We are in a never-ending quest to up the ante in our workouts. Whether you are looking for an explosive, vein popping pump or want to increase your cardiovascular endurance, an effective nitric oxide booster may be just the supplement you need to jump start your training. What is nitric oxide? Nitric oxide, commonly referred to as NO, is a naturally produced gas in our bodies formed from the amino acid L-Arginine, commonly found in foods such as turkey, spinach, and many crustaceans. Nitric oxide is responsible for the circulation of blood between various vital organs in our bodies.
For our purposes as strength trainers and athletes, nitric oxide boosters increase blood flow to our muscles by dilating our blood vessels and fueling the body’s production of nitric oxide. This translates to real gains in two crucial ways: (1) increased strength and muscularity, and (2) faster recovery times. In short, nitric oxide boosters help your body achieve maximum efficiency when you most need it to. As such, nitric oxide is not only safe, but increasing nitric oxide production should be a focus for strength trainers and bodybuilders.
The top nitric oxide supplements commonly contain ingredients such as L-Arginine, L-Citrulline, and Beta-Alanine, which help boost NO production. Refer to the chart below to see our picks for the 5 best nitric oxide supplements on the market in 2016.
|iForce Nutrition Hemavol
||Controlled Labs White Flood Reborn
||Sheer Strength NO2
||BSN NO Xplode 2.0
||Cellucor NO3 Black Chrome
|Energy||9.5/10||9.5/10||9.5/10||9.5/10||9/10 (stacked with C4)|
Nitric Oxide Benefits
- Lowers Fatigue Levels During Workouts: Nitric oxide boosters are highly effective in getting you over the proverbial wall in your workouts. The increased delivery of oxygen to your muscle tissues facilitated by NO allows for reduced lactic acid buildup, which ultimately limits fatigue and allows you to fight through those grueling reps.
- Speeds Up Intra and Post-Workout Recovery: Nitric oxide boosters help deliver more oxygen and nutrients to your body for increased recovery times both during and after your workouts.
- Intensifies Pump and Vascularity: NO is a vasodilator, which in layman’s terms means that your blood vessels get wider. Increased vasodilation leads to greater vascularity and “fuller” muscles. So, if you’re after that Popeye pump, NO is your guy.
- Improves cardiovascular health: As a vasolidator, nitric oxide is the body’s way of protecting against heart attack and stroke due to lower blood pressure.
- Increases energy and endurance: Greater availability of oxygen to muscle tissues translates to you working harder longer without getting tired.
Possible Nitric Oxide Supplements Side Effects
As with any supplement, you should be fully aware of any potential side effects. There aren’t really any serious side effects with NO boosters. Nevertheless, we recommend you start out below the recommended dosages and then work your way up to find the optimal dosage.
Some of the most common side effects associated with nitric oxide supplements include:
1. Nausea, Upset Stomach, Vomiting, Diarrhea: The most common side effect of NO boosters is with digestion. You may experience some gastrointestinal discomfort at first when using a NO supplement. This is why we suggest that you start with a lower dosage to allow your body time to fully adjust.
2. Low Blood Pressure: Decreased blood pressure is another potential side effect with nitric oxide boosters. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but if you have hypotension, you may experience shortness of breath or loss of energy. If you experience these symptoms, consider decreasing your dosage or discontinuing usage of NO boosters altogether.
3. Increased Urge to Urinate: Excess arginine intake can lead to more frequent urination.
Best Nitric Oxide Supplements – Our Top 5 Picks
1. iForce Nutrition Hemavol
Hemavol by iForce Nutrition comes in as our top NO booster in 2016. Hemavol is the quintessential nitric oxide booster: it provides massive pumps and increased endurance while reducing post-workout recovery times. If your primary concern in a NO booster is vascularity and muscles that feel like they’re going to rip out of your shirt, Hemavol is it. This stim-free NO booster supplement is useful before and during your workout and is easily stacked with other pre-workouts.
As for flavors, Lemon Drop and Cherry Limeade are tasty when mixed with enough water.
Our only complaint with Hemavol is the price tag. It is a little on the pricey side at about $1 per serving, but we think the quality of this NO supplement is worth forking over the extra change.
2. Controlled Labs White Flood Reborn
White Flood Reborn is a reformulation of Controlled Lab’s original White Flood and one of the top NO boosters on the market. We really liked the original White Flood, but the new formula is a noticeably more potent in terms of energy and focus.
To be clear, White Flood is packaged as a pre-workout. The NO boosting sources in White Flood come from its EnduroPump Complex which contain Citrulline and Beta Alanine. that are collectively designed to provide a surge of energy for your workouts. White Flood does not contain creatine, so this is good for those who are cycling off creatine.
The increased focus and kick-in-the-pants energy from White Flood is consistent and “clean” with each serving and sustained throughout your workout. Just take a scoop about 20-30 minutes before your workout, and you’ll really feel a steady difference from beginning to end.
The mixability isn’t the best with this product, so a shaker or extra water will help dissolve all the good stuff. As for our flavor of choice, we recommend electric lemonade. White Flood really allows you to perform at your best and consistently delivers the energy and endurance you’re looking for in an effective NO booster.
3. Sheer Strength NO2
We first learned about Sheer Strength NO2 through a reader who pointed out that it was the best-selling dedicated NO2 booster on Amazon. So, we felt it was only fitting that we try it out and report back on the results. Admittedly, we were skeptical at first, but Sheer Strength NO2 accomplished pretty much everything it claimed to do! Over a 3.5 week period, we noticed steady gains in strength, endurance, and vascularity. As a stimulant-free NO supplement, Sheer Strength NO2 delivered a solid pump and good, clean energy. There were also no noticeable side-effects.
Sheer Strength No2’s proprietary formula contains 3000mg of L-Arginine HCL, L-Arginine AKG, Citrulline Mallate, and Beet Root. We’ve already touched on the nitric oxide boosting effects of arginine and citrulline mallate, but studies show that beet root also facilitates nitric oxide production. Sheer Strength NO2 comes in capsule form which may be preferable for those of you who don’t want to deal with having to mix a powdered formula.
Sheer Strength NO2 may not be a household name, but there’s no doubt that this is a quality nitric oxide boosting supplement that we strongly recommend you try out for yourself. Perhaps the best thing about this product is that it comes with a 30-Day Customer Satisfaction Guarantee, which makes it almost a no brainer.
4. BSN NO Xplode 2.0
We’ve already reviewed BSN’s NO Xplode 2.0 in detail here. Like White Flood Reborn, NO Xplode 2.0 is a pre-workout supplement, which means it is constructed to maximize your workout efficiency. Also like White Food Reborn, NO Xplode 2.0 is a reformulation of NO’s flagship PWO that came out in late 2011. With NO Xplode 2.0, BSN has upped the dosage of Beta Alanine and stimulants like Caffeine and Taurine per serving. Arginine and Citrulline are the primary NO enhancers in this supplement. The pumps and energy are very good, and you shouldn’t have issues building up tolerance to this product.
As for flavors, we’d go with the Fruit Punch or any of the lemon-ey flavors.
NO Xplode 2.0 is very fairly priced at around $.72 per serving. All in all, this is a solid NO booster that is going to give you a lot of extra energy for your workouts. If you are looking for a nitric oxide product with creatine and more stims, NO Xplode 2.0 is a solid and tried and true choice.
5. Cellucor NO3 Black Chrome
NO3 Chrome by Cellucor is a pump-inducing pre-workout that is really focused on providing maximum pumps. NO3 does not contain stimulants or creatine, so some might be turned off by that. However, if you do require creatine or stimulants for more energy during your workouts, you can easily stack NO3 with C4 or another pre-workout.
The NO pump amplifier and arginase inhibitor is composed of 1250 mg of L-Arginine Nitrate, 655 mg of L-Citrulline Mallate, and 100 mg of L-Norvaline . In terms of increasing vascularity, providing huge pumps, and reducing recovery times, this NO booster is up there with the other big boys.
The only thing holding this product back is its price tag, which is around $1 per serving. Despite that, it still made our cut as one of the top NO boosting supplements due to its consistency in terms of delivering vascularity and pumps.
- Nitric oxide supplements for bodybuilding are one of the best supplements to help increase performance and reduce intra and post-workout fatigue.
- Start with a lower dosage and adjust over time to find maximum effectiveness.
- Though there aren’t many negative side effects with NO boosters, be aware of all the possible consequences.
- Hemavol by iForce Nutrition is our pick for the best NO booster in 2016.
What About You? Have you tried any NO boosters? What is your experience with them? What’s your favorite one? Let us know in the comments below!