Sports nutrition is always evolving, but the basics will always hold true: You need adequate macronutrients to fuel your body. You can tailor your sources of those carbohydrates, fats, and protein based on your goal-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 your only competition is yourself. That's where the benefits of nitric oxide come into play.
Nitric oxide (NO) is a signaling molecule found throughout the human body. Increased nitric oxide 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 are always hunting down the best nitric oxide boosting 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 of nitric oxide and how you can use it to your advantage, from both muscle- and health-building standpoints.
Muscle-Building and 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)
Many supplements with NO-specific ingredients contain forms of the amino acid L-arginine such as L-Arginine HCL or L-Arginine Alpha-Ketoglutarate. There are foods that provide a potent pathway to increased nitric oxide 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 "green" 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 health benefits give nitric oxide a whole-body 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."