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September 12, 2014

Nitric Oxide (NO) Supplements- how and do they work?

Charles "Chuck Diesel" Curry

First let me start by telling you this is not going to be your typical ""muscle magazine"" article. What do I mean by that? This article is not going to give you some secret herb or supplement that will give you freaky mass and freaky cuts in 30 days. Nothing will give you freaky mass and freaky cuts in 30 days unless you get off your ass and do freaky workouts. So, are Nitric Oxide products the secret to huge muscles, ultra fast recovery, and freaky cuts? Yes and no. Think of NO products as a piece of the puzzle- a large puzzle with a foundation of a good diet and disciplined training. In addition sleep and the proper ratio of protein/carbs/fat intake are all important and should be what you look to ""tweak"" first when trying to achieve a more muscular physique.

Once you got the basics down it's time to add supplements. A supplement is just that- a supplement to what you are already doing. We get our fair share of calls from customers saying if I use product X and don't change my diet or all..will I get results? At first I thought these people were joking but after about three or four calls a day with consumers saying they want to take a product such as a Nitric Oxide supplement, get ridiculous pumps, crazy strength, and drug like recovery without going to the gym more than three times a month, with the typical American ""on-the-run high saturated fat-high simple sugar diet,"" I have come to realize most people need help. So what I am going to do is give you my take on certain supplements (starting with Nitric Oxide) assuming you plan on training ""frequently"" (three or four time a week) and eat a good diet, with adequate sleep. Five hours of sleep a night isn't adequate sleep. I am talking at least seven hours on non-workout days and at least 8-10 hours on workout days.

NO products, where did they come from?

NO products started being promoted heavily late 2001 with the release of NO2 by M.R.I., now of course they claimed to be the first to introduce Nitric Oxide to the market with their time released product. Were they the first? Not really, but their CEO says he discovered Creatine when he was with EAS in the late 90's, even though Creatine has been research for enhancing athletic performance in studies dating back to 1908. They were the first to introduce a new way of enhancing Nitric Oxide production by enteric coating and time releasing Arginine combined with Alpha-Keto Glutarate called A-AKG. Today there are over eight Nitric Oxide supplements available in tablet form and more recently two manufactures have introduced liquid A-AKG supplements all promoted to give freaky pumps, recovery, strength and lean muscle mass.

Why A-AKG?

Arginine Alpha-Keto Glutarate (A-AKG) is actually two supplements combined in a ratio of 1:1, or 2:1 in most nitric oxide products.

Arginine is the raw material used in the human body to produce all forms of Nitric Oxide by way of a process called Nitric Oxide Synthase (NOS). Nitric Oxide products do not contain Nitric Oxide; they contain some form of Arginine with most using A-AKG. Arginine base (free form) or Arginine HCL have both been found to have low bioavailability meaning it is poorly absorbed and poorly stored in the human body. The AKG molecule was added because AKG has been proven in clinical trials to increase Arginine storage in the body and some think it may improve bioavailability of arginine up to 10 fold! 1,000mg of A-AKG is usually 500mg of Arginine bonded with 500mg of Alpha Keto Glutarate. Also good NO products should be enteric coated. An enteric coating is sprayed on tablets to prevent them from breaking down in the stomach thus absorption takes place in the intestinal track where absorption is optimal for arginine. Some consumers have tried to make their own home made version of Nitric Oxide products to save money, but if they cannot press tablets and enteric coat them at home, 30g of Arginine or 3g of A-AKG mixed in water will not provide the same effect. The product must be enteric coated and time-released. If you want to test the enteric coating of a Nitric Oxide product, leave it in a glass of milk for 24 hours, if it is not somewhat of a tablet after 24 hours, it is either not enteric coated at all, or enteric coated at a low pH (1-3). A good NO product will pretty much remain the same after sitting in a glass of milk for one day. Most nitric oxide products contain about 1,000mg of A-AKG per enteric coated tablet at a ration of 1:1 or 2:1, the recommended dosage is 6,000mg of A-AKG per day (3,000mg AM, 3,000mg mid-day), but please be advised if you are over 200lbs, you may need 7,000mg to 10,000mg (seven to ten capsule) per day to see the same results as some one who weighs around 150-180lbs.

How does NO increase pumps?

The favorable process of Nitric Oxide production (eNOS) takes place in the endothelial cells that line the walls of blood vessels. If produced in the brain, it is called nNOS. iNOS is an unfavorable process that produces Nitric Oxide during inflammation. Nitric Oxide when produced during iNOS, is very harmful and is an extremely potent oxidative free radical (destroys cells). An increase in eNOS activity is responsible for lowering blood pressure and ""opening up the blood vessels"" effectively lowering bad cholesterol and increasing the nutrient carrying capacity of the cells. The pump you normally feel when exercising as a result of eNOS activity is also stimulated in a controlled time-released manner from time-released, enteric coated A-AKG supplements. This increase in diameter of blood vessels also lead to what is being called a ""sustained-pump"". I believe NO products increase iNOS production when they do not contain iNOS limiting antioxidants such as the herb gynostemma, alpha lipoic acid, or a form of Rosemary extract called Rose-ox.

Why use with antioxidants?

As mentioned before, antioxidants improve eNOS production and some limit the production of iNOS. If you are using a NO product that contains A-AKG, you will get great results when combining these products with antioxidants that included those mentioned previously as well as vitamin C (ascorbic acid) and or selenium. A good antioxidant to stack with a NO product is Beverly's Advanced Antioxidant, or Beverly's Ultra C. For those who do not respond to six tablets of a NO product or those who eat a diet low in antioxidants, adding an antioxidant formula may prevent you from having to increase the dosage to seven to ten tablets per day.

Why no ephedra with NO products?

The entire method behind the madness of NO products is to dilate, or open blood vessels. Ephedra (also synephrine) and high amounts of caffeine for some people (200mg to 500mg at one time) will constrict blood vessels canceling out the effects of the NO products. If you are currently using a fat burner or energy product that contains ephedra or synephrine ditch it before starting any NO product. Some users that use ephedra products while on NO products complain of headaches and may experience rapid drops in blood pressure. It is not recommended to use the two at the same time.

Others may experience headaches when starting NO products and that may be because of water intake. There is no daily amount of water intake that works for everyone, because needs vary depending on lean muscle mass, activity level, and actually the humidity level where you live. Those that live in low humidity states such as Colorado, Arizona, etc.., require more water a day than if there were to live in say Florida. My rule of thumb here in dry Colorado is to drink about 4oz every half an hour I am awake, at least a gallon a day.

Bottom line

Nitric Oxide product should be thought of as a supplement to a good diet, sleep schedule, and exercise program. They will provide stronger erections, and improved vascularity in most users. NO products are great to use to increase delivery of other supplement and to increase the uptake of nutrients from the blood. NO products work well with high protein diets (about 2g per kg of body weight), Micronized Creatine Monohydrate and/or BCAA at about 30 to 40g of BCAA's a day. Recovery may be enhanced because of the AKG molecule but don't expect freaky recovery especially if you are sleeping less than seven hours a day. Lean muscle mass will be enhanced if your diet is lean muscle mass oriented. High protein, protein in amounts of 20-30g every two hours you are awake is what I mean by lean muscle mass oriented (not a big Mac every two hours). Do I use NO products? Of course, but I take them to as a supplement that will give increased pumps and better nutrient/supplement delivery.

Keep these tips in mind when using a NO product, if they or any supplement doesn't work for you before blaming your sub-par results on the supplement, you may have to realize they are not super pills, and designed to supplement your diet, training, and sleep schedule.

Written by Courtesy of Chuck Diesel -