If you ever use muscle supplements to support your workouts, then you know about nitric oxide. At least, you’re familiar with the term. Many product and ingredients claim to ignite this gaseous property within the body, helping you excel in the gym. But how many of us really understand its role within the human body? How does it operate biologically to enhance our natural processes? When I first started hearing the terms, I would think of NOS, the chemical compound that helps automative engines accelerate explosively and also serves as the basis for laughing gas. But of course, nitrous oxide is a very different construct. How does nitric oxide work and why is it important to building muscle?
As mentioned above, nitric oxide is a gas — a colorless molecular compound that occurs naturally in animals, including humans. It plays an important role in our physiological processes. A variety of breakthrough discoveries in the 1990s placed nitric oxide at the forefront of the scientific community’s focus. In 1992, NO was named “Molecule of the Year” by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Six years later, in 1998, researchers were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for uncovering its full functionality as a cardiovascular signalling compound. Previously many believed that nitric oxide was nothing but a toxic chemical with negative impacts. But now that we understand its true positive influence, there’s been a comprehensive effort to unleash its true powers for human benefit. In large part, this relates to enhancing workouts. How does nitric oxide work to take your regimen to the next level?
How Does Nitric Oxide Work?
Combining the molecules for nitrogen and oxygen, nitric oxide is one of the world’s most powerful natural vasodilators. This means that it helps relax smooth muscles, leading to a decrease and blood pressure and superior blood flow. This, in turn, can greatly assist the processes that contribute to growing muscles. With a boost in nutrient delivery, workout warriors are able to enjoy superior performance, greater endurance, and faster recovery. Additionally, nitric oxide supplements have a tendency to increase growth hormone content in the body, further aiding your muscle program.
Now, to be clear, nitric oxide is not an ingredient you’ll find in a capsule. The body cannot effectively absorb it in such a manner. Instead, NO supplements contain ingredients that trigger nitric oxide production. Among the most popular are amino acids such as L-arginine and L-citrulline. Such properties are able to accomplish this task with great efficacy. Most modern formulas also include complementary components that further aid optimal absorption and utilization. There are many different angles to boost vascular rate and nutrient delivery, but this tends to be one of the most popular and accessible.
Is Nitric Oxide Safe?
When you hear about igniting a gas without your body, especially one that sounds like something a comic book supervillain would use to blow up a city, you’re bound to have some concerns. But worry not. Supplements don’t do anything drastic enough to fundamentally shift bodily chemical composition or cause damage. Some individuals experience irritability, anxiety, headaches or dehydration, but these outcomes are rare. If you encounter them, stop using a nitric oxide supplement and consult your physician before moving forward.