Want to get bigger, more impressive pumps? Nitric oxide is a key component of “the pump.” It helps to dilate blood vessels allowing for more oxygen and nutrient delivery to muscles. With more nitric oxide and wider blood vessels, you’ll also get the bulging biceps characteristic of a serious lifter. So how can you increase nitric oxide naturally?
Have you been neglecting fruits and veggies because you didn’t think they were important to your muscle growth? Think again. Fruits and veggies are estimated to provide between 70 and 85 percent of the nitrate you consume. The richest sources are:
You can also obtain some L-arginine (the amino acid that is used in nitric oxide production) from protein rich foods like peanuts, walnuts, milk, cheese, beef, chicken, seafood, and turkey.
When you exercise your body’s oxygen needs are increased. Oxygen is supplied to your body through the blood, which is why your heart pumps more forcefully when you work out. This causes your arteries to release nitric oxide into the blood which prompts the blood vessel walls to expand thus allowing for increased blood flow.
To increase nitric oxide naturally, aim to participate in cardiovascular exercise for at least 20 minutes between three and five days a week. Surprisingly, regular cardio exercise will cause you to produce more nitric oxide even on the days when you are not exercising.
Weight lifting also produces an increase in nitric oxide production. Just like with cardiovascular exercise, when you are weight lifting your muscles need more oxygen so blood supply is increased. The benefit to greater nitric oxide levels during strength training is that you experience a bigger pump, less fatigue, and ultimately can build bigger, stronger muscles.
Perhaps the fastest, easiest, most effective way to increase nitric oxide is to use supplements. You can’t supplement directly with nitric oxide since it’s a gas that has a half-life of just a few seconds. But you can supplement with the precursors to nitric oxide so your body has all the tools it needs.
Both L-arginine and L-citrulline are amino acids that are essential to use when supplementing. L-arginine produces nitric oxide and L-citrulline. The L-citrulline is then recycled, chemically converted to L-arginine, and can then be used to produce more nitric oxide.
Look for supplements that contain both L-arginine and L-citrulline for the biggest natural boost in nitric oxide.
Whether you choose to eat more fruits and veggies, exercise more frequently, or supplement with L-arginine and L-citrulline you can experience an increase in nitric oxide production. With more nitric oxide you’ll notice that your workouts are more effective and you experience your desired results in less time.