Nitric Oxide is one of the most important chemicals your body produces. It plays a major role in many bodily processes including learning and muscle recovery. In the pursuit of perfection, NO has a very beneficial role to play. This guide is essential for athletes, biohackers, and anyone wanting to increase their physical and mental ability.
What Is Nitric Oxide
Nitric Oxide is a molecule made from Nitrogen & Oxygen with the formula NO. Nitric Oxide is responsible for a number of functions throughout the body, most notably Vasodilation, the widening of blood vessels. It is mainly synthesized in the Endothelium, the lining of the blood vessel. The Endothelium produces much higher amounts of NO when heart-healthy conditions are met, such as physical activity, low-cholesterol (LDL), and lack of stress. When these conditions are met, NO is synthesized from the amino acid L-Arginine. This process starts in the mouth, where Nitrates from food are almost immediately converted to Nitrites after touching the tongue where important enzymes and bacteria live. After being synthesized, Nitric Oxide immediately diffuses across the body, relaxing blood vessels and subsequently increasing blood flow. This makes it ideal for athletes. ED is also caused from issues with the NO pathway and cycle. Viagra works by counteracting the systems that breakdown Nitric Oxide, thus increasing the amount and duration of Nitric Oxide.
When you workout, that muscle ‘pimp’ is due to the release of Nitric Oxide, flooding the muscle and blood vessels with blood. This is also why you’ll have much more vascularity after a workout. Most pre-workouts include L-Arginine or L-Citrulline to achieve as more blood flow means better muscle efficiency and endurance. Because of the increase in oxygen & bloodflow, NO may contribute to the ‘awake’ feeling you get from a morning exercise routine and why you only actually feel like you after being awake for a few hours.
In the brain, Nitric Oxide does the same with bloodflow, allowing for better cycling of nutrients and oxygen which in turn leads to more mental stamina and cognitive function. NO is also a neurotransmitter that differs from other neurotransmitters in that it is able to communicate through cells as well rather than only communicating through the synapse. Nitric Oxide plays an important role in learning and the formation of memories. NO also contributes to recovery from brain injuries and is being studied as a primary treatment.
During an infection, Nitric Oxide is also released. This is to allow a faster and more efficient white blood cell response as well as seemingly stimulating white blood cells and their production.
Benefits of Nitric Oxide
1. FASTER RECOVERY
With an increase in nutrient and oxygen cycling, muscles and wounds will recover faster. Important blood cells, amino acids, and nutrients will get there faster and in greater amounts, which not only contributes to muscle recover, but can also help prevent scarring from wounds.
2. INCREASED STAMINA & ENDURANCE
Oxygen plays an important role in the generation of energy and with a faster and bigger stream of it to muscle cells, an increase in stamina & endurance happens.
3. IMPROVED STRENGTH
Just as better nutrient and oxygen cycling improves stamina, it also improves strength. When your cells are able to produce more energy, you can give more in a single output, thus becoming stronger.
4. STRONGER ERECTIONS
More and longer blood flow means better erections. As stated, Viagra works by inhibiting systems that breakdown NO.
5. IMPROVED FOCUS
More oxygen and nutrients to the brain means a more efficient brain along with greater mental stamina, just like muscles.
6. IMPROVED MEMORY & LEARNING
Not only will a faster and greater supply of nutrients important for brain development lead to an increase in cognitive function, but as stated NO is an important messenger and factor in the formation memories and learning in neurons.
7. INCREASED MUSCLE VOLUME & VASCULARITY
Because blood vessels run throughout the body, bigger vessels means bigger muscles. Bigger veins also makes them more noticeable, AKA increased vascularity.
8. STRONGER IMMUNE SYSTEM
Since white blood cells travel through the blood stream, a faster flow would allow for a much more paid response to an infection or disease. NO also seems to stimulate white blood cells, furthering the benefits for the immune system.
How To Increase Nitric Oxide
Since stress inhibits the production of NO, decreasing it will lead to an increase in NO production. Meditating, deep breathes, and sex all aid in this regard along with other changes in your life to avoid/reduce stress.
NO is significantly produced when the body experiences physical activity, making it a no brainer to exercise more. Compound and high-rep exercises like deadlifts and dumbbell curls are great for NO. Exercises like squats and jumping jacks in the morning will quite literally ‘get the blood flowing’.
Fluoride kills bacteria and enzymes, which in turn kills the bacteria & enzymes in your mouth important for making Nitric Oxide. Not only does fluoride hurt your Nitric Oxide levels, but it also causes mental disorders and lowers your Testosterone. Fluoride is in tap water, mouthwash, and toothpaste so getting a water filter, avoiding mouthwash, and using an all natural toothpaste is key for optimal health.
USE COPPER TONGUE SCRAPERS
Continuing with good mouth bacteria, scraping your tongue with copper in the morning also helps in this endeavor. Copper contributes to good mouth health and the production of good bacteria that produces digestive enzyme and fights off bad bacteria. Metal Tongue Scrapers have been used for thousands of years to ward off bad breath and tooth decay.
EAT FOODS RICH IN NITRATES
As stated in the NO synthesis cycle, it all starts with the ingestion of Nitrates. Foods high in Nitrates include most green leafy vegetables such as kale and root vegetables like beets and carrots.
BEETROOT & BEETROOT JUICE
Beetroot is a vegetable particularly high in Nitrates along with antioxidants like Resveratrol that prevent the breakdown of NO. One study found an increase of 50% in NO levels after drinking beetroot juice and an increase of 3% in athletic performance. The peak of it’s benefits occurs approximately 2 hours after ingestion.
FOODS HIGH IN ANTIOXIDANTS
Antioxidants bind to free radicals in the body that breakdown NO, increasing the amount and duration of Nitric Oxide in the body. Foods high in antioxidants also happen to contain nutrients important for bodily functions.
DON’T DRINK BEFORE OR DURING A MEAL
The digestive process starts in the mouth with chewing & enzymes. The Nitric Oxide also starts here. The problem with drinking before and during a meal is that the fluids wash away the key enzymes and change the chemical makeup of the mouth’s microbiome. Not only will this improve your Nitric Oxide levels, but your absorption of nutrients will also be improved so keep this in mind every time you eat.
ASHWAGANDHA, L-THEANINE, AND LONGJACK
Since stress (cortisol) inhibits NO productions, supplements that lower it like Ashwagandha, L-Theanine, and LongJack will increase NO levels.
GARLIC & VITAMIN C
The best way to increase Nitrix Oxide on here, chewing vitamin c & raw garlic was shown to increase NO levels by 200%. Many natural ED supplements contain extracts of these things. Simply chew a vitamin c tablet and a garlic cloves and swallow. The peak of it’s benefit is seen after 2 hours, similar to beetroot juice, so time it 2 hours before sex or your workout.
L-ARGININE & L-CITRULLINE
Since NO is synthesized from L-Arginine, it’s no wonder that supplementing with it would increase NO. However, when L-Arginine is turned into NO, L-Citrulline is made as a byproduct, which interestingly is recycled back into L-Arginine in an endless cycle. These are the two amino acids in pre-workouts that increase NO. Taking them both seems to be more efficient at raising NO levels rather than taking one.
Cacao is especially good at increasing Nitric Oxide and vascularity because it contains magnesium, antioxidants, and Theobromine, the sister molecule to caffeine that contributes to NO production and/or vasodilation. Cacao has long been used as an athletic performance enhancer and several studies have proved this effect.
GRAPE SEED/SKIN EXTRACT & RESVERATROL
Grape Extract works in much the same way as Viagra, in that it slows down the breakdown of Nitric Oxide. This is because it contains Resveratrol, an antioxidant that prevents free radicals from breaking down NO. Resveratrol is highlighted among antioxidants as it seems to be particularly effective at this.
SUNLIGHT & VITAMIN D
Exposure to sunlight activates nitrogen stores in the skin, subsequently increasing Nitric Oxide. Vitamin D also contributes to a plethora of bodily functions and overall health. Because of sunlight’s calming effect, stress is also reduced, in turn releasing more NO.
GINSENG, GINGER, QUERCETIN, COENZYME Q10, NIACIN, ICARIIN, OMEGA-3’S, AND CAPSAISUM
These are all miscellaneous ways of increasing Nitric Oxide levels. These supplements either lower stress, are antioxidants, or support bodily function.