Nitrous Oxide (NO) has become very popular in recent years with the weight lifting and body building communities. These communities credit Nitrous Oxide with increased fast-twitch muscle fiber strength, increased endurance, enhanced blood flow, and quicker recovery time. Nitrous Oxide has also been credited with providing an extended pump. The ‘pump’ is the sensation reported by body builders of a constant tightness and strength of the muscles. Some individuals describe it as a feeling that the muscles will tear right through the skin.
Nitrous Oxide is a naturally forming gas within your body. NO is produced by numerous cells in the body and has a half-life of 2-4 seconds. Deficiencies of NO will cause adverse vascular problems such as hypertension, obesity, diabetes, heart failure, and atherosclerosis. Nitrous Oxide does in fact govern blood pressure, maintains muscle tone of blood vessels, aids in fighting infections in the body, transmits messages between nerve cells, and has an association with learning, memory, sleeping, and pain.
Because Nitrous Oxide increases blood flow, weight lifters/body builders took an active interest in it. The increased blood flow ensures muscles receive the nutrients they need to perform and to increase in size. The release of adrenaline into the body is another effect of NO that is of interest to weight lifters. Both reactions to NO described above can increase, and possibly expedite, results from weight lifting. Nitrous Oxide can also speed recovery time because it acts as an anti-inflammatory. This decreases pain and allows the muscles to work.
The benefits of Nitrous Oxide are numerous. Research continues on this naturally occurring gas. It is important that you do not ingest too much NO because it will cause diarrhea and nausea. A supplement containing Arginine can help your body process NO more efficiently. NO also helps process Creatine more effectively. If you have any concerns with the recommended dosage, you can speak with your doctor to determine the amount appropriate for you.