This is probably not going to be your typical “muscle magazine” article. What do I mean by that? This article is not going to give you some secret herb or supplement that will give you freaky mass and freaky cuts in 30 days. In fact, nothing will give you freaky mass and freaky cuts in 30 days unless you get off your ass and do freaky workouts.
So, are Nitric Oxide products the secret to huge muscles, ultra fast recovery, and freaky cuts? Yes and no.
Think of NO products as a piece of the puzzle – a large puzzle with a foundation of a good diet and disciplined training. You gotta have good sleep, less stress and the proper ratio of protein/carbs/fat intake — these are all important and you must “tweak” them maximally to achieve a more muscular physique.
Once you get the basics down it’s time to add supplements. A supplement is just that- a supplement to what you are already doing/eating. We get our fair share of calls from customers saying if I use product X and don’t change my diet or workout… at all… will I get results? At first I thought these people were joking but after about three or four calls a day with consumers saying they want to take a product such as a Nitric Oxide supplement, get ridiculous pumps, crazy strength, and drug like recovery without going to the gym more than three times a month, with the typical American “on-the-run high saturated high-fat simple sugar diet”.
I have come to realize most people need help. So what I am going to do is give you my take on certain supplements (starting with Nitric Oxide) assuming you plan on training “frequently” (three or four times a week) and eat a good diet, with adequate sleep. Five hours of sleep a night isn’t adequate sleep. I am talking at least 7 hours on non-workout days and at least 8-10 hours on workout days.
NO products… Where did they come from?
NO products appeared in late 2001 with the release of NO2 by M.R.I. They have claimed to be the first to introduce Nitric Oxide to the market with their time – released product. Were they the first? Not really, but then again, their CEO says he discovered creatine when he was with EAS in the late 90’s, even though creatine has been research for enhancing athletic performance in studies dating back to 1908 and some major statements on creatine as a possible signal for muscle mass growth came out circa 1972 by the University of Harvard.
However, M.R.I. was the first to introduce a new way of enhancing Nitric Oxide production by enteric coating and time releasing Arginine combined with Alpha-Keto Glutarate called A-AKG.
Today there are over eight Nitric Oxide supplements available in tablet form and more recently two manufacturers have introduced liquid A-AKG supplements all promoted to give freaky pumps, recovery, strength and lean muscle mass.
Arginine Alpha-Keto Glutarate (A-AKG) is actually two supplements combined in a ratio of 1:1, or 2:1 in most nitric oxide products. Arginine is the raw material used in the human body to produce all forms of Nitric Oxide by way of a process called Nitric Oxide Synthase (NOS).
Nitric Oxide products do not contain Nitric Oxide. They contain some form of Arginine with most using A-AKG. Arginine base (free form) or Arginine HCL have both been found to have low bioavailability meaning, it is poorly absorbed and poorly stored in the human body. The AKG molecule was added because AKG has been proven in clinical trials to increase Arginine storage in the body and some think it may improve bioavailability of arginine up to 10 fold!
One thousand mg. of A-AKG is usually 500 mg. of Arginine bonded with 500 mg of Alpha Keto Glutarate. Also good NO products should be enteric coated. An enteric coating is sprayed on tablets to prevent them from breaking down in the stomach — absorption takes place in the intestinal track where absorption is optimal for arginine. Some consumers have tried to make their own home made version of Nitric Oxide products to save money, but if they cannot press tablets and enteric coat them at home, 30g of Arginine or 3g of Arginine mixed in water will not provide the same effect. The product must be enteric coated and time-released. If you want to test the enteric coating of a Nitric Oxide product, leave it in a glass of milk for 24 hours. A good NO product will pretty much remain the same after sitting in a glass of milk for 24-hours.
Most nitric oxide products contain about 1,000 mg of A-AKG per enteric coated tablet at a ration of 1:1 or 2:1 and the recommended dosage is 6,000 mg of A-AKG per day (3,000 mg AM, 3,000 mg mid-day). However, be advised if you are over 200 lbs, you may need 7,000 mg to 10,000 mg (7-10 capsules) per day to see the same results as some one who weighs around 150-180lbs. How does NO increase pumps?
The favorable process of Nitric Oxide production (eNOS) takes place in the endothelial cells that line the walls of blood vessels. If produced in the brain, it is called nNOS. (iNOS is an unfavorable process that produces Nitric Oxide during inflammation).
Nitric Oxide, when produced during iNOS, is very harmful and is an extremely potent oxidative free radical (destroys cells). Increase eNOS activity lowers blood pressure and opens up the blood vessels. This effectively lowers bad cholesterol and increases the nutrient carrying capacity of the cells. The pump you normally feel when exercising as a result of eNOS activity is also stimulated in a controlled time-released manner from time-released, enteric coated A-AKG supplements.
The increase in diameter of blood vessels also leads to what is being called a “sustained-pump” (www.getnos.com).
I believe NO products increase iNOS production when they do not contain iNOS limiting antioxidants such as the herb gynostemma, alpha lipoic acid, or a form of Rosemary extract called Rose-ox.
Why use with antioxidants?
As mentioned before, antioxidants improve eNOS production and some limit the production of iNOS.
If you are using a NO product that contains A-AKG, you will get great results when combining these products with antioxidants that included those mentioned previously as well as vitamin C (ascorbic acid) and or selenium. A good antioxidant to stack with a NO product is Beverly’s Advanced Antioxidant, or Beverly’s Ultra C. For those who do not respond to six tablets of a NO product or those who eat a diet low in antioxidants, adding an antioxidant formula may prevent you from having to increase the dosage to 7 – 10 tablets per day.
Why no ephedra with NO products?
NO products dilate, or open, blood vessels. Ephedra (also synephrine) and high amounts of caffeine for some people (200 mg to 500 mg at one time) will constrict blood vessels cancelling out the effects of the NO products.
If you are currently using a fat burner or energy product that contains ephedra or synephrine, ditch it before starting any NO product.
Some on ephedra and NO complain of headaches and may experience a rapid drop in blood pressure. It is not recommended to use the two at the same time. Others may experience headaches when starting NO products and that may be because of a need for greater water intake. There is no daily amount of water intake that works for everyone, because needs vary depending on lean muscle mass, activity level, and actually the humidity level where you live.
Nitric Oxide products supplement a good diet, sleep and exercise. It actually provides stronger erections, and improves vascularity in most. NO increases the delivery of other supplements, increasing the uptake of nutrients from the blood.
NO products work well with high protein diets (about 2g per kg of body weight), Micronized Creatine Monohydrate and/or BCAA at about 30 to 40g of BCAA’s a day.
Recovery may be enhanced because of the AKG molecule, but don’t expect freaky recovery ever if you sleep less than 7 hours.
Lean muscle mass is enhanced with high protein, (protein in 20-30g every 2 hours). I use NO products as a supplement for increased pump and better nutrient/supplement delivery.
A GOOD NO PRODUCT WORKS!
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