This particular group of supplements, often referred to as pre-workout boosters have gained a lot of popularity in the bodybuilding world.
They partially help the musculature recover after a workout, but their main and most sought effect is the immense musculature pump during the workout.
What Are Pre-Workout Boosters?
Nitric boosters are a supplement that provides the body with the substances needed to produce more and more nitric oxide.
What Is Nitric Oxide?
Nitric oxide is a naturally produced gas in the body, which has many functions in the organism, such as relaxing the smooth muscle tissues and regulating blood pressure.
How Is It Produced As A Supplement?
Pre-workout boosters are synthetically created. For most common supplements and medications, precursor substances that are easily digestible are used. Once they are in the blood flow, the nitric oxide-synthesis enzymes and oxygen, allow the body to produce more nitric oxide.
The most used precursor substance of the nitric oxide is arginine, which, in fact is an amino acid.
How Does Nitric Oxide Work?
Smooth Muscle Tissue Relaxation
As we mentioned, one of nitric oxide’s main effects is the relaxation of smooth muscle tissues like the ones on the blood vessels.
When it is produced by the inner blood vessel cells, nitric oxide turns into a signal molecule, and a key to the blood vessels’ relaxation.
This relaxing reaction of the blood vessels, opens them up, which allows the heart to deliver more blood to the organs at minimum resistance, without significantly affecting the heart rate.
Immune cells produce nitric oxide as a part of the body’s immune response. Nitric oxide is toxic for many bacteria in the body.
Regulating Blood Pressure
People suffering from high blood pressure and are exposed to risk of heart attack, often supplement with nitroglycerine pills or tablets, as blood vessels’ expansion is vital for this group of people.
Now that we know the basics of pre-workout supplements and how they work, we can take a look at the use, benefits and side effects to them.
Benefits Of Pre-Workout Boosters
Precursor nitric boosters are supplements that only contain arginine as a main active ingredient.
It is considered that taking in bigger doses of arginine at a time before and after workout can additionally stimulate blood flow.
The benefits of this are
- Higher nutrient flow to the muscle cells, which implies faster recovery
- Longer visual effect of the muscle pump- this is good for competitors
Ergogenic Nitric Boosters
Ergogenic nitric boosters are supplements that aim to improve the overall fitness by affecting a number of physiological and metabolic factors, including predominantly arginine importers (and their benefits), along with a number of assistive formulas.
Such adjuvants can be:
- Creatine formulas, that improve the individual’s capabilities to train heavier than usual
- Testosterone stimulants like tribulus or other herb extracts that support natural testosterone production, which on its own terms improves the ability of the body to synthesize more muscle mass.
Additional effects to that may be increased libido
- Antioxidants and antioxidant precursors, which reduce the risk of oxygen deprivations during heavy, extensive physical activity
Oxygen deprivations may lead to a retardation of the cell metabolism and even kill certain cells.
- Central nervous system (CNS) stimulators like caffeine and taurine are used to enhance the effect of this supplement.
- Free amino acids, which are an additional protein synthesis resource which implies better tissue nutrition, and eliminate the possibilities for an eventual amino acid deficit during the workout
- Anticatabolic herb extracts, that stimulate cell metabolism and reduce the effects of stress
Consult Your Doctor
Bigger blood pumps caused by an increase in nitric oxide can have certain blood pressure risks, for people who suffer from cardio vascular diseases or are overweight.
Many of the substances that are supposed to support your body may show different negative effects in people that suffer from different diseases.
Allergic reactions are also possible, meaning that all these factors combined imply that you should consult your doctor before taking PWOs for prolonged periods of time.
An important note here would be the fact that it is possible to overdose on arginine, which may lead to nausea, diarrhea, anxiety and insomnia.
It is recommended that you track the total amount of amino acids that you take in, and especially pay attention to arginin.
How To Determine If You Have Tolerance?
To check your tolerance to such supplements, you have to take a third of the recommended dose for the given supplement with a little water.
Afterwards, during the next 24 hours no other supplements should be taken.
If no side effects are observed, you continue with a third of the recommended dosage for a week and build your way up to a full dose over the course of a couple of days, while tracking the effects and side effects if any.
Who Shouldn’t Take Pre-Workout Boosters?
If you have cardio vascular issues like high blood pressure, or have diabetes, or even stomach intolerances, it is highly recommended that you avoid taking these supplements or at least consult with your doctor so you will know if any possible side effects may occur.
These supplements are recommended for active, healthy athletes.
Last but not least..
How To Dose Pre-Workout Boosters?
Due to the differences in the contents of the many products offered on the market, it is recommended that you follow the manufacturer’s guide to consuming the supplement.
Precursors which do not contain other helping substances are usually consumed 30-40 minutes before workout with a small amount of water.
Creatine monohydrate infused nitric boosters are often taken before and after workout- High daily water intake is recommended with these supplements (a minimum of 3 liters per day).
Some other tribulus-strengthened boosters are supposed to be cycled for 2-3 months, then a break of 2 to 4 weeks is required.
- Choose a product
- Test it to see how it works on your body
- Determine the best product for you by testing
- Do not exceed recommended dosages