What To Expect From Nitric Oxide
1. What is
NO2 / Nitric Oxide
and where does it come from?
Nitric Oxide is a free form gas that is produced in the body and is used by the body to communicate with other cells in the body. To produce this gas, enzymes in the body break down the amino acid Arginine.
Nitric Oxide is a molecule consisting of one atom of nitrogen and one atom of oxygen. The production of Nitric Oxide occurs when the amino acid L-arginine is converted into L-citruline through an enzyme group known as Nitric Oxide Synthase (NOS).
2. What does Nitric Oxide do and what scientific studies give evidence to
Despite the claims of some in the supplement industry, there exists ample scientific literature to substantiate the efficacy of Nitric Oxide products. The following was written in May 1996 in a document prepared for the Royal Society and Association of British Science Writers:
"Summary research papers continue to flood the scientific journals and insights into the biological activity and potential clinical uses of nitric oxide (NO): a gas controlling a seemingly limitless range of functions in the body. Each revelation adds to nitric oxide's already lengthy resume in controlling the circulation of the blood, regulating activities of the brain, lungs, liver, kidneys, stomach and other organs.
The molecule governs blood pressure through a recently recognized process that contradicts textbook wisdom. It causes penile erection by dilating blood vessels and controls the action of almost every orifice from swallowing to defecation. The immune system uses nitric oxide in fighting viral, bacterial and parasitic infections, and tumors. Nitric oxide transmits messages between nerve cells and is associated with the process of learning, memory, sleeping, feeling pain, and, probably depression. It is a mediator in inflammation and rheumatism."
Since the above was written in 1996, Nitric Oxide containing products have continued to be touted by those in the medical profession, as well as by athletes looking to add muscle to their frames.
The above quotation states that Nitric Oxide controls the circulation of blood, transmits messages between nerve cells, and is a mediator of inflammation and is associated with the process of feeling pain. The popular erectile dysfunction drug sildenafil citrate (Viagra) contains nitric oxide and is responsible for increasing blood flow to the penis.
The fact that nitric oxide increases blood flow should make it of interest to bodybuilders, as increased blood flow will serve to deliver more nutrients to muscles, thus helping muscles become larger when subject to stress. The fact that Nitric Oxide acts to reduce inflammation should also make it of interest to bodybuilders as it has the potential to reduce the pain associated with subjecting muscles to extreme stress.
Nitric oxide also affects the endocrine system. It affects the release of gonadotroptin releasing hormone, as well as the release of adrenaline from the adrenal medulla.
3. Who needs Nitric Oxide and what are some symptoms of deficiency?
Everyone REQUIRES nitric oxide to carry out key physiological processes within the body. From a bodybuilder's perspective, nitric oxide supplementation may prove useful in increasing growth due to increases in blood flow to certain areas of the body. Further, men suffering from erectile dysfunction may also find supplementing with nitric oxide helpful.
Signs of deficiency include the inability to achieve and sustain erections, physical weakness and extreme fatigue. Most "nitric oxide" supplements contain the amino acid Arginine-alpha-keto-glutarate.
4. How much Nitric Oxide should be taken? Are there any side effects?
With any amino acid containing product, overdose is a possibility. Dosing with too much arginine can lead to diarrhea, weakness and nausea. Clear dosing guidelines have not been established, so it is best to do what is known as "tolerance mapping". Take a small dosage for one week, note the benefits and the side effects, and increase the dosage until the benefits are maximized and the side effects minimized. Over time the two will converge and you will hit the optimal dose. This process is similar to "receptor mapping" for bodybuilders who use insulin.
Many protein powders are fortified with amino acids, including arginine. With this in mind, pay particular attention to how much arginine you are ingesting from all supplements taken.
5. Where can I get Nitric Oxide?
At the time of this writing, Pinnacle Brands makes NOx2. This product is very similar to the NO2 product made by MRI. IDS also make a similar product, NP2. With IDS's product, tribulus terrestris is also included. Tribulus is proven to increase testosterone levels. The combination of tribulus and NO2 may prove incredibly effective. Other N02 products are listed below.
What To Expect From Nitric Oxide
Week 1 - Your Body Is In A NO Loading Phase, Prepare Yourself For What Is About To Take Place! You will start to experience the initial signs of your “muscle swelling” full body pumps! You will also notice the beginning stages of an increase in your strength, recuperation and endurance.
Week 2 - At some point in week 2 the NO switch flips on. You will really start to see and feel the power of the Nitric Oxide induced transformation. During week 2 your strength, recuperation and endurance should noticeably increase. Your muscles will also become visibly fuller and much harder and you may also start to experience an increase in “male” size and performance.
Week 3 - The Metamorphosis Has Begun And It Only Gets Better From Here! You will feel your skin tightening around your muscles and your vascularity will become exaggerated (almost freakish). You should now be experiencing rock hard, full body pumps that last all day long. Your recuperation will seem almost immediate and your strength and endurance should skyrocket. Your gains in lean mass should be unmistakable when you step on the scale and at this point everyone in the gym will be asking what you are taking.
Week 4 And Beyond - Everyday You Look In The Mirror You Should Notice A New, More Muscular Physique. You should now be achieving new levels in lean mass, muscularity, and density that many people only reach after years of heavy lifting! If you think this is good, hang on, the Nitric Oxide transformation still has a long way to go!
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