Nitric oxide (NO) is a molecule that helps nerve cells communicate with each other. Nitric oxide should not be confused with the fuel used for car or the laughing gas in a dentist’s office. If you’re wondering if it’s the same molecule that is used on dynamites, yes, it is. However, it has plenty of benefits for the body, and no it will not make you explode.
Effects of nitric oxide on the body
Nitric oxide causes vessels to relax to regulate the blood pressure. It also helps the immune system fight infections and bacteria while also preventing tumors. Moreover, through better communication among nerve cells, it helps in memory retention. It can even improve sleep, endurance, and strength. It also reduces inflammations and improves gastric motility. Your senses will also be sharper. Even Alfred Nobel himself has used nitric oxide for his heart problems. Increased vasodilation can easily prevent strokes, heart attacks, and arteriosclerosis.
Nitric oxide for muscle building
There is evidence suggesting that athletes can build more muscles with the use of nitric oxide. Since NO also helps build strength and endurance, this makes it easy to recover from a day’s intense workout. You need arginine and citrulline to increase oxygen and blood flow to the muscles. However, arginine levels in the body are depleted when you exercise. The best way to replenish that is through supplementation.
Food sources of nitric oxide
If you want to increase levels of nitric oxide in the body through foods, you’ll want to consume foods rich in arginine. Arginine is converted to nitric oxide. Arginine can easily be found in fruits, meats, dairy products, and nuts. Specific food sources of arginine include spinach, crab, sesame seeds, shrimp, and turkey. Foods rich in arginine and citrulline also help improve nitric oxide, since arginine directly creates NO while citrulline is recycled back to arginine to produce even more NO. Remember that nitric oxide doesn’t last very long in the body, so a steady supply of this is recommended.
How to improve nitric oxide
Now that you know the benefits of nitric oxide, you are probably wondering how you can improve the levels of NO in your body. There are a couple of ways to do this. You can eat foods rich in arginine and citrulline, although considering that the life of nitric oxide is very short, you will need to constantly eat to provide a fresh supply. Exposure to the sun may also increase nitric oxide in the body, but that can’t be done when the sun is at its highest because you may develop skin cancer then. Another way is through exercise. Nitric oxide can be found in the body, specifically in the blood vessels. When you exercise, your muscles require more oxygen. The increased pressure in the blood vessels triggers the production of nitric oxide in the linings of the arteries to help widen the vessel wall. Therefore, if you exercise regularly, vasodilation can happen naturally.
Where natural nitric oxide production fails
Certain factors such as age, lifestyle, and health cause natural vasodilation to be less efficient. As you grow older and your blood vessels deteriorate, the blood vessels won’t be able to relax as it used to. Along with an increased risk of developing heart problems and having stroke, you will also be more prone to erectile dysfunction.
Fortunately for you, there’s a way to aid in the production of nitric oxide in the body even as you age. This is through supplementation. Nitric oxide supplements, which have L-arginine, will be able to provide you with enough nitric oxide to encourage vasodilation once again. With regular use of this supplement, you will not feel the effects of aging in the form of heart failures and strokes and you can get a ripped body that other people your age will surely envy.