Before I tell you how to boost nitric oxide naturally, make sure you read “5 Reasons Why Nitric Oxide is Important.”
Ok, welcome back.
Boosting nitric oxide naturally can be a breeze, but in order to accurately gauge your nitric oxide levels I recommend using Berkely Nitric Oxide Test Strips.
So what is the easiest way to boost nitric oxide levels naturally?
1. Eat Foods that are High in Nitrates
Nitrates are involved in nitric oxide production.
Nitrates work like this: while you chew nitrate rich food in your mouth, friendly bacteria breaks it down into nitrite.
Just another reason why it is important to have optimal gut health!
Since this nitric oxide pathway is dependent on bacteria, you should avoid anti-bacterial mouthwash like the plague.
- This study shows that using mouthwash completely eliminated the effects of dietary nitrates.
Which foods are high in nitrates?
- Arugula lettuce is the absolute best source.
- Beetroot juice is in second with half as many nitrates as Arugula.
- Then it’s your typical vegetables: carrots, celery, iceberg, romaine, spinach, kale, chard, etc.
Why else are nitrates/nitrites beneficial?
According to this study, nitrite even performs as a signalling molecule of gene expression.
- “We further find that nitrite readily affects cyclic GMP production, cytochrome P450 activities, and heat shock protein 70 and heme oxygenase-1 expression in a variety of tissues.”
- This is a substantial discovery. Things that change gene expression fall under the research of epigenetics. Epigenetics are the future of health.
We all know that exercise is good for the body. As it turns out, exercise is also a great way to boost nitric oxide levels.
In fact, this study shows that exercise boosts levels of the enzymes that create nitric oxide, and that these enzymes remain elevated up to a week later!
So NO excuses people. Be active and stay attractive.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, then you’ve surely heard of the importance of Sunlight and Vitamin D.
What you probably don’t know is that sunlight is also responsible for triggering the production of Nitric Oxide.
How does sunlight increase nitric oxide?
Well, your skin stores nitric oxide metabolites(nitrate/nitrite). When UV rays from the sun touch your skin they change these metabolites into the more active form – nitric oxide – which is then released into your bloodstream(S).
“Sun exposure can improve health and even prolong life, because the benefits of reducing blood pressure, cutting heart attacks and strokes, far outweigh the risk of getting skin cancer(S).”
So sunlight raises levels of the all-important vitamin d, increases the amazing nitric oxide, and makes me tan? Say no more.
Citrulline is an amino acid that is naturally found in watermelon. It also happens to significantly raise nitric oxide, even more so than l-arginine.
The reason for this is that l-citrulline is better absorbed by the gut.
Because of this fact, l-citrulline is better at raising levels of l-arginine than arginine itself!
- It is able to raise arginine levels through the arginine/ornithine/citrulline cycle(S).
Raising plasma arginine levels is important because arginine is directly used by Nitric Oxide Synthases(NOS) to produce Nitric Oxide.
How do I recommend getting more citrulline in your diet?
The best way to consume adequate citrulline is through supplementation.
You could try eating watermelons all day, but that would be a huge waste of time…then again, I sure love me some watermelon.
These guys have the right idea:
Bulk Supplements Pure L-Citrulline DL-Malate is the best way to consume citrulline.
- For dosing, it is acceptable to use between 3,000mg – 8,000mg per day – with or without meals.
Being one of the 80 essential human nutrients, Niacin(vitamin b3) is very important.
Niacin has numerous benefits, but to stay on topic: niacin is beneficial for its ability to raise good HDL cholesterol levels, while lowering bad LDL cholesterol.
This study shows that the niacin-induced increase in HDL resulted in higher levels of Nitric Oxide Synthase expression in endothelial cells.
In other words:
Niacin ⇒ More HDL ⇒ More Nitric Oxide Synthase ⇒ More Nitric Oxide.
The dosage for Niacin varies greatly, but I recommend starting off with a low amount like Carlson Lab’s 50 mg Niacin.
- This way you can work up to a higher dose, while minimizing the annoying “niacin flush” that most of us are familiar with.
- Low-dose niacin(50mg) is still effective at raising HDL levels(S).
Behold, the almighty ginseng.
Ginseng belongs to a powerful class of plants known as “adaptogenic herbs.”
Ginseng is very popular, and even the great Bruce Lee was known to consume it(Source: “The Art of Expressing the Human Body“).
I love Bruce Lee, so don’t get me started on him.
Anyways there are many different kinds of ginseng, but the one we care about is very specific.
- Panax Ginseng, Korean Ginseng, and Red Ginseng are all names for the type we want.
How does Ginseng boost Nitric Oxide?
Ginseng directly stimulates Nitric Oxide Synthase, and as I’ve said before: More Nitric Oxide Synthase activity ⇒ More NO.
- It is believed that the ginsenosides in ginseng are responsible for increasing Nitric Oxide Synthase activity(S,S).
Since ginseng is such a popular herb, there are many products to choose from; however, according to Consumer Labs, most of them don’t quite live up to their claims.
Therefore, it is recommended to stick with a high-potency brand that did pass their test.
One of these trusted brands is Solgar Full Potency Korean Ginseng. Try it, you won’t be disappointed.
If you are like me, then you likely don’t want to take a bunch of different supplements and you’d rather just take one that “has them all.”
Well, Nitroxyl is just that.
Nitroxyl is the most comprehensive nitric oxide boosting formulation I have seen to-date!
On top of that, they don’t hide behind a”proprietary blend” – which I discussed the dangers of in “Is Cellucor C4 Preworkout Safe?”
What is in Nitroxyl?
- Vitamin C 8.4mg
- L-citrulline 250mg
- Hawthorn Berry Powder 150mg
- Beet Root Powder 100mg
- Alpha GPC 25mg
- N-Acetyl L-Carnitine 25mg
- Pomegranate Fruit Extract 20mg
- Theobromine(from Cocoa Powder) 20mg
- Vinpocetine 10mg
- Huperzine A 50mcg
All of these ingredients are proven to work synergistically to raise Nitric Oxide levels in the body. You’ll notice that some ingredients are even ones that I mentioned in this article.
Nitroxyl is your one stop shop for nitric oxide boosting compounds. Hop on or get left behind.
NOTE: The only competition Nitroxyl has is Neo40. Neo40 seems to be marketed towards the 40+ year old crowd, under the assumption that older people have poor functioning nitric oxide pathways.
Even though Neo40 will also work, it is much more expensive when compared to Nitroxyl. It also has less ingredients and hides behind a proprietary blend. However, the cool thing about Neo40 is that it is sold in the form of lozenges which are designed to dissolve in the mouth. As we learned earlier, food-based nitric oxide production begins in the mouth.
The moral of the story is that you can try either – they both will work. However, Nitroxyl is by-far the better bang for your buck.
That concludes the “7 Ways to Boost Nitric Oxide Naturally.”
It should be noted that this list is by no means complete and it is only designed to help you get started on your path to boosting nitric oxide naturally.
Remember to test your nitric oxide levels with Berkely’s Nitric Oxide Test Strips.