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Nitric oxide (NO) boosting “pre-workout” supplements based on arginine are currently in the rage among many athletes, particularly bodybuilders and strength athletes. While it’s true that arginine is a nitric oxide (NO) precursor and NO is a potent vasodilator 1, 2, most studies in healthy adults have not unequivocally supported the marketing hype that arginine supplementation increases muscle blood flow and/or performance in healthy folks 3-5. In my previous article “The L-Arginine Paradox” I explained why.
In this article I will cover the less well known, albeit highly significant, NO generating process, the nitrate-nitrite-NO pathway. This “new” NO producing pathway holds a lot of promise and supplements that target it will probably will replace the current arginine based NO boosters in the near future….The nitrate-nitrite-NO pathway is especially interesting in that it not only has performance enhancing effects in non-diseased people, but also offers cardiovascular protection.