Nitric oxide is a deceptively simple molecule that plays a critical role in regulating blood flow in your body. While you can’t consume nitric oxide directly, you can take supplements that increase its production inside your body.
Supplements that increase your nitric oxide levels can help improve your exercise performance, increase your strength, and even fight erectile dysfunction while boosting sexual performance.
If this is what you are looking for, check out our rankings of the best nitric oxide boosting supplements on the market.
Last updated: January 11, 2023
Nitric oxide supplements considered: 28
Hours of research: 45
Experts reviewed: 10
Scientific papers referenced: 17
1. Zhou Nutrition NO Pro
The blend of supplements from Zhou Nutrition in NO Pro takes advantage of the nitric oxide boosting properties of L-arginine, L-arginine alpha-ketoglutarate, and L-citrulline alongside beet root powder, which is a fairly newly discovered but highly effective nitric oxide booster.
It’s the presence of this final ingredient that pushes NO Pro to the top of the stack. It’s one of the best in both amino acid based and plant extract based nitric oxide production. Plus, with its vegetable cellulose capsule, even hardcore vegans will love it.
2. Jacked Factory N.O. XT
Jacked Factory N.O. XT is mainly centered around the amino acid L-citrulline. Present at a whopping 1.5 grams per serving, this is definitely the key ingredient in this supplement.
You’ll also find a proprietary arginine compound called Nitrosigine and L-glutathione, as well as Bioperine, a proprietary black pepper extract.
The inclusion of Bioperine is typically done to boost absorption of certain biologically active compounds, which further underscores N.O. XT’s reliance on a heavy dose of amino acids for its nitric oxide boosting properties. If this is the angle you want to take, it’s a pretty good product.
3. Evlution Nutrition Pump Mode
Unlike most nitric oxide supplements, Evlution Nutrition Pump Mode comes in a powder form in a tub. You can mix it in with your pre-workout shake or just drink it in a glass of water.
The focus of this supplement is not just nitric oxide levels; it also includes glycerol to increase water retention and improve your “pump,” or feeling of muscle fullness after lifting. Pump Mode ditches the amino acids entirely, going instead for betaine nitrate, a relative newcomer to nitric oxide boosting supplements.
As with many of its other products, Evlution is on the cutting edge of supplement development. If you are willing to take a risk, it might be just what you need. People looking for a more established and reliable nitric oxide booster might want to look elsewhere, though.
4. Cellucor NO3 Chrome
Cellucor’s nitric oxide booster is mostly amino-acid based, but it includes a few curious ingredients you won’t find in most other supplements.
It’s got vitamin C and grape seed extract, which aren’t as clearly connected with higher nitric oxide levels as the other ingredients, but the company claims these are related to higher levels of antioxidants.
5. SilverOnyx Nitric Oxide
SilverOnyx Nitric Oxide is designed for athletes: it uses a blend of two forms each of arginine and citrulline to boost nitric oxide performance, while providing beta alanine for more anaerobic power during intense gym sessions. The dosage isn’t quite up to some of its competitors, which lands it further down in the rankings.
6. PrimeLife Research Prime Flow
PrimeLife is a capsule-based nitric oxide supplement that’s more targeted at overall wellness and heart health, rather than athletic performance.
It uses boot root powder, potassium, watermelon seed powder, and hawthorn leaf extract in combination to improve circulation and heart health. While it’s a more niche application, it’s nevertheless useful for some people.
7. Snap Nitric Oxide Booster
Snap Nitric Oxide Booster is very popular, and includes several high-quality ingredients that are known to boost nitric oxide levels. So why is it so low in our rankings?
All of these ingredients are wrapped up in a proprietary blend that makes it hard to compare the contents with other supplements and hard to know if you’re getting what you need to boost nitric oxide levels optimally.
8. Jacked Factory Nitro Surge
Nitro Surge exists solidly in the pre-workout camp: it has a high dose of nitric oxide-boosting agents, such as L-citrulline, but also includes other workout enhancers like caffeine, betaine, and beta-alanine.
Because it’s designed for just one purpose (workout performance), it isn’t nearly as versatile as many of the other nitric oxide supplements out there.
9. Toniq Fuel Nitric Oxide Precursor
Fuel makes a 1:1 blend of highly purified L-arginine and L-citrulline that’s a solid supplement if you are looking for a powder-based nitric oxide booster.
The two main downsides are the lack of the powerful nitric oxide boosters in beets, and a slightly bloated ingredients list with a bit more binders and stabilizers than we’d prefer. Still, if you don’t mind these shortcomings, it’s a good option.
10. Force Factor Volcano Nitric Oxide Booster
Force Factor’s Volcano Nitric Oxide Booster r is a powerful nitric oxide supplement based around L-Citrulline, a natural nitric oxide booster. It improves blood flow, promotes strength, builds endurance, and increases recovery time.
Along with L-Citrulline, this supplement uses vitamin B6 in conjunction with their proprietary Nitric Oxide Muscle Matrix blend.
Good product but the blend does not give you the same pure nitric oxide as some others on this list.
Best nitric oxide supplement overall: Zhou Nutrition NO Pro
Zhou nutrition makes a great multi-ingredient nitric oxide booster based on multiple forms of L-arginine and other amino acids. It’s a fantastic all-natural and all-purpose supplement for raising your nitric oxide levels.
Best nitric oxide supplement for endurance: Zhou Nutrition NO Pro
For endurance athletes, beet root extract is a critical component of improving aerobic performance via higher nitric oxide levels. Zhou Nutrition provides a high dose of beet extract alongside other nitric oxide boosters, making it the perfect choice for runners, cyclists, and other endurance athletes.
Best nitric oxide supplement for sexual performance: Jacked Factory N.O XT
Jacked Factory provides L-arginine alongside L-citrulline and L-glutathione, to boost blood flow and energy levels for optimal sexual performance and libido levels. This three-pronged approach is the best option if you’re looking for better performance in the bedroom.
Best nitric oxide supplement for strength training: Evlution Nutrition Pump Mode
If raw strength is your focus, go for Evlution. Its arginine-focused formulation is a great solution for enhancing blood flow to muscles during intense lifting sessions, as well as for boosting muscle synthesis after a gym session.
Best nitric oxide for heart health: Zhou Nutrition NO Pro
If you want a good shot at better control of your blood lipids, blood pressure, and metabolism, Zhou Nutrition offers a broad-spectrum approach to boosting nitric oxide with beet root, L-arginine, and L-citrulline, among others, to increase your body’s endogenous production of nitric oxide.
Best nitric oxide for bodybuilding: Evlution Nutrition Pump Mode
To build muscle mass and muscle definition at the same time, Evlution Nutrition Pump Mode includes nitric oxide boosters and glycerol to enhance your post-workout pump. For strength and aesthetics, Evlution is the way to go.
Who should buy a nitric oxide supplement?
Nitric oxide supplements serve three primary functions, and are of interest to three main groups.
Athletes who want to boost endurance and strength. The first is as an exercise performance enhancer—both endurance performance and resistance exercise seem to be related to nitric oxide levels in your muscles. Nitric oxide helps increase blood flow, which leads to an increase in oxygen efficiency.
While the evidence supporting endurance exercise is stronger than the evidence supporting resistance exercise, there are still physiological reasons to believe that nitric oxide will improve your weight lifting performance as well. Because of these, you’ll find nitric oxide-boosting ingredients in many pre-workout supplements.
Men who want to improve their erectile function. Nitric oxide’s ability to increase blood flow means that it plays a critical role in male sexual function.
Though erectile dysfunction may seem far afield of the task of improving cycling or lifting performance, the biological mechanisms are actually closely connected: erectile function is a matter of blood flow, and since nitric oxide acts as a vasodilator, it can boost erectile function.
Clinical evidence suggests that up to one in three men with erectile dysfunction could benefit from a nitric oxide supplement, and it’s no surprise that nitrate-boosting ingredients like citrulline and L-arginine show up all the time in male enhancement pills and testosterone boosters.
People who want to lower certain risk factors for heart disease. The vasodilating properties of nitric oxide supplements have also been investigated for their ability to lower cardiovascular disease risk.
As with the other two applications of nitric oxide, blood flow is at the core of this application too: vasodilation means lower blood pressure, which could reduce heart disease risk.
How we ranked
Nitric oxide supplements are a pretty broad category, and many individual ingredients, like citrulline or arginine, can plausibly function on their own to boost nitric oxide levels. So, we formulated a set of comprehensive and holistic criteria to rate nitric oxide supplements:
Focused on raising nitric oxide levels. We required the supplements that made our list to be explicitly focused on boosting nitric oxide levels, and had to use multiple different supplemental ingredients to accomplish their goal.
At least two proven NO boosters in the ingredients. If a nitric oxide supplement didn’t include at least two different supplemental compounds with scientific evidence supporting a nitrate-boosting effect, like beet root powder, citrulline, L-arginine, we dropped it from our rankings.
Careful and effective dosages of key ingredients. We also checked to see if the ingredients were delivered at an appropriate dosage, in keeping with what’s been used in the scientific literature.
Many supplements didn’t make the cut here, either because they didn’t deliver an adequate dosage, or because their ingredient dosages were obscured in a proprietary blend, making it nearly impossible to assess how effective the supplement would be.
Light on binders, stabilizers, and fillers. In keeping with our overall philosophy on supplement design, we rewarded products that used a clean, simplistic ingredient design, without binders, fillers, or coloring agents. Cellulose capsules also got a few extra points too.
Cutting-edge formulations. Finally, we kept an eye out for products which were on the cutting edge when it comes to new and innovative ways to increase nitric oxide levels.
Jacked Factory N.O XT, with several traditional sources of nitric oxide boosters plus the Nitrosigine, is one example of a supplement that scored highly because of its innovation.
Zhou Nutrition NO Pro is another, which demonstrated its nutritional prowess by including two separate forms of L-arginine, plus beet root powder for excellent nitrate boosting properties.
Q: Do nitric oxide supplements work for ED (erectile dysfunction)?
A: Not every case of erectile dysfunction can be treated with nitric oxide, but research does suggest that up to one in three men with erectile problems might benefit from a supplement that boosts nitric oxide.
Because healthy erectile function depends critically on your body’s ability to modulate blood flow, nitric oxide function is essential for men’s sexual health.
As such, increasing nitric oxide levels can enable proper sexual function. However, erectile dysfunction can have many different causes, not all of which are linked to nitric oxide.
So, if a nitric oxide supplement isn’t working for you, definitely talk to your doctor about other options—a completely separate biological pathway may well be contributing to your problem with ED.
Q: What is nitric oxide?
A: Technically speaking, nitric oxide is just a super-simple molecule that’s made out of a nitrogen atom bonded to an oxygen atom. Its role inside your body, though, is far more interesting. Nitric oxide functions as a key part of critical cellular signaling pathways that
Q: How can you increase nitric oxide without L-arginine?
A: Citrulline is another amino acid that is closely linked to nitric oxide production inside your body.
Supplementation with citrulline or a citrulline-based nitric oxide supplement has been shown to be effective at increasing your body’s nitric oxide levels.
Another potential solution is powdered or juiced beets.
Beets are rich in nitrates, and several studies have found that beet root powder or beet juice can increase nitric oxide levels substantially, leading to improvements in athletic performance, better sexual function, and improve risk factors for heart disease.
Some nitric oxide supplements also use herbal extracts like pine bark extract to nitric oxide without L-arginine, but these ingredients are less well-researched than citrulline and beet extract or beet juice.
Q: What is nitric oxide used for?
A: Nitric oxide has three primary applications as a supplement:
Boosting athletic performance. By increasing blood flow to your muscles, the oxygenation of your muscular tissue increases when your nitric oxide levels are higher.
As a result, endurance and strength performance increases, though the increases in endurance performance are more reliable than the increase in strength performance.
Better sexual function for men. The increases in blood flow that are connected to increased nitric oxide can also be linked to better sexual function.
Up to one in three men with erectile dysfunction might be able to benefit from a nitric oxide boosting supplement, which suggests that low production of nitric oxide plays a major role in many forms of sexual dysfunction in men.
Reducing heart disease risk factors. Finally, the vasodilating properties of nitric oxide might be a useful way to reduce risk factors for heart disease, such as high blood pressure. While the scientific evidence for this last use of nitric oxide is still emerging, a few studies have shown substantial promise.
Q: How does nitric oxide create vasodilation?
A: Nitric oxide is generated inside the body and acts on smooth muscle cells, which are the muscles that control the constriction or relaxation of your blood vessels.
When these smooth muscles relax because of the presence of increased levels of nitric oxide, your blood vessels are less constricted.
This leads to decreased blood pressure, because the walls of the blood vessels are not so rigid, and this effect is accompanied by better tissue oxygenation because of the increased ability of red blood cells to deliver oxygen to your tissues.
Both the physical and sexual performance enhancing effects of nitric oxide can be attributed to its ability to trigger smooth muscle relaxation and therefore vasodilation.
The role of supplements in increasing your nitric oxide levels is one of the most exciting frontiers in nutrition research.
Simple sources of nitrate like beetroot and L-arginine could help improve endurance, increase your strength, and fight erectile dysfunction.
For optimal results, you should have a source of nitrates, like beetroot powder, as well as a source of L-arginine and L-citrulline, because these work in parallel through two different mechanisms to generate nitric oxide inside your body.
For BodyNutrition‘s #1 nitric oxide recommendation, click here.