Effective Nitric Oxide Ingredients That Should Be In Your Pre-Workout

A container of Purus Labs NOxygen

Most likely, your pre-workout contains several nitric oxide-boosting ingredients. That means you’ll experience shirt-ripping pumps, which is one of the primary benefits you want from your pre-workout! What could be better than that? In this article, we will look at the most effective nitric oxide ingredients that should be in your pre-workout. We’ll also look at a pump ingredient you don’t want. You might be surprised!


The Benefits Of Nitric Oxide (N.O.) Boosting Ingredients

Before we do anything, let’s highlight the benefits of the most effective nitric oxide ingredients. 

  • Increased Blood Flow 
  • Enhanced Nutrient Delivery
  • Increased Endurance
  • Removal Of Muscular Waste Products 
  • Protein Synthesis Stimulation

What Is Nitric Oxide?

Let’s define what we’re talking about in this article. Nitric oxide is not a pre-workout ingredient in and of itself. Nitric Oxide is a vasodilator consisting of an atom of nitrogen and an atom of oxygen. It’s naturally produced in the body from the amino acid arginine and nitrate by an enzyme group called Nitric Oxide Synthase. The body uses it for cell signaling, specifically for vascular relaxation.  (1,2)

The History Of Nitric Oxide Ingredients

Next up, some brief history. In the early 2000s, the first nitric oxide-boosting ingredient was introduced. It was a stand-alone product, originally it was not part of a pre-workout. The original product contained only one active ingredient: the amino acid arginine. However, there was one problem: regular L-arginine does not absorb well. Even though the early arginine-based N.O. boosters sold well, it wasn’t long before supplement companies realized what we know today. Namely, arginine by itself didn’t really get the job done. Of course, since then the nitric oxide category has come a long way. Today there are quite a few impressive N.O.-boosting ingredients that you’ll find in the best pre-workouts. 


What Is The Pump?

We all know how it feels to be pumped, and we know how it makes our muscles look. But what exactly is the pump? It is a physiological process that happens when you work out, especially if you’re using higher reps and limited rest time between sets. As you work out, your heart pumps more blood to your working muscles. This causes them to start to swell. While this is happening, you’re continuing to train, so you’re contracting your muscles. This will cause the veins that carry blood away from your working muscles to tighten. 

As more blood continues to be pushed into your muscles, intramuscular blood plasma builds up. Soon, it spills out of the capillaries into the spaces between the muscle cells and blood vessels. This fluid build-up creates extracellular pressure and forces blood back to the muscles. This is the process that causes the swelling known as the pump.

Nutrient & Oxygen Delivery

Another benefit of a good pump is that it increases the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to your working muscles. Then, natural muscular waste products are carried out of your muscles. This is important because it supports in-workout recovery. This means improved performance.

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Look here for pre-workouts: Pre-Workout Supplements – I’ll Pump You Up (illpumpyouup.com)


What Are The Most Effective Nitric Oxide Ingredients?


One of the most effective N.O. boosters, L-citrulline is an amino acid. It converts into arginine once it’s in the body. The primary advantage of citrulline is that it absorbs better than arginine does. It also stimulates nitric oxide production better than arginine. It’s quite an irony: citrulline is better at functioning like arginine than arginine itself.

Citrulline Or Citrulline Malate?

Many pre-workouts use citrulline malate over pure citrulline. Of course, the question becomes: which one is better? For starters, citrulline malate adds malic acid, which has a role in the body’s production of ATP. Of course, ATP is the energy source your muscles use when you train. That’s great, except for the fact that anyone looking for good nitric oxide boosters in their pre-workout wants a better pump, not more of some other benefit. 


Not to mention, there are other things you can do for maximum muscular energy. For example, eating the right combination of simple and complex carbs in the hours around your workouts sets you up for maximum glycogen storage. This becomes the ATP you need when you train. 


When it comes to the pump, citrulline malate gives you 50% citrulline and 50% malic acid. So, if your pre-workout provides 6 grams of citrulline malate, you’re only getting 3g of pure citrulline. To put that in perspective, the best pre-workouts contain up to 10-11 grams of pure citrulline. Which would you rather have? (3, 4)

Nitrosigine® (Arginine Silicate Inositol) 

The best pre-workouts use patented ingredients, and that includes nitric oxide-boosting ingredients. Nitrosigine is one of these. It’s a patented complex of arginine, potassium silicate, and inositol. What does it do? For starters, it extends the pump for a full 6 hours! It also works within 30 minutes, even the first time you use it. How’s that for benefits? Nitrosigine has 30 studies backing it up. So what else does it do? It improves cognitive function, increases performance, and supports cardiovascular health. (5, 6)


S7 is another branded pump ingredient. It’s a complex consisting of the following compounds: green coffee bean extract, green tea extract, turmeric, tart cherry, blueberry, broccoli, and kale. In this case, it works by increasing the body’s own natural ability to produce nitric oxide. Plus, it doesn’t take a high dose to get the job done. (7)


First off, what exactly are nitrates? They are a natural compound found in food such as beets, lettuce, and spinach. They are a precursor to nitric oxide and, once in the body, convert into nitric oxide. (8)


Here’s a look at two nitrate-based ingredients. 

Beet Root

Beets are high in nitrates, which are potent vasodilators. This means more blood flow for great pumps! Nitrates also enhance endurance by lowering the body’s need for oxygen while working out. This means more efficient use of energy. Finally, nitrates support cardiovascular health by helping maintain normal blood pressure. (9, 10, 11)

N03-T™ Arginine Nitrate

Here’s another patented ingredient, in this case, arginine bound to a nitrate. We’ve already seen what nitrates are and that beet is a good source. This ingredient is highly rated as one of the stronger nitrate ingredients on the market. Finally, if your pre-workout contains a nitrate ingredient, it should also contain vitamin C. Why? Vitamin C supports the effects of nitrates by improving tolerance of them. 


Here’s the final patented ingredient we will look at in this article. VasoDrive-AP increases nitric oxide production. It also helps ease muscle soreness, lower blood pressure, and support heart health. The thing that sets this compound apart is that it’s derived from casein protein. Yep, that’s right. Of course, when we think of casein, we think of slow-digesting protein. Who knew it would also contain a compound that pushes better pumps? (12)

Agmatine Sulfate

Agmatine is created naturally in the body from arginine. It’s synthesized in the brain and stored in neurotransmitter vesicles in neurons. It has both pump and cognitive benefits. Agmatine converts from arginine through a process called decarboxylation (the extraction of carboxylic acid from arginine). Plus, agmatine is also produced in small amounts by the mitochondria. 

Agmatine extends nitric oxide synthase production by enhancing the effects of an enzyme, called eNOS, that signals vasodilation. (13)


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Look here for our pre-workouts: Pre-Workout Supplements – I’ll Pump You Up (illpumpyouup.com)

The Pre-Workouts We Suggest

Here are just a few of the pre-workouts that feature effective nitric oxide ingredients. 

Purus Labs Noxygen – the most effective pump additive for pre-workouts. See it here: Purus Labs Noxygen (illpumpyouup.com)


NutraBio Pre Extreme is one of the best pre-workouts on the market. See it here: NutraBio PRE Extreme – The Most Complete Pre-Workout Available (illpumpyouup.com)


Jym Supplement Science Pre Jym X Extreme – Here’s an impressive new brand. Get it here: JYM Supplement Science Pre JYM X Extreme Pre-Workout (illpumpyouup.com)


Here’s the classic Pre Jym Pre-Workout: JYM Supplement Science Pre JYM High-Performance Pre-Workout (illpumpyouup.com)


Of course, 5% Nutrition has one of the best stim-free pump-boosting pre-workouts available: 5% Nutrition Full As F*ck – I’ll Pump You Up (illpumpyouup.com)


This has been a fairly extensive look at the most effective nitric oxide ingredients that should be in your pre-workout. For the best possible pumps, you should also look for cell volumizers in your pre-workout. These are ingredients that pull water into the muscles for water-based pumps, such as creatine, betaine, glycerol, and taurine. The combination of both kinds of pumps will inflate your muscles to unbelievable proportions. The main thing you need to remember is if your pre-workout is counting on regular l-arginine for the pump, don’t waste your time! You can get the best pre-workouts right here – stock up while you’re at it!



  1. nitric oxide (CHEBI:16480)
  2. Nitric Oxide Supplements — Research on Benefits, Side Effects, and Interactions | Examine.com
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citrulline
  4. Wijnands, K., Vink, H., Briedé, J., Van Faassen, E., Lamers, W., Buurman, W., & Poeze, M. (2012). Citrulline a more suitable substrate than arginine to restore NO production and the microcirculation during endotoxemia. Retrieved July 04, 2020, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3362574/
  5. https://nitrosigine.com/about/
  6. Komorowski J, et al. A Pharmacokinetic Evaluation of the Duration of Effect of Inositol-Stabilized Arginine Silicate and Arginine Hydrochloride in Healthy Adult Males. The FASEB Journal. 2016 April 1;30(1): Supplement 690.17.
  7. S7 – Increase NO Production | FutureCeuticals
  8. What Are Nitrates? – Definition, Foods & Side Effects – Video & Lesson Transcript | Study.com
  9. Kukovetz, W. R., Holzmann, S., & Romanin, C. (1987). Mechanism of vasodilation by nitrates: role of cyclic GMP. Cardiology, 74 Suppl 1, 12–19. https://doi.org/10.1159/000174258
  10. Larsen, F. J., Weitzberg, E., Lundberg, J. O., & Ekblom, B. (2007). Effects of dietary nitrate on oxygen cost during exercise. Acta physiologica (Oxford, England), 191(1), 59–66. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1748-1716.2007.01713.x
  11. Coles, L. T., & Clifton, P. M. (2012). Effect of beetroot juice on lowering blood pressure in free-living, disease-free adults: a randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Nutrition journal, 11, 106. https://doi.org/10.1186/1475-2891-11-106
  12. VasoDrive-AP-Clinical-Evidence.pdf (moreplatesmoredates.com)
  13. Reis, D. J., & Regunathan, S. (2000). Is agmatine a novel neurotransmitter in brain? Trends in pharmacological sciences, 21(5), 187–193. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0165-6147(00)01460-7


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