While you may be interested in nitric oxide, the truth is nitric oxide supplements by themselves do not exist.
Because nitric oxide is a gas produced within the body, it can’t really be taken as a dietary supplement but you can influence your body’s nitric oxide production with a number of ingredients.
Our bodies produce nitric oxide based on dietary nutrients we receive from food like leafy greens, beets, walnuts, watermelon, pomegranate, garlic, pepper, and salmon.
Sometimes, though, getting nitric oxide from food isn’t enough, and so we have to supplement.
And one nutrient in particular plays a more important role than others. It’s the amino acid L-arginine
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L-arginine can be found in many of the foods we eat on a daily basis, and can also be found and taken in supplement form.
This amino acid is converted by the body into nitric oxide, which gets to work by dilating blood vessels and enhancing overall blood flow while increasing nutrient delivery throughout the body.
Dr. Ignarro, one of the 1998 Nobel Prize winners for the discovery of the significance of nitric oxide, even provided a recommended dosage of l-arginine.
According to his research, Dr. Ignarro found 4-6 grams of l-arginine to provide the most circulatory benefits when it comes to nitric oxide production.
In addition to l-arginine, Dr. Ignarro recommended daily l-arginine intake be accompanied by 1 gram of l-citrulline, another amino acid which helps prolong the production of nitric oxide by recycling l-arginine, so less goes to waste.
Many supplements that boost nitric oxide production do not call themselves nitric oxide supplements, but rather base their formula around l-arginine.
However, if you’re looking to increase your nitric oxide production with a nitric oxide supplement, you’re going to more than likely take l-arginine.
What To Look For:
While l-arginine alone is good for your body and DOES help enhance production of nitric oxide, ideal supplements will include at least 1,0000 mg of l-citrulline to go with at least 5,000 mg of l-arginine per serving. L-citrulline is the second most important nutrient in nitric oxide supplements because it helps to recycle l-arginine in the body and extend the amount of time the body produces nitric oxide from l-arginine.
Higher-end supplements will contain an ingredient like AstraGin, which really helps the body better absorb the amino acids.
Many products will include multiple natural extracts that may help relieve high blood pressure, or are packed with antioxidants such as:
- Red Wine Extract (resveratrol)
- Hawthorn Berry Extract
- Beet Root Extract
- Watermelon Seed Extract
- Green Tea Leaf Extract
While these extracts aren’t typically harmful and do contribute some natural antioxidants, it’s important to pay attention to the l-arginine and l-citrulline concentration of the supplement, since they are the key ingredients that will ensure major results if you want a nitric oxide boost.
If you’re looking to increase your nitric oxide production for workout benefits, overall health benefits, and to improve your blood pressure, there are many nitric oxide supplements offered, but not all of them will work effectively.
This is why your doctor will likely recommend a supplement, or recommend that you do your research and try different formulas to see what works best for you.