If you are committed to working out, you may wonder how to extend workout stamina and shorten muscle recovery time. There are plenty of pre-workout supplements on the market. In fact, a recent survey found that nearly 77% of people in the US take some type of dietary supplement.
It can be challenging to discern which supplements might be best for you with so many options. One option for athletes is nitric oxide supplements — capsules or drinkable powders that help boost nitric oxide production in your body. Enhanced nitric oxide levels have been shown to speed recovery time and lead to longer, more intense workouts.
But are these supplements legit? Do they really provide what they promise? Read our guide to find out about their ingredients, effectiveness, cost, and more.
If you don’t have time to read the whole guide, take a look at our Top 5 list of recommendations below.
When evaluating our top choices, we considered several criteria: cost, ingredients, effectiveness, safety, and convenience.
Winners: Jacked Factory and Old School Labs
All of the supplements in our top five cost around the same amount for a month’s supply, between $30-$45. But evaluating cost considers other factors, including discounts, money-back guarantees, subscribe & save options, and additional cost-saving features.
Our winners in this category are Jacked Factory and Old School Labs. Jacked Factory offers the most inexpensive monthly supplement supply at $29.99 per bottle. But they also offer a 90-day money-back guarantee. Old School Labs provide a higher price — $39.99 per jar — but this includes just over a 30-day supply with 40 servings. The extra product included in the price and the option to subscribe and save for a 15% discount make this product a steal. Also, you can take advantage of free shipping on orders over $69.95, a 100% money-back guarantee, and discounts for students and military members.
There are some ingredients that you’ll repeatedly notice in nitric oxide supplements. Components like arginine, citrulline, and beetroot are well-known for naturally boosting nitric oxide levels. Some supplements also include proprietary blends, patented boosters, and other nutrient-rich food extracts to enhance nitric oxide production further.
Hands down, the winner for ingredients is HugeSupplements. Not only does it contain many expected ingredients, but it also includes many other components that are clinically proven to boost nitric oxide levels and provide other health benefits. For example, the supplement doesn’t just contain arginine — it contains an arginine complex with three different strains of this vital amino acid.
Winners: HugeSupplements and Old School Labs
Supplement companies can claim just about anything they want because the FDA doesn’t regulate supplements yet. This makes it even more important for manufacturers to use ingredients that can be backed up by scientific research. If a supplement contains ingredients shown in clinical trials or scientific studies to increase nitric oxide levels and enhance muscle recovery and workout stamina, consumers are more likely to trust the product’s effectiveness.
Our winners in this category are HugeSupplements and Old School Labs. HugeSupplements’ booster contains clinically proven ingredients that increase nitric oxide. This product also includes components you might buy at the grocery store (like beets, green tea, or turmeric). Old School Labs is unique because it contains Spectra — a dietary supplement shown in a clinical trial to increase nitric oxide levels for up to three hours. This leads to longer, more satisfying workouts.
While many ingredients in nitric oxide supplements appear to be effective in clinical trials, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are safe to consume. Just like with any supplement, you should begin a nitric oxide booster with caution and pay attention to how your body reacts to it. Pay attention to warning labels and consult your doctor. If you know you want to start a supplement, paying attention to safety signs is essential, including third-party testing and natural ingredients.
Our winner for safety is Onnit because their supplements go through rigorous third-party testing by a well-known agency and contain mostly natural ingredients. Onnit’s products have the Informed Sport label, a designation that comes from LGC, an anti-doping lab that checks all of their supplements. Total Nitric Oxide is also keto- and paleo-friendly and made without stimulants, gluten, nuts, or soy.
Winner: Evlution Nutrition
You don’t want to have to remember complicated dosing instructions when taking a supplement. The easier it is to take, the more consistent you’ll be. Swallowing a ton of capsules or remembering to take a supplement far in advance of a workout may not be ideal.
Our winner for convenience is Evlution Nutrition. Not only is their supplement made with one primary ingredient — beetroot — but it also has simple dosage instructions. This booster is a drinkable powder that is black cherry flavored. Mix one scoop (6.5g) with water 30-60 minutes before a workout. That is all you need to do to boost your nitric oxide levels.
Nitric oxide is a vasodilator. This means that it increases blood flow throughout your body by relaxing blood vessel muscles, which lowers blood pressure and increases muscle recovery. Your body uses antioxidants like vitamin C and nitrates (found in leafy green vegetables and other foods) to produce nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is important to your body because it impacts the function of many bodily systems, including the:
People who smoke, don’t exercise regularly, have high cholesterol, or eat a high-fat diet may have lower nitric oxide levels. This can cause issues like:
Eating foods rich in nitrates, exercising regularly, and taking probiotics or antioxidants can help boost nitric oxide levels naturally. Some people opt for nitric oxide supplements, which use various ingredients to increase levels of nitric oxide production.
Nitric oxide supplements don’t contain nitric oxide — instead, they contain ingredients that your body needs to produce nitric oxide. Some popular ingredients in nitric oxide supplements include:
These compounds are well-known for their benefits to exercise performance and overall health. Specifically, increased levels of nitric oxide are said to help with:
While research into these health benefits is limited, some studies show a link between nitric oxide supplementation and increased health benefits. For example, a clinical trial found that nitric oxide supplementation significantly reduced blood pressure in patients with hypertension.
Other health benefits are not so clear-cut. For example, researchers have concluded that nitric oxide is vital in producing erections, but human studies of L-arginine supplementation with erectile dysfunction patients are inconclusive. Animal studies have shown promise.
Similarly, researchers found conflicting results in a review of studies testing nitric oxide supplementation’s benefits to exercise performance. Some studies showed increased benefits to endurance; other studies were inconclusive. These studies also used only male, athletic subjects.
We know that the ingredients in nitric oxide supplements increase the level of nitric oxide in the body. We also know that nitric oxide is crucial in the healthy function of many bodily systems. It will just take a while for the science to catch up with the claims made by nitric oxide supplement companies. In the meantime, we can rely on testimonials from customers who use these supplements. They report boosts to:
Nitric oxide supplements are good for people dedicated to bodybuilding, weightlifting, or any other athletic pursuit that involves building muscle. These products are designed to enhance nitric oxide levels, which speeds muscle recovery, builds stamina, and helps you achieve better, stronger pumps.
In addition to their benefits for athletes, nitric oxide supplements are also helpful for people who live with conditions like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or any issues that impact the cardiovascular, respiratory, circulatory, and immune systems. Boosting nitric oxide levels doesn’t just help with exercise; it can also affect illnesses and diseases. More research is needed to back up these claims further, so make sure you check with your doctor before starting any nitric oxide supplement.
Nitric oxide supplements are designed for healthy adults. If you take regular medication or live with a chronic condition, a nitric oxide booster may not be a good idea for you. Those who are pregnant or nursing should also avoid these supplements. Some specific types of medication, like those that include nitrates, can lead to adverse reactions when taking nitric oxide supplements. If you take medicine for chest pain or erectile dysfunction, avoid these supplements until you consult a doctor.
Generally, nitric oxide supplements are safe for most people when taken in the recommended amounts. Follow the label instructions. It’s always smart to check in with your doctor or dietician before introducing any new supplement into your routine. Nitric oxide supplements are not recommended for children or those who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Common ingredients found in many nitric oxide supplements also yield side effects and drug interactions. Taking L-arginine can lead to diarrhea, bloating, or low blood pressure. If you’ve had a recent surgery or heart attack, avoid products with L-arginine. Those with kidney disease or who take certain medications for diabetes, blood pressure, erectile dysfunction, and other ailments should also avoid these products.
Taking L-citrulline can also lead to stomach issues like indigestion, nausea, or diarrhea. Those taking medication for erectile dysfunction, angina, high blood pressure, and a few other conditions should steer clear of products with this ingredient.
Beetroot is found in many nitric oxide supplements because of its high levels of nitrates. One downside of beetroot is that it can turn your urine red or pink, which is a harmless side effect.
Magnify by HugeSupplements is our overall top pick because of its diverse list of effective ingredients. HugeSupplements started in 2019 and is committed to using only high-quality, GMP-certified ingredients in its bodybuilding supplements. Many of the ingredients in Magnify are backed up by scientific research that shows their benefit in increasing nitric oxide levels in the body. While this supplement includes components seen in many nitric oxide boosters (like arginine and citrulline), HugeSupplements pushes this product to the max, including proprietary blends, patented supplements, and recognizable, healthy vegetable extracts.
HugeSupplements offers a variety of bodybuilding supplements, and you can stack Magnify with other supplements to get an even better workout. The site suggests stacking it with Pump Serum (a stimulant-free, pre-workout formula) or Wrecked (a potent pre-workout with over 17 ingredients).
About 30 minutes before a workout, swallow six capsules with 8-12fl oz of water. That’s all you need to do for improved pumps and more effective workouts.
The supplement is intended for adults only and should not be taken by anyone under 18. People with medical conditions should consult a doctor before starting any new supplements. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, avoid taking it.
Magnify includes many clinically proven ingredients to help nitric oxide production in the body, among other benefits. It consists of a few proprietary blends, but HugeSupplements is transparent about dosing amounts and components.
HugeSupplement’s L-arginine complex includes L-arginine, L-arginine AKG, L-arginine HCl. L-arginine is an amino acid found in dairy and red meat, among other foods. When consumed, it is converted to nitric oxide in the body. There are two additional forms of L-arginine used in Magnify. AKG stands for Alpha-ketoglutarate, and it is an amino acid that helps the liver create nitric oxide. It has produced rare but serious side effects like heart palpitations and low blood pressure. L-arginine HCl is a synthetic form of L-arginine that can help with circulation, fatigue, and immunity.
Beetroot is well-known as a food rich in nitric oxide. Consuming beetroot can help with various health-related issues, including blood pressure, immunity, cardiovascular problems, and cancer. It is also an antioxidant that helps improve muscle soreness and extend exercise performance.
L-citrulline is an amino acid commonly found in watermelon that is known to help with muscle recovery and lead to more intense workouts. Studies about its contributions to vasodilation have been inconclusive.
VASO6 is a popular bodybuilding supplement made with green tea extract. Green tea is a powerful antioxidant that may positively affect blood pressure, cholesterol, and weight loss.
L-norvaline is an amino acid used in many bodybuilding supplements to help with muscle recovery and lengthen workout performance. One study shows that L-norvaline is responsible for killing cells in the brain, while another study claims these conclusions were incorrect.
S7 is a plant-based nitric oxide supplement that includes green coffee bean extract, green tea extract, turmeric extract, tart cherry, blueberry, broccoli, and kale.
BioPerine is a piperine extract — a powerful antioxidant and antimicrobial compound — that has been shown to have numerous health benefits, including helping with diabetes, obesity, aging, and cardiovascular issues, among others.
Each bottle of Magnify ($44.95) contains 180 capsules, which is a 30-day supply. Supplements ship worldwide (except for the European Union). US orders should arrive within three days, and international orders can take up to 20 days.
In addition to supplements, HugeSupplements also offers a bodybuilding and fitness blog, which includes articles about nutrition, workouts, and overall health. You can also enroll in the company’s affiliate program to earn 20% off each purchase and free product samples. HugeSupplements also offers discounts to members of the military, first responders, and medical staff.
Best single-ingredient supplement
BEET MODE by Evlution Nutrition stands out from our top picks because it features one potent ingredient known for maximizing nitric oxide in the body — beetroot. BEET MODE includes MaxNox beetroot powder, which is rich in nitrates and stimulant-free. In general, beets are known to be healthful because of their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. They are also rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Taking beetroot supplements helps you increase workout productivity with improved stamina and muscle recovery.
Because it boosts nitric oxide in the body, BEET MODE also helps to:
The supplement is black cherry flavored, and it is recommended to mix one scoop (6.5g) with water 30-60 minutes before your workout. Each jar contains 30 servings, a month’s supply. While MaxNox beetroot powder is the main active ingredient, the supplement does contain small amounts of malic acid, natural flavors, and stevia leaf extract.
One jar of BEET MODE costs $41.99. You can pay using a debit or credit card or Venmo, AmazonPay, or Paypal. You can also bundle several supplements together to save 10-20%.
Evlution Nutrition ships only to customers in the US. Customers in other countries can check the website to see where BEET MODE is sold in stores. Shipping takes between 2-10 business days, depending on location. Returns are only possible for damaged or incorrect orders.
Best for longer workouts
Vintage Burst by Old School Labs is a nitric oxide supplement well-suited for longer workouts because it contains an ingredient called Spectra that keeps high nitric oxide levels in the body for up to three hours. This allows you to extend workout times by keeping up energy levels for longer periods, leading to high-intensity pumps. The supplement is in capsule form, contains natural sources of caffeine, and is 100% vegan.
Old School Labs is also committed to safe and high-quality ingredients. Their supplements undergo stringent third-party testing and are manufactured in a cGMP-certified facility.
The supplement is not meant to be taken by adults under 18 years old. If you are pregnant, nursing, or living with a chronic illness, avoid taking this supplement. Consult your doctor before beginning any new supplement.
Take three capsules of Vintage Burst 15-30 minutes before a workout. You can also take three capsules before breakfast or lunch to extend your energy boost. Servings should be spaced out by at least three hours.
Vintage Burst contains several active ingredients commonly found in nitric oxide supplements and a few additional components that make it a unique formulation. In addition to the ingredients outlined below, Vintage Burst also includes a rapid-release, gelatin-free vegetable capsule and vegetable stearate to bind ingredients together.
Arginine is a popular component of nitric oxide supplements because it converts to nitric oxide within the body. L-Arginine HCl is a synthetic form of arginine that helps with oxygen delivery, blood flow, and vasodilation.
Spectra is a plant-based dietary supplement shown in a clinical trial to relieve oxidative stress and increase nitric oxide levels for up to three hours. Spectra contains a wealth of healthy ingredients, including broccoli, apple, acerola, acai, turmeric, elderberry, chokeberry, brussels sprout, and many more.
Coffea arabica is a type of green coffee known to have many positive effects on the body, including lowering blood pressure and stabilizing blood sugar and metabolism. It is also a natural source of caffeine, with less caffeine present than in typical, brewed coffee.
Maca is known for giving you a natural energy boost without caffeine. The plant reduces blood glucose levels, stabilizing blood sugar spikes and giving consistent energy without crashes or jitters. It’s also a powerful antioxidant.
Vanadyl sulfate mimics insulin in the body to help build muscle and increase vascularity. While some studies about the effectiveness of vanadyl sulfate are inconclusive, this review states that it has the potential to increase muscle growth during resistance training.
One bottle of Vintage Burst contains 40 servings and costs $39.99 for a one-time purchase. You can also take advantage of Old School Labs’ Subscribe & Save program for a 15% discount ($33.99 total). If you subscribe, your order renews automatically every 30 days, and you can skip a shipment or cancel your subscription anytime.
Old School Labs offers free shipping on orders over $69.95 and provides a 100% money-back guarantee on the first purchase of any product. They ship within the US and to a handful of other countries — check the site’s FAQ for the full list. The company also offers discounts for students and members of the military.
Best for serious athletes
NO. XT Nitric Oxide Booster is a stimulant-free supplement designed for serious athletes. Jacked Factory started in 2015, wanting to create supplements that would help weightlifters and bodybuilders experience better pumps and fuller muscles. It uses well-known nitric oxide-boosting ingredients to increase blood flow and extend workout endurance.
In addition to supplements designed for dedicated athletes, Jacked Factory also provides many benefits to customers. Sign up to be a Gains+ member to earn points and receive discounts on products. Become an ambassador or affiliate to earn free products. Take advantage of a 20% discount on your first order of any product.
NO. XT is manufactured in a cGMP-certified facility, which ensures it’s formulated with high-quality ingredients. Even so, check with your doctor before beginning any new supplement, especially if you are nursing, pregnant, or living with a chronic condition.
Take three capsules with a glass of water 30-45 minutes before a workout.
NO. XT includes some ingredients commonly found in other nitric oxide supplements known for their benefits to blood flow and vascularity. It also contains some unique components that make it stand out from other options.
Citrulline is an amino acid found in the body that converts to arginine — another common ingredient found in nitric oxide boosters. Once citrulline converts to arginine, it turns into nitric oxide, which can increase blood flow and oxygen delivery to muscles. There is not yet enough scientific evidence to know for certain that citrulline supplementation directly impacts workout performance.
Nitrosigine is a synthetic form of arginine shown in a scientific study to increase vasodilation, resulting in enhanced blood flow and improved exercise performance.
Glutathione (GSH) is an antioxidant that helps build immunity and fight various illnesses, including chronic fatigue syndrome, diabetes, and heart disease. Taking GSH with L-citrulline has been shown to increase nitric oxide levels in the body, according to one study.
Purchase a 90-count bottle for $29.99 or a 180-count bottle for $49.99. Jacked Factory offers a 90-day money-back guarantee. Orders placed in the US ship within 3-5 business days, while international orders ship in 7-21 business days.
Best for paleo and keto diets
Onnit’s Total Nitric Oxide supplement is ideal for bodybuilders and weightlifters who follow strict eating rules, including keto and paleo diets. This company takes pride in producing a supplement that does not contain stimulants, gluten, nuts, or soy. If you are as strict about what you put into your body as you are about how you maintain your physical appearance, Total Nitric Oxide is the supplement for you.
In addition to its clean ingredients, Onnit’s supplement boosts nitric oxide levels to help you enhance workout performance, speed muscle recovery, and grow larger muscles. They are invested in the overall health benefits of nitric oxide boosting, including better circulation, blood flow, and oxygen delivery to muscles.
Onnit’s products also undergo rigorous third-party testing to earn the Informed Sport label. This designation comes from LGC, a well-known anti-doping lab that checks all of Onnit’s supplements before being sold to the public.
Total Nitric Oxide comes in harvest fruit flavor, and you can drink one scoop mixed with water or any other beverage up to two times daily.
This supplement is designed for adults only. Consult with a doctor or dietician before introducing any new supplement into your diet. Those who are pregnant, nursing, take regular medication, or live with an illness should avoid this supplement. This supplement can also negatively interact with nitrate medications (commonly taken for chest pain or erectile dysfunction).
In addition to a nutrient-rich proprietary blend, Total Nitric Oxide includes some familiar and common ingredients seen in nitric oxide supplements.
Arginine is an amino acid made naturally within the body that is converted to nitric oxide. A review of arginine clinical studies shows that it has some beneficial effects on blood pressure and immunity, although more research is needed.
A common amino acid, citrulline converts to arginine in the body, leading to a higher nitric oxide level. Supplementation with citrulline has shown enhanced muscle recovery and stamina in athletes, although definitive proof of its effectiveness is inconclusive.
Onnit’s proprietary blend includes fermented beetroot, grape seed extract, apple extract, and acerola cherry extract. Beets are well-known for being extremely healthy and increasing nitric oxide levels in the body.
A patented blend of mango that helps boost nitric oxide levels and increase circulation.
One tub of Total Nitric Oxide contains 20 servings and costs $39.99 for a one-time purchase. You can also subscribe and save for a 15% discount ($33.99). If you subscribe, you can choose to have a new tub of product delivered every 7-90 days. Shipping is free for purchases over $150.
Onnit offers a 90-day money-back “keep it” guarantee, which means if you don’t like the product, you can keep it and contact them for a full refund. Try out the supplement for at least two weeks before initiating a return. Onnit also provides a military discount and a rewards program where you can earn points toward discounts and exclusive products.
There are a ton of nitric oxide supplements on the market, but not all of them can make our top five. Here is a list of a few other notable products that stand out but didn’t quite make our list.
Aside from supplementation, there are several ways to increase nitric oxide levels in your body naturally. These include:
Many foods contain nitric oxide, but leafy green vegetables are the most common source. Some vegetables and other foods that increase nitric oxide levels include:
Your gut contains good bacteria that help with nitric oxide production. Taking a probiotic supplement to keep your gut microbiome healthy and balanced can aid digestion and also ensure that nitric oxide levels remain high. Some substances can inhibit your ability to produce nitric oxide because they disrupt your digestive system, including antibiotics, antacids, and proton pump inhibitors (like Prevacid, Prilosec, or Nexium). Even mouthwash can inhibit nitric oxide levels because it kills bacteria in your mouth that can lead to nitric oxide production.
Regular exercise stimulates nitric oxide production and can also help protect your body from cardiovascular and immune system issues.
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