Are you struggling for energy at the gym, or struggling to recover after a workout? Nitric oxide might be the answer.
Nitric oxide (or NO) is a compound produced by our body, which provides a range of health benefits, mostly by improving circulatory health and allowing blood to flow freely around the body.
Though we produce nitric oxide naturally, the rate at which we do so can vary significantly.
A few easy-to-prepare drinks could do wonders for your nitric oxide production, and as an extension, your everyday health and exercise performance. Read on to learn more.
What is Nitric Oxide and Why is it Important?
As mentioned, nitric oxide is a naturally-produced compound in our body. It’s a gas, made up of nitrates and several other components.
Nitrates on their own are a free radical, which can turn into nitrosamines, which can be harmful to the body. But with the right compounds present in your body - including vitamin C and other antioxidants - these nitrates can instead turn into nitric oxide, which is beneficial for us.
Nitric oxide helps relax the cells around our arteries and dilate blood vessels. This lowers blood pressure, and allows blood to flow more freely to various parts of the body.
This provides benefits for cardiovascular health, as well as a large number of other benefits, due to the fact that your ability to supply muscles and other parts of the body with oxygen and other vital nutrients that are delivered through the bloodstream.
One of the most common positive benefits of higher nitric oxide levels is exercise performance.
The vasodilating effect gives you a bigger “pump”, a common feature of pre-workout supplements, which in turn lets you access more energy during your workout, and faster recovery afterward.
Four Drinks That Will Directly Boost Nitric Oxide
Food and drinks can boost your nitric oxide production in a couple of ways. One is by taking sources high in nitrates, which can be turned into nitric oxide. The other (a vital step if you’re taking high nitrate food sources) is by getting antioxidants, which aid the production of nitric oxide and stop nitrates from turning into harmful nitrosamines.
Drinks are an especially convenient way to up your intake of nitrates and antioxidants, and directly boost your nitric oxide levels. Here are a few examples (you can also check out a list of nitric oxide foods):
Beetroot is a rich source of nitrates, as well as a lot of other beneficial nutrients. This combination makes them one of the best ways to boost nitric oxide in the body.
Booth beetroots and beetroot juice contain extremely high levels of dietary nitrates. These nitrates are the most important building blocks for nitric oxide production.
Beets also contain a ton of antioxidants, which are another vital part of converting nitrates into nitric oxide, and ensuring they don’t remain in your system as harmful free radicals.
Studies have been done to back up the power of beetroot juice for nitric oxide levels. In one such study, participants taking beetroot juice showed a 21% increase in nitric oxide levels within just 45 minutes.
Pomegranates are one of the most powerful sources of antioxidants there is. These antioxidants help protect the body against free radicals and provide a ton of other benefits, such as fighting inflammation.
The antioxidants in pomegranates and pomegranate juice are particularly beneficial in the way they protect against nitric oxide breaking down, thus increasing the total level of nitric oxide in the body.
Naked Energy Stim Free Pre Workout
Pre workout supplements often feature ingredients that boost nitric oxide, due to the positive effects NO has on blood flow, energy production, and recovery.
Our stim free pre workout provides an energy boost without caffeine or any stimulants, but through several ingredients that aid in the production of nitric oxide.
Namely, Carnosyn Beta-Alanine and Nitrosigine, which are natural compounds that help bond the amino acid Arginine together with Silicate to make nitric oxide.
Green Juice with Naked Greens
Green vegetables are one of the best sources of natural, beneficial nitrates that the body can use to produce nitric oxide.
The reason greens are so great for NO production is that they not only contain nitrates, but a rich variety of antioxidants, along with other beneficial vitamins, minerals and nutrients.
A green superfood smoothie or juice, made with Naked Greens can be another convenient way to increase your NO levels. It includes NO boosting ingredients such as broccoli, kale, spinach, and spirulina - all clean, organic, and packed full of dietary nitrates and antioxidants.
Other Ways to Naturally Boost Nitric Oxide
These four drinks are all powerful ways to increase your body’s production of nitric oxide, due in part to their convenience, as well as the concentration of beneficial nitrates, antioxidants, and other compounds that aid in the process of building NO.
There are many other ways you can boost your NO levels, alongside the drinks mentioned above. You can eat foods high in both dietary nitrates and antioxidants, such as green vegetables and beetroot (avoid processed meats, however, which are high in nitrates as well, but are more likely to turn into harmful nitrosamines).
You can get more antioxidants, by taking supplements, eating more fruit, or even exercising more often.
Regular sauna use has also been shown to have positive effects on NO levels.
You can check out more tips to naturally increase nitric oxide levels here.
Though it sounds like some artificial chemical you don’t want in your body, nitric oxide is actually a natural and beneficial compound. It’s vital for a lot of bodily functions, from cardiovascular health to immune health, and can also aid performance and recovery in the gym.
To naturally boost your nitric oxide levels, and achieve a greater state of overall wellness, take a few minutes each day to prepare one of the drinks above. Your body, and your performance, will thank you for it.