While you may not have heard of nitric oxide, it is working hard behind the scenes to keep your body functioning optimally. However, if you have a low nitric oxide level, then you may experience symptoms such as poor vision, fatigue, brain fog, high blood pressure, slow recovery time after exercise, and erectile dysfunction. Fortunately, there’s something that you can do about it.
Some common causes of low nitric oxide levels include, smoking, physical inactivity, high cholesterol, and a high-fat diet. Nitric oxide levels may also decrease as part of the aging process. Keep reading to discover some natural ways to boost your nitric oxide level, and why it matters. [This article, “3 Great Nitric Oxide health benefits, And How To Boost Your Nitric Oxide Levels” was originally published in NewsHealthWatch]
Nitric oxide health benefit #1: a molecule that lowers blood pressure
The connection between low nitric oxide levels and high blood pressure is well known. Researchers believe that people with high blood pressure may produce less nitric oxide, and may not be able to use nitric oxide as efficiently. Also called hypertension, high blood pressure describes a condition where blood pushes too hard against the walls of your arteries, and it is a major risk factor for heart disease. One health benefit of nitric oxide is its capacity to act as a vasodilator, meaning that this signaling molecule relaxes and dilates your blood vessel walls, lowering your blood pressure.
Nitric oxide health benefit #2: a molecule for blood sugar control
Insulin is a hormone produced in the pancreas that stimulates the transport of blood glucose into cells. Insulin resistance develops when your cells don’t respond well to insulin, causing your blood sugar levels to rise. It is a component of metabolic syndrome, a collection of symptoms that often develops into type 2 diabetes.
Nitric oxide mediates insulin delivery in the body, and disruptions in nitric oxide bioavailability are linked to insulin resistance. Nitric oxide is important for insulin sensitivity, so another health benefit of this molecule may just be better blood sugar control. People with diabetes may not produce enough nitric oxide, and other health consequences of this deficit include poor blood vessel health, high blood pressure, and heart disease.
Nitric oxide health benefit #3: a molecule for muscle recovery
Healthy muscles require nutrients and oxygen as they work, and this important fuel is delivered through your blood. When nitric oxide widens blood vessels, more nutrients and oxygen reach your hard-working muscles, enhancing exercise performance and muscle recovery. Increased nitric oxide levels may also reduce the body’s demand for oxygen during exercise, helping your muscles to work more efficiently. Many athletes appreciate this health benefit of nitric oxide, as healthy levels of this helpful molecule can improve stamina and recovery time.
Enjoy nitric oxide health benefits when you eat healthy food
One of the best ways to enjoy these nitric oxide health benefits is to eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. Flavonoids, found in most fruits and vegetables, are potent antioxidants that have been shown to increase the production of nitric oxide and slow the rate at which it breaks down. In addition, many healthy vegetables and some fruits contain nitrates, which convert to nitric oxide in the body. While the nitrates in vegetables and some fruits can help boost your nitric oxide level, you should beware of nitrates found in processed meats. When nitrates are added to processed meats as a preservative, they sometimes convert to N-nitroso compounds in the body, which are linked to certain cancers.
When you consume nitrates in vegetables and fruits, the antioxidant content of these foods inhibits the formation of N-nitroso compounds. Vegetables high in nitrates include, celery, lettuce, beetroot, spinach, and arugula. Other foods that help your body to produce more nitric oxide naturally include, dark chocolate, citrus fruits, red wine, and watermelon.
Enjoy nitric oxide health benefits when you exercise
We know that regular exercise has many great health benefits, but committing to that morning workout can also help you to enjoy some nitric oxide health benefits. Nitric oxide is produced in your endothelial cells, which make up the lining of your blood vessels. When you exercise, this keeps your blood vessels healthy, helping those cells to produce more nitric oxide. When nitric oxide produced in the endothelium travels to the smooth muscle cells that cause your blood vessels to relax, this stimulates blood flow. Not only does exercise boost your nitric oxide levels, but it also decreases blood viscosity, lowering your risk of heart attack or stroke.
Enjoy nitric oxide health benefits with supplements
Animal studies have shown that nitric oxide supplements can have positive health effects such as reducing blood pressure, reducing arterial stiffness, and increasing carotid artery blood flow. Other studies have shown that nitric oxide supplements can increase exercise tolerance, making them popular among elite athletes. Nitric oxide supplements do not contain nitric oxide itself, but they contain ingredients that help your body to produce this helpful molecule. Supplements containing pure nitrates do not exist due to regulations on sodium nitrate; however, there are a few healthy supplements made from natural ingredients that can help you to enjoy the health benefits of nitric oxide.
Try L-arginine to boost nitric oxide levels
L-arginine is an amino acid that occurs naturally in red meat, poultry, dairy products, and fish, and it converts to nitric oxide in your body. L-arginine stimulates insulin, which facilitates glucose transport into cells, powering your muscles. One study showed that diabetics taking L-arginine had better blood sugar control and insulin sensitivity. When you supplement with L-arginine, you can enjoy many important nitric oxide health benefits. Studies have also shown that L-arginine can reduce systolic and diastolic blood pressure in people with hypertension. Other benefits of L-arginine include increased immunity, improved mental capacity, and lowered inflammation.
Try L-Citrulline to boost nitric oxide levels
You can also enjoy nitric oxide health benefits with L-citrulline. L-citrulline is an amino acid found in watermelon, meat, legumes, and nuts. It is made as a byproduct when your body converts L-arginine to nitric oxide. Supplementing with L-citrulline can boost your L-arginine levels more than supplementing with L-arginine itself because L-arginine often breaks down before it reaches the bloodstream. L-citrulline can help treat prehypertension, a condition characterized by slightly elevated blood pressure and an increased risk of heart attack or stroke. Depletion of this important amino acid can lead to inflammation, depression, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and erectile dysfunction.
Beetroot is loaded with nitrates to boost nitric oxide levels
Beetroot is a common ingredient in nitric oxide supplements due to its very high level of nitrates. You can enjoy some nitric oxide health benefits when you consume it either fresh, juiced, or as a supplement. Taking beetroot before exercise has been shown to improve strength-building, delay fatigue, and improve the speed of muscle recovery. A study of cyclists who consumed beetroot juice before a trial showed a 2.8% improvement in performance. Beetroot may cause a slight pink discoloration in urine, which is harmless and the only notable side effect.
Type Zero is a notable California-based supplement company offering a clean nitric oxide booster with healthy portions of beetroot, arginine, and citrulline malate. Citrulline malate is a form of L-citrulline that provides the desired nitric oxide health benefits and may also reduce muscle soreness. Type Zero emphasizes clean products without added sugars or artificial sweeteners, and their products are formulated with diabetics in mind; however, anyone can enjoy their health and fitness benefits.
Why nitric oxide matters
When your nitric oxide level is low, you may experience a host of symptoms such as poor vision, brain fog, high blood pressure, erectile dysfunction, and even depression. This essential molecule keeps your body functioning optimally, but you may not notice it until you experience the harmful effects of nitric oxide depletion.
When you boost your nitric oxide level, you may notice improvements in blood pressure, blood sugar control, and even exercise endurance. To enjoy these nitric oxide health benefits, you can focus on eating healthy fruits and vegetables and finding the right supplement, such as the Clean Stim Free Pre Workout N.O. Booster offered by Type Zero. Once you understand how truly essential this molecule is, then you will find it easy to appreciate the many health benefits of nitric oxide.
Men’s Health: What to Know Before Taking Nitric Oxide Supplements
Medical News Today: What to know about nitric oxide supplements
Important Note: The information contained in this article is for general informational purposes only, and should not be construed as health or medical advice, nor is it intended to diagnose, prevent, treat, or cure any disease or health condition. Before embarking on any diet or program of nutritional supplementation, it is advisable to consult your healthcare professional in order to determine its safety and probable efficacy in terms of your individual state of health.