Nitric Oxide Research: Benefits & Muscle Growth Insights
By Robert Schinetsky
The human body is simply astounding. Not only is it the most scientifically engineered “machine” ever created, but it is also the most adaptive and intelligent organism to ever walk the earth (that we know of…).
We know (and science has demonstrated countless times) that nutrition and exercise are essential to maximizing health, longevity, and performance. Even when those fundamentals are taken care of, many of us still have a desire to see what else we can do to improve performance, hypertrophy, health, etc.
This inevitably leads to a discussion/interest/obsession with dietary supplements, namely pre-workouts.
Two of the most popular and research-backed pre-workout ingredients are L-Citrulline and Citrulline Malate. They can be found in the best pre-workout supplements and are typically included to improve fatigue resistance, enhance muscle pumps, and boost nitric oxide (NO) production.
As beneficial as L-Citrulline is for boosting NO, performance, and pumps, it isn’t the only supplement capable of enhancing blood flow. The human body, in fact, has two separate yet equally potent pathways for fueling NO production:
- Citrulline → Arginine → Nitric Oxide
- Nitrate → Nitrite → Nitric Oxide
We’ve discussed at length, previously, the myriad benefits of L-Citrulline and Citrulline Malate supplementation. Lesser discussed has been the focus on nitrate supplementation. The reasons for this are many, but one of the main reasons is that nitrate supplements aren’t as common as citrulline/arginine-based ones. This is due to the fact that nitrates are considerably more expensive than citrulline and that nitrates take slightly longer to yield increased NO levels compared to citrulline.
Still, research is quite clear that nitrates are effective for improving athletic performance in a number of endeavors.
For example, a 2021 narrative review on the effects of nitrate supplementation on exercise concluded that, “Nitrates are an effective ergogenic aid when taken acutely or chronically in the range of ~5-16.8 mmol (~300–1041 mg) 2-3 h before exercise…”1
A separate meta-analysis investigating the effects of nitrate supplementation on muscle mass and strength concluded that the “best results were observed with a minimum acute dose of 400 mg of nitrate…”2
Newly published research adds to the body of evidence showing the nitrates are beneficial for exercise performance and demonstrates for the first time the “metabolic fate” of ingested nitrate supplements.3
New Nitrate Exercise Research
Published in Acta Physiologica, 10 healthy men participated in the randomized, placebo-controlled, crossover study to investigate the distribution and “metabolic fate” of nitrate supplementation at rest and after exercise.
One hour before performing 60 knee extensor contractions (e.g., leg extensions) at “maximum intensity,” the men consumed either 12.8mmol nitrate (as potassium nitrate, KNO3-) or potassium chloride placebo.3 To put this in easier to understand terms, 12.8mmol of nitrate provides ~794mg of nitrates (1mmol ≅ 62mg nitrate).4
Muscle biopsies were taken at baseline, at 1- and 3-h post-supplement ingestion, and immediately following the completion of 60 maximal intermittent contractions of the knee extensors.
At the conclusion of the trial, researchers found that, on average, mean muscle torque production was ~7% greater during the first 18 contractions following nitrate supplementation compared to placebo.3
Furthermore, researchers showed for the first time “that skeletal muscle rapidly takes up dietary NO3 - , the elevated muscle [NO3 - ] following NO3 - ingestion declines during exercise, and muscle NO3 - dynamics are associated with enhanced torque production during maximal intermittent muscle contractions.”3
The takeaway here is that nitrates are effectively absorbed and used by skeletal muscles and, again, have been shown to improve performance.
The Best Nitrate Supplement
AML NITRATE NO3 BOOSTER capsules contain 2,000mg of patented citrulline nitrate (NO3-T®) per dose (standardized for 27% nitrate providing 540mg nitrate). This is well within the research-supported amount of nitrates to enhance exercise performance (300-1000mg NO3-).
Why Use Citrulline Nitrate?
Nitrate supplements are available in many different amino-bound forms, and when supplementing with nitrates, you’re ultimately interested in how much nitrates are actually supplied by your particular supplement.
Be aware that even though a supplement says you’re getting 1,000mg of arginine nitrate, betaine nitrate, etc., you’re not actually ingesting 1,000mg of actual nitrate…you have to account for the amino acid component.
Citrulline nitrate is unique in that it is, essentially, a 2-in-1 NO-boosting supplement as it contains L-Citrulline and nitrate. This means that AML Nitrate NO3 Booster fuels BOTH of the body’s nitric oxide pathways. Every full serving of AML Nitrate NO3 Booster supplies 540mg nitrate and 1,460mg L-Citrulline.
But, that’s not all…
Nitric oxide research: NITRATE NO3 BOOSTER also contains a research-based, synergistic blend of NO-boosting nutrients to help optimize NO production and bioavailability, including:
- Folic Acid
- Vitamin B-12
- Vitamin C
- Pine Bark Extract (standardized for 95% Proanthocyanidins)
- Grape Skin Extract (standardized for 30% polyphenols)
How to Use AML Nitrate NO3 Booster
For Increased Performance and Pumps
For Increased Bedroom Performance
© Published by Advanced Research Media, Inc. 2023
© Reprinted with permission from Advanced Research Media, Inc.
- Macuh M, Knap B. Effects of Nitrate Supplementation on Exercise Performance in Humans: A Narrative Review. Nutrients. 2021 Sep 13;13(9):3183. doi: 10.3390/nu13093183. PMID: 34579061; PMCID: PMC8465461.
- Anderson, Olivia K.1; Martinez-Ferran, María1; Lorenzo-Calvo, Jorge2; Jiménez, Sergio L.3; Pareja-Galeano, Helios4. Effects of Nitrate Supplementation on Muscle Strength and Mass: A Systematic Review. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 36(12):p 3562-3570, December 2022. | DOI: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000004101
- Kadach S, Park JW, Stoyanov Z, Black MI, Vanhatalo A, Burnley M, Walter PJ, Cai H, Schechter AN, Piknova B, Jones AM. 15 N-labeled dietary nitrate supplementation increases human skeletal muscle nitrate concentration and improves muscle torque production. Acta Physiol (Oxf). 2023 Mar;237(3):e13924. doi: 10.1111/apha.13924. Epub 2023 Jan 18. PMID: 36606507. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/36606507/
- Lidder S, Webb AJ. Vascular effects of dietary nitrate (as found in green leafy vegetables and beetroot) via the nitrate-nitrite-nitric oxide pathway. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2013 Mar;75(3):677-96. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2125.2012.04420.x. PMID: 22882425; PMCID: PMC3575935.