Nitric oxide is a chemical compound with the chemical formula NO. This compound naturally occurs in our bodies when they break down amino acids.
Almost every cell in your body can produce nitric oxide because it helps cells communicate with each other. Also, nitric oxide is important for healthy blood flow, so it can be highly beneficial for certain groups of people.
In this guide, you will find reviews of 5 best nitric oxide supplements, the main health benefits of this compound, dosage, side effects, and more.
- 1 5 Top-Rated Supplements for a Nitric Oxide Boost
- 2 What Is Nitric Oxide and Why Do You Need It?
- 3 Who Will Benefit the Most from Taking Nitric Oxide Supplements?
- 4 Natural Ways to Boost Nitric Oxide Levels
- 5 What Are the Most Common Ingredients of Nitric Oxide Supplements?
- 6 Proven Health Benefits of Nitric Oxide
- 7 Dosage and Possible Side Effects
- 8 Frequently Asked Questions
- 9 Wrapping Up
5 Top-Rated Supplements for a Nitric Oxide Boost
HumanN Superbeets Nitric Oxide Boosting Powder
The HumanN powder is one of the best nitric oxide supplements allowing you to boost the levels of this chemical compound naturally. The manufacturer offers you a blend of natural and fermented beetroot powder, which you can add to your meals or just dissolve in water.
One serving (1 tbsp.) of this powder provides you with 50 mg of vitamin C, 18 mg of magnesium, and some essential electrolytes, such as potassium and sodium.
Also, you get to choose between apple and black cherry flavors. Two and three-pack options for prolonged supplementation are available as well.
Jacked Factory Nitric Oxide Caps
The Nitric oxide booster made by Jacked Factory uses another method of delivering NO to your body cells. One serving, which is equal to 3 capsules, packs a blend of L-Citrulline, L-Arginine, and L-Glutathione, the primary amino acids that are used to boost nitric oxide levels.
The manufacturer has additionally enhanced the capsules with black pepper extract for better bioavailability. The supplement itself is pretty potent, and you might feel its effects after the first week of use.
The Jacked Factory caps are suitable for vegans and people with food intolerances, and they meet the highest cGMP standards via the third-party lab testing.
Prime Labs Nitro Blast Caps
Prime Labs offers one of the best nitric oxide supplements in the form of a vitamin-enriched complex. For every four capsules you take (one serving), you will receive 1,460 mg of proprietary NO-Max 3000 Amino Blend, which consists of Arginine, Ornithine, and Glutamine.
Also, the capsules offer you the mixture of electrolytes, B6 and B12 vitamins, zinc, and chromium picolinate. Thus, you will receive a full-fledged supplement to boost your endurance and promote better vascular health.
The only problem with the Prime Labs supplements is that they aren’t vegan-friendly due to gelatine in capsule shells.
Zhou Nutrition Nitric Oxide Caps
The next nitric oxide booster on this list is the Zhou Nutrition caps. It provides a blend of beetroot extract along with L-Arginine, AAKG, and L-Citrulline, which are crucial for boosting NO levels.
All components enhance each other’s effects, resulting in high potency and fast delivery. Moreover, the Zhou Nutrition supplement is suitable for vegans because it uses plant-derived sources for capsule shells.
One serving of the supplement is equal to 4 capsules, which means the whole package lasts for a month.
Evlution Nutrition Nitric Oxide Boosting Powder
And the final candidate in this selection of the best nitric oxide supplements is offered by Evlution. It comes in a powdered form, and you can choose among five delicious flavors (or, opt for an unflavored option).
One scoop of the Evlution powder provides you with approximately 1,000 mg of betaine nitrate, which is used as the primary source of NO. It also packs 1,500 mg of Hydromax blend, which serves as a fuel for cells.
Along with that, the manufacturer provides you with C and D vitamins, which can help you manage oxidative stress and improve your overall immunity.
The Evlution Nutrition is available in 30 and 60-count packages, so you have more options to choose from based on your supplementation needs.
What Is Nitric Oxide and Why Do You Need It?
In its natural form, nitric oxide is a colorless gas with a sharp and sweet smell. Your body uses nitric oxide as a signaling molecule, meaning that this compound plays an essential role in the coordination of cells actions.
Here are the main processes in which nitric oxide is necessary:
- vessel dilation and blood flow improvement;
- heart rate control;
- regulation of lipid metabolism;
- active training sessions.
“The most common precursor to nitric oxide is nitroglycerin, a drug that is used for alleviating symptoms of cardiac arrest.”
Who Will Benefit the Most from Taking Nitric Oxide Supplements?
Healthy people who eat diverse foods typically don’t need to incorporate nitric oxide supplements into their diet. However, some individuals may benefit from NO enhancers:
- People suffering from hypertension. Since NO belongs to a group of natural vasodilators, it can widen blood vessels, thereby lowering blood pressure.
- People with heart problems. Increased heartbeat often results in a condition called tachycardia, which can make a person more prone to getting a heart attack. Supplementing yourself with nitric oxide may decrease heart rate and help people with tachycardia.
- Athletes. Individuals who lift weights or train hard in the gym may need nitric oxide because it increases muscle pump and hence improves the performance during the training session.
- People with type II diabetes. Diabetes may adversely affect vascular health, which will lead to hypertension and congestive kidney diseases. Individuals with diabetes may use the effects of nitric oxide to improve blood circulation and manage vascular problems.
“The ability of nitric oxide to improve blood flow may be helpful for men with erectile dysfunction and other sexual wellness problems.”
Natural Ways to Boost Nitric Oxide Levels
The most natural way to boost nitric oxide levels is to consume nitrate-rich foods, which provide your body with dietary nitrates that it can convert into NO.
And before you get scared with the word ‘nitrates,’ here’s a small scientific reference for you:
Until recent times, nitrates were demonized because of their adverse impact on your overall health. Nitrates are often used as additives to preserve processed and grilled meat, and it’s precisely where the problem lies.
Turns out, nitrates that are naturally occurring in vegetables, are even beneficial to your health, as they come in a complex with other compounds, such as antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Meanwhile, when you’re eating processed sausage, you’re mostly getting copious amounts of salt, synthetic flavor and food dye, which aren’t that healthy by themselves.
So, the key to boosting your NO levels is eating whole nitric oxide foods, such as:
- Beets. Drinking beet juice or adding a baked beetroot to your salad is the easiest way to spike up your nitrate levels.
- Leafy greens. Spinach, kale, spring greens and arugula are the champions in the concentration of nitrates by weight, so don’t hesitate to add them to your salad bowl.
- Dark chocolate. If you’re a fan of dark chocolate, here’s the good news for you: cocoa nibs are high in chemicals called flavanols. They have antioxidant properties and can help you increase the levels of nitric oxide as well.
- Citrus fruits. Oranges, lemons, and grapefruits are rich in vitamin C and can help you enhance the levels of nitric oxide. Ascorbic acid works as a catalyst in the production of nitric oxide and increases its absorption.
- Garlic. Garlic contains compounds that activate the enzymes needed to produce nitric oxide from amino acids.
“If you want to increase the levels of nitric oxide in your body gradually, focus on fruits from this list before moving to consuming vegetables, as fruits typically are lower in nitrates. With plant-based sources, the rule is simple: the closer it is to the ground, the more nitrates it contains.”
What Are the Most Common Ingredients of Nitric Oxide Supplements?
Now, if your healthcare provider advised you to increase your NO levels, you can do it not only by eating the aforementioned foods but also through supplementation. Just make sure the nitric oxide formula has the following components:
- Arginine. This amino acid is considered ‘semi-essential’ meaning that your body can produce it, but you may require additional supplementation in certain situations. Arginine is important for endurance and may help boost nitric oxide levels.
- Citrulline. Citrulline is an amino acid that may work as a precursor to arginine, thereby having all its benefits in terms of NO enhancement.
- Beet extract. Beet extract basically is dried and powdered beet pulp that allows you to get all the benefits of natural beetroot in a capsule.
- Branched Chain Amino Acids, or BCAAs. These amino acids are critical for athletes, as they help them speed up the recovery time and improve performance during training. The thing is, all the BCAAs have a nitriс group in their molecule. Thus, when the molecules break down, your body may use these groups to increase the NO levels.
“Nitric oxide boosters are commonly used as pre-workout supplements. So, if you need an NO enhancer primarily for athletic purposes, you may start with checking the pre-workout section at the closest sports nutrition store.”
Proven Health Benefits of Nitric Oxide
Now, let’s walk through all the nitric oxide benefits proven by science so that you would understand what this chemical compound does for your body and health.
Improves Athletic Parameters
Perhaps the most well-researched effect of nitric oxide boosters is their impact on athletic performance. NO supplements can help you achieve your goals in several ways:
- Increased performance. When you’re lifting weights, your muscles need increased amounts of oxygen to get energy and perform properly. Nitric oxide is able to improve blood flow, which thereby increases the percentage of oxygen transported by red blood cells. A 2018 study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research reported that nitrate supplementation could improve exercise tolerance and capacity.
- Reduced recovery time. Increased blood flow might be helpful for muscle recovery as well. It allows to flush byproducts, such as lactic acid, out of the system and make muscle fibers work more efficiently.
- Decreased muscle soreness. Muscle soreness typically reaches its peak in 24-72 hours after the hard training sessions. It’s a result of the aforementioned build-up of byproducts, as well as microtraumas that increase the local inflammation. A 2010 study suggests that supplementation with citrulline malate — one of the main compounds for elevating NO levels — can decrease muscle soreness by 40%.
Despite that all, research on this topic shows mixed results because the participants of the studies often use nitric oxide boosters in the form of a pre-workout cocktail. These cocktails often contain caffeine, creatine, and other substances that have proven effects on boosting athletic performance. Thus, it’s unclear whether the same results can be achieved by the NO boosters alone.
Improves Cardiovascular Health
Cardiovascular problems are the leading cause of deaths and disabilities around the world. In particular, the inadequate blood supply to organs and tissues may result in a condition called ischemia, which is potentially lethal.
Since nitric oxide acts as a blood flow enhancer, it may promote healthy blood supply to the organs and protect them from hypoxia and ischemia.
Along with that, the vasodilating properties of nitric oxide may help individuals with hypertension. For example, a 2008 study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society suggests that the production of NO impairs with age, which may lead to chronic hypertension. Thus, supplementation with nitrates might be helpful for older people who are struggling with elevated blood pressure levels.
There are surprisingly many studies that confirm the role of nitric oxide in memory and cognition. For example, according to a 2011 review published in the Indian Journal of Medical Research, nitric oxide activates computational activity in the brain, thereby boosting productivity and learning.
Also, this review reports that NO might be beneficial for preventing neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease, by managing inflammation in the cerebral blood vessels.
May Help Manage Type II Diabetes
Diabetes is a systemic disease, meaning it affects different organs and parts of your body. According to a 2010 study published in the Diabetes Journal, individuals with type II diabetes typically have impaired nitric oxide production, which may result in poor vascular health.
Thus, supplementation with nitric oxide booster can be a promising way to help diabetic people manage their condition and improve blood sugar control.
May Be Beneficial for Treating Erectile Dysfunction
To get an erection, blood needs to fill the specific area of the penis called corpus cavernosa. Since this area is pierced by blood vessels, even slight damage might lead to erectile dysfunction.
Supplementation with nitric oxide boosters may aid in promoting healthy blood flow to penile arteries, which, in turn, may help combat erectile dysfunction in some individuals.
Dosage and Possible Side Effects
Since you can only take foods and compounds that boost NO levels, and not the nitric oxide as is, it’s tough to determine the right dosage.
So, depending on the source you will get nitric oxide from, here are the approximate doses for each:
- Amino-acids. If you’re trying to get nitric oxide from the amino acid, it’s pretty easy, as we need from 3 to 6 grams of each amino acid per day.
- Beet. Most studies conducted with the use of beets for boosting nitric oxide use 70-140 ml for juice or 200 g of baked beetroot. However, dried beet extract may have a slightly different concentration depending on the brand and the extraction process, so there’s no direct correlation.
- Cocoa extract. The recommended dosage for cocoa extract is 500-1,000 mg per day, which is equal to 1-2 slices of dark chocolate.
- Garlic. There’s no recommended dosage of garlic as well, so you can eat as many as feels okay for you.
“There are some theories that L-carnitine can also modulate the levels of nitric oxide in humans; however, more data is needed about the exact dosing of this supplement.”
With that being said, the nitric oxide side effects may also differ based on the source you’re getting it from. The most common issues are indigestion, nausea, dizziness, and headaches.
If you experience these symptoms, take the next dosage of NO booster with food or split it through the day; most capsulated forms allow you to do that easily.
“People with low blood pressure (hypotension) need to take nitric oxide supplements with caution, as they may drop their blood pressure too low. A doctor’s supervision is highly recommended.”
Frequently Asked Questions
Can too much nitric oxide harm you?
No, nitric oxide is naturally secreted inside your body during the catabolism stage, so its concentration is pretty constant all the time. In fact, people with impaired NO production, such as those with diabetes, suffer more from cardiovascular problems and other issues connected to the lack of nitric oxide.
What time of day is the best for nitric oxide supplementation?
There’s no exact time for taking NO boosters because it depends on your goals. People with hypertension may want to take split doses of nitric oxide supplements during the day, while athletes need a boost 20-30 minutes before workout. It’s always better to discuss the supplementation with your healthcare specialist.
What is the best supplement for a nitric oxide boost?
Most NO enhancers contain either a blend of amino acids needed to synthesize it or natural sources of nitrates, such as the beetroot powder. The effectiveness of these supplements is pretty much the same, so which one to choose is up to you.
Do nitric oxide supplements really work?
To be honest, the research is mixed here.
Scientists believe that the level of physical activity plays a role. For example, a review of 42 studies reported that NO supplementation might be useful for people with a moderate training routine. However, there isn’t any evidence for highly trained individuals.
How long does it take to see the effects of nitric oxide?
According to Kenneth D. Hartline, the nitric oxide booster enters your bloodstream 20-30 minutes after you ingest it, and may last up to 90 minutes before the effects begin to wear off.
Nitric oxide is one of the primary metabolites inside your body cells. Organs and tissues need this chemical compound to coordinate their actions and communicate with each other.
While a diverse diet is the most natural way to enhance and maintain healthy nitric oxide levels, some individuals might benefit from using supplements.
The primary effect of increased nitric oxide levels is vasodilation, which means it can relax your blood vessels and improve blood flow to different organs.
Although there’s no exact dosage of nitric oxide for everyone, people with a sensitive stomach may experience digestive distress when taking too much.