Nitric Oxide (NO): What it is and how it works

June 4, 2017


NO is a gaseous molecule that the body produces naturally to be used as a signaling agent in many metabolic processes. Now that we know what it is, we will discuss how nitric oxide works and how to use nitric oxide . By combining L-Arginine, oxygen and NADPH (A high reaction form of energy at a molecular level) the body can endogenously create NO and use it for “bodily porpoises”, like carrying messages in and out of the cells, boost the immune system, controlling and regulating the blood pressure, etc. Now, when we go to the store and buy a NO supplement, we are actually NOT buying NO, but its precursor, L-Arginine and L-Citrulline, and its intended porpoise it way different than the ones mentioned before.

How does Nitric Oxide works:

The primarily role of NO in the body for an athlete is to get an increased blood flow and dilate the blood vessels and muscle tissue. It is also used to clean the toxic waste produced by training more efficiently, removing the lactic acid faster from the metabolism. In high performance athletes, it is also used to improve the endurance performance, increasing the amount of energy available and making the body more sensitive to its own glucose, helping them to train/compete at a higher level for a longer time.

How to use Nitric Oxide:

Even though clear amounts/dosage have not been established, most commercially available supplements do not exceed a safe dose. The ideal way to use it is in cycles and only to improve an already good/top level performance. This means that if you are just starting out with a training routine or in a pre-season stage, NO is not for you, yet. Once you have achieved a performance goal and want to make it even better, that is the moment you should take an NO supplement. Taking it by cycles means that once you are ready to start with NO supplementation, you should use it until you reach an specific goal in a short/medium term mesocycle and then discontinue its use, since it is a free radical.

Let’s say that you have been training to achieve a specific milestone in your sport. Once you get REALLY close to your target, NO usage should help you reach your goal since it should improve your already good performance output. The same thing happens with weightlifter or bodybuilders, once you get the look/desired weight you are looking for, you could take a NO supplement to make it even better, by getting a more “pumped and vascular” look or by increasing your overall strength.

I strongly recommend that you consult your doctor/certified nutritionist before taking this or any other types of supplements.

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