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Viagra and nitric oxide

This is part 6 of a multi part series. Part 1 was the ESPN radio interview. Part 2 looked at the history of Ethical Cheating or Ergogenic Aids and some of the disgusting food choices. Part 3 discussed coffee and caffeine. Part 4 discussed Nootropics. Part 5 discussed baking soda and beta alanine.

Let’s go over some of the common products you can buy today over the counter and NOT test positive, and remember this is only a short list.

Here are some of the food groups, common sources, chemical names, and classification (in no particular order):

  1. IHT or Intermittent Hypoxic Training methods (tents, chambers, masks, etc.) to increase erythropoietin (EPO) levels and therefore increase red blood cells.
  2. Others?

Viagra and Nitric Oxides

Nitric Oxide products are extremely popular in the weight room for both weightlifters and bodybuilders.

The theory behind Nitric Oxide (and Viagra) is with increased vasodilation (increased blood flow), you get additional blood to the muscles carrying oxygen and glucose, and at the same time, the removal of waste products like lactic acid.

One way to increase Nictric Oxide is to consume more L-arginine, because L-arginine along with Nitric Oxide Synthase, you form L-citrulline and nitric oxide. (It also requires certain B complex vitamins, plus Iron and Calcium)

The biochemical pathway for the other direction, L-citrulline to L-arginine produces ornithine, and that is why you’ll see L-ornithine in “nitric oxide” and “mental alertness” products.

Arginine has a double benefit, as it can also stimulate the release of growth hormone from the brain’s pituitary gland.

To get Arginine through foods, you would have to eat 100 grams of chicken just to get 1.5 grams of arginine. And you need to get those arginine levels to 5 or 6 grams per day! Maybe that’s why Usain Bolt success is eating a diet high in chicken! (or else he’s superiorly gifted and trains hard… yeah, that’s it)

L-Citrulline also has a double benefit. As part of the urea cycle, L-citrulline plays a pivotal role in removing ammonia from your muscles.

The recommended dose for L-Citrulline is also around 4-6 grams per day.

There are tons of products in the supplement market, and funnily enough, they are all expensive! Here are are some examples in no particular order:

They have proven increasing arginine **will** increase nitric oxide levels in the blood. But like the beta alanine studies, they just haven’t proved it increases performances in sprinting or 400 meters.

In the above dosages, we are talking about grams, not milligrams, worth of supplements.

But the best advice is to eat more fruit and vegetables which are naturally high in nitrates and nitrites, and thus gets converted to nitric oxide. See, your mother was right all these years!

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