Nitric oxide supplements are widely used for bodybuilding and athletic performance, but do they really work?
“They won’t pump up your muscles – their main claim, but ‘nitric oxide’ supplements may help you exercise intensely a little longer,” says ConsumerLab.com President, Tod Cooperman, M.D.
Nitric oxide supplements don’t actually provide nitric oxide, which is a gas, but generally contain L-arginine which can, in some people, increase nitric oxide. Nitric oxide, in turn, potentially increases blood flow to muscles and other organs.
ConsumerLab.com reviewed the clinical studies of supplements used to increase nitric oxide in the body. It found NO studies demonstrating a significant increase in muscle size or fullness with such supplements.
However, supplements with L-arginine may increase intense exercise endurance in older and recreational athletes. In trained athletes the supplements appear to do little.
L-arginine supplements may also be helpful in people with cardiovascular conditions such as angina or atherosclerosis.
ConsumerLab.com is a leading provider of consumer information and independent evaluations of products that affect health and nutrition, with online reports for over 900 products.
The company is privately held and based in Westchester County, New York. It has no ownership from, or interest in, companies that manufacture, distribute, or sell consumer products. Membership to www.ConsumerLab.com is available online.