There is hardly any cell in your body that doesn’t produce nitric oxide. This comes as no surprise because this molecule is very important for the health and function of blood vessels. It helps to relax blood vessels so that they can widen for blood to pass freely. As such, nitric oxide produced helps to regulate blood pressure and increase blood flow. That’s why amino nitrate supplements have become very renowned among other supplement categories on the market today.
There is no nitric oxide in these supplements per se. But the compounds in them boost nitric oxide production. This comes with many health benefits. In this article, we will talk about the potential benefits of these supplements.
The benefits of nitric oxide are indeed numerous. This is because of the diversity of the vital roles they play in the body. And these same benefits are the things you stand to gain when you take nitric oxide supplements.
To be honest, there are many supplements out there with claims to boost nitric oxide. They all boast impressive performance and health benefits. However, the potent ones are those that contain ingredients, such as nitrate or amino acids L-arginine and L-Citrulline.
There are other options like Pycnogenol. But the ones we listed above are the most common. Their effectiveness is also not under question.
An Overview of Amino Nitrate Supplements
Several supplements are sold on the market as “nitric oxide supplements”. As we have mentioned, you can’t find nitric oxide directly in this supplement. What they contain are specific ingredients to boost nitric oxide formation.
Two common ingredients in these supplements are L-arginine & L-Citrulline. The amino L-Arginine is one of the conditionally essential aminos in your body. This means that your body can naturally produce adequate amounts. But it can fall short when you are highly stressed or ill.
L-arginine directly forms nitric oxide via a special biochemical pathway in the body. And several expert studies have shown that L-arginine can help increase blood flow.
However, this works only for specific people. For instance, if you have elevated blood pressure, even if it’s caused by pregnancy, L-arginine can help you lower it. To be sure if L-arginine would work for you, you should consult your physician before you start taking it.
Experts say that L-arginine should be safe within the limits of 20 grams daily. However, a dosage as little as 10g might cause mild digestive symptoms in some people.
L-citrulline is different from L-arginine. It is entirely non-essential; your body naturally makes all the Citrulline it needs. In the process of converting L-arginine to nitric oxide, it releases L-citrulline, as the byproduct.
Now, the interesting this is that your body can recycle L-citrulline to L-arginine. Then the cycle begins all over again. Your body uses L-arginine to make new nitric oxide molecules.
Experts even say that L-citrulline increases the body’s L-arginine levels more than the L-arginine supplement itself. Do you know why? When you take L-arginine, your body would break most of down before it can reach your bloodstream.
L-citrulline supplements are also relatively safe. The risk of adverse effects is quite low, even with excessively high doses.
Your body also makes inorganic nitrates. This compound is converted by certain enzymes into nitric oxide in the body. As such, its supplements can also help boost nitric oxide levels. However, nitrate can form nitrosamines which are carcinogenic. Research is still ongoing on how serious the risk could be.
Health Benefits of Nitric Oxide Supplements
1. Treatment of Erectile Dysfunction
Nitric oxide not only increases blood flow to the penis but it also relaxes erectile muscles in the penis. Both of these effects play important roles in having and sustaining erections. As such, nitric oxide supplements like L-citrulline, amino nitrates, and L-arginine can help in treating erectile dysfunction in men.
2. To decrease or prevent muscle soreness
Muscle soreness is a common aftereffect of exercise. Nitric oxide supplements, however, increase the flow of blood to your active muscles. This, in turn, helps reduce the painful aftereffect of exercise.
Citrulline malate, a variation of L-citrulline is known to be very helpful when it comes to reducing muscle soreness. Aside from improving blood flow, citrulline malate also increases nutrient delivery. It also clears waste products like ammonia and lactate that might cause muscle fatigue.
3. Blood pressure regulation
If your blood pressure is high, it is usually because your blood vessels are narrowing. As such, blood pushes against the blood vessel walls with force. Nitric oxide supplements can help widen your blood vessels to allow free blood flow and, in turn, lower your blood pressure.
4. Better exercise performance
Generally, nitric oxide supplements are sold as exercise and performance enhancers. However, L-arginine only has minimal benefits for exercise and performance. If you want to boost your performance with nitric oxide supplements, you should look for L-citrulline instead.
L-citrulline supplements are popular with athletes and bodybuilders. Nitrate supplements are also very popular. But it seems nitrate is the most effective when it comes to improving exercise performance.
5. Managing type-2 diabetes
Diabetes causes a downturn in the natural mechanism by which the body makes nitric oxide. This can lead to various health problems, including kidney disease, heart disease, and high blood pressure.
L-arginine not only improves blood flow but also improves blood sugar regulation in diabetic patients. This holds great promise for managing diabetes. However, research is still ongoing to see how this supplement can be incorporated into the treatment regimen.
Your body naturally produces its nitric oxide to help facilitate many biochemical processes and maintain your overall health. But its most vital function is the dilation of blood vessels. This has two major benefits – it increases blood circulation and reduces blood pressure.
Without enough nitric oxide in your body, you might suffer various health challenges. These include erectile dysfunction (in men), diabetes, heart disease, and so on.
But then, you can use amino nitrate supplements to boost your natural production and prevent these health problems. What’s more, nitric oxide supplements can also help improve your exercise performance.