How to increase NO or Nitric Oxide

Most of the products and information on Nitric Oxide on the market today are stretching the truth a little when it comes to the facts on Nitric Oxide or NO.  The fact is that you cannot buy Nitric Oxide and take it as a supplement.  I know, you see it all over the stores and it says, Nitric Oxide Blast or NO Explode.  Well, I guess they hope you don’t find out that Nitric Oxide is a gas.  It’s created in the bloodstream and cannot be drank, injected made into a powder or created outside the body.  That’s just a fact.

The effect of NO in the body is beneficial in working out though, so having more of it in our bloodstream is a good thing.  The effect of NO in our body is that blood vessels are dilated and blood flow is increased throughout the body including the muscles and the heart.  More blood flow means more oxygen and essential nutrients are carried.  Simple exercise is all that is necessary to stimulate NO production in the body.  Our  bodies produce  NO  without supplements of any kind, BUT…There is a way to increase NO production and push the body to make more of this magic molecule in the blood.

Dr Louis Ignarro ‘s work won him the Nobel Prize in medicine in 1998 for his discovery of nitric oxide in the bloodstream.  Here is a quote from the doctor regarding nitric oxide:

With heart health a concern among  men and women in America, we all need every advantage we can get in protecting ourselves. The discovery of an amazing molecule, nitric oxide , can help provide us with  this sort of protection.

 NO improves circulation by assisting blood vessels to signal the surrounding smooth muscle to relax–which in turn widens the arteries and increases blood flow  helping maintain normal blood pressure. NO keeps your system youthful, toned, and flexible. Optimizing NO production is like giving our cardiovascular system a daily workout ! In addition to its numerous heart-healthy advntages, NO also promotes immune-system health and also acts as a neurotransmitter.

 Unfortunately, a large percentage of people are lacking in  production of NO, which puts them at elevated risk of cardiovascular disease. But using amino acids like L-arginine and L-citrulline and antioxidants, you can actually increase your body’s own production of nitric oxide.


Other proven benefits of Nitric Oxide are:

Cancer: White blood cells use ;nitric oxide not only to kill infectious agents such as bacteria, fungi and parasites, but also to defend the patient against tumors. Researchers are currently testing whether NO can be used to halt the growth of tumors, since this gas can induce programmed cell death.

Impotence: NO can initiate blood flow and therefore erection of the penis by dilating the blood vessels to the erectile tissues. This knowledge has already led to the development of new drugs against impotence.

Dr. Ignarro proved that the amino acids Arginine and Citrulline combined could increase NO production in the blood stream, so while you can’t create NO outside the body, you can increase production in the body with a combination of these two amino acids.

How much should you take? Well the good doctor has hooked up with Herbalife so he doesn’t like to say, His branded supplements are what the company calls a “proprietary blend” and much of his recommendations that were freely published have disappeared from the internet so I’ll just have to tell you what they were:

By taking 10 grams of Arginine and 1.5 grams of Citruilline per day, your NO production will increase to a level that you can feel athletic performance increase and if you suffer from high blood pressure you will see a measureable reduction.  Sorry Dr. Ignarro, your secrets out.

Many supplements claim Nitric Oxide as an ingredient, but science tells us that’s impossible.  It’s a gas. How do you contain a gas in a pill or a powder?  You can’t. And while some such as NO Explode by BSN list arginine and citrulline as ingredients, they don’t list the amount.  That’s a problem I have with many supplements.  They claim to deliver a result and you know (by reading post such as this one) how much of an ingredient is required to deliver that result and they want you to just trust that the necessary amount is in their product.

My philosophy is that if they need to keep it a secret, then they’re hiding something from me.  I take pure pharmaceutical grade Arginine and Citrulline by NOW foods along with 500mg of vitamin C.  I drink Shakeology and I use Beachbody results and recovery formula because I trust those products and all of the ingredients are listed WITH their amounts contained

Here is one more thing you need to know about Arginine and Citrilline.  Arginine especially is extremely bitter.  It’s necessary to mix it with something that will kill the bitterness.  I can tolerate a bad taste to some extent because I’ve taken supplements in raw form for a long time, but Arginine will squeeze your face up and have you shaking your head like you just drank a mouthful of vinegar.  Trust me on this, mix it with juice not water.

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2 Commentsto How to increase NO or Nitric Oxide

  1. Dan V. says:

    AWESOME stuff, Jim. Of course, I’m geek like that.

    Speaking of geek, arginine may not even work or even be counterproductive (wha!?):

    1 Schwedhelm et al., 2007. Pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties of oral L-citrulline and L-arginine: impact on nitric oxide metabolism. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 65(1):51-9.

    2 Campbell et al., 2006. Pharmacokinetics, safety and effects on exercise performance of L-arginine alpha-ketoglutarate in trained adult men. Nutrition. Sep;22(9):872-81.

    3 Greer et al., 2011. Acute arginine supplementation fails to improve muscle endurance or affect blood pressure response to resistance training. J Stength Cond Res, (Epub ahead of print).

  2. Jim says:

    Yes I know, studies are still being done to disprove gravity too:) any time notoriety is given to one person, many others jump in to try and disprove that science to gain their own notoriety on the back of those that did the real research. I’ve read all those studies and the flaws are glaring. Low doses, faulty implementation etc.

    That’s why I always go mainly on my own results. At one time I dropped my blood pressure by 30 points using only Arginine and Citrulline. No one can dispute that. I saw the results first hand so I’m a believer.