Nitric Oxide Benefits and Sources

Nitric Oxide is something you hear a lot of in the supplement world. But what is it? How is it good for us? And are there natural sources?


I think its good to start off by pointing out a conflicting thought many have about nitrates. We have all heard that nitrates are bad for you in processed meats such as hot dogs. That heating up these nitrates can often lead to cancer and other illness. This is true. But these nitrates are vastly different from the nitrates i speak of that you find in leafy veggies. These are nitrosamines, so before we get into the good nitric oxide lets make sure we have clarity on the different types of nitric oxide sources.

Now that we have moved past the bad stuff, lets talk about what got Popeye so excited every time he popped a can of spinach.

Nitric Oxide is a molecule which you probably most commonly see as the chemical formula NO. It is a byproduct of many actions in our environment but lets narrow it down to electrical discharges from things like lightening and thunderstorms. Its in the air… you breath it all the time.

What’s more important is that this molecule is valuable to many functions in our body. Both psychologically and physiologically.


When you have Nitrates in your system,  which are known to deliver oxygen and nutrients more efficiently through your blood, you can maintain a higher function of performance during your exercise. This is key for athletes looking to bring it up to another level.  You can also expect to see many other benefits such as:

  • Improved recovery rate
  • Increased muscle pump
  • Enhanced endurance
  • Higher reps during routines
  • Increased learning and memory
  • Improved cardiovascular health
  • Bone Healing
  • Reduced joint pain


We are all very familiar with the vast amount of supplements sporting NO as an added bonus, and I am not saying they are good or bad. But lets take a look for a moment at the types of ways we can add nitric oxide rich foods into our diet that can support our need to stay pumped during our workouts. The foods to look at for best nitric oxide source are:

  • Leafy green vegetables, endive, fennel, leek, parsley, chinese cabbage, spinach, Beets, Cranberries, Kale
  • Strawberries, melons, raspberries, cherries, bananas, raisoins, figs, prunes, watermellon, poegranate, oranges
  • Dark chocolate
  • Walnuts, Pistachios
  • Brown Rice
  • Garlic
  • Black Tea
  • Cayanne Pepper
  • Honey
  • Salmon, Shrimps
  • Onions
  • Peanut Butter

Plenty of food to choose from. So pick what works for you and if need be look into supplements.

I hope you found this article on Nitric Oxide Benefits and Sources helpful.

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