Do Nitric Oxide Supplements Really Work?

Medically Reviewed on 11/12/2021
nitric oxide supplements
Although more research is needed, nitric oxide supplements have been shown to boost nitric oxide levels in the body leading to various health benefits.

Research on nitric oxide supplements is mostly conflicting. A few studies support the benefits of it in heart health, vascular diseases, and elevated lipid levels.

However, not all nitric oxide supplements and boosters contain nitric oxide. They instead contain ingredients that encourage your body to produce more nitric oxide on its own safely and naturally.

  • The literature on nitric oxide precursor supplements is new and growing; therefore, it's difficult to regard findings as anything more than preliminary.
  • Although the results of the studies are not unanimous, it appears that nitric oxide precursor supplements have the potential to improve muscular endurance.
    • Currently, there is insufficient evidence to determine whether these theoretical mechanisms will work in the long run.
  • Regardless of research, dietary supplements marketed to increase nitric oxide production are prevalent in the supplement industry.
  • As with many dietary supplements, there is virtually no scientific evidence regarding the efficacy of these products.
    • Although, some of the main ingredients in them measurably increase nitric oxide.
  • However, a careful examination of original investigations reveals that dosing suggested by the product's manufacturer is frequently far less than that used in the original investigation.
    • More importantly, the administration route is frequently different.
  • Some of the original studies used animals (typically rodents) as test subjects rather than humans or involved in vitro experiments (outside of a living organism).
    • Such studies cannot always be used to make generalizations to humans. 
    • Collectively, no nutritional supplements marketed to increase nitric oxide increase blood levels of nitric oxide in a controlled laboratory study involving human subjects.

However, some supplements increase nitric oxide levels in the body.

Beet supplements

  • Beets are effective nitric oxide boosters that are now available as supplements in the form of juice, powder, or capsules.
  • Although research is in its early stages, dietary nitrate supplementation appears to be a promising new approach for improving overall human performance.

L-arginine supplements

  • Some people choose to take L-arginine supplements to boost their nitric oxide levels. 
  • Angina, high blood pressure, and erectile dysfunction (ED) are some of the conditions in which L-arginine supplements may be beneficial, according to research.

L-citrulline supplements

  • L-citrulline is another option for nitric oxide supplements for ED.
  • In a few studies, L-citrulline was found to be more effective than L-arginine at lowering blood pressure and improving exercise performance.

3 steps to increase nitric oxide naturally

There are three simple steps you can follow to help your body produce more nitric oxide.

  1. Eat more vegetables:
    • Eating vegetables (especially leafy greens or cruciferous vegetables and beets) is the best way to increase the amount of nitric oxide in your body.
    • The antioxidants in vegetables lower your levels of free radicals and increase vitamins and minerals in your body.
  2. Restore your body’s natural digestive flora:
    • There are colonies of bacteria in your gut that can manufacture nitric acid.
    • Taking a probiotic can help restore and maintain the balance of good digestive bacteria in your gut and promote overall health.
    • You should avoid using mouthwash, antibiotics, antacids, and proton pump inhibitors for gastroesophageal reflux disease as much as possible because they can all disrupt and even eliminate your healthy digestive bacteria.
  3. Physical activity:
    • According to studies, exercise may help in the rapid release of nitric oxide.
      • Squats with a medicine ball
      • Alternating arm raises stopping at shoulder height
      • Double side arm raises
      • Double overhead press

You only need about four minutes of high-intensity exercise three times a day to reap health benefits in your cardiovascular, nervous, and immune systems.


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What are the benefits and side effects of nitric oxide?

Nitric oxide is a naturally occurring molecule in the body that allows your cells to communicate with one another. It is necessary for brain function, a strong immune system, and healthy blood circulation.

Clinical trials on nitric oxide supplements have been conducted for:

  • Preventing heart diseases.
  • Increasing long-duration exercise.
  • Enhancing recovery after physical activity.
  • Improving cognitive performance and nervous system function.
  • Helping with sexual dysfunction.
  • A healthy immune response.

Excess nitric oxide may produce the side effects below:

Nitric oxide can be easily and safely increased through dietary sources, such as beets, leafy greens, and fennel seeds.

The best nitric oxide supplements do not contain nitric oxide but contain ingredients that are known as nitric oxide boosters.

  • Because beetroot has a naturally high nitrate content, it may be one of the best nitric oxide supplements.
  • L-arginine and L-citrulline are two amino acids that increase nitric oxide production in the body.
  • Performing exercise regularly aids in the production of nitric oxide in the body.

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Medically Reviewed on 11/12/2021
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The effect of nitric-oxide-related supplements on human performance:

Nitric oxide:

Nitric oxide: