Nitric oxide supplements are fast gaining popularity as more people are discovering that these dietary supplements help them increase their workout intensity and duration. Their energy levels are boosted and nitric oxide also helps them with faster muscle recovery after even the toughest workouts.
Nitric oxide is a gas that is produced during the breakdown of an amino acid called arginine, by the enzymes in our body. Commonly referred to as “NO”, nitric oxide, is vital for a variety of functions within the human body. It helps transmit signals and facilitate communication between cells, throughout our bodies.
Foods such as sesame seeds, spinach, shrimp, and crab, are natural sources of arginine. Nitric oxide supplements usually have a blend of ingredients such as arginine, BCAAs, taurine, citrulline, and tyrosine. The formulas of these supplements are designed to help improve the quality, intensity, and duration of your workout sessions.
With so many choices of nitric oxide supplements in the market, it’s not easy to find out which is an effective and high-quality product that is safe for consumption. To make your choice easier and help boost your energy, endurance, workout intensity, and muscle recovery, here is a list of the top 10 nitric oxide supplements of 2020.
Top 10 Nitric Oxide Supplements
Crazy Bulk NO2 Max is a pre-workout supplement that promotes the production of nitric oxide. Nitric oxide helps in relaxing and widening the blood vessels. This allows more blood, oxygen, and nutrients to reach muscles during workouts. It is also effective in boosting energy levels and delaying muscle fatigue.
Crazy Bulk NO2 Max is an ideal supplement for weightlifters and bodybuilders. It is a safe and legal alternative to illegal steroids. It enhances performance and endurance. This premium nitric oxide booster increases the blood flow to the muscles for greater pumps during your workouts. Nitric oxide relaxes and widens blood vessels permitting essential nutrients to reach the muscles for faster recovery from workouts. It supports the fast graining of muscles.
Each bottle of Crazy Bulk NO2 Max contains 60 tablets. The recommended dosage is 2 tablets with water, at least 20 minutes before your workout. Each tablet contains calcium, L-arginine, alpha-ketoglutarate. It also contains microcrystalline cellulose, crospovidone, stearic acid, vegetable stearate, silica, hydroxypropyl, methylcellulose, propylene glycol, Triacetin. The ingredients are selected by expert in-house nutritionists.
The product is lab tested before it reaches the market. Crazy Bulk NO2 Max has no reported side-effects. The manufacturing processes and the facility meet the FDA requirements. The product is 100% natural, safe and legal.
- a premium nitric oxide booster
- Free worldwide delivery
- Safe and legal formula
- Increases endurance and muscle recovery
- Overdose can cause stomach cramps
- No indication of third-party testing
AAKG (arginine alpha-ketoglutarate) is a popular ingredient in bodybuilding supplement, made from the amino acid L-arginine and alpha-ketoglutarate (AKG). Bulk Supplements AAKG is a pre-workout supplement that enhances your energy and stamina. It helps build muscle mass and is beneficial in boosting exercise performance.
Bulk Supplements L-Arginine a-Ketoglutarate (AAKG) is a pure supplement that contains only AAKG and no other ingredients. The serving size is 2600mg. Each container has 38 servings. This supplement is free from common allergens such as soy, dairy, yeast, and gluten. The recommended dosage is 3 times a day on an empty stomach. It promotes good blood flow and the needed oxygen, especially during workouts. This, in turn, increases the muscle swell whilst exercising. Nutrients also reach the muscles and so fatigue is delayed in the process. The supplement can be consumed by both men and women and it positively impacts their sex lives as well. However, pregnant and lactating women should abstain from consuming this supplement.
The supplement does not have any flavor though it may taste slightly bitter if taken alone. However, it mixes well with other pre-workout blends. The powder is white in color and dissolves easily in water. Bulk Supplements AAKG comes in an easy storage zipper packing. It should be stored in a cool, dry and dark place. There are no additives or fillers in this product. It is manufactured in an FDA certified facility and undergoes in-house lab testing procedures before distribution. A ‘Certificate of Analysis’ (COA) is available for all products from Bulk Supplements on request.
- Pre-workout supplement both men and women
- Pure AAKG supplement without any fillers
- May help increase muscle mass
- Free from soy, dairy, yeast, and gluten
- No scoop available
- Slightly bitter taste
Havasu Nutrition L Arginine is a nitric oxide supplement beneficial for the growth of muscles, increasing energy and vascularity in muscles. The core ingredients are AAKG (Arginine Alpha-Ketoglutarate), ArginineHCI and citrulline. Arginine and citrulline are amino acids that breakdown inside the body to release nitric oxide.
This supplement is intended for people who are physically active, weightlifters, runners, and athletes. The product is 100% natural and does not contain any preservatives, chemicals, sugars, and artificial ingredients. It undergoes strict procedures of third party testing ensuring the stated benefits reach the consumer.
The capsule is made up of gelatin. The other ingredients are magnesium stearate and silicon dioxide. Each bottle contains 60 capsules. It should be stored in a cool dry place and out of the reach of children. The serving dosage is 2 capsules per day.
The company follows all the norms of GMP and is FDA certified. It also offers a 60-day money-back guarantee. The company believes that the end-user should receive the full benefit of the product and so the ingredients and the finished product are thoroughly tested in an ANS certified facility. The product is third-party tested by an ISO certified lab. The lab conducts tests on the potency and integrity of the supplement. Havasu Nutrition products are not addictive.
- 100% natural ingredients
- Third-party tested
- 60-day money-back guarantee
- No fillers or additives
- Gelatin capsule – not for vegetarians
- Not budget-friendly
Arginine 3000 from Goliath by Dr. Emil is scientifically formulated with the highest dose of Arginine (L Arginine, AAKG and Arginine HCI). Dr. Emil is a recognized authority in the field of supplementation and is also a pro bodybuilder apart from being a nutritional expert and a contributor to men’s health publications.
Each bottle contains 90 tablets and the dosage is 3 times a day. It is manufactured in the USA. The company adheres to GMP standards and the product is third-party tested for its benefits.
Each tablet contains a powerful 3150mg dose. It enhances the blood flow to organs and muscles leading to energy increase, pump, and vascularity.
This supplement is 3 times more potent than other arginine products in the market. This product is intended for serious athletes and bodybuilders. The supplement is made of natural herbal extracts. It provides a good muscle pump during your strength workouts. It can be consumed by both men and women. With the help of this supplement, your workouts can become more intense and for longer durations as it promotes physical endurance.
With improved blood circulation, Arginine 3000 from Goliath by Dr. Emil also promotes heart health. There are no additives, hormones or gluten present in this supplement. It is a non-GMO product. Caffeine or other stimulants are absent in this supplement. It does not contain any animal extracts.
- The highest dose of AAKG available
- Manufactured in the USA
- Made of natural herbal extracts
- Third-party tested for its benefits
- Fillers present
- Large size tablets
N.O. XT Nitric Oxide booster and muscle builder is a pre-workout supplement for both men and women that improves blood circulation to promote energy and endurance during workouts. Scientifically tested this supplement is packed with ingredients that boost strength and builds muscles.
Its main ingredient is a powerful form of L-Arginine (Nitrosigine Inositol-Stabilized Arginine Silicate). Each capsule consists of 500mg of L-Arginine, 200 mg of L Glutathione and 5mg of the black pepper extract, BioPerine. It is advised to take 3 capsules 30-45 minutes before a workout. These are easy to swallow capsules. The effects can be felt within an hour of intake.
This supplement is made in the USA in a cGMP registered facility. These are 100% veggie capsules. If for any reason the results are unsatisfactory the company guarantees a refund. The product does not contain artificial fillers, preservatives or food dyes. It is made using the best quality and research-backed ingredients. The product is not intended for children. Pregnant and nursing mothers should not consume this supplement. It should be stored in a cool dry place.
- Research-backed ingredients
- Contains the most powerful form of L-Arginine
- No artificial fillers
- 100% veggie capsules
- No indication of third-party testing
- May upset stomach
NutraChamps L Arginine capsules promote a healthy heart while increasing energy and endurance benefitting the user with enhanced performance and muscle growth. Providing the benefits of its premium ingredient L Arginine it contains L Arginine HCI, AAKG (L Arginine Alpha-Ketoglutarate) and L Citrulline Malate. The supplement is further enriched by the extract from grape seed. It contains ginger root powder. The other ingredients are vegetable capsule and L Leucine.
Manufactured in the USA, the product is vegan and third-party tested for its potency and quality. The company adheres to the practices of cGMP. Each bottle contains 60 capsules. The direction for use is to take 2 capsules a day, preferably with a meal. The capsules are medium in size. With 1500mg dosage per capsule. It starts to work within 30 minutes after intake and helps in reducing blood pressure by widening blood vessels and increasing blood circulation in the body.
The grape seed extract also contributes to enhancing blood circulation, especially to the legs. The pepper ingredient encourages absorption and helps eliminate cramps. This product can be consumed by both men and women. It does not contain gluten, corn or magnesium stearate.
- Vegan-friendly product
- Corn and gluten-free
- Manufactured in the USA
- No magnesium stearate
- May cause heartburn
- Can upset stomach
Zhou N.O. Pro has been scientifically formulated to optimize strength, energy, and stamina during workouts. It enhances the flow of oxygen and nutrients through increased blood flow by boosting nitric oxide production in the body. Each serving contains L Arginine 1200mg, AAKG 1200mg, Citrulline Malate 610mg, and Beetroot 160mg. The dosage is 4 capsules per day, to be taken 30 minutes before a workout.
This supplement is meant for those who are physically active, athletes and those who undertake workouts for strength and muscle building. It increases the vascularity of the muscles. It further advances energy and endurance with quick recovery during workouts. The nitric oxide expands the blood vessels enabling clean oxygen and nutrients to reach the muscles and organs. The other ingredients in Zhou N.O. PRO are vegetable magnesium stearate, silica and vegetable capsule, Each bottle contains 120 capsules. All ingredients are 100% natural. It supports healthy blood pressure levels and increases your libido.
All ingredients are of the highest quality, non-GMO and tested before being manufactured in an FDA certified facility following GMP protocols. This supplement can be ingested by both men and women though it is not intended for children, pregnant women, and nursing mothers. The product does not contain any stimulants like caffeine. Zhou N.O. PRO is vegan-friendly as it does not have any animal products in it.
- Does not contain stimulants
- No animal products used
- Effective to reduce blood pressure
- Non-GMO ingredients
- Capsules are large sized
- Too many capsules to be consumed to be effective
Nutra Champs Nitric Charge has been scientifically formulated to support a healthy heart, increase stamina and energy. Each serving contains 1200mg of L Arginine HCI, 1200mg of AAKG (Alpha-Ketoglutarate), 1200mg of L Citrulline Malate and 150mg of pine bark extract. This natural addition of pine bark is effective in reducing muscle soreness and may also influence better blood circulation and blood pressure.
The direction for use is 4 capsules before a workout. It can be consumed on an empty stomach. The capsules are small in size and can be swallowed easily. The effects become more pronounced within 2-3 days. This product does not contain gluten, soy, eggs, dairy products, wheat, preservatives, and animal products. It does not contain stimulants such as caffeine. It can be ingested by both men and women. Even the elderly can consume this supplement.
Nutro Champs Nitric Charge encourages longer periods of workouts as this supplement boosts energy levels and improves your stamina. Each container has 120 capsules. It is manufactured in the USA in a facility that follows the standards of GMP. All ingredients are third-party tested for its potency and integrity.
- Pine bark extract reduces muscle soreness
- Improves blood circulation
- Easy to swallow capsules
- May reduce sexual desires
- May cause crash when effects wear off
Snap Nitric Oxide dietary supplement promotes muscle growth, energy and endurance, and endurance apart from vascularity of the muscles and increases blood flow. The combination of two essential amino acids, L Citrulline and L Arginine encourages extended periods of workouts. It provides clean oxygen and vital nutrients to the cells of muscles enabling stronger pumps and greater endurance workouts. A full refund is available after 90 days if there is no evidence of benefits.
The supplement contains extracts from the bark of Muira Puama, a flowering plant found in the Amazon rainforests. Traditionally used as a tonic, it has been found to be an effective treatment for libido loss. Another extracted component is from Tribulus Terrestris fruits used in Chinese and Indian medicine to treat blood sugar levels, libido, and cholesterol.
The product has been backed by scientific research. The nitric oxide booster in the supplement encourages more nitric oxide to be produced in the body resulting in better and strength gains. This ingredient also works as a vasodilator expanding the blood vessels and allowing a greater flow of oxygen and nutrients to reach the muscles.
Studies have shown that the presence of L Citrulline reduces muscle soreness caused by workouts, thereby the recovery is faster. This supplement contains no caffeine, stimulants or sugar. It can be consumed by both men and women.
- Manufactured in an FDA registered facility
- Made in the USA
- Contains both L Citrulline and L Arginine
- 90-day money-back guarantee
- May trigger Migraines
- May cause low blood pressure
Force Factor Volcano Nitric Oxide booster contains three main ingredients for bodybuilding. They are L Citrulline, Creatine and Agmatine. Creatine is present in a special form called Con-Cret that pushes endurance to its maximum. This is a pre-workout supplement that also enhances vascularity with lean muscles. Nitric oxide is a vasodilator that increases the flow of oxygen and nutrients to the muscle cells.
L Citrulline works as a catalyst for increasing nitric oxide production that increases strength and power. Con-Cret from Creatine HCI is in an ultra-concentrated form. As a component of the supplement, it eliminates the need to drink a large amount of water that causes a bloated feeling. Agmatine is a popular sports nutrition that is common in the supplement regimen of weightlifters. The main ingredients of this dietary supplement give a burst of energy for greater performance.
Force Factor Volcano Nitric Oxide Booster does not contain caffeine or any other stimulant. Each bottle contains 120 capsules and the recommended dosage is 2 to 4 capsules per day with breakfast and 30 minutes before a workout. It reduces fatigue and the user is encouraged to extend the workout time.
- Contains L Citrulline, Creatine and Agmatine
- 120 capsules per bottle
- Promotes quick recovery after workouts
- No stimulants such as caffeine
- Not budget-friendly
- May cause digestive discomforts
How Do I Pick a Good Nitric Oxide Product?
Now that you are aware of which ones are said to be the best nitric oxide supplements, how do you choose from this list, or even from among other choices in the market? Taking the following factors into consideration can help you make the right choice:
Pre-workout boosters vs nitric oxide supplements: Nitric oxide supplements can be considered a pre-workout booster as they help you workout with more intensity and stamina. So it’s easy to confuse them with general pre-workout boosters that may not even contain any nitric oxide among their ingredients. Pre-workout supplements tend to contain stimulants such as caffeine which are usually not included nitric oxide products. You should be aware of such differences and know what type of supplement you are really looking for.
Brand quality – It’s usually better to buy from an established supplements brand than to experiment with unknown manufacturers. If you are choosing a relatively unknown brand, then do your research on the company, if their manufacturing unit is FDA registered and whether they have product return and money-back policies in case you are not satisfied with their product.
Value – Using a nitric oxide supplement is not a one time purchase as you’ll want to continue using the supplement for a while if you are serious about your workouts. So its important that the product is budget-friendly as well as effective. So along with the ingredients list, pay attention to recommended dosages and the number of servings per package to work out how long a purchase will last and how often you will have to buy them.
The right combination of ingredients: Whats makes a supplement truly effective is the ingredients used in its formula. Check the label to find out what ingredients are used and their quantities. The next section is devoted to the common ingredients used in nitric oxide supplements and how they function, so read on.
5 Ingredients Commonly Used in Nitric Oxide Products
Each brand of nitric oxide supplements boasts of its unique formula that offers you a multitude of health benefits. All the ingredients in a nitric oxide supplement may not directly boost nitric oxide levels directly, some of them are added in the formula to enhance workout performance. Though there are innumerable combinations of ingredients used, the most common ingredients used in nitric oxide supplements are:
- Arginine – L-arginine is one of the most vital ingredients in a nitric oxide supplement since the breakdown of this amino acid releases nitric oxide. Nitric oxide causes blood vessels to open wider for improved blood flow. L-arginine also stimulates the production of hormones such as insulin and HGH (the human growth hormone). HGH plays a key role in metabolism, cell repair, and muscle growth. Though L-arginine is not an essential amino acid and the body can synthesize this on its own, supplementing with L-arginine is evidently beneficial to those who exercise regularly. L-arginine helps improve athletic performance, reduces high blood pressure, and prevents inflammation.
- Citrulline – If your nitric oxide supplement does not contain L-arginine, no worries as long as it contains citrulline. Citrulline is also an amino acid which when taken as a supplement gets converted into L-arginine. In fact, citrulline is said to be a more effective way to use L-arginine than direct supplementation with L-arginine.
- Branched Chain Amino Acids – Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) are amino acids that offer a number of key benefits for athletes and bodybuilders. A combination of leucine, isoleucine, and valine, BCAAs increase protein synthesis, leading to enhanced muscle growth. Leucine is a powerful anabolic trigger that is especially effective at boosting strength and stamina during exercise sessions. It also stimulates muscle recovery and growth after the workout.
- Beta-Alanine –The amino acid beta-alanine boosts endurance during workouts by replenishing carnosine stores. Carnosine reduces lactic acid accumulation in your muscles during exercise and helps delay the onset of neuromuscular fatigue which, in turn, leads to more effective exercise sessions and improved athletic performance.
- Creatine – One of the most popular fitness supplements in the industry, creatine is used by your muscles as fuel once they use up their stores of the primary energy source of ATP. Creatine helps to increase strength during high-intensity exercise by up to 15%.
Health Benefits of Nitric Oxide Supplements
Nitric oxide supplements are most sought after for their strengthening and endurance-boosting properties. It offers many other health benefits as well.
- Lowers Blood Pressure
Nitric oxide is a vasodilator. It increases blood flow and lowers blood pressure by relaxing the inner muscles of blood vessels and widening them. The boost in blood circulation also increases the utilization of glucose and the availability of energy.
- Boosts Exercise Performance
The above-mentioned properties of nitric oxide are what make this a popular supplement among athletes and bodybuilders as it helps increase blood flow during and after workouts. This ensures that more nutrients are delivered to your muscles for their recovery and growth.
- Helps Treat Erectile Dysfunction
Nitric oxide helps the penis muscles to relax and the blood flow to the penis increases, allowing the penis to become erect. A 2011 Italian study found that L-citrulline supplementation improved erection hardness in men with mild erectile dysfunction, though it is not as effective as Viagra.
- May Decrease Muscle Soreness
A 2012 study from Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, USA, observed that L-citrulline supplementation increased nitric oxide production, and worked to decrease muscle soreness. Delayed-onset muscle soreness is usually at its strongest 24–72 hours after strenuous or unaccustomed exercise. Of the 41 study participants, those who were given 8 grams of citrulline malate ((instead of a placebo) reported 40% less muscle soreness at 24 and 48 hours after the exercise. The nitric oxide produced by the citrulline supplementation increases nutrient delivery and helps clear waste products such as lactate and ammonia, thus reducing muscle fatigue.
- May Help Manage Type 2 Diabetes
Nitric oxide production is found to be reduced in those suffering from type 2 diabetes. This affects blood circulation and over time leads to more health complications such as high blood pressure, kidney disease, and heart disease. Thus supplementing with nitric oxide may help with diabetes treatment and disease prevention. Studies have found that L-arginine supplementation increased insulin sensitivity and improved blood sugar control in people with type 2 diabetes.
How to Take Nitric Oxide Supplements
Nitric oxide supplements are available as capsules, as well as, in powder form. Though the capsules may seem much more convenient for use, the powdered versions have their own advantages. The capsule forms tend to be purely nitric oxide supplements while powder forms tend to be pre-workout boosters with additional workout enhancing ingredients such as BCaas and creatine. Powder supplements can be mixed into smoothies for a refreshing pre-workout drink.
Nitric oxide supplements are best taken 60 to 90 minutes before a workout session and the efficiency of the product is most enhanced if taken on an empty stomach. But some users have reported stomach discomforts while taking nitric oxide on an empty stomach. For such people, smoothies blended with a powder supplement may help reduce their discomfort. If you are taking a capsule form, then have it with a light snack.
The specific dosage of nitric oxide supplements will depend on the strength of formulation and the ingredients in it, so it’s best to follow the instructions given on the product label, from the manufacturer.
Side Effects of Nitric Oxide Supplements
When taken in recommended dosages, nitric oxide supplements are generally safe for consumption. As mentioned earlier, gastrointestinal discomforts can occur in some users, especially when the supplement is taken on an empty stomach. If you experience such discomforts even after taking the supplement with food, then you can consider lowering your dosage until your body adapts to the supplement.
A 2005 US study, the researchers noted that 5 and 9 grams of arginine led to notable GH response, but a 13 g dose of the same caused considerable gastrointestinal distress in many of their test subjects without augmentation in the GH response. So bear in mind that a higher dose is not necessarily a better choice and keep your dosage under 10gms.
Since nitric oxide is a vasodilator that impacts blood circulation, it may cause changes to your blood pressure. The dilation of the blood vessels may lead to low blood pressure resulting in symptoms like dizziness, headache, nausea, and vomiting. In such circumstances, it’s best to get immediate medical attention and the advice of your physician regarding continuing to use the supplement.
5 Ways to Increase Nitric Oxide Naturally
Even if you are taking nitric oxide supplements, there are many lifestyle factors that influence nitric oxide production in your body. To maintain optimal levels of nitric oxide in your body, incorporate these lifestyle changes to naturally increase your levels of nitric oxide.
- Eat Foods High in Nitrates
Foods with nitrates are a great way to increase your nitric oxide levels as the nitrates are converted into nitric oxide, offering a wide range of benefits. Celery, lettuce, beetroot, spinach, and arugula are some of the vegetables high in nitrates. Beetroot, especially, has been found to improve exercise performance in athletes. There is some concern regarding nitrate content foods causing cancer, but nitrates from vegetables are harmless. It is the nitrates in processed meats that may cause health problems when eaten in excess over long periods.
- Increase Your Intake of Antioxidants
Nitric oxide has to be constantly replenished as it tends to degrade quickly in the bloodstream. Though nitric oxide is an unstable molecule, you can limit this breakdown and increase its stability by consuming more antioxidants in your diet. Antioxidants such as vitamin C, vitamin E, polyphenols and glutathione neutralize free radicals and contribute to increasing the life of nitric oxide.
Many studies have observed that the intake of nitric oxide precursors, such as citrulline or nitrate, in combination with antioxidants, reduce the breakdown of nitric oxide in the body. Vegetables with high nitrate content also tend to have high antioxidant content and thus they are effective in helping maintain optimum levels of nitric oxide.
- L-Arginine/ L-Citrulline supplements
L-Arginine converts to nitric oxide via a process known as the L-arginine-NO pathway. 10 to 20 grams per day of L-Arginine may help reduce blood pressure and increase blood flow in those with high blood pressure, including pregnant women with gestational hypertension.
L-citrulline is produced as a byproduct during the conversion of L-arginine to nitric oxide. It is then recycled back to L-arginine for increasing the production of nitric oxide. Since a major portion of the L-arginine intake may get broken down even before they reach your bloodstream, L-citrulline supplementation may be a better choice. L-citrulline raises L-arginine levels in the blood more than supplementing with L-arginine itself does.
- Limit Your Use of Mouthwash
Nitric oxide is produced from nitrates, in the human body, with the help of beneficial bacteria. Using mouthwash to rinse your mouth kills bad bacteria that cause dental cavities as well as beneficial oral bacteria.
The negative effect of mouthwash on oral bacteria needed to produce nitric oxide can last for about 12 hours. This leads to a fall in the nitric oxide levels in the blood which, in turn, may increase blood pressure. Nitric oxide also regulates insulin, hence without adequate levels of nitric oxide, insulin cannot function properly. A 2017 US study found that those who used mouthwash twice a day were 65% more likely to develop diabetes than people who never used it. So limit your use of mouthwash to raise your nitric oxide levels.
- Get Your Blood Flowing With Exercise
Exercise raises your body’s natural ability to produce nitric oxide. Regular exercise also enhances antioxidant activity which, in turn, inhibits the nitric oxide breakdown caused by free radicals. Studies have found that exercising for 30 minutes, at least three times a week, for a period of 10 weeks, increases your body’s natural ability to produce nitric oxide.
The Final Note on Nitric Oxide Supplements
There are many nitric oxide supplements in the market, with a variety of ingredients and formulations. Compare our top 10 nitric oxide products of 2020 to see which one is suitable for your needs. Nitric oxide plays many important roles in the healthy functioning of the human body. It helps relax and widen blood vessels, lowers high blood pressure, and increases the availability of oxygen and nutrients to the cells.
Supplementing with nitric oxide has been found to help improve exercise performance and endurance. It reduces muscle fatigue and speeds up muscle recovery. It also offers a variety of other health benefits such as managing blood pressure and blood glucose.