Nitric oxide is manufactured by almost every cell type in the body, and it plays a crucial role in the health of blood vessels. Nitric oxide is composed of nitrogen and oxygen and your body makes it out of arginine and the nitrates in your diet. It's a vasodilator, meaning it plays a major role in vascular relaxation: elevated levels are associated with better blood flow and lower blood pressure.
Supplements that increase nitric oxide in the body make up one of the most popular supplement categories today.
Here are 5 health and performance benefits of taking nitric oxide supplements.
1. Boost Performance
Nitric oxide boosts exercise effectiveness by increasing the width of the blood vessels. When blood vessels widen, the delivery of nutrients and oxygen to muscles is increased, and this may improve performance in athletic activities.
2. Lower Blood Pressure
Some doctors believe impairments in the body's ability to properly use nitric oxide may contribute to the development of hypertension. Studies suggest vasodilators like nitric oxide allow blood to flow through vessels more easily and enable the heart to pump with less force.
3. May Help Decrease Muscle Soreness*
Many individuals experience muscle soreness after vigorous exercise, and this symptom can also occur in patients unaccustomed to physical activity. It typically peaks one to three days after exercise. Citrulline malate, a form of L-citrulline that increases nitric oxide, has been shown to reduce post-exercise muscle soreness.
4. Help Treat Erectile Dysfunction
L-citrulline is an amino acid that may help treat erectile dysfunction by increasing the production of nitric oxide (
5. Promotes Heart Health
Animal studies suggest nitric oxide promotes heart health in several different ways. In addition to reducing blood pressure, it reduces the stiffness of the arteries and increases blood flow in the carotid arteries.
Nitric oxide is a molecule that plays many important roles in human health. Many supplements are claimed to increase nitric oxide in the body and provide impressive benefits for health and performance. They usually contain ingredients like nitrate or the amino acids L-citrulline and L-arginine.