Do Nitric Oxide Supplements Really Work?

Do supplements improve sports performance?

This was taken from the website www.consumerlab.com.  They are a member site very similar to consumer reports that evaluates supplements and determines if the product contains what it’s suppose to contain.    They will also provide research on the research that has been done on the specific supplement in question.

Below is an excerpt from their report on the NO products that are being shoved down the throats of sports performance athletes as well as men who are trying to simply look good.  These along with many other useless supplements flood the pages of Men’s Fitness and “bodybuilding  magazines”. What the reader fails to realize is that the bodybuilders featured in those magazines are #1 freaks and #2 are freaks taking ridiculous amounts of anabolics.  It’s the drugs not NO products people… A guy 5’8″ doesn’t get to 320 at 9% body fat (in the off season) by taking protein shakes and vitamins.

Here are some hard facts from an independent laboratory.

“There is no doubt that nitric oxide plays a vital role in circulation. But even though some bodybuilders swear by the results of “nitric oxide” supplements, it’s not clear that taking large doses of L-arginine or other amino acids orally significantly increases production of nitric oxide in everyone. 

The research studies published on nitric oxide supplements in athletes so far haven’t been promising. A 2009 study of well-trained male athletes found that giving 6 grams of L-arginine supplementation for three days raised their serum arginine levels but had no effect on nitric oxide production or performance of intermittent anaerobic exercise (Liu, J Nutr Biochem 2009). In that study, nitric oxide production did increase during exercise, but no more so with L-arginine than placebo. A 2011 study of eight healthy young men published in the Journal of Nutrition found no evidence that a beverage containing 10 grams of L-arginine improved blood flow to the muscles or did anything to speed muscle buildup after weight lifting (Tang, J Nutr 2010). 

A 2010 study including three different commercially available “nitric oxide” supplements published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition found that none of the supplements (powders given in a mixture with water 30 minutes prior to exercise) significantly improved weight-lifting performance or muscle “pump” (the feeling that muscles were bigger, fuller, and harder) in resistance-trained men (Bloomer, J Int Soc Sports Nutr 2010). The supplements also did not raise biological indicators of nitric oxide in the blood or oxygen in muscles. The products each listed L-arginine within a proprietary blend of other ingredients but did not specify the specific amount of L-arginine, like many NO supplements on the market. “

“The Bottom Line:
Nitric oxide (NO) supplements don’t actually contain nitric oxide (a gas) but include the ingredient L-arginine which may increase nitric oxide production in the body. L-arginine may improve circulation and, possibly, some aspects of exercise performance — but probably not for well-trained athletes. Despite their popularity in bodybuilding circles, there’s also no clear evidence that NO products lead to gains in strength, muscle size, or muscle “pump.” “

For more information about the site and membership.. (I think it was under $20 for the year.) go to consumerlab.com

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