by Tony Gjokaj April 06, 2020 4 min read
Nitric Oxide (NO) is a compound composed of Nitrogen (N) and Oxygen (O). Produced in our body, Nitric Oxide causes blood vessels to widen, allowing for better blood flow. Your body typically makes Nitric Oxide as a result of the Arginine and Nitrates in your diet.
Nitric Oxide has quite a few benefits, like improving heart health and reducing exercise fatigue, and improving the time it takes for our muscles to fatigue.
There are many types of Nitric Oxide Boosters that either directly or indirectly help our body. In this section, we will discuss a few of the more known Nitric Oxide boosters, and the science behind them.
Arginine is one of the more popularly known Nitric Oxide Booster, as it is directly produced in the body from food. Based on research, people typically get on average of 5g of L-Arginine produced in their bodies as a result of their diet.
While L-Arginine is found in some pump products, it hasn't produced reliable evidence that it directly helps (just yet). The reason for this is that ingesting L-Arginine directly has a poor absorption: as a result, there isn't reliable proof that it will improve our performance.
L-Arginine may have it's merits in consumption if you don't get enough in your body, but since most foods typically contain it, you might not necessarily need it.
L-Carnitine is a compound that is produced in the body by lysine. It is used with other Nitric Oxide boosters because it helps increase Nitric Oxide. While it is typically found in meat, supplementing with it has been shown to provide more benefits.
There are a few forms of L-Carnitine, but one of the most popular ones is Acetyl-L-Carnitine (ALCAR). Acetyl-L-Carnitine is a modified L-Carnitine that has nootropic benefits.
ALCAR can bind with choline to produce acetylcholine. This means it reduces fatigue, improves attention, and aids with memory & learning processes. If used with a supplement like Impulse, you can add more synergistic benefits to it.
Here are a few recommendations when consuming L-Carnitine:
Beta-Alanine is the modified version of the amino acid, Alanine. When it is taken, it turns into carnosine, which slows down lactic acid production from exercise.
It has been shown to improve muscular endurance: it helps reduce fatigue by extending the time it takes to exhaustion. Anecdotally, people have reported that it allows them to get one to two extra reps during higher rep exercises.
Here are a few facts and recommendations that you should know about Beta-Alanine:
While people hate the face tingling feeling of Beta-Alanine, it is a great supplement to have with you when it comes to intense training sessions.
L-Citrulline is an amino acid that improves Nitric Oxide metabolism when consumed. Citrulline is one of our favorite Nitric Oxide Boosters and for good reason: compared to L-Arginine, Citrulline is the better nitric oxide booster as it turns into l-arginine in the kidneys. This means it is more directly absorbed, efficiently improving Nitric Oxide Metabolism.
According to a double-blind study, Citrulline Malate has been shown to improve anaerobic performance and muscle soreness relief, reducing fatigue. In addition, it has been shown to improve blood flow.
Here are a few recommendations and additional facts for Citrulline:
While not directly a nitric oxide booster, beetroot has high nitrate content which turns into nitric oxide in your body.
To reinforce this, a recent study showed that beetroot can improve bench press power and strength endurance, making it a great supplement to have in your arsenal.
In addition to the Nitric Oxide slowing down muscular fatigue, the antioxidants in beetroot can also produce more nitric oxide.
While Nitric Oxide Boosters might not be necessary for some, there are a few reasons why we would recommend taking Nitric Oxide Boosters.
For one, Nitric oxide boosters manage exercise fatigue or time to exhaustion. This provides you a great opportunity to get some extra reps in, especially if you're training for muscle growth or endurance.
In addition, they may make fat loss dieting a little easier for exercise. Typically when dieting, individuals consume lower carbs. This means that oxygen efficiency is reduced, making it more challenging to push through lifts in higher rep ranges.
There is some correlation to nitric oxide boosters and oxygen efficiency: they may assist with oxygen efficiency during training.
Remember that supplementation is always not necessary, but in certain circumstances, they could REALLY help.
What a terrible pun.
While Nitric Oxide boosters continue to be studied, we know that quite a few of them have some merit in supplementation. We believe they're even better used when it comes to fat loss dieting, in that oxygen efficiency may be decreased.
Based on current research, Citrulline, L-Carnitine, Beta-Alanine, and Beetroot seem to be the best to add to your supplement arsenal when it comes to exercise performance, blood flow and, quite possibly, heart health.
Thanks for reading Reforged Legion!
What other supplements would you like to see broken down and simplified? Let us know in the comments below.
Until next time Legion, stand strong!
Tony is the Owner of Reforged Performance Nutrition. He is a PN1 Certified Nutrition Coach and has been in the fitness space for over a decade. His goal is to help bridge the gap between physical & mental health through fitness.
by Tony Gjokaj March 31, 2021 3 min read
What is the difference between Impulse and Catalyst?
We get this asked every once in a while to new members of the Reforged Legion.
So in this post, I wanted to talk about the differences between these two products: who they are for, what they're made for, and what scenarios you can use them in.
by Tony Gjokaj March 24, 2021 2 min read
Two new products incoming!
Introducing our Recovery Line!
by Tony Gjokaj March 20, 2021 3 min read
I’ve had clients in the past tell me they wanted to lose an “x” amount of pounds in one month.
Why the one month?
“I just want it done quickly.”
This is understandable... I have been there. But I've always had bad experiences and problems with fitness goals like this.
They’re always outcome-based. High expectations with a probability that they might not be achieved or accomplished.
Things like “I need to drop 15lbs for my wedding in 2 weeks” are always things that people desire for just a specific moment in their life.
This is one of the reasons why I believe people fail.
We expect so much with our goals, but we don't have systems or processes to get to them.
We need to go beyond this with the formulation with the acceptance of a lifestyle change… and of what I like to call Badass Goals.
Rise to a greater potential.
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