Our bodies can’t build muscle without the help of nitric oxide. This is a molecule that our body produces to help its trillion cells communicate with each other by transmitting signals throughout the entire body. Many people often consume this molecule by thinking its the gas that puts us to sleep at the doctors office or the gas that fuels our racecar. But obviously, its neither of those. Our body produces nitric oxide to help with cellular activities in our body. The rest of this article will go over what those activities consist of and how this molecule is made in our bodies.
Some of the cellular activities that nitric oxide has shown to be important for include: helping memory and behavior by transmitting information between nerve cells in the brain, assisting the immune system at fighting off bacteria and defending against tumors, regulating blood pressure by dilating arteries, reducing inflammation, improving sleep quality, increasing your recognition of sense, increasing endurance and strength and lastly assisting in gastric motility. It has also been linked in helping heart disease, as well as, erectile dysfunction. Keep on reading to find out more about how this molecule is produced in the body!
What Is Nitric Oxide?
There is one easy and effective way to increase your levels of nitric oxide and that’s through exercising. When you lift weights or run, your muscles need more oxygen which is supplied by the body. When the heart pumps with more pressure to supply the muscles with blood, the lining in your arteries releases nitric oxide into the blood, which relaxes and widens the vessel wall, allowing for more blood to pass through. Aging can play a big part in how much nitric oxide is produced in our bodies because our blood vessels and nitric oxide system become less efficient due to free radical damage, inactivity and poor diet. This then causes our veins and arteries to begin to deteriorate.
Another way to increase these levels is through your diet. This can be done by consuming the amino acids L-arginine and L-citrulline. Arginine is often found in nuts, meats and dairy and directly creates nitiric oxide and citrulline inside the cell. The cirtulline is then recycled back into arginine, making even more nitric oxide. The enzymes that convert arginine to citrulline and citrulline to arginine need to function optimally for efficient nitric oxide production. These enzymes can be protected by consuming healthy foods and antioxidants.
How Does Nitric Oxide Effect Body Builders And Athletes?
More and more supplements these days contain l-arginine and l-citrulline to help support the flow of blood and oxygen to the skeletal muscle. They are also used to facilitate the removal of exercises-induced lactic acid buildup which reduces fatigue and recovery time. Those levels of arginine become depleted while you exercise and the entire arginine-nitric oxide – citrulline loop can lose efficiency, causing less than ideal nitric oxide levels and higher lactate levels.
Deficiencies can be caused by aging, inactivity, smoking, high cholesterol, fatty diets, and lack of healthy foods, increasing your nitric oxide levels can help increase your energy, vitality and overall wellness.