Nitric oxide is a chemical produced by the cells in your body and is known to relax and expand blood vessels. So, what does this mean exactly? Widening blood vessels means that it helps promote blood flow which can offer a wide range of health benefits. Your blood carries oxygen to all parts of your body. By promoting increased circulation and oxygen distribution, energy levels and stamina can be increased, allowing you to work out longer and harder while also supporting your heart function.

The most common natural sources for a nitric oxide boost is beetroot and red spinach. These plants are rich in nitrates. Now nitrates are not nitric oxide, but it is what your body needs to make them. Here’s a quick rundown of how it all works. When you eat nitrate-rich food, such as beets or red spinach, the nitrates interact with enzymes in your mouth. These enzymes react with the nitrates and convert them into something called nitrites. Still not nitric oxide, but we’re one step closer.

Once the nitrites reach the acidic environment of the stomach another reaction occurs transforming the nitrites into the needed nitric oxide and the conversion is complete. The nitric oxide is then absorbed into the body and goes quickly to work.

So, why is it important to know how this all works? Let’s say you are looking for a good nitric oxide supplement, and there are a lot of choices out there. Now that you know this reaction you know that perhaps taking beetroot or red spinach extract in a pill form may not be ideal, because it would bypass a critical step in the transformation process. Look for a supplement that can be poured on to the tongue and allow it to dissolve before swallowing. This way you can ensure a more complete reaction and receive the greatest benefit.

Written by Jake Johnston