The use of pre-workout stimulant products is not a new concept, people have been taking caffeine for some time to maximise focus and concentration before a workout. However, the use of products that provide Nitric Oxide or increase endogenous (internal) Nitric Oxide production is, and continues to gather momentum every day.
Nitric oxide is a gas used by cells to communicate within the body. Its chemical make-up consists of one nitrogen atom and one oxygen atom. It has been the subject of rigorous research as a nutrition supplement and is now used by many (including top fitness athletes), as a potent pre-workout supplement.
Why use Nitric Oxide?
2 words- INTENSITY + GROWTH!
Ironically, the increase in INTENSITY is a direct result of RELAXATION.
Let me explain......
The main function of nitric oxide is to RELAX SMOOTH MUSCLE TISSUE such as that found in the walls of blood vessels, the hearts aorta, pulmonary vein and small arteries, respiratory tract (wind pipe) and the stomach. The benefit of relaxing these muscles means the body’s circulatory system goes through what is known as vasodilation (widening of the blood vessels). Wider arteries mean more blood gets to the muscles, brain and heart, this results in greater insulin delivery (one of the bodies main growth hormones), oxygen delivery, and therefore more focus, better uptake of glucose, fuller muscle pumps (due to increased blood supply), and ultimately an increased workload leading to greater stimuli for myofibrillar hypertrophy (MUSCLE GROWTH)!
When we consume Nitric Oxide as a pre-workout supplement, the effects are usually felt within 30-40 minutes (depending on whether it is taken on an empty stomach or not). It is recommended to be taken on an empty stomach to maximise its effects (2 hours after a meal or 1 hour after protein shake). It is recommended to monitor the effect it has on you subjectively as everybody reacts differently. Some consumers may notice an over-stimulatory effect which can be off putting and uncomfortable, however, to cater to this; there are non-stimulatory pre-training options available.
The above mentioned vasodilation and enhanced relaxation of the wind pipe provides a clearer route for us to get rid of carbon dioxide, increase oxygen and thus prolong and intensify training. This is achieved through a reduction in the build up of carbon dioxide, hydrogen ions and lactic acid (the main culprits in muscle cramp).
Arginine and its role in Nitric Oxide Production
The amino-acid Arginine is an integral precursor (requirement) for the internal production of Nitric Oxide. It plays a major part in regulating Nitric-Oxide synthase which is responsible for producing Nitric-Oxide via the breakdown of Arginine itself. Therefore 3-9grams of Arginine may also serve to increase Nitric Oxide levels and thus increase training INTENSITY.
Summary of what to Consider when Supplementing with Nitric- Oxide
- Timings- Aim to take approximately 30mins before your work out
- Try to take on an empty stomach (2 hours after a meal or 1 hour after a protein shake)
- Take it attentively at first and monitor your tolerance
- Consume alongside a whey and/or casein protein supplement to aid muscle growth after your workout
- Try not to consume after approximately 5.00pm to avoid disturbances in your sleep pattern
- Use with caution when consuming caffeinated products or if you have noticed caffeine sensitivities in the past
- Try not to consume a stimulant any more than 3-4 times a week to avoid becoming insensitive to its effects
- Only consume on training days
- Never exceed the recommended dosage advised by the manufacturers
- Always read the WARNINGS provided on the products label or on our website. Caution must be exercised when consuming any nutritional supplement
So if you want skin tearing muscle pumps, gains in strength and power, prolonged training capacity, and unwavering concentration and focus during your gym sessions, a pre- workout supplement such as Nitric-oxide will deliver on all levels.