Nitric oxide supplements hit the marketing scene with a bang, just like every other “new” thing. Just like lots of other “new” things, nitric oxide supplements don’t work. Save your money.
The whole marketing hype comes from research about open heart surgery patients. Nitric oxide is considered to be an anti-anginal drug and during surgery, nitric oxide was used because it causes vasodilation, which means that it opens up the coronary arteries and improves blood flow to the heart.
The key point here is that it improves blood flow to the heart….. not muscles in the body. The heart has coronary arteries that feeds blood to itself. There arteries are different to the arteries in the rest of the body. Nitric oxide does not affect these arteries. I’m not medically trained so I can’t explain properly how the body’s arteries are different to the coronary arteries, but trust me, they are and nitric oxide does not affect blood flow to the body’s muscles.
The other thing about nitric oxide is that it is highly reactive, having a lifetime of a few seconds. That means that it works for a couple of seconds and then its gone. Nitric oxide supplements will not have any affect on your body and won’t make any difference to your training.
So, why do some people protest that they get results from these supplements?
Most of the nitric oxide supplements on the market contain caffeine. Caffeine is a wonder drug when it comes to performance enhancement. In the first 20 minutes of taking it caffeine hits your brain and improves mental alertness and provides instant energy. After 1 hour of taking caffeine it gets right into the muscle cells and improves the contractile power of the muscle. That’s when you get the real performance enhancement of the drug.
Supplement companies hide caffeine in their products by using chemical names like methylxanthine (a form of caffeine) or creating a proprietary blend of ingredients and patenting the blend. Under the patent law they don’t have to reveal the specifics of the blend or the levels of the ingredients.
Most people don’t read the ingredients label and virtually no one is familiar with chemical terminology, so they don’t realise that the nitric oxide product actually contains caffeine. When they take it they get a rush and think they have discovered something new.
So Now You Know
Don’t be fooled by the slick marketing of nitric oxide supplements and save your money. If you really want a pre-workout boost you should be able to source caffeine pills from somewhere or even just take an energy drink. It will give you the same result, but it’s best to take the caffeine 1 hour before training for optimal results.
Caffeine By Other Names: