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Learn the benefits of nitric oxide supplements for bodybuilders

Nearly 30 years ago, scientists identified a natural gas produced in the body that relaxes smooth muscles in the blood vessels, increasing oxygen and blood flow. Since then, more than 30.000 scientific papers have been published acknowledging Nitric Oxide’s crucial role in vasodilation and cell communication (*1).

What is Nitric Oxide?

Nitric oxide (NO) is a natural gas produced in the body through the work of specific enzymes called nitric oxide synthases that break down the amino acid arginine. NO acts as an important signalling molecule in the vascular system, dilating blood vessels and increasing blood flow and nutrients delivery to muscle cells.

Nitric Oxide benefits

Nitric oxide’s vasodilation effect is extremely important for athletes – especially for bodybuilders – as an increase in nutrient and oxygen delivery means you’ll be able to exercise for longer, no matter what your sport is.

During physical activity, there’s an increase in cardiac output and blood flow redistribution to muscle fibres. As you exercise, muscles become oxygen-depleted. In the absence of oxygen, the body begins to produce lactic acid which will eventually lead to muscle fatigue – to the extent that you can exercise no more.

Nitric oxide reduces the amount of lactic acid produced during exercise and extends the amount of time until exhaustion. By speeding up the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the muscles under stress, nitric oxide improves their response to exercise and so increases sports performance.

It is also known to speed up the removal of the exercise-generated ammonia and increase glucose uptake by cells (*3).

It also helps in the control of blood pressure, dilates blood vessels to cause penile erection and is used by the immune system to fight viral, bacterial and parasitic infections.

It is the ability of nitric oxide to increase blood flow that is of most interest to bodybuilders who can benefit as follows:

 Its ability to reduce inflammation helps muscles that have been subjected to extreme stresses.

Given its close relationship with arginine care should be taken in applying small doses and increasing them gradually until an optimum level is reached. Bear in mind that many protein powders and other supplements are fortified with amino acids so check the labels carefully.

The manufacturer's instructions should be followed in all instances.