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Nitric Oxide Supplements & Blood Pressure

author image Bryan Berg
Bryan Berg is a freelance writer based in Long Island, NY. He has been writing since 2002 about personal finance, sports and parenting. He is a contributing writer to eHow Money and LIVESTRONG.COM. He has a Bachelor of Arts in marketing from Hofstra University.

If you're looking to add an extra boost to your workout, nitric oxide supplements may be the way to go. Nitric oxide increases the blood flow in your body, allowing oxygen to be delivered to your muscles more quickly. While this can help your performance at the gym, nitric oxide supplements can also affect your blood pressure.

Nitric Oxide Supplementation

Your body produces nitric oxide naturally, which expands your blood vessels and allows your blood to flow throughout the body. Theoretically, consuming nitric oxide would further allow you to expand your blood vessels, thereby allowing for even higher bloodflow and delivery of oxygen to your muscles while exercising. As a result, some bodybuilders supplement with nitric oxide to increase their output at the gym.

Nitric Oxide Products

Nitric oxide supplements come in pill or powder form and are usually taken 30 to 45 minutes before your workout. Some nitric oxide products, such as BSN's N.O.-XPLODE, contain creatine, resulting in an even more powerful supplement. Like creatine, nitric oxide products are cycled on and off; periods of use are followed by weeks of non-use, allowing the supplements to have their maximum impact on your body.

Nitric Oxide and Blood Pressure

Nitric oxide is known to reduce blood pressure and is often recommended by doctors to patients who have high blood pressure. Nitric oxide supplements also lower blood pressure, but pose a different type of danger. Because nitric oxide supplements contain caffeine, the supplement, combined with a high heart rate, can be dangerous if you have a heart condition or high blood pressure. Consult a doctor before using nitric oxide supplements if you fear that using them can put your health at risk.

Effectiveness of Nitric Oxide Supplements

Nitric oxide undeniably gives you an extra boost, but some debate still remains about whether it's worth using for athletic purposes. Dr. Nina Marinello, former sports nutritionist for the University of Albany, suggests that since your body already makes nitric oxide, there's no need to use it for supplementation. Everyone's body is different, and some people will get more out of supplementation than others, but be cognizant of nitric oxide's effect on your blood pressure before experimenting with supplementation.

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