NO (Nitric Oxide) Supplements: Are Nitric Oxide Supplements Worth Experimenting With?
NO (nitric oxide) supplements have gained quite a following since they initially debuted on the market.
A number of bodybuilders are intrigued by NO, just as they were captivated when creatine first hit the market.
Advertisements for nitric oxide products tout it as a means for promoting increased lean mass, enhancing fast twitch muscle, quicker recovery and improved strength.
Manufacturers claim that their products help boost nitric oxide levels in the skeletal muscles, creating what has been described as “perpetual pump.” This is the sensation of feeling like your muscles are going to jump right out their skin, and some who use NO supps say they can experience this perpetual pump all day. Still, critics maintain that there is little scientific evidence to support the claims of NO advertisers.
Yet, a number of individual bodybuilders have given positive feedback to NO supplements. Some have reported gaining as much as 20 pounds in a couple of months, although some reported weight gains of only two or three pounds. Some bodybuilders credit nitric oxide products with resulting in a prolonged pump, along with improved vascularity.
Some have even said that the physical and psychological effects of NO supplements are astounding. However, others blame them for the migraine headaches they’ve suffered from.
At this point, there is little information available about side-effects from NO product use. However, high doses of arginine can be toxic, leading to diarrhea and nausea. Some bodybuilders report no side-effects as a result of using NO supplements. It will take a great deal of additional research in order to determine the long-term effects of their use.
Also, studies are needed to determine what level of NO supplement usage would be considered potentially harmful to one’s health.
A number of other nitric oxide products are now available, including Pinnacle’s NOx2, BSN Nitrix, MRI’s NO2 and Universal NOx3, which all contain the same active ingredients. The major difference between the various products are…
- the amounts contained per serving (generally 3-4 grams of arginine are required daily for maximum effect)
- the amount of ancillary ingredients — like creatine, glutamine and others that tend to be included in some of these compilations.
When using NO products, it is important to drink large amounts of water. This is true for most supplement use. The hydration helps the bodybuilder to maintain the perpetual pump.
Some bodybuilders recommend taking NO precursors in conjunction with creatine, and many NO supplements now contain creatine (like BSN’s NOXplode, Gaspari’s SuperPump, Ultimate Nutrition’s HorsePower, and Muscle Tech’s Nano Vapor).
Like creatine, the initial price of NO products was quite high, but it appears to have come down recently. All indications are that the price could decline further in the future.
Is nitric oxide a miracle supplement? At this point, the answer depends on the person you talk to. I’ve experimented with several NO-boosting supplements and in general, I’ve found them to be well worthwhile, although I wouldn’t say they quite measure up to creatine when it comes to “bang for the buck.”
Pumps are definitely more intense, although I have found it to take up to a week of supplementation with some products to notice the pump. Strength increases were notable too.
Bottom line is that for me anyway, NO supplements will continue to play a big role in my supplementation regime. I’d definitely recommend giving NO a try — and yes, stack with creatine for more intense pumps!