A nitric oxide booster might be up your alley if you’re looking to maximize your gym time. It has been shown to boost work capacity and mitigate fatigue, improve energy availability, accelerate recovery, and more, helping you to push hard and bounce back faster and stronger.

If you’ve been pushing yourself hard in the gym and consistently making gains, chances are there’s no need to change your diet or supplement routine. But it can be challenging for those struggling to see progress each week.

But nitric oxide boosters can be a game changer when it comes to gaining lean muscle and improving endurance. Nitric oxide (NO) is a natural compound produced in the body responsible for the “pump” bodybuilders chase, but how can it help you?

We have all the details if you’ve never tried a nitric oxide booster. We’ll walk you through the basics of nitric oxide and give you the top reasons it needs to be in your pre-workout stack.

What Is Nitric Oxide?

Before we dive into the details of how nitric oxide can help you achieve your fitness goals, let’s first cover the basics: what is nitric oxide?

In the human body, nitric oxide is a key signaling molecule that plays several critical roles in various biological processes. In its most basic form, nitric oxide is a colorless and odorless gas composed of one nitrogen and one oxygen molecule, also known as nitrogen monoxide (NO).

But while there may be many benefits to NO, it’s also a highly volatile free radical formed from the amino acid L-arginine 1.

Depending on where nitric oxide is found, it elicits different actions. Its most important and well-known role is as an endothelial vasodilator, meaning it relaxes blood vessels and increases their diameter, allowing for better blood flow; it was previously called “endothelium-derived relaxation factor.”

By enhancing blood flow, we can achieve a better pump. This is the primary reason why it’s used in fitness.

By increasing blood flow, NO may enhance the delivery of oxygen and nutrients needed to support performance while clearing metabolic waste and metabolites that can lead to fatigue.

But it may also influence energy efficiency, intramuscular calcium handling (essential for force production and power output), and other aspects of energy metabolism and fatigue 2.

You can’t just pick up a container of nitric oxide—and you won’t find it in supplements. Because NO is a volatile gas, we use nitric oxide precursors to stimulate production in the body, such as L-citrulline and L-arginine, both of which are common pre-workout ingredients.

But apart from its role in athletic performance, nitric oxide is also essential for:

  • Cell-to-cell communication
  • Inflammation
  • Vasodilation
  • Neurotransmission

Now that you’re familiar with nitric oxide, let’s see why it’ll benefit your performance.

4 Reasons To Use Nitric Oxide Supplements

1. Reduce fatigue and increase work capacity

If you’re tired of struggling through reps or pushing out partial reps, nitric oxide may work to your advantage—and it’s why they’ve been popular with bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts for decades. Unlike many fitness supplements that offer mediocre results, nitric oxide boosters work.

Increasing nitric oxide levels in the blood dilate blood vessels and allow you to carry more oxygen to your muscles, boosting your ability to generate ATP (energy) and enhancing endurance 3, 4.

It’s been shown to benefit aerobic activities like running and brief, high-intensity exercises like weightlifting or sprints 5-7.

But the primary reason bodybuilders can benefit from nitric oxide supplements is that great work capacity means a greater ability to overload your muscles.

And since progressive overload is key to building mass, NO can help you achieve that while offsetting fatigue by enhancing oxygen delivery and supporting more efficient waste removal.

2. Accelerate recovery

Weightlifting, especially for hypertrophy, is hard on the body, and if you’re not recovering properly in between training sessions, you will see subpar results.

While there is no shortage of recovery supplements available—amino acids, protein powders, glutamine, magnesium, tart cherry, and more—nitric oxide also plays a role.

On top of supporting better blow flow and oxygenation to muscle tissue, studies show that nitric oxide may regulate satellite cell activation 8; following muscle injury, satellite cells are activated and recruited to cycle as precursors for the synthesis of new muscle fibers.

But there’s more. A study published in the Journal of Nutrition and Internal Medicine looked at the effects of nitric oxide precursor nutrients on the ability to increase NO levels and enhance recovery after acute exercise using cocoa, caffeine, and a NO supplement 9. Results showed the following:

  • Lactate levels significantly decreased in the cocoa/caffeine (CC) group compared to the control group in the 1-minute lactate levels
  • Heart rate levels were significantly lower in the CC group compared to the nitric oxide supplement (NOX) and control groups in the 1 and 10-minute trials and the 15-minute trials

Researchers concluded that when used alongside adequate nutrition and recovery strategies, nitric oxide-rich foods and supplements may improve recovery by accelerating lactate excretion post-exercise.

Another study looked at the NO precursor L-citrulline on anaerobic exercise and decreased muscle soreness after training 10. Results showed that the exercise performed following citrulline malate supplementation increased the number of repetitions by 52.92%.

Participants also saw a 40% decrease in muscle soreness at 24 hours and 48 hours after training. Researchers concluded that citrulline supplementation might be beneficial for increasing athletic performance in high-intensity anaerobic exercises with short rest times and mitigating post-exercise muscle soreness.

In simple terms, the faster and more effectively your muscles recover between bouts of exercise, the more frequent and intense your training can be, resulting in better results. However, you want to be mindful of overtraining, which can severely impair your performance and results.

3. Increased energy availability

Nitric oxide is synthesized in the body by nitric oxide synthase (NOS) and exerts its effects at various levels via cGMP-mediated pathways.

It’s been shown to play an essential role in metabolic control, mitochondrial respiration, and energy production. It is a must for anyone trying to optimize strength performance and pack on muscle mass 11.

There’s no denying that weightlifting is physically and mentally exhaustive, especially at the level that bodybuilders do. In appropriate amounts, nitric oxide has multiple effects on mitochondria that influence cell physiology.

And because mitochondria may produce and consume NO, and NO stimulates mitochondrial biogenesis, it may be safe to assume that increasing nitric oxide levels may support more efficient energy production 12.

NO has also been shown to regulate core body temperature. Because temperature increases significantly during an intense workout, NO can help to prevent overheating efficiently and effectively maintain energy levels to power you through your workout.

4. Boosts muscle pump

But the best benefit of nitric oxide for bodybuilders is the pump it helps them achieve. These pumps are primarily the result of increased blood flow to muscle tissue, which allows them to appear more pronounced for longer.

Although the muscle pump may not inherently contribute to better performance, it may boost your motivation to keep training and achieving better results!

Final Thoughts

For bodybuilders and lifters, it’s always a struggle to find supplements that work, especially when it comes to a pre-workout.

If you’re trying to maximize muscle growth, you probably don’t want a high-stim pre-workout that will leave you in the clouds, but some degree of stimulation is needed to enhance focus and drive. The solution? Pre Lab Pro®.

It’s the ultimate pre-workout supplement designed to provide a bigger nitric oxide boost, smarter stimulation, and stronger homeostasis by stacking the most advanced and powerful pre-workout ingredients.

If you’re tired of mediocre performance and results, Pre Lab Pro® supplies mind and body super-fuel for next-level athletic performance.

Find out more about how Pre Lab Pro works here


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