What Nitric Oxide is
A gas that produced naturally in the body, nitric oxide is used to communicate between cells. In fact, nitric oxide (NO) is produced when “enzymes in the body break down the amino acid, arginine,” according to registered dietitian and American Dietetic Association spokesperson, Jim White.
While you may think nitric oxide supplements contain nitric oxide - and that’s what many would assume - they don’t! Fact of the matter is nitric oxide supplement contains arginine, which is found in supplement form, or can be consumed naturally through foods including spinach, shrimp, white turkey meat, and sesame seeds.
What Nitric Oxide does for your body
Now that we know what it is, let’s get into some of the things nitric oxide does for your body. As we said above, its main job is to deliver messages between the cells in your body; however, it also plays a significant role in “controlling the circulation of blood and regulating activities of the brain, lungs, liver, kidneys, stomach and other organs.”
Nitric oxide is also great for those looking to build muscle, as it plays a role in releasing hormones and adrenaline. This gas can also increase growth and recovery times by increasing blood flow. This results in more nutrients getting to the muscles, allowing them to grow.
As you can see, there is a significant relationship between nitric oxide and arginine. While you can obtain both NO and arginine naturally, to ensure you’re getting a substantial amount of these, you might think about taking arginine as a supplement, especially if you’re an athlete, as research shows arginine may positively affect athletic performance.