitric acid in the Endothelium cells. Therefore if there are more substrates, substrates will produce more nitric oxide.
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Working muscles are fed oxygen by the blood. So it stands to reason that the increase in blood flow through taking nitric oxide supplements will help work out for a prolonged time and speed up the recovery phase. Advocates claim that the increase in blood flow might also increase the “pump” of the muscles, and they stand out because of the engorgement by blood.
We are really in the dark here. But, unfortunately, the proof to suggest otherwise is scanty.
As Richard Bloomer, The Dean of the School for Health Studies and The Center for Wellness and Fitness at the University of Memphis, puts it, “The whole theory is this supplementation will cause an increase in nitric oxide because of which vasodilation will result. The effect of this vasodilation downstream would be this huge upsurge in the flow of blood, which increases exertion performance and upgraded recovery. But, unfortunately, many of these claims remain unsupported by a lack of evidence.”
Some studies have demonstrated a connection between performance improvements and levels of blood nitrates, and extensive training could be the possible cause of these positive results as nitric oxide levels by themselves enhance activity. Also, there is dietary nitrate coming from other vegetable sources, which most studies do not control.
Considering that there are pluses to nitric acid supplementation, it remains unclear if they apply to everyone. On review, forty-two case studies linked to dietary ingredients effect associated with nitric oxide and exercise execution uncovered differing results. The review concluded that nitric oxide supplementation might improve resistance in persons out of shape and into aerobic and anaerobic exercise regimens. However, in people who are highly trained, the results indicated zero results.
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This question demands an unequivocal, “Maybe.” Some studies indicate that when used for nitrate supplementation, beetroot juice can boost overall power and endurance. For example, a study discovered a connection between supplementation on beetroot juice for 15 days and a surge in power max when conducting cycling tests of moderate intensity. Of course, there is a need for more study, but the silver lining is that both Jenkins and Bloomer believe that the ingredients affect nitric oxide amounts and exercise performance; the most promising is beetroot juice.
And there are beets themselves.
The hallowed beet is the highest dietary wellspring of nitrates which the body converts into nitric oxide. Owing to their naturally high nitrate content and the ease with which it can be covert the nitrates into nitric oxide, many studies have a good reason that beets support the heart, especially by advancing progress in blood pressure.
A host of other benefits go hand in hand with beets. These include making headway in strength increase and endurance levels. In addition, progress in cognition while exercising, reduced inflammation levels, higher antioxidant function, heightened awareness, and more.
Another thing going for beets is that they are great for heart and muscle recovery and a fantastic source of fiber.
So there is little reason to relish them in your diet or juice up pre or post-workout.
The jury is still out on this. However, Bloomer believes that one can go ahead starting with low doses. Having said that, if you have low blood pressure and hypotension, best stay out of the deal as dizziness and getting lightheaded could occur.
Also, high doses of nitric oxide supplements can imperil your kidneys, particularly so if you are following a diet plan that is nitrate-heavy. Studies have shown a downturn in such circumstances, causing a downswing in performance as most likely the kidneys are under stress and are engaged full-time in processing all that nitrate.
The notion that NO is an aphrodisiac is another blind alley. Nitric oxide has some semblance of playing its role both in initiating and encouraging erections in males. Blood will surge down there, which can certainly help to maintain an erection, and if that is all that makes you, Casanova, dive right in.
A study conducted recently did unfurl its findings. L-arginine supplements may up the effects of an everyday drug that caters to erectile dysfunction. But, unfortunately, studies on people without dysfunction are limited. Hence the blind alley.
The research on this point is not conclusive. The response to this might hinge on whether you are ingesting a colossal lot of synthetic nitrates and nitrates from processed meats. Or from eating nitrates from vegetables naturally.
The World Health Organization (WHO) and The American Institute for Cancer Research recommend ingesting cured and processed meats as many foods hold sodium nitrates and nitrites. Research has connected free radical damage with sodium nitrates—this free radical damage to cells. However, the conduct of much of this research has been on animals. Human studies indicate a correlation rather than causation.
The counter. That depends absolutely on why you are taking NO.
The consumption of nitrates through food sources gets a high-five. Research on beet juice and beet reveals huge success in shaping exercise performance and heart health. with everyday consumption of about two weeks. High nitrate content may be a supplementary reason that greater vegetable intake correlates to better heart health.
When it involves supplements containing stuff other than vegetable powder or pure beet, you need to be careful. Supplements bypass the regulatory process in that purity, safety, effectiveness of claims, and potency. So, if you opt to choose another nitric oxide booster, go for one that has been tested by a third party, preferably with an NSF for Sport or Informed-Choice of Sport.
The consensus is you should not use supplements daily. As research has not been exhaustive enough on these supplements, assessment is complex what the long-term consequences can be. A better ploy is to eat your vegetables and beet to obtain your nitric oxide.
While noticing up your overall vegetable intake is a great way to start that offers many health benefits, beet juice and beet powder are surefire hits. Studies indicate that a bottle of beet juice or the equivalent in beet powder to be the most beneficial.
You can put this to the test before specific competitions or workouts. Consume beetroot juice for a few days leading up to the big day. It may be a performance booster and even help in the recovery process. If nothing, the placebo effect is equally comparable.
A variety of reasons urge people to try out nitric oxide supplements. But, unfortunately, many of these claims do not have the backing of any scientific research.
Some reported benefits of nitric acid supplements include:
- Weight loss
- Lung function improvement in those with cystic fibrosis
- Treatment of altitude sickness
- Recovery improvement after major trauma or injury
- Prevention of common cold
- Cutting down the side effects of memory loss
- Healing diabetic foot ulcers
Unfortunately, most of these reported benefits are anecdotal. People may have reported an advantage, but it lacks any proof backed by scientific study.
In this relatively comprehensive article, we have waxed and waned about the pros and cons of nitric oxide supplements and some tips on their controlled usage. However, it is a conviction we hold that always goes natural. It pays at the end of the day. We also strongly advise our readers that this is not some DIY issue. Please consult with your physician, your trainer, and see what they recommend. But since your endeavor aims to turn yourself around into a fit and athletic person, we give you a big thumbs up.
Best of luck.