Nitric oxide supplements took the bodybuilding industry by storm a little more than a decade ago. The muscle-enhancing effects were real. While you may certainly use supplements, you can also consume nitric oxide foods for the same end results.
We’ll take a look at some of these foods and the magic compounds that create that desired vasodilation after a good workout.
L-arginine is perhaps the most famous amino acid associated with having a vasodilation effect. While watermelon doesn’t contain arginine, it is high in the amino acid L-citruline, which is converted into arginine under the right conditions.
Keep in mind, though, that the bulk of the L-citruline is in the rind. This also happens to be the part most people avoid due to being less sweet.
Nitric oxide foods also include Popeye’s favorite vegetable. What gave the sailor massive forearms was the leafy green’s high nitrate content. Plus, you’ll also get a load of rich antioxidants and vitamins such as lutein, zeaxanthin, carotenoids and vitamin K. If you’re interested in NO mainly for its muscle-building benefits, then you may be pleased to know that spinach is also high in the testosterone-promoting mineral magnesium.
This herb is so beneficial that it’s worth having a few minutes of bad breath. It supports the synthesis of nitric oxide synthase (NOS). NOS by itself doesn’t do much. However, assuming ample vitamin B2 is available as a cofactor, the NOS is able to convert arginine into nitric oxide.
Garlic is also high in the sulfuric compound allicin. Studies1 show allicin reduces inflammation and may also reduce risk of coronary disease.
For best results, we recommend eating a clove or two with vitamin C. Studies2 show the combination of the two lowers systolic blood pressure and also elevates nitric oxide output by 200 percent!
3. Citric Fruits
We suggest consuming more whole oranges or grapefruits. Vitamin C is a precursor for NOS synthesis. Vitamin C is also an antioxidant known to fight harmful free radicals. In this case, it fends off the free radicals that may attack and nullify the nitric oxide. This is precisely why doctors recommend a vitamin C boost for anyone with the common cold or flu.
Foods high in nitric oxide include the crimson-red pomegranate. Its high polyphenol content helps convert dietary nitrite into the usable nitric oxide and also prevents the NO from turning back into nitrite. The polyphenols also fight oxidative stress, thereby significantly lowering risk of heart disease. The fruit is especially high in a protein called monocyte chemoattractant, which helps strengthen blood vessel lining.
This red root vegetable has long been praised for its ability to almost immediately lower blood pressure upon ingestion. This is due to the heavy nitrates concentration. Studies1 show nitrates has a relaxant effect on the veins and coronary vessels, enabling them to enlarge and allow more oxygen-rich blood to flow. Studies2 confirm nitrates lower hypertension.
6. Grass-Fed Meats
Notice we didn’t list a specific meat. Most meat sources, including fish, are high in a nutrient called coenzyme Q10. This compound has been shown in studies3 to increase nitric oxide synthase. Organ meat is especially high in coenzyme C10.
Please do your best to stick to organic and grass-fed meat, which has the highest concentrations of CoQ10.
7. Dark Chocolate
Yes, you can get a nitric oxide boost by eating this guilty pleasure. However, don’t exactly head over to the vending machine for the Hershey bar just yet. We are actually referring to raw cacao. Studies4 show that subjects who consumed dark chocolate for 15 days benefited from higher nitric oxide serum levels and reduced systolic blood pressure.
You may consume solid dark chocolate in moderation. Due to the high sugar content found in just about every processed candy bar, we don’t recommend more than one serving per day.
Nitric Oxide Foods Belong in Every Dietary Lifestyle
We suggest making at least two or three of the nitric oxide foods a part of your daily diet. Vasodilation is not only proven to enhance muscle growth but also improves overall health in so many ways, making it beneficial for both men and women.
Alternatively, you can also look into nitric oxide supplements like Redwood. This all-natural product contains proven compounds – some of which we listed – that increase vasodilation and improve blood and nutrient transport to the vital organs.