by Tony Gjokaj November 23, 2020 4 min read

One of my first pre-workout supplements was Jack3d.

If you were taking pre-workouts during that time, you know that stuff HIT differently. It wasn't until time progressed that I found out that the stimulant DMAA was in there (an amphetamine derivative).

It's no longer on the market for that reason.

Today, most pre-workouts have changed, but we believe it's very important to know exactly what you put into your body - especially how the supplement industry is regulated.

So we are going to talk about some components in pre-workouts that benefit you during (and even after) your workouts: Nitric Oxide Boosters, or pump products.

Let's dive in!

Nitric Oxide: For The Gains

Nitric Oxide boosters consist of a few major blood flow boosters that directly or indirectly benefit you in your workouts.

Nitric Oxide (NO) is a compound composed of Nitrogen (N) and Oxygen (O) that's naturally produced in our bodies. It is a vasodilator, meaning that causes blood vessels to widen, allowing for better blood flow.

While your body typically makes it, supplementing with nitric oxide boosters will improve the performance of your workouts (similarly to creatine).

With consistent supplementation of Nitric Oxide boosters, it benefits you with improving heart health, reducing exercise fatigue, and improving the time it takes for our muscles to fatigue.

What Types Are the Best?

For Nitric Oxide boosters, they are not all created equal. 

For example, while very popular, Arginine is one of those nitric oxide boosters that has a poor bioavailability. This means that it is not as effective as other boosters like Citrulline or Beta-Alanine.

So with that, we are going to explore three of the best types of Nitric Oxide boosters you can take.

The Best Types of Nitric Oxide Boosters

There are many types of Nitric Oxide Boosters that either directly or indirectly help our body. We will discuss three of the best performing Nitric Oxide boosters, and the science behind them.

I. L-Carnitine

L-carnitine is a compound that is produced in the body by lysine. While it is typically found in meat, supplementing with it has been shown to provide more benefits.

For example, L-carnitine has been shown to reduce muscle damage through exercise. As a result, it reduces lactate production, thereby improving exercise performance.

There are a few forms of L-carnitine. One of the most popular ones in the nootropic space is the modified L-Carnitine known as Acetyl-L-Carnitine (ALCAR).

ALCAR has brain boosting benefits that aid with memory, energy, and more.

Another popular L-Carnitine form is L-Carnitine L-Tartrate (LCLT), which is typically used for exercise performance. In addition, LCLT has been shown to help with recovery after exercise as well.

Here are a few recommendations when consuming L-Carnitine:

  • The standard dose for L-Carnitine is between 0.5-2g.
  • An optimal standard dose for ALCAR would be around 0.6-2.5g, giving you the equivalent of a standard L-Carnitine dose.
  • For L-Carnitine L-Tartrate (exercise performance & recovery), a dose around 1g-4g is an optimal standard dose.

II. Beta-Alanine

Beta-Alanine is the modified version of the amino acid, Alanine. While not necessarily a nitric oxide booster, it turns into carnosine. Carnosine ultimately aids in nitric oxide production.

Beta-alanine improves muscular endurance, which extends the time it takes to fatigue. Anecdotally, some also report that it allows them to get one to two extra reps in.

Here are a few facts and recommendations that you should know about Beta-Alanine:

  • Beta-Alanine is the ingredient in pre-workouts that makes your face tingle.
  • For performance benefits, Beta-Alanine is taken in dosages around 2-5g.

Some people love the tingling sensations of Beta-Alanine, and it is a great supplement to have with you when it comes to intense training sessions.

III. Citrulline

L-Citrulline is an amino acid that improves Nitric Oxide metabolism. Citrulline is one of our preferred Nitric Oxide Boosters because of its absorption. Compared to L-Arginine, citrulline is a better absorbing as it turns into l-arginine in the kidneys.

According to a double-blind study, Citrulline Malate has been shown to improve anaerobic performance and muscle soreness relief, reducing fatigue.

Here are a few recommendations and additional facts for Citrulline:

  • There are variations of Citrulline, but two of the most commonly known are Citrulline Malate and L-Citrulline.
  • Typically, 1.76g of Citrulline Malate equates to 1g of Citrulline. While there isn't evidence supporting one to be better than the other, we would go by this ratio when choosing a Nitric Oxide product.
    • For blood flow, it is recommended to take 3g of Citrulline daily.
    • For sports performance, it is recommended to take 3-8g of Citrulline.

    Why You Should Use Nitric Oxide

    While nitric oxide boosters might not be necessary for certain circumstances, they are quite beneficial for exercise performance.

    First, nitric oxide boosters help with manage exercise fatigue. This provides you a great opportunity to get some extra reps in, especially if you're training for muscle growth or endurance.

    Adding to this, most pre-workouts contain beta-alanine, which provides that face flush that fires people up. Some people like this for motivation after a long exhausting day of work.

    Also, in my opinion, may make fat loss dieting a little easier for exercise. Typically when dieting, we typically consume lower carbs. This means that oxygen efficiency is reduced, making it more challenging to push through exercises.

    There is some correlation to nitric oxide boosters and oxygen efficiency: they may assist with oxygen efficiency during training.

    *Remember that supplementation is optional, but in certain circumstances, they can benefit people in many ways.

    Now You N.O. It.

    As research continues to expand with Nitric Oxide, the opportunities could potentially be endless.

    With that, we want to prepare you for our upcoming supplement, Catalyst. Catalyst is our mind & body performance preworkout. We efficaciously-dosed Catalyst with nitric oxide boosters to improve performance in the gym. In fact, Catalyst includes 6g of L-Citrulline and 3.5g of Beta-Alanine, which means you're going to feel it the performance benefits of it during your workouts.

    You can read more about it by click here, or the graphic below.

    Prepare for war this December!

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    Until next time, Reforged Legion!

    Tony Gjokaj
    Tony Gjokaj

    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.



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