Do Nitric Oxide Supplements really work? From “skin-tearing” pumps to peak performance, we’ll see what the science says and show the 6 best nitric oxide supplements you can order online. Plus we’ll get to the bottom of L-Citrulline vs L-Arginine for muscle building and getting a pump. And don’t confuse Nitrous Oxide boosting gas we love seeing in Fast and Furious movies with Nitric Oxide boosting supplements for workouts (they’re totally different things, but both are awesome 😂).
Bodybuilders and everyone looking to get fit can benefit from various supplements and vitamins to optimize their workouts and maximize gains. One such product is nitric oxide (NO), which is readily available to order as a supplement, usually in the form of either L-Citrulline vs L-Arginine. Both work similarly, but as we’ll discover in a moment, one has been scientifically proven to far out perform the other.
Understanding Nitric Oxide and Muscle Pumps
Nitric oxide, a naturally occurring molecule in the body, plays a crucial role in vasodilation—the widening of blood vessels. This dilation enhances blood flow, delivering more oxygen and nutrients to working muscles during exercise. The result is the sought-after muscle pump—a temporary increase in muscle size and vascularity. Nitric oxide’s benefits include:
- Enhanced Blood Flow: Nitric oxide supplements, often derived from amino acids like L-Citrulline and L-Arginine, boost nitric oxide levels, promoting vasodilation. This increased blood flow ensures muscles receive optimal oxygen and nutrients during workouts, enhancing endurance and reducing fatigue.
- “Skin-Tearing” Pumps: Nitric oxide, taken approximately 30 minutes before resistance training, can contribute to a great muscle pumps. Nitric oxide supplements contribute to this phenomenon by promoting vasodilation, creating a visual and tactile impact on muscle size.
- Increased Endurance: By enhancing blood flow and nutrient delivery, nitric oxide supplements contribute to increased endurance. Athletes often report being able to push through more extended and more intense training sessions, leading to improved overall performance and muscle gains.
L-Citrulline vs L-Arginine
Nitric Oxide supplements don’t exactly contain nitric oxide. Instead, the supplements provide compounds that your body uses to create nitric oxide. The two types of nitric oxide supplements you’ll find L-Citrulline and L-Arginine. Both have been used extensively by athletes and bodybuilders, and many use a combination of the two.
However, a 2023 clinical trial determined that L-Citrulline was far superior to L-Arginine. L-Citrulline was found to offer a significant benefit on high-intensity strength and power performance, and significantly increases repetitions to failure. However, the study also found that L-Arginine had limited evidence to to improve strength performance. The study essentially boiled down to the body metabolizing L-Citrulline in a way that helped boost NO production, but L-Arginine metabolizes in a way to lose it’s NO boosting properties.
In short, the science says that L-Citrulline works, but L-Arginine does NOT work. Still, many bodybuilders swear by both forms of nitric oxide supplements, so perhaps future studies may reveal new insights.
Or simply try them both and see for yourself! Or combine L-Citrulline and L-Arginine together for a synergistic effect.
Now here’s our 6 best nitric oxide supplements, and we’re including three types for you to choose from: L-Citrulline supplements, L-Arginine supplements, and a very popular choice – a supplement that combines the two forms into one product.
1. Nutricost L-Citrulline 1,500mg (180 Capsules, 2x Capsules for 1,500mg Serving)
Nutricost’s L-Citrulline supplement offers a convenient way to increase your L-Citrulline intake. A crucial aminoacid found in foods like watermelon, L-Citrulline is a building block of protein. Eachserving provides 1500mg of L-Citrulline, with 2 capsules per serving, each containing 750mg. The supplement is Non-GMO, Gluten-Free, and the bottle provides 90 servings. Nutricost emphasizes simplicity, offering a clean and straightforward product for an optimal user experience.
2. Dorado Nutrition L-Citrulline 3000mg Supplement (240 Capsules, 4x Capsules for 3,000mg Serving)
This L-Citrulline supplement by Dorado Nutrition supports nitric oxide production, promoting skin-tearing pumps, increased endurance, and strength during workouts. With 240 capsules providing 60 servings, it aids in energy, muscle growth, and recovery by facilitating nutrient delivery to muscles. The complex enhances workout endurance and performance, delaying fatigue. Proudly made in the USA in a GMP certified facility, Dorado Nutrition ensures its supplements are gluten-free, wheat-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, soy-free, and yeast-free.
3. NOW Supplements, L-Citrulline 1,500mg Supplement (180 Capsules, 2x Capsules for 1,500mg Serving)
This L-Citrulline supplement from NOW comes in vegan capsules and contributes to a healthy immune system. It holds various certifications, including being dairy-free, egg-free, kosher, gluten-free, non-GMO, nut-free, and suitable for vegans/vegetarians. Produced by NOW, a family-owned company since 1968, the product adheres to high-quality standards with GMP certification.
4. Basic Greens L-Arginine 3,150mg (90 Tablets, 3x Tablets for 3,150mg Serving)
Basic Greens offers a premium L-Arginine supplement with maximum strength nitric oxide support. This supplement combines L-Arginine hydrochloride and AAKG (Arginine Alpha-Ketoglutarate) to aid in nitric oxide production, promoting healthy circulation and acting as a protein building block. Each serving provides a high dose of 3,150 mg (3 tablets of 1,050 mg each) for a 30-day supply. Suitable for both men and women, it may support workouts and arterial health. Manufactured in the USA under the highest GMP standards, Basic Greens ensures non-GMO, sugar-free tablets. The brand prioritizes quality, inspecting every bottle for customer satisfaction.
5. Puritan’s Pride L-Arginine 1,000mg (100 Capsules, 1x Capsule for 1,000mg Serving)
Puritan’s Pride has a value priced L-Arginine for only $5.48, which is about a 30 day supply if you take 3 capsules per day (3,000mg). With over 45 years of trust, Puritan’s Pride has been a health and wellness partner for generations of families. The brand’s mission is to provide the highest quality nutritional supplements, scientifically formulated with premium ingredients sourced globally. Manufactured in the USA, each supplement undergoes rigorous testing and inspection up to 15 times to ensure purity, potency, and consistency in every bottle.
6. Dr. Emil’s ARGININE PLUS: L-Arginine AND L-Citrulline 2,500mg (90 Capsules, 3x Capsules for 1,650mg L-Arginine and 850mg L-Citrulline)
Dr. Emil’s Nitric Oxide Booster is a potent supplement that combines L-Arginine AAKG & HCL with L-Citrulline Malate, clinically proven to elevate Arginine blood levels more effectively than Arginine alone. With a dosage of 2500 mg per serving, it’s 50-100% stronger than competing brands in pill form. This high dosage, available in convenient tablet form, promotes optimal vascularity and endurance without the need for cumbersome shakes or messy powders. Driven by medical expertise and science-backed formulations, Dr. Emil’s products, including this Nitric Oxide Booster, are crafted from natural ingredients, free of harmful additives, non-GMO, and manufactured in the USA in a GMP-certified laboratory.
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Nitric oxide supplements stand as a powerful ally in the bodybuilder’s toolkit, contributing to enhanced blood flow, muscle pumps, and overall performance. The benefits come from improved nutrient delivery, increased endurance, and optimized muscle growth. Choosing between L-Citrulline and L-Arginine depends on individual preferences and responses, but the science looks better for L-Citrulline. They’re a generally safe supplement, but you may want to check with your doctor to be sure they are right for you and don’t conflict with any of your health conditions or current medications.
Considering the relatively low cost and extremely high popularity of Nitric Oxide boosting supplements, you might want to give them a try. Order some now, follow the recommended dosages on the label, and see how your workouts feel after using it for a week or so. So get pumped for some Nitric Oxide!