More than 60,000 scientific studies have been conducted on nitric oxide in the last 20 years.
And just before the turn of the century, three scientists won the Nobel Prize for Medicine for discovering the signaling role nitric oxide plays in the body.
For so many people looking to lower their blood pressure or reduce their cholesterol, improve their workouts or fight sexual health problems like erectile dysfunction, nitric oxide may be the most critical molecule in the body.
What is Nitric Oxide?
Nitric Oxide is a vital signaling molecule produced within the body that is involved in physiological and pathological processes. Nitric Oxide signals the smooth muscles of the artery walls to relax as a vasodilator.
This process helps to lower the blood pressure, prevents red blood cells from clumping and prevents plaque from formulating along the artery walls. As a vasodilator, Nitric Oxide helps the body deliver nutrients and oxygen throughout the body more efficiently.
How is Nitric Oxide Produced?
Nitric oxide is produced in the body from the enzyme nitric oxide synthase (NOS) transforming the amino acid l-arginine.
The body’s ability to naturally produce and sustain healthy levels of nitric oxide peaks at around age 25. Nitric oxide production then begins to slowly decline with the production slowing significantly around age 40.
Benefits of Nitric Oxide
Increased Recovery – Nutrient delivery is vital to an effective recovery after a workout. Nitric oxide increases blood flow to improve the amount of oxygen and nutrients that reach your muscles. Of course, nitric oxide will only aid recovery if you’re also getting key nutrients from a healthy post-workout meal including protein, vitamins and minerals.
Reduced Fatigue – Nitric oxide can also help reduce your fatigue during workouts. As you lift weight, the body runs out of oxygen and lactic acid begins to build up in the muscle tissue causing muscle fatigue. Nitric oxide helps increase the oxygen delivered to the muscles to extend the time it takes for nitric oxide to build up.
Enhanced Endurance – Because nitric oxide increases nutrient and oxygen delivery, it also helps enhance your endurance. By increasing your nitric oxide levels, you can work longer without getting winded as fast.
Increased Energy – As nitric oxide improves your blood flow, your body requires less energy to cool down. This process gives you added energy that’s not available without increasing nitric oxide.
Increased Glucose Use – While nitric oxide is most notable used to improve heart health and boost workouts, it’s also been shown to help burn body fat as it increases the amount of glucose the body uses. In a study published in the American Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism examining the impact of the nitric oxide precursor l-arginine on glucose metabolism during exercise, athletes taking l-arginine were using glucose faster as exercise continued.
Improved Muscle Pump – Anyone who has completed an intense muscle-building workout knows the pumped feeling that follows. Because the muscle pump is a result of increased blood flow to the muscles, nitric oxide increases the muscle pump as it helps more blood reach the muscles during and following your workouts.
Strengthened Immune System – By improving blood flow, your body’s immune system will naturally be strengthened, as nutrients are able to reach infections faster to more effectively fight infection and disease.
Reduced Inflammation – Inflammation is the body’s natural response to protect the body and trigger healing, however, it can also lead to chronic problems in some circumstances. Because nitric oxide improves blood flow, it speeds the recovery process to reduce inflammation faster.
Better Sleep – According to the European Journal of Neuroscience, nitric oxide improves sleep while improved sleep can also improve nitric oxide production.
Blood Pressure Support – Nitric oxide is a key vasodilator that helps improve blood pressure by expanding the blood vessels. By reducing stress on the heart as the blood vessels are expanded, nitric oxide has been shown to reduce blood pressure and offer support for those with high blood pressure.
Improved Circulation – By expanding the blood vessels, nitric oxide also help improve circulation to increase blood flow throughout the body.
What are the Best Ways to Increase Nitric Oxide?
For those interested in increasing their nitric oxide levels, there are a number of benefits that come from increasing nitric oxide.
L-arginine and L-citrulline – Both amino acids work to increase nitric oxide. L-citrlline is converted to l-arginine for extended nitric oxide release. The body uses l-arginine to rapidly increase nitric oxide production.
There no better way to get l-arginine and l-citrulline than with L-arginine Plus. L-arginine Plus has been the best-selling nitric oxide booster for close to five years. With more l-arginine and l-citrulline than any other supplement available, you get results that last.
Exercise – Of course the benefits of exercise go way beyond increasing nitric oxide, but add that to the list. It doesn’t matter what type of exercise you’re getting, all kinds of exercise have been shown to increase nitric oxide levels. Of course, strength training will help build muscle and the body will respond with increased nitric oxide production to support the added muscle.
Nitrate Rich Foods – Nitrates are converted into nitritines and then nitric oxide to help boost nitric oxide within the body. Nitrate rich foods include spinach, beets, arugula lettuce, iceberg lettuce, carrots, parsley, cabbage, radishes and collard greens.
Get Out in the Sun – Natural sunlight triggers vitamin D production and also triggers the skin to synthesize additional nitric oxide. Researchers at the University of Edinburgh found the skin instantly produces and releases nitric oxide into the blood stream when sunlight hits.