Nitric Oxide

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Along with providing information on whether Nitric Oxide supplements might be right for you, this article also links to Fullscript where you can buy supplements online through Fullscript’s secure healthcare formulary and get free shipping and 20% off the retail price of professional-grade supplements.

Nitric oxide supplements are gaining attention for a comprehensive list of health benefits that go beyond just improving blood flow. These supplements not only aid in dilating blood vessels for better circulation, but they also contribute to muscle recovery, enhanced energy levels, and improved exercise performance. Some studies even suggest they can help lower blood pressure and improve brain function. And if nitric oxide supplements are right for you, this article will show you the best place to buy nitric oxide supplements online. Supplement-Sciences has partnered with Fullscript’s professional-grade supplement formulary to provide a 20% discount on every order, so you always have access to the highest quality supplements. This article will explore the science behind nitric oxide in detail, from how it functions in the body to the various benefits you can experience from its supplementation.

What Is Nitric Oxide?

Nitric oxide is a naturally occurring gas that plays a crucial role in various physiological processes. In the body, nitric oxide acts as a signaling molecule, especially in the cardiovascular system. It helps relax and dilate blood vessels, improving blood flow and circulation. This function is essential for cardiovascular health and can also enhance exercise performance by delivering more oxygen and nutrients to muscles.

Many foods contain nitrates and nitrites, which the body can convert into nitric oxide. Leafy greens like spinach, arugula, and kale, as well as root vegetables like beets, are excellent sources. These foods are often recommended for people looking to improve cardiovascular health or exercise performance.

In addition to foods, nitric oxide is also available in supplement form. These supplements typically contain ingredients that your body can convert to nitric oxide, such as L-arginine and L-citrulline. People use these supplements to achieve a variety of health benefits. Enhanced exercise performance, better muscle recovery, and improved energy levels are some of the most common reasons people turn to nitric oxide supplements.

What Health Benefits of Nitric Oxide?

Nitric oxide offers a wide range of health benefits that touch on everything from exercise performance to cognitive function. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Improves Blood Flow: Nitric oxide relaxes and dilates blood vessels, leading to better circulation. Enhanced blood flow can relieve symptoms of poor circulation like cold hands and feet, help reduce the risk of clot formation, and improve oxygen delivery to vital organs. [PMC9710401]
  • Enhances Exercise Performance: Better oxygen and nutrient delivery to muscles leads to improved athletic performance. However, supplements were only effective in untrained and moderately trained subjects, but not highly trained athletes. [PMID: 22260513] For weight lifters, researchers state, “Overall, the potential for the use of foods and dietary supplements rich in L-citrulline and nitrates is promising for the strength and power athlete.” [PMC9921013]
  • Lowers Blood Pressure: Nitric oxide supplementation improves vascular function and leads to lower blood pressure levels. [PMID: 24942311]
  • Boosts Cognitive Function: Increased blood flow to the brain enhances cognitive functions like memory and focus. [PMC3121276]
  • Supports Male Sexual Health: Nitric oxide plays a key role in the mechanism that leads to erections by relaxing the blood vessels in the penis. This relaxation allows more blood to flow into the area, which contributes to an erection. Supplements like L-arginine and L-citrulline can boost the body’s nitric oxide production, potentially improving blood flow and helping with ED symptoms. Numerous studies have explored this effect, often showing positive results for men dealing with ED. [PMC8995264]

Two Ways The Body Makes Nitric Oxide

The body produces nitric oxide through two primary pathways: the nitric oxide synthase (NOS) pathway and the nitrate-nitrite-nitric oxide pathway.

The NOS pathway declines with age. This pathway uses enzymes to convert the amino acid L-arginine into nitric oxide. This route is active in blood vessels and nerve cells.

On the other hand, the nitrate-nitrite-nitric oxide pathway starts with nitrate from your diet. Your body converts this nitrate to nitrite, and eventually to nitric oxide. Both pathways are crucial for regulating blood flow, immune function, and various other cellular processes.

What Are The Different Forms of Nitric Oxide Supplements?

Nitric oxide supplements come in various forms, each with its own advantages. Here are some common types:

  • L-Arginine Capsules or Powder: L-arginine quickly converts into nitric oxide, making it ideal for those looking for fast-acting benefits like better workout performance or improved blood flow. However, it might not be right for people with herpes as it can trigger outbreaks.
  • L-Citrulline Capsules or Powder: L-citrulline offers sustained nitric oxide production because it first converts to L-arginine in the body. This makes it better for long-term health goals like improving cardiovascular health. It’s usually well-tolerated and doesn’t directly trigger herpes outbreaks.
  • Nitrates: These inorganic compounds offer quick conversion into nitric oxide but may not be ideal for everyone due to the presence of sodium or potassium. These could be a problem for those watching their salt intake or dealing with high blood pressure.
  • Beetroot Powder or Juice: Beetroot offers a natural source of nitrates and acts relatively quickly. It’s a good option for those who prefer plant-based supplements. However, it’s high in sugar and carbohydrates, so it may not be ideal for those on low-carb or ketogenic diets.
  • Arginine Alpha-Ketoglutarate (AAKG): This form aims to improve exercise performance and may act more efficiently than simple L-arginine. It’s often included in pre-workout formulas. However, its effectiveness in increasing nitric oxide is still under debate.
  • Nitric Oxide Lozenges: These provide a direct source of nitric oxide and act quickly, making them suitable for immediate, short-term benefits like a pre-workout boost. They are usually sugar-free and thus compatible with most dietary restrictions.

By considering how quickly each form acts, its suitability for your health goals, and any dietary restrictions you may have, you can choose the nitric oxide supplement that’s right for you.

Food Sources of Nitric Oxide

There isn’t a universally recommended daily dose of nitric oxide itself, as the body produces it naturally. However, for supplements that boost nitric oxide levels, such as L-arginine and L-citrulline, guidelines often exist. For example:

  • L-Arginine: Dosages commonly range from 2 to 3 grams, three times a day, totaling 6 to 9 grams per day.
  • L-Citrulline: A typical daily dose is about 1 to 3 grams per day.
  • Beetroot Juice: Dosages often recommend consuming around 250–500 ml (about 8–16 ounces) per day.
  • Nitrates: A study on nitrate supplements and exercise suggested 5 to 9 mmol of nitrate which is 310 mg to 558 mg.[PMC4008816]

These are general recommendations and the optimal amount can vary depending on your health goals, age, and other factors. Here’s a table listing food sources of nitric oxide and its precursors, along with the amounts commonly found in typical serving sizes:

Food SourceNitric Oxide
Amount per Typical Serving
Beets (1 cup)Nitrates150–300 mg
Spinach (1 cup)Nitrates115–150 mg
Arugula (1 cup)Nitrates300–580 mg
Celery (1 stalk)Nitrates20–25 mg
Lettuce (1 cup)Nitrates50–100 mg
Watermelon (1 cup)L-Citrulline50–75 mg
Pomegranate (1 cup)Nitrates25–30 mg
Garlic (1 clove)Nitrates1–2 mg
Walnuts (1 oz)L-Arginine200–300 mg
Chicken (3 oz)L-Arginine400–500 mg
Turkey (3 oz)L-Arginine450–550 mg
Pumpkin Seeds (1 oz)L-Arginine250–300 mg
Almonds (1 oz)L-Arginine200–250 mg
Please note that these amounts are approximate and can vary depending on various factors like growing conditions for vegetables or preparation methods for other foods.

Nitric Oxide and Blood Pressure

The relationship between nitric oxide (NO) and high blood pressure is a significant aspect of cardiovascular health. Nitric oxide, a molecule produced naturally in the body, plays a crucial role in regulating blood pressure by signaling blood vessels to relax and dilate, which improves blood flow and reduces blood pressure. However, when there’s a deficiency in nitric oxide production, blood vessels can become less flexible, leading to increased resistance in blood flow and, consequently, higher blood pressure.

Don’t use mouthwash. Frequent use of antibacterial mouthwash kills beneficial bacteria in the mouth that are involved in the conversion of dietary nitrates into nitric oxide. This can inadvertently lower the body’s nitric oxide levels, contributing to increased blood pressure. Therefore, avoiding mouthwash and focusing on a diet rich in nitrate sources, such as leafy greens, beets, and garlic, can help boost nitric oxide production, supporting better blood vessel health and blood pressure regulation. Check out our article on dental health: Dump the Mouthwash: How Oral Probiotics and Sonicare Improve Heart Health and Cut Dementia Risk.

A Deeper Dive Into Technical Details

If you’re interested in a much deeper dive into the technical details and wide-ranging health effects of nitric oxide, you won’t find a clearer, more detailed, and concise explanation than this 20 minute video.

Are Nitric Oxide Boosting Supplements Safe?

Nitric oxide supplements and their precursors, like L-Arginine and L-Citrulline, are generally considered safe for most people when taken in appropriate doses. They are commonly used to improve blood flow, enhance exercise performance, and offer various other health benefits. Side effects are typically mild, such as stomach upset or headaches, and occur less frequently when following the recommended dosage. These supplements have been the subject of numerous scientific studies, which validate their safety profile.

Medications that Interact with Nitric Oxide and Its Precursors

Certain medications can interact with nitric oxide supplements and their precursors, affecting how they work or causing side effects. Here’s a rundown:

  • Blood Thinners: If you’re taking medications like warfarin, combining them with nitric oxide supplements could increase the risk of bleeding.
  • Blood Pressure Drugs: Nitric oxide supplements dilate blood vessels and may amplify the effects of drugs designed to lower blood pressure, such as beta-blockers or ACE inhibitors.
  • Viagra and Other ED Medications: Both Viagra and nitric oxide supplements aim to improve blood flow. Using them together can lead to extremely low blood pressure.
  • Diabetes Medications: Nitric oxide supplements can affect insulin sensitivity, which could interfere with diabetes medications.
  • Nitrates: These are often prescribed for heart conditions and can intensify the blood vessel-dilating effects of nitric oxide, potentially leading to dangerously low blood pressure.
  • Antiplatelet Drugs: Medications like clopidogrel or aspirin prevent blood clotting. Taking them with nitric oxide supplements might increase the risk of bleeding.
  • NSAIDs: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen can also interact with nitric oxide supplements, raising concerns about increased bleeding risk.

Being aware of these interactions will help you make informed decisions when incorporating nitric oxide supplements into your routine.

Supplements that Interact with Nitric Oxide and Its Precursors

Certain dietary supplements can interact with nitric oxide and its precursors, affecting their effectiveness or causing side effects. Here’s a list:

  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids: These supplements also have blood-thinning effects, similar to nitric oxide. Combining the two may increase bleeding risk.
  • Vitamin C: High doses of Vitamin C can affect nitric oxide levels and potentially interfere with its ability to dilate blood vessels.
  • Ginkgo Biloba: This supplement can also dilate blood vessels and may amplify the effects of nitric oxide supplements, potentially leading to low blood pressure.
  • Garlic Extract: Garlic also has blood-thinning properties, which when combined with nitric oxide supplements, might elevate bleeding risk.
  • Yohimbe: This supplement impacts blood pressure and could interfere with the blood pressure-lowering effects of nitric oxide supplements.
  • Zinc: Zinc can affect the body’s ability to produce nitric oxide, potentially altering the effectiveness of nitric oxide supplements.
  • Caffeine: Caffeine supplements may interfere with nitric oxide’s ability to relax blood vessels, counteracting the intended effects.

Knowing these interactions helps you make better decisions when combining nitric oxide supplements with other dietary supplements.

Order Nitric Oxide Supplements Online

Why Professionals Choose the Fullscript Formulary

Your health is on the line. Health professionals know that many other online and retail options set a very low bar for quality–sometimes amazingly low. The Fullscript formulary is the most secure online source for the highest quality brands securely sourced to assure freshness and purity. Here’s what makes Fullscript the best:

  • Meticulous vetting of brand quality. Health professionals trust Fullscript to continuously monitor the quality of each item on the platform. Other retailers operate with profit as their highest or only motive when choosing brands. Fullscript cares only about quality and reliability. Unlike discount stores, large online marketplaces, and other retailers you won’t find ingredients sourced from China or other questionable locations or companies.
  • Always 20% Discount off the manufacturer’s retail price. When you follow any link from, you will automatically get 20% off the retail price.
  • Free shipping over $50.
  • Freshness. Fullscript prioritizes freshness over bulk buying even if it means an increased risk of briefly being out of stock.
  • Top quality phone and online support. When you call, knowledgeable humans at Fullscript answer your questions.
  • How It Works:
    • Easy Sign-up & No Spam Email: Click the “View Product” button below to be taken to Fullscript’s login page where you can quickly create your secure account with just your name, email, and phone number. Then you will be taken directly to the product page.
    • Wide variety of supplement options: Once you sign in to your account, you are not limited to the products listed below. You will see similar items listed at the bottom of each product page on Fullscript.
    • Search For What You Want: Once inside Fullscript, you can search for the exact brands and products you want from their wide selection of quality brands.

Salivary Nitrate Test Strips

Low salivary nitrate levels could indicate a diet lacking in nitrate-rich foods like leafy greens or suggest that your oral microbiome isn’t effectively converting dietary nitrates to nitric oxide, a molecule essential for regulating blood flow and pressure. On the other hand, high nitrate levels often point to a diet rich in nitrate-containing vegetables and an effective oral microbiome that efficiently converts nitrates to nitric oxide. Using salivary nitrate test strips can help you better understand these aspects of your health and make informed dietary and oral care decisions.

Nitric Oxide Indicator Strips by HumanN

Manufacturer Description: Our Nitric Oxide Indicator Strips, developed at the University of Texas Health Science Center, capture a simple, and non-invasive, saliva sample to determine the concentration of a salivary nitrite, a key biomarker, needed for the production and availability of Nitric Oxide. The concentration of the salivary nitrite, revealed through your saliva sample and collected on our nitric oxide indicator strips, help you understand your body’s NO production levels. 
Wash your hands and gather saliva on fingertips.  Place saliva on indicator strip pad.  DO NOT PUT STRIP IN YOUR MOUTH.  Compare results with the color chart.

NO Inducers Nitric Oxide Support by Allergy Research Group

Manufacturer Description: Targets arterial flexibility, endothelial function, and healthy blood flow with nutrients that support nitric oxide production.* Suggested Use: As a dietary supplement, 3 capsules two times daily with or without food, or as directed by a healthcare practitioner.

Setria® Performance Blend … 1.1g
L-Citrulline (Kyowa Quality®), L-Glutathione (Reduced)
Propionyl-L-Carnitine … 250mg
L-Arginine … 125mg
Taurine … 25mg
Beet (Root) Powder … 250mg

L-Arginine by Biotics Research

L-Arginine is one of the non-essential amino acids. Functionally, Arginine can support healthy immune and cardiac function, and promotes the synthesis of nitric oxide. Higher intakes of the L-arginine have been associated with lower levels of C-reactive protein (CRP). {Wells BJ, Mainous AG, 3rd, Everett CJ: Association between dietary arginine and C-reactive protein. Nutrition 2005; 21(2): 125-30.} In the American diet common sources of arginine include meat, poultry, fish, dairy products, eggs, and cereals. L-Arginine supplies 700mg of L-Arginine per capsule.

Suggested Use:
One (1) capsule three (3) times each day as a dietary supplement or as otherwise directed by a healthcare professional.

Serving Size: 1 Capsule

Amount Per Serving
L-Arginine HCl† … 700mg

Beet Root Powder by NOW Foods

NOW® Sports Beet Root Powder is a pure derivative from non-GMO beets that’s dried and not extracted. Beets are a true superfood and are naturally abundant in a variety of nutrients including nitrates. Each tablespoon serving of NOW® Sports Beet Root Powder is equivalent to 2.5 whole beets.

Suggested Use:
Mix 1 level tablespoon into 8 oz. of water or other beverage prior to a workout, drink immediately.

Serving Size: 1 Tablespoon

Amount Per Serving
Calories … 30
Total Fat … 0 g
Saturated Fat … 0 g
Trans Fat … 0 g
Cholesterol … 0 mg
Sodium … 50 mg
Total Carbohydrate … 7 g
Dietary Fiber less than … 1 g
Total Sugars (Includes 0 g added sugars) … 4 g
Protein … 1 g
Vitamin D … 0 mcg
Calcium … 12 mg
Iron … 0.7 mg
Potassium … 234 mg
Beet root powder

Food First!

Although this article discusses supplements in detail, don’t forget that we are absolutely committed to the “Food First” approach to nutrition. When it comes to your health, the totality of your eating habits far surpasses the impact of individual nutrients or any single supplement you consume. Even though this article doesn’t delve into the broader picture of your overall diet, it’s crucial to keep this element at the forefront of our minds. Your food needs to provide all the vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytochemicals to nourish your body systems down to the cellular level.

Food choices, rather than supplements, are the most critical factors for a healthy gut microbiome. These trillions of tiny inhabitants in your gut affect your brain waves; they orchestrate your immune system. They possess the power to create molecules that can switch genes on or off and are even capable of synthesizing neurotransmitters. Opting for organic foods and steering clear of plastic packaging (including those labeled BPA-free) is a smart move to limit toxin exposure. The sum of all these parts leads to a powerful conclusion: the ultimate key to your health lies in the quality and balance of the food you consume. Supplements are secondary.

To Sum It Up

Nitric oxide supplements offer a range of health benefits that can make a meaningful difference in your wellness journey. From improving exercise performance and enhancing blood flow to assisting with erectile dysfunction, these supplements are versatile and supported by various studies. While they generally have a strong safety profile, be mindful of potential interactions with medications or other supplements. Overall, nitric oxide supplements serve as a helpful tool for achieving specific health goals.

This Article is Not a Substitute for Medical Advice

Dietary supplements are not designed to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The Supplement Sciences website seeks to provide comprehensive access to the most relevant supplement information along with convenient online ordering. We do not provide medical advice and cannot guarantee that every product suggested is completely without risk. Since each person is unique in their health history and medication use, it is important to discuss supplements with your personal physician. Specifically, pregnant women and individuals being treated for cancer or liver or kidney problems must consult their physician about every nutritional supplement they plan to take. People taking medications for the treatment of HIV or with a history of organ transplant must not take supplements without consulting with their physician.

About the Author

Stephanie Figon, MS, RDN, LD

Founder of NutriScape.NET. As a dietitian since 1992, Steph Figon has had experiences in consulting, 15 years in clinical, and has operated a private practice nutrition counseling office for since 2011. Connect on Linkedin

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