The ultimate objective of any gym goer is to achieve their goals and get the greatest levels of performance and recovery from their body. In fact, so important is this objective that is shared by millions of people across the globe that there have been entire sport nutritional categories that have been created and fine-tuned in order to meet the demands and needs of gym goers worldwide.
Pre-Workout Formulas that are founded on compounds linked with Nitric Oxide (NO) are just one of these categories. In this post, we go into detail about NO, outlining everything you could want to know about how it works to boost performance and the different mechanisms that can result in an increase in the production of NO.
What Exactly is Nitric Oxide?
Nitric Oxide is something that the cells in your body produce naturally. It is considered to be one of the most vital molecules for the health of your blood vessels, and for this reason, it is closely linked with the sports performance world.
Nitric Oxide is also referred to as being a Vasodilator. This means that it helps the inner muscles of your blood vessels to relax and widen; a process known as vasodilation. Due to these effects, NO helps to reduce blood pressure and enhances the flow of blood throughout the body.
NO is also an essential signaling molecule that is present in the form of gas. It is formed by just a single molecule of nitrogen and a single molecule of oxygen. There are many places in the body where it is produced, this occurs predominantly within the endothelium, which is essentially the blood vessel lining.
Many of the supplements that boost the production of Nitric Oxide in the body do not actually contain NO. Instead, they contain compounds that help the body to produce more NO. This is why they are often referred to a NO Booster.
What Exactly does Nitric Oxide Do to Boost Performance?
Nitric Oxide contributes to the regulation of the immune, cardiovascular, and nervous system. In this post, we are going to specifically focus on the Vasodilation function, as it is this increased blood flow really benefits those looking to elevate their athletic performance.
The reason that this increased blood flow is so important is that this process helps to deliver more nutrients, fuel, and oxygen to muscles during exercise, it also serves to reduce blood pressure as well. All of this positively impacts a workout and can boost performance significantly. There is much research that supports the inclusion of NO Boosters. Studies demonstrate that elevated NO production can
benefit performance for those who undertake both anaerobic and aerobic exercise. It is both popular with regular gym-goers and athletes alike. So, as well as helping to deliver more nutrients, fuel, and oxygen to the body, it also serves to remove waste products such as lactic acid and aids the regulation of blood sugar as well.
Another very useful benefit of Nitric Oxide is its ability to reduce muscle soreness. This ailment is also referred to as DOMS, which stands for Delayed Onset of Muscle Soreness and is most prominent in the 24-72 hours following exercise. For those who train hard, it is a common occurrence.
How Is Nitric Oxide Produced?
When we examine the biochemistry of Nitric Oxide, things start to get really interesting! If science isn’t your thing, don’t worry; we will explain exactly how this relates to your performance.
NO is produced by a number of different pathways with proven benefits, the most common of which is derived from amino acid precursors such as Citrulline, Ornithine, and Arginine; Pathway 1.
Many of you ready this may have already come across these before as they are well-known in the industry as core ingredients of pre-workout formulas. Essentially, they perform as an effective NO precursor and get converted once in the body, while delivering what people regard to be an additional ‘pump’ to their workouts.
When used in pre-workout formulas and supplements, there are typically in the form of synthetic amino acids. Now, let’s take a quick look at the other NO pathway; Pathway 2.
This second pathway converts plant-based dietary nitrates within the body. There are many plants such as root vegetables and leafy greens that are rich in nitrates, which when consumed get absorbed into saliva and converted into nitrates. Following this, these nitrates are transformed to form Nitric Oxide. The nitrates found in whole foods and plants are exceptionally beneficial to the body as they come from foods that contain Vitamin C, Antioxidants, and Polyphenols which also boost the production of Nitric Oxide.
Nitric Oxide, whether produced naturally or taken in the form of a pre-workout supplement can boost performance and deliver significant benefits to the body. There is much evidence that supports the use of Nitric Oxide as a performance enhancer, that can help with muscle pumps, vasodilation, blood flow, and a whole lot more!