Nitric oxide supplements
Probably the biggest scam in the supplement industry, cheating you and I both out of hundreds of millions of dollars every year, isÖ..Nitric oxide, better know as NO, found in popular supplements such as NO-Xlpode, Superpump 250, Nano Vapor, etc. But wait, how could that be? I got great results from NO-Xlpode. Let me explain.
If you were to challenge your buddy to drag race, and you both had to build your own cars, put the following in order of importance to winning the race: engine, fuel, tires, exhaust, transmission, and color of the car. Iíd be willing to bet if you polled 1000 people, 999 of them would have ďcolor of the carĒ at the end of the list. Then why on earth, do weightlifters continually choose an NO product over creatine, protein, BCAAs, leucine, beta alanine, or, even a multivitamin? Because they said Iíd have 300% more growthÖ Hmmmm.
The theory behind NO supplements
I must admit. The theory behind NO makes sense, not only from common sense standpoint, but also a scientific standpoint. Itís not really a complex pathophysiological mechanism. Nitric Oxide (NO) causes vasodilation (increases the diameter of the vessel). That results in more blood being supplied to the muscle. The more blood supplied, the more nutrients, energy substrates, oxygen, etc the muscle gets. The end result: a highly anabolic environment that breeds huge muscles. Itís simple. What would you rather put a fire out with: a garden hose or a fire hose? Like I said, it makes sense. However, thereís one fatal flawÖ
The Fatal Flaw
Youíre being chased by a bear. What happens? Your heart rate speeds up, youíre breathing becomes rapid, and youíre instantly alert and focused. Congratulations, your flight-or-fight internal mechanism just saved your life. Thereís also something else that happens thatís crucial to the NO argument that most people forget about. Blood is diverted away from your GI system, and any other organ/tissue that wonít help you. That diverted blood goes to your muscles, brain, and heart (the organs that are of utmost important to your survival.) So what happens during a weight lifting session? Is your workout more similar to a being chased by a bear or nice midday nap? Hopefully, itís the bear scenario. Thus, your muscles are already getting a larger supply of blood, nutrients, oxygen, etc because of your bodyís automatic vasodilation mechanism. But wonít increasing vasodilation even more with NO make even bigger muscles?
The Great Mistake
Good in theory. Bad in proof. Thatís exactly what the manufacturers want you to think. However, I have yet to see any convincing proof. In fact, if anyone has a study that supports that notion, please post it here (please make sure it wasnít sponsored by the manufacturer) because Iím having a hard time finding one. More importantly, even if there were studies that showed an NO product results in more blood being delivered to the muscle, does it even make a difference? If so, how big is the difference? Enough to justify spending $40 per month on it? Once again, Iím having trouble finding any clinical evidence supporting any of these assumptions. Once again, letís go to the hose analogy. Letís look at it from a gardenerís perspective. Would you rather water your garden with a garden hose or a fire hose? Iíd hope youíd answer garden hose because youíd drown all of your plants with a fire hose. What NO products lack in science, they more than make up for in clever marketing tactics.
The Great Con
So how did I get results from NO-Xlpode, the greatest supplement ever? Let me explain. Is there any stand alone NO products on the market anymore that just contains arginine or one of its spinoffs? No. Now they all contain creatine, beta alanine, BCAAs, leucine, caffeine, or another ingredient that actually does work. The large majority contain at least 4 different ingredients. Yea, but thatís for convenience purposes. Now I donít have to take 6 different shakes a day. Those manufacturers were just looking out for my best interest. Ha, if you believe that, I have some great swamp land for sale in Florida. They were actually looking to cover up a mediocre (at best) ingredient, and disguising it as the next best thing. Success! The results you experienced from NO Xplode: probably from the creatine or beta alanine.
So is it completely useless? Not necessarily. If youíve already purchased protein, leucine, BCAAs, creatine, beta alanine, fish oil, and several other supplements, it probably wouldnít hurt to add NO. Youíll probably get a slightly better pump. Itíll help your ego. But is your ego really worth $40? Thatís for you to decide. Sometimes people are blinded more by subjective goals as opposed to objective goals.
Side note: If you do have an extra $40 lying around, Iíll offer you a small wager. You give me $40, and Iíll design you an 8 week arm program. If it doesnít get you better results than NO, Iíll give you your $40 back. No questions asked. Howís that for a guarantee.
Just remember, when it comes to N.O. just say NO!
P.S. What about the increase in growth hormone production from arginine? Unless youíre taking arginine IV, forget about it.
Join the club. Our price is your price!
Mixing pharmacists, trainers, and fighters.