What is NItric Oxide?
Nitric Oxide is a free form gas that is produced in the body and is used by the body to communicate with other cells in the body. To produce this gas, enzymes in the body break down the amino acid L-Arginine. Nitric Oxide is a molecule consisting of one atom of nitrogen and one atom of oxygen. The production of Nitric Oxide occurs when the amino acid L-arginine is converted into L-citruline through an enzyme group known as Nitric Oxide Synthase (NOS).
Benefits of Nitric Oxide
N.O. being a vasodilator, and when taken prior to and after workouts, it enables muscles to receive more blood and therefore, more oxygen and nutrients. This is critical to maximal muscle exertion during training and recovery afterward.
Side effects of Nitric Oxide
It causes penile erection by dilating blood vessels and controls the action of almost every orifice from swallowing to defecation. The immune system uses nitric oxide in fighting viral, bacterial and parasitic infections, and tumors. Nitric oxide transmits messages between nerve cells and is associated with the process of learning, memory, sleeping, feeling pain, and, probably depression. It is a mediator in inflammation and rheumatism.
Is Nitric Oxide Right for me?
Nitric Oxide containing products have continued to be touted by those in the medical profession, as well as by athletes looking to add muscle to their frames. The fact that nitric oxide increases blood flow should make it of interest to bodybuilders, as increased blood flow will serve to deliver more nutrients to muscles, thus helping muscles become larger when subject to stress. The fact that Nitric Oxide acts to reduce inflammation should also make it of interest to bodybuilders as it has the potential to reduce the pain associated with putting muscles under stress during weight training.
Which supplements contain Nitric Oxide?
There are many pre workout supplement products that contain N.O. such as:
- VPX – N.O. Shotgun
- “BSN – N.O. Xplode
- Gaspari Nutrition – SuperPump 250
- BSN – Nitrix
- Dymatize – Xpand
When should I take Nitric Oxide and how much?
Typical Dosage varies. If your less than 200lbs, 6g per day split into 2 dosages before and after exercise. More than 200lbs, between 9-10g per day split into 2 dosages before and after exercise.
With any amino acid containing product, overdose is a possibility. Dosing with too much arginine can lead to diarrhea, weakness and nausea.
Other information you should know about Nitric Oxide
Limit the amount of caffeine and stay away from ephedrine while taking any Nitric Oxide product, as these products can lead to headaches and possibly nausea. Also since caffeine is a vasoconstrictor and arginine is a vasodilator they are working against each other in the body, so choose products that are either caffeine free or fairly low in caffeine between 100mg-200mg per serving.