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Here is how Nitric Oxide Supplements and Nitric Oxide gene influence exercise performance

Image credits: www.bretcontreras.com

Increasing nitric oxide (NO) has become the new secret weapon for athletes and bodybuilders. It is used as the primary ingredient in various dietary supplements to support the flow of blood and oxygen to the skeletal muscle and also use them to facilitate the removal of exercise-induced lactic acid buildup which reduces fatigue and recovery time.

Whilst exercise and diet can impact your Nitric Oxide levels, your genes also play a role. Specifically, your NOS3 gene can suggest whether you should be supplementing your diet with Nitric Oxide boosting foods and supplements. Or whether you have a natural advantage in terms of Nitric Oxide levels produced by your body, hence giving you a power based training advantage.

Simple ways to increase your nitric oxide:

  1. The most common way to increase nitric oxide is through exercise. As 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,a process known as Vasodilation.
  2. Another way is through diet, by including foods rich in arginine, citrulline, folic acid, nitrates and nitrites that help stimulate Nitric Oxide production. Arginine can be found in nuts, fruits, meats and dairy, and it produces citrulline inside the body. Citrulline is recycled back into arginine by certain enzymes, producing even more nitric oxide. Foods containing antioxidants such as garlic, soy, vitamin C, E and Co-Q10 and alpha lipoic acid help in the normal functioning of the enzymes needed for the conversion and thus help to produce more nitric oxide. Beets, greens, kale, legumes are some of the foods containing folic acid.
  3. Your genes may also impact your NO levels. If you carry certain type of NOS3 gene, you may have higher natural levels of NO, which may in turn result in increased testosterone and growth hormone, beneficial for power based activities.
  4. Losing weight will help improve your nitric oxide levels.
  5. Getting adequate sunlight may also trigger the skin to produce more nitric oxide.
Other factors such as aging, sedentary lifestyle, smoking, high cholesterol, fatty diets, and lack of healthy foods may result in nitric oxide deficiency. Thus, increasing your nitric oxide levels can help increase your energy, vitality and overall wellness.

Genetics and NOS3 gene

The NOS3 gene produces the Nitric Acid Synthase 3 enzyme, which facilitates the production of nitric oxide (NO). The type of NOS3 gene that you carry influences the production levels of NO. Increased enzyme activity may result in higher production levels of NO. Although the NOS3 gene has been associated with athletic endurance performance and elite power athletic status, research into the NOS3 gene has shown that the one version of this gene has been found at a higher frequency in Polish power based athletes. Studies into Spanish power athletes also showed similar results.

Discover your genes and align your training with your genetic type. Try Xcode’s fitness genetics test which can tell you what versions of the genes are in your DNA.Write to us at info@xcode.in

Janani Thiru
Janani Thiru
Janani is a Nutrigenetic Counselor at Xcode, Freelance Writer, Food Scientist and Nutritionist by academics. She received the prestigious Erasmus Mundus Award by the European Commission for her post graduate program in Food Science and Technology in 2010. She worked with Food & Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations in Rome and Cambodia previously. Her latest project is an e-book of nutrigenetics she is compiling that will be published next year.