Nitric Oxide Supplements: How NO2 Works To Increase Muscle Pumps & Vascularity

Written by James C., M.S.(C), PT

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I think it’s safe to say we’ve all needed a little boost in performance at one time or another.


For most of us, an extra lift is all we need to kick start a chain reaction -resulting in PB’s time and time again.

Can I let you into a little secret?

This is where nitric oxide supplements come into play.

So if you’ve ever found yourself completely broken after a workout maybe NO2 is something you need in your life.

So you can decide for yourself, check out my nitric oxide supplements ultimate guide.

nitric oxide supplements

What is Nitric Oxide?

Nitric oxide, what is it?

Before you say it.

No, it’s not laughing gas.

Also known as NO2 or NO, it’s a biological gas which has some pretty major responsibilities – but more about that later.

Did you know?

We actually make nitric oxide naturally within the body.


Nitric oxide production comes from the lining of the blood vessels and generates when enzymes in the body breakdown the amino l-arginine.

Think of the process a bit like a circle.

What doesn’t get turned into NO2 becomes l-citrulline, which again enzymes recycle back into l-arginine.

And so the process begins again.

“What does nitric oxide do?”

Put it this way, you could call nitric oxide a biological “go between” – meaning it gets all the cells in the body talking to each other.

And that’s not all.

It’s also keeps the body’s blood circulation regulated, keeping your heart and other major organs in working order.

Does Nitric Oxide Work?

nitric oxide supplements

Before you go and spend your hard earned cash on an NO2 pre workout, there is one thing we would all like to know.

“Does nitric oxide really work?”

So let’s look at the facts.

For starters.

In one study, volunteers took either a nitrate shot or a black current juice placebo. During the research their bench press performance was monitored before and after taking Nitric oxide supplements.

What happened?

Results showed a greater increase in reps and performance from the NO2 group compared to the placebo guys. 1

Then again.

With some further digging around you soon realize it’s not totally cut and dry.


Mixed opinions come across in different research. It seems in other cases NO2 worked for some people but no gains in performance were seen in others. 2

To sum it up.

One thing is clear there is solid foundation to the claims surrounding nitric oxide supplements.


As to how well a nitric oxide formula works for you could simply boil down to your age, health, diet and existing fitness levels. 3

Nitric Oxide Benefits

nitric oxide supplements

Now you know the effects of nitric oxide, let’s look at what it means for you.

Check these out.

Nitric oxide benefits for athletic performance:

  • Enhances muscle pump/pronounced muscle
  • Reduces fatigue
  • Improves recovery times
  • Increases energy levels
  • Improves glucose use
  • Enhances endurance during workouts
  • Improves stamina
  • Reduces lactic acid build up
  • Increases blood flow to muscles
  • Enhanced nutrient delivery

“How does it boost results?”

You only have to look at the benefits to see how it’s going to help you improve your results.

What I’m trying to say is:

An increase of blood flow to the muscles and also enhanced nutrient delivery are two main contenders.


Let’s face it, when you are working out at max effort, your body needs more of everything, otherwise its crash and burn.

Bottom line

Nitric oxide opens up the gateways so that your body gets what it needs. Helping you push to the max and boosting results.

If you are still unconvinced,

Takeaway this NO2 stat:

Nitric oxide supplements have been reported to improve endurance and increase your session times by between 16 – 25 percent. 6

Top 3 Nitric Oxide Supplements For Sale

So, after spending more than 2 months researching this market. Testing and trying out all these different nitric oxide boosters on the market.

We came to the conclusion that these 3 were the top one’s currently on the market:

#1 Winner: NO2-Maxno2 max nitric oxide supplement

The internet can’t get enough of this product. So we had to find out why.

After taking a closer look, we understood why. Awesome promo offers, free worldwide shipping and a simple no bullsh*t formula that delivers exactly what you want: the muscle pumps.

The Good

It’s scientifically formulated using only the ingredient you need for an awesome pump! It delivers:

  • Increased strength gains
  • More energy and endurance
  • Speeds up recovery time
  • Boosts muscle pumps, which results in more gains per workout

At the moment they’re doing a Buy 2 Get 1 FREE! Plus they provide super fast worldwide shipping for FREE!

nitric oxide reviews

Athletes love and recommend it.

The Drawback

A bit premium priced. But considering you get free shipping plus the buy 2 get 1 free promo, you actually end up getting a steal.

Only available online through their official website.

BroScience Verdict

NO2-Max takes the number 1 spot with a no bullsh*t formula and a promo deal you simply can’t resist.

You can learn more at their official website here.

2. SHEER N.O. – Nitric Oxide Supplement from

Sheer n.o. 2nd best nitric oxide booster

This one is Amazon’s best seller for Nitric Oxide Supplements, so I had to check it out.

The Good

Contains the right ingredients and is designed to:

  • Give awesome pumps
  • Boost performance
  • Support strength levels

It is fulfilled by Amazon which is always nice.

The Drawback

I’m skeptical if the product deserves Amazon’s first place, or if it has just “hacked the system” like many Amazon sellers have been doing in the past.

Focus their energy on too many ingredients instead of just delivering what you need.

BroScience Verdict

Definitely deserves 2nd place, but should probably focus more on fewer quality ingredients instead of being all over the place.

You can find them at

3. NO3 Chrome – Nitric Oxide Supplement from GNC

no3 chrome available on GNC and amazon

From the popular company Cellucor comes their nitric oxide booster: NO3 Chrome.

The Good

Like No2-Max by CrazyBulk, NO3 Chrome focus mainly on these two ingredients: L-Arginine and Calcium (except No2-Max contains more of each in their formula).

So we know they’re not bullsh*tting us.

Their product delivers:

  • Awesome muscle pumps
  • Good strength boost
  • Increased stamina

The Drawback

Contains 8x less Calcium than No2-Max and also less L-Arginine.

Some of the ingredients in their formula is in a proprietary blend, which is really bad because then we don’t know how much we’re getting of each ingredient that’s in the blend.

BroScience Verdict

A great choice (if you’re still in the stone age) and prefer walking into a physical store like walmart or GNC to make your purchase, instead of shopping online.

Good for budget bro’s as well.

You can see more at 

Now I’ve shown you the Top 3 Supplement on the market.

If you still want to learn more about Nitric Oxide supplements in general you can read our entire guide below:

How to Increase Nitric Oxide Naturally:

nitric oxide supplements

There are in fact four main ways to increase nitric oxide levels in the body:


Do you want to hear some good news?

One natural nitric oxide booster is exercise.

You bet it is!

Just think about it, from slugging heavy iron to hot and sweaty interval training, it all gets your heart pumping. This also means your muscles need more O2.

And who supplies that?

It’s delivered by the red stuff – aka your blood.

Let me explain.

Any kind of exercise forces the heart to work with more effort. Let’s face it the body is working harder all round so it needs more of everything to keep going at that limit.

Here’s the important part.

As the heart is working harder, nitric oxide decides to join in. It’s at this point the arteries start to release NO2 into the bloodstream.

So, there you have it.

Natural nitric oxide increase.


Chowing on foods that contain l-arginine, l-citrulline or nitrates are great ways to increase your nitric oxide levels naturally.

“What’s the deal with nitrates?”

Here’s the thing.

We know about the l-arginine and l-citrulline circle.


Enter nitrates.


Any foods containing nitrates get converted into nitrites once eaten. 4

The point is.

Nitrites can also be called up to transform into nitric oxide if the body needs it.

So if you want to big up your NO2 production, here’s a rundown of the top 10 nitric oxide foods around:

  1. Beetroot/beetroot juice
  2. Dark leafy greens (spinach, kale, spirulina)
  3. Watermelon
  4. Nuts (pistachios, walnuts)
  5. Fish & Seafood (salmon, shrimp)
  6. Berries (cherries, raspberries)
  7. Arugula lettuce
  8. Celery
  9. Pomegranate
  10. Garlic


You may be surprised about this one.

Natural sunlight can increase nitric oxide production.

Believe it.

Experts suggest one of the effects of sunlight actually gets the NO2 stores building in the skin. 5

Nitric Oxide Supplements

nitric oxide supplements

Last but no means least, your final option is supplementing with nitric oxide.

Like most sports nutrition supplements, you will find they are available in forms of nitric oxide capsules, pills or powder.

“Which type is the most effective?”

To be honest there isn’t any noticeable difference in performance. Although I would say pills or caps are the most common and for good reason – they are quick and easy.

“What’s the difference between nitric oxide supplements and a nitric oxide booster?

NO2 supplements and boosters are generally lumped together in the pre workout section.

It stands to reason why.

You get the most out of NO2 when you take it about an hour or so before training.


There is a slight difference between the two supplements.

Which is?

A nitric oxide booster tends to include a cocktail of stimulants and other nutrients.


Just bear this in mind when you are trawling through the crazy amount of choice out there. If you don’t want stims, pay attention to what’s in it.

Nitric Oxide Effects

nitric oxide supplements

One of the most significant effects of nitric oxide has got to be its chill out skills.

Think I’m crazy

Nitric oxide relaxes the endothelium – the lining of blood vessels. This causes them to widen and increases blood flow.

Bottom line

It’s a good way to keep blood circulation regulated.

It gets better

Another knock on effect of improved circulation means other nutrients get to where they want to be a lot faster.

Nitric Oxide Supplements Side Effects

The side effects from taking nitric oxide supplements are fairly mild and but you can’t ignore the fact there are a few.

The main issues when taking NO2 are to do with stomach or gastro issues. It’s not uncommon to be struck down with bouts of diarrhea or an upset stomach after necking them.

One other complication from nitric oxide is down to the fact it lowers blood pressure. This means you could feel knock on effects like the following:

  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness

“How can I limit the sides?”

Some say take the supplements after food, that way it digests better. However

Most will say you the best results from NO2 on an empty stomach. So you need to weigh it up for yourself.


It goes without saying, if you have a heart condition or blood pressure issues, you would be best to avoid nitric oxide pills altogether.

Nitric Oxide Health Benefits

nitric oxide supplements

Nitric oxide doesn’t just improve how much you can bench, it also can improve certain health problems.

Like what?

Nitric oxide’s ability to keep you blood flow in check means if you have high blood pressure it has the power to restore it back to normal. Or at least help get it there.

What’s more.

Guy’s should pay attention to this one.

Nitric oxide can also help you boost your sex life.


Well, for those having problems.


Erectile dysfunction is what I’m talking about.

Think about it.

Nitric oxide increases blood flow – do I need to go any further?

It gets better

Nitric oxide supplements also come in handy for anyone who just isn’t getting enough.

Let me explain.

In this day and age it’s surprising how many dudes still lead an unhealthy lifestyle. Anyone who smokes, doesn’t workout or eats a junk diet is going to be at risk.

One more thing.

Even as you get older your levels decrease as a natural progression.

My point is – they drain your NO2 levels.

Nitric Oxide for Bodybuilding

nitric oxide supplements

“Are nitric oxide supplements good for building muscle?”

I have no doubt with the right training it will push you in the right direction.


Looking at the benefits you can reap, nitric oxide supplements will give you that extra edge on performance. For sure NO2 is one secret weapon that will come in handy if you are stuck in a rut.


Does it build muscle?

Don’t be fooled.

No it won’t build up your bulk.

On the other hand.

It will make you look pumped.

Many bodybuilders hook into an NO2 pre workout for the simple reason they like the end result it gives.

What kind of results?

After a hard workout nitric oxide supplement really pronounces muscles and give you that tighter feeling.


The increased blood flow is to thank for this. After all, what’s not to like about that?

To sum it up

Nitric oxide supplements for bodybuilding will give you that boost when you need it most. It will help you finish more reps, lift heavier and get you to the end of a session without feeling completely destroyed.

Bottom line

You will see faster results and get to your goal sooner.

You can see why so many think it’s a no brainer.

No2 Supplements – The Ingredients

nitric oxide supplements

You start to check out the supplement stores for the nitric acid supplements two major ingredients you should be looking out for.

Have you guessed yet?

You got it, l-arginine and l-citrulline.

And here’s why:


l-arginine is a forerunner in the production of nitric oxide.

It’s what you call a conditionally essential amino acid that can easily be gotten hold of in protein rich foods like: 7

  • Meat
  • Fish
  • Dairy
  • Nuts

In fact, there isn’t an RDA for l-arginine because authorities believe this amino is everywhere and you can’t actually deprive yourself of it.

“How does it work?”

l-arginine goes through a chemical reaction within the body to convert into nitric oxide.


It’s not just nitric oxide it produces, l-arginine also stimulates the release of hormones.

One more thing.

As NO2 production is dependent on the presence of l-arginine, it stands to reason the more you have of it the greater NO2 you will get. 7

Citrulline Malate

Citrulline malate is the supplement which most bro’s rate over l-arginine nowadays.

Fact for you.

It’s a non-essential amino acid which means it’s made in the body.


If you want to know where else to find it – head straight to watermelon. This is the top external source of citrulline malate.

“How does it work?”

In its own right it beats fatigue and muscle weakness as well as help complete the cycle of nitric oxide generation.

Nitric Oxide Supplements Summary:

To round things up:

Nitric oxide supplements can certainly provide some extra oomph towards reaching your goals. And the best one to do that is No2 – Max.

For bodybuilders and athletes alike it can certainly provide a solid way to improve overall performance and speedier results.

Bottom Line:

It’s by no means a magic potion, but it should make the effort feel a lot easier – for most.



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1 thought on “Nitric Oxide Supplements: How NO2 Works To Increase Muscle Pumps & Vascularity”

  1. Your article was very informative and I like how you do a lot of research before you put it out thier. Thank you for what you do and keep up the good work.


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