The nitric oxide (NO) sports supplement category has grown to astronomical proportions in recent years, although this is really a "pre-workout" supplement category with NO-associated compounds comprising a minority percentage of the ingredients in the more popular supplement formulations. Although everyone in the sports supplement world is talking about NO, very few people really understand much about it. When the amino acid L-arginine is delivered to the endothelial cells of the inner layer of arterial walls, nitric oxide (NO) is formed via the enzyme nitric oxide synthase (NOS), which means that L-arginine is a precursor of NO. Increased levels of NO cause vasodilation (widening) of blood vessels. This leads to increased blood volume (known in the bodybuilding world as "the pump"), which is sought after by bodybuilders to optimize the grueling exchange of oxygen, glucose, amino acids, creatine, waste byproducts of muscular contraction, etc., that takes place both into and out of muscle during and immediately after intense muscular contraction. It might seem logical to conclude that supplementing with L-arginine would enhance the production of NO. However, it's more complicated than that. The body uses L-arginine for many purposes other than its role as a precursor of NO. Also, according to the PDR® for Nutritional Supplements™, in vitro studies have shown that under normal physiological circumstances NOS is saturated with its L-arginine substrate. In other words, L-arginine would not be expected to be rate limiting for the NOS enzyme, and it would not appear that supra physiological levels of L-arginine-which would occur with oral supplementation of L-arginine-would make any difference with regard to NO production. The reaction would appear to have reached its maximum level. However, in vivo studies have demonstrated that under certain physiological conditions, supplemental L-arginine can enhance endothelial-dependant vasodilation and NO production, possibly through mechanisms that interfere with compounds that are normally inhibitors of NOS. This discordance between the in vitro and in vivo results is known as the "arginine paradox". Scientific data has not yet validated that intense muscular contraction fosters a type of physiological environment that enables supplemental L-arginine to positively influence greater activity of NOS and thus enhanced levels of NO. Despite this lack of scientific support, "real-world" anecdotal evidence, from the stomping grounds in the gyms across America, suggests that NO supplements are contributing to enhanced levels of NO. However, because the formulations in these popular NO products contain many beneficial pre-workout compounds (mostly creatine and other amino acids) that are unrelated to the production of NO, one cannot discount the extent to which these other compounds may be contributing to the vasodilation effect that has already been initiated by the body in response to intense muscular contraction.
Recommended Use On Training Days
Once your tolerance has been established, mix 1-3 scoops with 6-18 oz of cold water and consume 30-45 minutes before training. Use approximately 6 oz of water per 1 scoop of powder.
Recommended Use On Non-Training Days
Mix 1 scoop with 6 oz of cold water and consume on an empty stomach.
Vary the amount of water to achieve your desired flavor and sweetness level.