Nitric Oxide Buying Guide

Nitric Oxide (NO) is commercially used by body-builders as a supplement for muscle-building. It is typically sold as an oral supplement. It is not to be confused with Nitrous Oxide, the general anaesthetic, or Nitrogen Dioxide, a poisonous air pollutant. Physicians, enthusiasts and detractors all tend to disagree about its effectiveness. Since tests have supported both sides of the argument, the following is a brief synthesis of the current findings.

What To Know

  • Typically, the supplement one takes is not Nitric Acid but L-arginine, an amino acid that acts as a building block for the gas. When the blood breaks down arginine, Nitric Oxide is produced.
  • NO is produced naturally by the body during exercise, and is considered very important in combating heart disease.
  • It was proclaimed Molecule of the Year in 1992.

What It Does

  • NO is known as a vasodilator, meaning it allows an increase in blood flow to muscles during exercise, causing the following:
    • Increased oxygen and nutrients to the muscles.
    • Increased muscle strength and definition.
    • Quicker muscle recovery.
    • The coveted "pumped" feeling of newly exercised muscles.
  • A well-known example of the effect of NO on the body is Viagra, which uses NO to increase blood flow to the penis.

Side Effects

  • It is important to remember that although taking the supplement appears to be safe, combining it with other supplements could induce an unwanted reaction.
  • As with any product containing amino acids, overdose is a possibility. An overdose of arginine can lead to diarrhoea, nausea and weakness.

Major Manufacturers

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