Reviews Supplements

10 Best Nitric Oxide Supplements in 2024

Reviewed by: Jacek Szymanowski (Certified Nutritionist, S&C specialist, M.Sc.Eng. Biotechnology)

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Looking for nitric oxide to improve blood flow and increase your exercise performance?

In this article we’ll be covering the best nitric oxide supplements available today. NO2 pump supplements can be a great way to improve blood flow, and increase exercise performance, as well as being great for cardiac health. If you’re looking to implement an NO2 workout supplement into your stack, then keep reading to find out your best options.

For this article, our team, which consists of certified nutritionists and professional athletes, has reviewed 41 products and only 10 of the best ones made it to this list. The products were evaluated based on 5 key factors, and we’ve dedicated 5 weeks to testing most of them. We have also analyzed hundreds of online reviews. Feel free to share your experiences because our lists is updated at regular intervals as new products appear on the market to challenge this list!

athlete holds supplement shake cup

Top 10 Nitric Oxide Supplements Reviewed

  1. PUMP by Transparent Labs – Top Pick
  2. PUMP SERUM by Huge – Best With Pomegranate Extract
  3. ProSupps, Hyde Max Pump
  4. Pulse Legion – Best Pre-Workout Based
  5. NO3 Ultimate
  6. Jacked Factory N.O. XT – Best Capsule Supplement
  7. PEScience, High Volume
  8. GHOST Pump – Best Budget Pick
  9. Jacked Factory Pump Surge – Best Tasting
  10. MyProtein Citrulline Malate – Most Basic Option
ProductTotalIngredients BreakdownTaste/
Flavor
Nutrition Label TransparencyUser Satisfaction RatePrice/
Quality
Transparent Labs4891010109
PUMP SERUM47.59109109.5
ProSupps4799.59109.5
Legion Pulse46.51010108.58
NO3 Ultimate468.5109108.5
Jacked FactoryN.O. XT45.5810999.5
PEScience4599.5998.5
GHOST44.58.598.599.5
Jacked FactoryPump Surge4498.5998.5
MyProtein43.59888.510

1. PUMP by Transparent Labs – Top Pick

transparent labs pump bottle sample
  • Form: Powder
  • Ingredients: L-Citrulline, Arginine Nitrate, L-Glutathione, Betaine
  • Flavors: Blue Raspberry, Strawberry Lemonade
  • Package Information: 1.31lbs
  • Serving Size: 19.8g
  • Price Per Serving: ~$1.67
  • Company Founded: 2012
  • Recommended by AthletesHafthor BjornssonPaul SklarSean Harris

Starting off our list is Pump by Transparent Labs. Transparent Labs offers some of the most consistently high-quality supplements on the market. Their NO supplement is no different, earning it the top spot on our list as the most effective nitric oxide supplement. So let’s see what makes this supplement a cut above the rest.

The primary ingredient we’ll be focusing on in this article is L-Citrulline. This is because L-Citrulline increases nitric oxide production and blood flow in the body, as well as improving overall exercise performance. Transparent Labs contains a solid dose, with 8g of citrulline malate. Note that citrulline malate is l-citrulline bonded to malic acid at a 2:1 ratio. This is meant to help with digestion and give a slower release, but it has the same core effects as pure l-citrulline.

The other main purported Nitric Oxide boosting ingredients found in Pump are Arginine Nitrate, and L-Glutathione. While Arginine supplementation is heavily debated, current research suggests that it does not increase Nitric Oxide production, and does not have significant ergogenic benefits to training.

woman shows transparent labs bottle in gym
Photo by @lxwrenfitness

L-Glutathione supplementation does show to increase levels of this substance in red blood cells, lymphocytes and plasma. Glutathione has the ability to shield crucial cellular constituents from harm inflicted by factors like reactive oxygen species, free radicals, peroxides, lipid peroxides, and heavy metals. However, it’s unclear if these effects will have significant benefits to exercise performance.

Another active ingredient not necessarily related to Nitric Oxide found in Pump is Betaine. Betaine is shown to increase endurance as well as total force production through supplementation, so it’s one of the most useful active ingredients in exercise supplements. Pump contains a solid 2.5g dose of the ingredient in each serving.

At around $1.67 per serving, this falls around the average price point for our list. It comes in only 2 flavors, but is made with all natural ingredients, like all of Transparent Labs products.

48 EXPERT SCORE

Transparent Labs’ Pump is a potent nitric oxide supplement that combines L-Citrulline, Arginine Nitrate, L-Glutathione, and Betaine to enhance blood flow and exercise performance, all while maintaining the brand’s high-quality standards.


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Positives:

  • High Citrulline content
  • L-Glutathione may be promising as an ingredient
  • Betaine is a useful addition for exercise performance

Could be better:

  • Arginine has not been shown to have significant ergogenic effects
  • Only 2 flavors to choose from

2. PUMP SERUM by Huge – Best With Pomegranate Extract

huge supplement pump serum bottle sample
  • Form: Powder
  • Ingredients: L-Citrulline, Betaine, Beet Root extract, Arginine Silicate, Glycerpump
  • Flavors: Jungle Juice, Cherry Berry Strawberry Mojito, Island Dream
  • Package Information: 1.37lbs
  • Serving Size: 15.5g
  • Price Per Serving: ~$1.38
  • Company Founded: 2019
  • Recommended by AthletesMatt GreggoTren TwinsMax Taylor

Next on our list is Pump Serum from Huge Supplements. Having a very similar name to the top product on our list, let’s see how Pump Serum compares to Transparent Labs’ Pump.

Similar to Transparent Labs, the main active ingredient here is L-Citrulline. It contains a solid 4g dose of pure L-Citrulline, which should have significant effects in vasodilation. Note that 4g of pure L-Citrulline is roughly equivalent to 6g of citrulline malate, meaning this has slightly less total L-Citrulline than Transparent Labs.

In terms of additional “nitric oxide boosting” ingredients, pump serum also contains arginine silicate, beet root extract, and glycerol. As we’ve already mentioned, arginine does not appear to be a beneficial ingredient for boosting NO levels, despite common belief, but what about the other 2 ingredients?

While beet root may have potential health benefits due to an increase of NO levels, it is unlikely to significantly affect the pumping during a particular workout.

Though beet root contains nitrates that can be converted into nitric oxide, this conversion occurs through a long cycle. First, nitrate must enter the bloodstream, from there a small portion enters the salivary glands where bacteria promote its conversion into nitric oxide.This can be healthy and even improve athletic performance, but you can hardly expect it to work for an individual workout.

Glycerol also does not have any significant effects on NO levels but it can help you retain fluids to maintain exercise performance. Furthermore, it facilitates the flow of fluid into muscles, contributing to the sensation of a pumped effect. It's unlikely to have a significant effect, but there may be some benefit to filling your muscles with water.

This supplement also contains betaine, albeit at a slightly lower, yet still effective dose of 1.5mg per serving. Another interesting ingredient is pomegranate extract. Pomegranate is a powerful antioxidant, and this ingredient appears to have a whole host of health benefits including helping to prevent cancer.

At around $1.38 per serving, this is a slightly cheaper option than Transparent Labs, although you are getting slightly less of the main active ingredients. It’s worth noting that Huge offers double the flavors of Transparent Labs, but is made with several artificial ingredients as well.

47.5 EXPERT SCORE

Huge Supplements' Pump Serum contains L-Citrulline, arginine silicate, beet root extract, glycerol, and betaine, offering potential benefits for exercise performance, with a variety of flavors and the presence of artificial ingredients.


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Positives:

  • Solid dose of L-Citrulline
  • Decent dose of betaine as well
  • Potential benefits from beet root, pomegranate extract and glycerol

Could be better:

  • Arginine supplementation is also likely not beneficial
  • Artificial ingredients for those who care

3. ProSupps, Hyde Max Pump

prosuppls hyde bottle sample
  • Form: Powder
  • Ingredients: L-Citrulline, Beta-Alanine, Creatine, Arginine Nitrate
  • Flavors: Cherry Limeade, Fruit Punch
  • Package Information: 280g (25 Servings)
  • Serving Size: 11.2g
  • Price Per Serving: ~$1.40
  • Company Founded: 2012
  • Recommended by AthletesKamaru UsmanTilly KingDerick Ansah

The next supplement on our list is Hyde Max Pump from ProSupps. With the top 2 supplements on our list featuring solid doses of their active ingredients, and some less useful ingredients as well, let’s see how ProSupps compares.

This is also an L-Citrulline based supplement, like many of the products on our list. It has roughly the same amount as Huge Supplements with a 4g dose of pure L-Citrulline in each serving.

This supplement also contains Arginine Nitrate, which as we’ve mentioned, likely does not have nearly as many nitric oxide boosting effects as you may expect.

In terms of other additional ingredients, ProSupps features 2 of the most simple, yet undeniably effective additional supplement ingredients: beta-alanine, and creatine.

athlete drinks prosupps supplement
Photo by @prosupps

Beta-Alanine is fairly similar to betaine, but its specific effects are improving power output and reducing fatigue. This supplement features a solid dose of 3.2g per serving. Keep in mind that such a dose can cause unpleasant tingles.

Creatine, on the other hand, is shown to increase high-intensity exercise performance. It’s worth noting that ProSupps has a fairly low dose of only 1g, whereas the recommended daily dose for optimal effects is 3-5g. However, even a little bit of creatine is better than none.

At around $1.40 per serving, ProSupps is in a similar price range to the top 2 products on our list. Similar to Transparent Labs it only comes in 2 flavors, and just like Huge, it’s also made with several artificial ingredients.

47 EXPERT SCORE

ProSupps' Hyde Max Pump contains L-Citrulline, Arginine Nitrate, beta-alanine, and creatine, with a focus on exercise performance enhancement, along with a few artificial ingredients and a moderate price point.


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Positives:

  • Decent L-Citrulline content for boosting nitric oxide
  • Contains beta-alanine which is a useful ergogenic ingredient

Could be better:

  • Arginine likely won’t have significant effects
  • Creatine could be at a higher dose for more optimal effects
  • High dose of beta-alanine can cause tingles
  • Artificial ingredients for those who care

4. Pulse Legion – Best Pre-workout Based

legion pulse bottle sample
  • Form: Powder
  • Ingredients: Caffeine, Citrulline Malate, Beta-Alanine, Betaine
  • Flavors: Pina Colada, Rainbow Sherbet, Fruit Punch, Strawberry Kiwi, Blue Raspberry, Apple Cider, Arctic Blast, Blood Orange, Blueberry Lemonade, Cherry Limeade, Frosted Cranberry, Grape, Green Apple, Mojito, Pink Lemonade, Sour Candy, Strawberry Margarita, Tropical Punch, Watermelon, Peach Ring
  • Package Information: 1.04lbs
  • Serving Size: 23.5g
  • Price Per Serving: ~$2.25
  • Company Founded: 2014
  • Recommended by AthletesGage ClarkGrant TinsleyMachaela Brabham

Next on our list is the best nitric oxide pre-workout supplement on our list, Pulse from Legion. What separates this from the other supplements on our list, is this is the only stimulated supplement with a potent 350mg of caffeine in each serving. Be aware of this strong stimulation before making a purchase! While this will be suitable for experienced pre-workout users, this is a lot of caffeine for a beginner!

Pulse also has some of the highest Citrulline content on our list with 8g of citrulline malate in each serving. This is roughly the same amount as Transparent Labs’ product, and should produce noticeable ergogenic effects.

This is also the first product on our list to not feature arginine or other largely ineffective nitric oxide boosting ingredients.

Instead, Pulse features potent doses of 2 key ergogenic ingredients: 3.6g of beta-alanine, and 2.5g betaine. As we’ve already mentioned, these are powerful ingredients with significant effects on performance and recovery. Topped off with the potent stimulation from caffeine, this is a very powerful pre-workout.

46.5 EXPERT SCORE

Legion's Pulse is a strong nitric oxide pre-workout with high caffeine, significant citrulline malate, beta-alanine, and betaine doses for notable stimulation and performance enhancement, albeit at a higher cost and a variety of natural flavors.


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Positives:

  • Very high l-citrulline content
  • High doses of additional ergogenic ingredients
  • No ineffective ingredients
  • Very strong stimulation

Could be better:

  • High price point
  • High stimulation may not be suitable for everyone

5. NO3 Ultimate

cellucor no3 bottle sample
  • Form: Powder
  • Ingredients: L-Citrulline, Arginine Silicate, Arginine Nitrate, Arginine Alpha-Ketoglutarate
  • Flavors: Blue Raspberry, Fruit Punch
  • Package Information: 210g
  • Serving Size: 10.7g
  • Price Per Serving: ~$2.00
  • Company Founded: 2002
  • Recommended by AthletesBrittany AnnScott MathisonDemi Bagby

Next on our list is NO3 Ultimate from Cellucor. While Cellucor is better known for their C4 pre-workout, they also offer this caffeine-free nitric oxide based supplement, so let’s see how it compares to their flagship product and the rest of the supplements on our list.

NO3 Ultimate contains a decent amount of L-Citrulline in each serving. Similar to Huge and ProSupps, it has 4g of pure L-Citrulline in each scoop. This should be enough to produce noticeable ergogenic effects.

man holds no3 supplement bottles
Photo by @dndacademy

It also contains 3 different types of arginine: arginine silicate, arginine alpha-ketoglutarate, and arginine nitrate. While this does make the product appear more complete on the label, no amount of arginine has been shown to produce meaningful results.

Similar to Jacked Factory’s product covered above, this supplement also contains no additional ergogenic ingredients like betaine, beta-alanine, or creatine.

At around $2.00 per serving, this is also easily the most expensive product we’ve covered so far. It comes in a relatively low 2 different flavors, and is also formulated with several artificial ingredients and dyes.

46 EXPERT SCORE

Cellucor's NO3 Ultimate offers a decent dose of L-Citrulline, multiple forms of arginine, and lacks additional key ergogenic ingredients like betaine, beta-alanine, or creatine, coming at a higher price point and with limited flavor options.


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Positives:

  • Solid L-Citrulline contentReviews suggest a pleasant taste
  • High vitamin C content

Could be better:

  • Arginine content likely won’t do much
  • No additional effective ergogenic ingredients
  • Artificial ingredients for those who care

6. Jacked Factory N.O. XT – Best Capsule Supplement

jacked factory bottle sample
  • Form: Capsules
  • Ingredients: L-Citrulline, Arginine Silicate, L-Glutathione
  • Flavors: Unflavored
  • Package Information: 90 or 180 capsules
  • Serving Size: 3 capsules
  • Price Per Serving: ~$1.20
  • Company Founded: 2006
  • Recommended by AthletesMorgan MacMike OliverBhuwan Chauhan

Next up on our list is the first of 2 Jacked Factory supplements we’ll be covering. First up is their NO XT Nitric Oxide Booster. This is also the first and only supplement on our list to come in capsule form, making these the best nitric oxide pills available. Let’s see how it compares to the rest of the NO boosting powders.

Similar to the previous supplements on our list, the primary active ingredient here is L-Citrulline. Keep in mind, this is the lowest dose featured on our list so far, with only 1.5g per serving. While some effects may be noticeable at this dose, we typically recommend getting a dose of 3g+ for optimal effects.

man shows jacked factory bottles
Photo by @jjkilla32

The other ingredients are arginine silicate and l-glutathione, similar to Transparent Labs. As we mentioned, arginine silicate likely doesn’t have any significant ergogenic effects, and while l-glutathione has measurable effects on improving plasma and red blood cell levels, it’s unclear if it has any significant ergogenic effects as well.

It’s worth noting that this product does not contain any additional ergogenic ingredients like creatine, beta-alanine, or betaine.

At around $1.20 per serving, this is the cheapest product on our list so far, although it has significantly lower ingredient dosages than the products above. Because it is in capsule form it is completely unflavored, and also contains no artificial ingredients.

45.5 EXPERT SCORE

Jacked Factory's NO XT Nitric Oxide Booster, available in capsule form, features L-Citrulline, arginine silicate, and l-glutathione, with lower dosages compared to other products, at an affordable price point, and without artificial ingredients.


Ingredient Breakdown:0
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Positives:

  • Decent price point
  • Some people may prefer capsules to powder
  • Jacked Factory offers a money-back guarantee

Could be better:

  • Doesn’t contain more effective ingredients such as betaine, or creatine
  • Additional ingredients likely provide little benefit

7. PEScience, High Volume

pesscience high volume bottle sample
  • Form: Powder
  • Ingredients: L-Citrulline, Glycerol, Arginine Nitrate, Arginine Sulfate
  • Flavors: Blue Frost, Melon Berry Twist, Raspberry Lemonade, Strawberry Kiwi
  • Package Information: 252g
  • Serving Size: 14g
  • Price Per Serving: ~$1.94
  • Company Founded: 2010
  • Recommended by AthletesMatt RosenmanElizabeth SantosFreddie Williams

Next on our list is PEScience and their High Volume Nitric Oxide Matrix. Another pure nitric oxide based supplement, let’s see how PEScience stacks up compared to the rest of our list.

With a solid 4g of L-Citrulline per serving, PEScience falls around the average for our list for this main NO-boosting ingredient. Similar to Huge, Jacked Factory, and Cellucor, this should be enough to produce meaningful results in the gym.

athlete woman shows pescience supplement bottle
Photo by @savanafindley

The rest of the ingredients, however, will likely not have as significant an effect. Like Huge, the rest of the main active ingredients are arginine, and glycerol. As we’ve covered, neither of these ingredients will likely have major ergogenic effects.

This is also one of several products that doesn’t contain any of the additional key ergogenic ingredients we’re highlighting in this list.

At just under $2 per serving, this is one of the pricier items on our list, which is tough to justify considering the ingredient breakdown. While it does have a solid 4 flavors to choose from, it is also formulated with several artificial dyes and sweeteners.

45 EXPERT SCORE

PEScience's High Volume Nitric Oxide Matrix includes L-Citrulline for a meaningful boost, but its reliance on arginine and glycerol, along with the absence of other key ingredients, could impact its overall effectiveness and value.


Ingredient Breakdown:0
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Positives:

  • Solid L-Citrulline content
  • Good flavor selection
  • Reviews suggest an enjoyable taste

Could be better:

  • Arginine and glycerol have few research-backed benefits
  • No additional key ergogenic ingredients
  • Artificial ingredients for those who care

8. GHOST Pump – Best Budget Pick

ghost pump bottle sample
  • Form: Powder
  • Ingredients: L-Citrulline, Arginine Nitrate, L-Glutathione
  • Flavors: Unflavored, Peach, Pineapple, Sour Watermelon
  • Package Information: 350g
  • Serving Size: 8.75g
  • Price Per Serving: ~$1.00
  • Company Founded: 2016
  • Recommended by AthletesChristian GuzmanTracy CortezNathan McCallum

Next up we have Ghost Pump, from the Ghost supplement brand. Coming from one of the lesser-known brands on our list, let’s see how this product compares to our previous entries.

With 3g of L-Citrulline per serving, Ghost does fall on the lower end of our list. However, this is likely still enough to produce some ergogenic effects, although it is towards the bottom of our recommended dosage.

Similar to Transparent Labs and Jacked Factory, the additional ingredients here are arginine and l-glutathione. As mentioned in our reviews of the other 2 products with these ingredients breakdown, it’s unclear if there will be any significant ergogenic effects from either ingredient. However, l-glutathione does show more promise in terms of ergogenic effects.

man holds ghost supplement bottle
Photo by @camjcrook

ust like Jacked Factory as well, this product does not contain any additional ergogenic benefits which would improve its fairly basic formula.

The price is one of the main draws to Ghost’s product, being a budget-friendly choice at only around $1.00 per serving. There are a solid 4 different flavors to choose from as well, including an unflavored option. Just keep in mind this is one of the many products on our list to include several artificial ingredients in its formula.

44.5 EXPERT SCORE

Ghost Pump offers L-Citrulline per serving and includes additional ingredients like arginine and l-glutathione, yet lacks some key ergogenic benefits found in higher-ranking products, making it a budget-friendly option.


Ingredient Breakdown:0
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Positives:

  • Decent l-citrulline content
  • Solid flavor selection including an unflavored option
  • L-Glutathione may be promising as a supplement

Could be better:

  • No additional ergogenic ingredients
  • Arginine is a debatable inclusion at best
  • Artificial ingredients for those who care

9. Jacked Factory Pump Surge – Best Tasting

jacked factory pump surge bottle sample
  • Form: Powder
  • Ingredients: L-Citrulline, Betaine
  • Flavors: Strawberry Lemonade, Blue Raspberry, Watermelon, Cucumber Lime, Cherry Limeade
  • Package Information: 248g
  • Serving Size: 12.5g
  • Price Per Serving: ~$1.75
  • Company Founded: 2006
  • Recommended by AthletesMorgan MacMike OliverBhuwan Chauhan

The next product we’ll be covering is the second Jacked Factory product on our list. Instead of the capsule-based N.O. XT product, this is a powder-based supplement called Pump Surge. Let’s see how it stacks up compared to the previous product, as well as the rest of our list.

In terms of L-Citrulline content, Pump Surge is a much more densely packed product than N.O. XT with 5g of the ingredient in each serving. This is one of the highest doses on our list, just falling short of Pulse and Transparent Labs.

Pump Surge also doesn’t contain any unnecessary arginine based ingredients, which could certainly be considered a pro based on the rest of our list.

In terms of additional ergogenic ingredients, Pump Surge contains a solid 2.5g dose of betaine. All around, this makes Pump Surge a simple, yet effective supplement for improving performance in the gym.

At around $1.75 per serving, it is significantly more expensive than NO XT, although you will be getting a more complete product for your money. There is also a good variety in flavors here with 5 different options to choose from. Just keep in mind like many of the products on our list, this is formulated with several artificial ingredients.

44 EXPERT SCORE

Pump Surge by Jacked Factory stands out with potent L-Citrulline content and effective betaine, offering a simple yet pricier option for improving workout performance, with various flavors to choose from, although it contains artificial ingredients.


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Positives:

  • High L-Citrulline content is great for NO
  • Betaine content will be beneficial for performance as well
  • Good flavor variety

Could be better:

  • Made with several artificial ingredients
  • Could benefit from some more ergogenic ingredients
  • Artificial ingredients for those who care

10. MyProtein Citrulline Malate – Most Basic Option

my protein pack sample
  • Form: Powder
  • Ingredients: Citrulline Malate
  • Flavors: Unflavored
  • Package Information: 1.1lb
  • Serving Size: 3g
  • Price Per Serving: $0.12
  • Company Founded: 2004
  • Recommended by AthletesRob KearneyTom TrotterIsrael Adesanya

Finally, we’re closing off our list with easily the most simple formula on our list, MyProtein’s 100% Citrulline Malate. Let’s see how this compares with the more complex NO boosting formulas on our list.

Simply put, this product is all citrulline malate. While the recommended serving size is 3g at a time, you could easily take more depending on your needs. With citrulline presenting the most significant NO-boosting effects, just taking the ingredient on its own is a simple, budget-friendly alternative to taking a full nitric oxide based supplement.

my protein supplements
Photo by @javr7

Of course, this product contains no additional NO-based ingredients, as well as no additional ergogenic ingredients.

At only $0.12 per serving, this is easily the cheapest option on our list – even if you want to take 2 or 3 times the recommended serving size, it’s still much cheaper than your other choices. Keep in mind this is unflavored and likely won’t have the best taste, but because it’s so simple it also contains no additional artificial ingredients.

43.5 EXPERT SCORE

MyProtein's 100% Citrulline Malate offers a straightforward and budget-friendly approach to boosting nitric oxide, containing only citrulline malate without additional ingredients, making it an affordable choice for those seeking a simple supplement.


Ingredient Breakdown:0
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Positives:

  • Simple way to get citrulline malate at whatever dose you want
  • Cheapest option on our list by far
  • You can be sure you’re not paying for any unnecessary ingredients

Could be better:

  • Unpleasant taste from unflavored citrulline malate
  • Doesn’t contain any additional beneficial ingredients

Experts Who Contributed To This Article

Ernesto Mendez

Ernesto Mendez

Orthopedic Clinical Specialist (OCS)

Dina Al-Rubaye

Dina Al-Rubaye

Professional Nutritionist and Certified Coach

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What Is Nitric Oxide and Why Do Athletes Need It?

Nitric Oxide (NO) is a compound that plays many different roles in the body, including dilating blood vessels, and stimulating hormone release. The reason this is beneficial for athletes is specifically related to the dilation of blood vessels.

When blood vessels are dilated, increased blood flow occurs. When exercising, this blood is directed to working muscles. This will in turn increase the “pump” effect experienced while weightlifting, as well as increase performance because more oxygen is being brought to the muscles. 

You can also use a nitric oxide supplement for vascularity, as the better your blood is flowing, the veinier you will appear. It’s also thought that this increase in vasodilation and blood flow will lead to improved recovery.

All these benefits lead many athletes to seek out NO boosting supplements. As you can see from our product reviews, there is plenty of debate surrounding the efficacy of these supplements. The 2 main ingredients thought to contribute to increased NO production are Arginine and L-Citrulline.

Ernesto Mendez noted:

NO supplements that increase plasma levels of arginine, can improve fitness and health. Research shows they can enhance exercise performance, support cardiovascular health, increase muscle pump, and enhance recovery. 

From our research, it appears that Arginine has not produced significant ergogenic effects with supplementation, while L-Citrulline has. This means to maximize the effects of NO production, we recommend focusing on supplements with high concentrations of L-Citrulline instead of Arginine. 

It’s worth noting that most NO supplements do contain both ingredients, despite the lack of research backing up the use of Arginine as a supplement.

While an ingredient like L-Citrulline will likely boost performance because of increased NO production, it should be clear that athletes don’t need NO to perform well. Like any other supplement, it should be seen as a boost, and not something that’s mandatory to have a good workout. You can absolutely perform at a high level without any Nitric Oxide supplements.

scoop of protein

Which Supplements Have the Best Nitric Oxide Boosting Potential?

There are several ingredients that are touted to have nitric oxide boosting potential as we’ve covered in this article. The 2 main ingredients that fall into this category are Citrulline and Arginine. There are several other ingredients which show promise as well, namely L-Glutathione. Below we’ll be going over each of these ingredients in depth, to see whether or not they’re genuinely useful for boosting Nitric Oxide in the body.

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1. L-Citrulline/Citrulline Malate

Before getting into the benefits of L-Citrulline and Citrulline Malate in terms of NO boosting, let’s quickly cover the differences between the 2 ingredients. Essentially, Citrulline Malate is just L-Citrulline bonded with malic acid. This is typically done at a 2:1 ratio and is meant to help with digestion, and to provide a slower release in the body.

 A similar process is done with caffeine to produce dicaffeine malate. These ingredients have the same effects, despite being dosed slightly differently, and having slightly different names.

So, how do these 2 similar ingredients affect Nitric Oxide production in the body? L-Citrulline is turned into NO by the body when consumed, thus leading to increased vasodilation and all the positive effects associated with increased NO. It is for this reason that L-Citrulline has been shown to increase performance through improvements in anaerobic exercise and reduced soreness

These benefits were shown with 8g of Citrulline Malate (Equivalent to roughly 5.3g of L-Citrulline), but we can assume lower doses would produce similar, albeit less powerful effects.

These measured results from L-Citrulline/Citrulline Malate supplementation and its effect on performance are why it’s the main ingredient we focused on in this list. If you’re seeking a nitric oxide boosting ingredient that will produce significant ergogenic effects, the main ingredient we recommend looking for is L-Citrulline or Citrulline Malate in relatively high doses.

man exercises on air bike

2. Arginine

As you may have noticed from our list, the vast majority of products we’ve covered contain arginine in some form. Whether it be arginine nitrate, arginine silicate, or arginine alpha-ketoglutarate, will these ingredients produce meaningful results in performance as a result of increased nitric oxide?

From our research, the answer appears to be no. One in-depth study on arginine seeking to determine its possible ergogenic benefits came up with the finding that it has little benefit as an ergogenic aid. They pointed to studies that promoted the use of arginine for ergogenic effects, but showed that these studies included l-citrulline, which was likely responsible for the effects attributed to arginine. 

The study arguing against the use of arginine did cite several previous studies which promoted the use of Arginine as a sports supplement. However, even with these previous findings, upon further research and testing, they came to the conclusion that arginine did not produce any significant ergogenic effects.

These findings lead us to believe that arginine supplementation will not produce meaningful results in Nitric Oxide production despite popular belief. With this being said, arginine is easily one of the most common ingredients found in NO-based supplements. 

While there doesn’t necessarily appear to be any downside to taking arginine, it doesn’t appear like there is much benefit either. It’s for this reason we recommend prioritizing L-Citrulline instead when looking for a formula to help boost NO production.

athlete workos out with dumbbells

3. Glutathione

Finally, the other potential nitric oxide boosting ingredient we covered on our list is Glutathione. This is a much less common ingredient than the previous 2 we mentioned, and it’s only found in 3 of the products on our list (Transparent Labs, Jacked Factory NO XT, & Ghost). So, how does it compare to L-Citrulline and Arginine?

Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant that reduces cellular oxidative stress levels and protects cells by reducing reactive oxygen species, which can be beneficial during physical work. However, there doesn’t appear to be much research on its effects directly regarding exercise performance. For this reason, it’s difficult to say whether or not it will produce any meaningful results.

However, there are studies that show it does have a distinct effect on blood, specifically on the function of natural killer cells.. This does appear to correlate with increased immune defense, which is an obvious pro in regards to total health.

The researchers state that glutathione is likely beneficial for disease prevention and immune health, but they don’t indicate any function for exercise performance.

Therefore, it appears to be a potentially beneficial ingredient for overall health, even if it doesn’t directly improve NO production or exercise performance. While we wouldn’t necessarily consider it an NO-boosting ingredient, it does appear to have some genuine health benefits associated with it.

man drinks supplement shake

How to Find the Best Nitric Oxide Supplements?

There are several factors that go into making an NO supplement effective. These include L-Citrulline content, additional ergogenic ingredients, taste, and value for money. Note that we won’t be mentioning arginine here, because as we’ve already covered, it likely isn’t the best choice for boosting NO in search of ergogenic effects.

1. L-Citrulline Content

Based on everything we’ve covered so far, it should be clear that the main factor to consider when looking for a nitric oxide supplement is its L-Citrulline content. This is because it is the most scientifically-backed and proven nitric oxide boosting ingredient in terms of measurable ergogenic effects. We recommend prioritizing L-Citrulline content when looking for a high-quality nitric oxide formula.

You may still be wondering how much L-Citrulline is enough to produce meaningful results. The study we’ve been using on L-Citrulline showed its results from 8g of citrulline malate (equivalent to roughly 5.33g of pure L-Citrulline).

This means to ensure the best results possible we recommend seeking out a product at a similar dose. However, you should still see similar results at a slightly lower dose, so around 6g of citrulline malate or 4g of l-citrulline is also acceptable.

athlet works our with barbells

2. Additional Ergogenic Ingredients (Betaine, Beta-Alanine, Creatine)

Now, although they aren’t directly related to nitric oxide production, there are a handful of other active ingredients you should keep an eye out for when deciding on a nitric oxide supplement. These 3 ingredients are betaine, beta-alanine, and creatine.

The reason we’re specifically highlighting these ingredients is because they are some of the most research-backed and effective ingredients for producing ergogenic effects. They all have similar, although slightly different effects, which are covered more in-depth below.

Betaine is the most common additional active ingredient found on our list, being included in 4 of the 10 products on our list (Transparent Labs, Huge, Legion, and Jacked Factory Pump Surge). All 4 of the products on our list that contain betaine have effective doses of 1.5-2.5g, with anything over 1.25g being considered effective. Betaine has been shown to increase force production, as well as muscular endurance.

Beta-Alanine is only found in 2 supplements on our list (ProSupps, and Legion). Any significant dose is considered effective, with the supplements on our list containing a solid 3.2-3.6g respectively. Beta-Alanine supplementation increases power output as well as reducing fatigue.

Keep in mind that such doses of beta-alanine can cause side effects such as skin rashes and paresthesia - a tingling sensation on the skin. It's not dangerous, but it can be uncomfortable.

list of ingredients that improve perfomance

Finally, despite Creatine being one of the most widely-used sports supplements available, it’s only found in 1 product on our list, ProSupps. While the standard recommended dose is 3-5g daily, ProSupps only contains 1g per serving. While this amount may still produce some results, for maximal effects, we recommend taking an additional creatine supplement. Creatine is specifically useful for improving high-intensity exercise performance.

Overall, despite not being entirely related to nitric oxide production, these 3 ingredients have all been shown to produce measurable results in terms of athletic performance and recovery, making them beneficial to most athletes.

athlete lifts barbell

3. Taste/Flavor

Although not as relevant as the other 2 factors we just covered, you should absolutely consider taste and flavor before making a decision when buying any kind of supplement. It can be difficult to gauge whether or not a supplement will have an enjoyable taste, so we recommend checking user reviews to determine this. This can also be a good way to check the overall quality of a supplement.

Of course, taste is a matter of personal preference so it may take some trial and error before you find a supplement you truly enjoy the flavor of. You may also prefer a purely unflavored supplement, or capsules instead. It may be worth experimenting with a few different supplements to find a flavor that’s right for you.

4. Value for Money

Finally, one of the other most important factors to consider whenever you buy a supplement is the value you’re getting for your money. This goes beyond simply how much you’re paying for a product, but the overall quality of the supplement you’re getting as well. 

Consider things like ingredients, doses, and price per serving to determine for yourself how much value a certain product has. From here you can compare different products to determine which one will provide you with the most value for your money. By doing this, you can be confident you’re making an informed decision.

protein shake in glass

How to Take Nitric Oxide Supplements?

While nitric oxide is slightly different from pre-workout supplements, mostly because of the difference in caffeine content, they are still taken in a similar manner to pre-workout. You’ll want to take nitric oxide supplements directly before your workout to maximize their ergogenic effects. 

However, you may still be wondering when exactly to take them. To maximize the effects of l-citrulline specifically, we recommend taking nitric oxide supplements about an hour before your workout. This will give the citrulline plenty of time to act on your body so you can reap all the benefits of the ingredient.

Our expert Dina Al-Rubaye wanted to inform and warn you:

“Nitric oxide (NO) supplements enhance blood flow, potentially benefiting athletes for improved performance, individuals with hypertension for blood pressure management, and those with erectile dysfunction. They may also support heart health, cognitive function, diabetes management, and aid recovery after surgery or injury. However, consulting a healthcare professional is essential due to potential side effects, interactions with medications, and the influence of dietary and lifestyle factors on nitric oxide production.”

In terms of how to take nitric oxide supplements, we recommend following the instructions on the package of whatever product you purchase. Typically, you will mix 1 scoop of the supplement with 1-2 glasses of water or a beverage of your choice. 

If you choose an unflavored supplement, you may prefer to mask the potentially unpleasant taste with something like juice. Also, if you choose a capsuled nitric oxide, we also recommend following the instructions on the package.

It’s a good rule of thumb with most supplements to not exceed the recommended serving size. Most supplements are formulated to be effective in their recommended dose, so there shouldn’t be much of a reason to use a higher dose. Use plenty of discretion, and consult with a doctor if you plan on taking multiple servings at a time.

scoop of supplement

How to Increase the Pumping Effect With Training?

Nitric oxide supplements are a great way to boost the pumping effect you experience while training. This is because they stimulate blood flow to your muscles, which leads to stronger and fuller pumps. So, if a great pump is what you’re after, you may be wondering how to get better pumps through training alone.

Before we get into it, it’s worth noting that a huge pump isn’t necessarily a sign that you’re training with proper intensity or technique. Many beginning lifters confuse the feeling of a pump with progress. 

how to get great pump list

Remember that a pump is just blood rushing to the muscles, and this will happen with any repetitive exertion no matter how small. If a pump’s all you’re after, simply flexing the target muscle over and over again will lead to a huge pump – keep in mind that this is still not an effective way to train!

With that being said, there’s nothing wrong with incorporating some pump-focussed lifts into your routine – because, let’s be honest, who doesn’t love the feeling of a great pump? If this is what you’re after, we recommend doing isolation exercises for your target muscle group in high rep ranges of around 12-20.

Think curls for biceps, pushdowns for triceps, and leg extensions for quads. While this likely isn’t an optimal way to put on muscle, the pump you’ll experience after training in this style will be absolutely massive (especially when paired with a great nitric oxide supplement).

woman works out on rowing machine

What You Should Know About the Possible Risks of Nitric Oxide Supplements

While there are some clear benefits to taking nitric oxide supplements, there are a few risks to keep in mind before using nitric oxide.

The main risk associated with nitric oxide supplements related to low blood pressure/hypotension. If someone has low blood pressure, nitric oxide supplements may lead to even lower blood pressure, which may lead to dizziness, fainting, or fatigue. If you’re concerned about your blood pressure, be sure to consult with a doctor before use.

supplement shake in glass of water and bottle of supplement

Other conditions that may be negatively affected by nitric oxide supplements include cardiac issues, kidney disease, herpes, and cardiovascular issues. Overall, be sure to consult with a doctor if you’re concerned about how NO supplements may affect you.

It’s worth noting that doctor’s will also generally recommend avoiding nitric oxide supplements ahead of surgery to avoid any interference with your normal blood pressure. It’s also possible that nitric oxide supplements will interfere with medications.

If you have any pre-existing medical conditions, or are taking any medication, we recommend consulting with a doctor before using nitric oxide (or any performance enhancers) supplements. While they should be well-tolerated in most individuals, exercise caution before using these supplements.

FAQ

Is It Safe to Use Supplements With Nitric Oxide?

While there doesn’t appear to be any major side effects for nitric oxide workout supplements in healthy individuals, arginine specifically may not be safe for those with existing cardiac conditions. With any supplement, we recommend doing thorough research, and consulting with a doctor before use, especially if you have any pre-existing health problems.

What Supplement Increases Nitric Oxide the Most?

The ingredient that appears to have the highest nitric oxide boosting effects is L-Citrulline. For this reason, we decided to highlight this ingredient in the products covered on our list. It’s difficult to say which supplement will boost your nitric oxide the most, but our top pick for the strongest nitric oxide booster is PUMP by Transparent Labs. This is specifically a great choice for its high citrulline content!

What Is the Best Natural Nitric Oxide Booster?

As mentioned above, the best natural ingredient for boosting nitric oxide is l-citrulline. Citrulline is a completely natural amino acid which was first isolated from watermelon! It has been shown to increase nitric oxide which leads to measurable increases in performance and recovery.

Conclusion

If you’re looking for a way to get better pumps and improve your performance in the gym, you may want to try out a nitric oxide boosting supplement! Largely powered by l-citrulline, and backed up by several other key active ingredients, the supplements on our list can give you a powerful boost in the gym. Our top pick for the best nitric oxide booster is PUMP by Transparent Labs, but all the products on our list have their own advantages as well!

We hope you were able to learn something through our nitric oxide supplements review, and that you can use this article as a guide to make an informed decision on which product to buy. Let us know if you decide to try any of the products covered in this article, we’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

Also read:

References:

  1. Adam M Gonzalez "Effects of Citrulline Supplementation on Exercise Performance in Humans: A Review of the Current Literature" J Strength Cond Res. 2020 May;34(5):1480-1495
  2. Claudia Mello Meirelles "Acute Effects of L-Arginine Supplementation on Oxygen Consumption Kinetics" International Journal of Exercise Science" 
  3. Matthew Solovey "Research shows oral supplement increases body's storage of antioxidant" APRIL 22, 2013.
  4. Jenna Mae Apicella "The Effect of Betaine Supplementation on Performance and Muscle Mechanisms" University of Connecticut 2011 1-75.
  5. Marjorie S. Miller "To beet or not to beet? Researchers test theories of beet juice benefits" JANUARY 19, 2015
  6. Tom Clifford "The Potential Benefits of Red Beetroot Supplementation in Health and Disease" Nutrients. 2015 Apr; 7(4): 2801–2822
  7. Dale R "Hyperhydrating with glycerol: Implications for athletic perfomance" Journal of the American dietetic association, February 1999
  8. "The Power of Pomegranate" NewsCenter
  9. Eric T Trexler "International society of sports nutrition position stand: Beta-Alanine" J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2015 Jul 15;12:30.
  10. Richard B Kreider "International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: safety and efficacy of creatine supplementation in exercise, sport, and medicine" J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2017 Jun 13;14:18
  11. MAGI Euregio, Bolzano "Dietary supplements for improving nitric-oxide synthesis" J Prev Med Hyg. 2022 Jun; 63(2 Suppl 3): E239–E245
  12. Gene Bruno "Nitric Oxide Boosters" Smart Supplementation 2009
  13. Joaquín Pérez-Guisado "Citrulline malate enhances athletic anaerobic performance and relieves muscle soreness" J Strength Cond Res. 2010 May;24(5):1215-22
  14. Stephen J Bailey "Acute L-arginine supplementation reduces the O2 cost of moderate-intensity exercise and enhances high-intensity exercise tolerance" J Appl Physiol (1985). 2010 Nov;109(5):1394-403
  15. "3 supplements that may harm your heart" Harvard Health Publishing. January 1, 2021

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With over 20 years in Olympic Weightlifting, our team does its best to provide the audience with ultimate support and meet the needs and requirements of advanced athletes and professional lifters, as well as people who strive to open new opportunities and develop their physical capabilities with us.

All products we select are primarily approved and tested by the Olympic Weightlifting Champion Oleksii Torokhtiy. Under his guidance, we provide honest and reasonable assessments of the products we review by checking their characteristics, packaging, design, comfort and durability features, and general product rating. We select products from only high-quality and trusted sports brands, thus vouching for their quality.

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Oleksandr Maksymenko

Author: Oleksandr Maksymenko
Certified Sports Nutritionist,
MSc Sports Dietetics

Experience: 7 years
Specializing in: Weight management, Fitness / Sports nutrition

Oleksandr is a professional fitness nutritionist certified by the Fitness Professional Association (FPA). He follows the principles of evidence-based dietetics and fosters a healthy relationship with food in his clients, ensuring there are no strict prohibitions on their favorite foods or frequent lapses. His primary goal is not only to achieve results for you but also to sustain them over the long term, all while enjoying tasty and delicious food.

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Jacek Szymanowski

Reviewed by: Jacek Szymanowski

Certified Nutritionist,
M.Sc.Eng. Biotechnology
Performance architect
,
Strength and Conditioning Specialist

Experience: 20 years

With over 30 years of fighting experience, specialization in nutrition coaching for athletes, and expertise in metabolic health and dietary strategies, Jacek offers a comprehensive approach to optimizing your performance and well-being. Backed by a Master of Science degree in Biotechnology, Jacek remains at the forefront of scientific advancements, ensuring that his coaching is always evidence-based and up-to-date.

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