The world of mixed martial arts is certainly grueling. Up-and-coming competitors will often be forced to fight multiple bouts each month with little downtime. Training schedules are notoriously strict and diets can be hard to follow. Of course, all of these sacrifices are worth it once an individual steps into the octagon. We should still mention that victory could very well come at a physical price thanks to chronic issues such as soreness, fatigue and an overall lack of motivation.
This is why supplements are playing an increasingly important dietary role in regards to MMA athletes. While we have all heard about substances such as human growth hormone (HGH) and creatine, what about formulations which are intended to increase blood flow to the extremities? These are commonly referred to as vasodilators and nitric oxide is undoubtedly the most common. Might supplementing with nitric oxide be a good idea? Let us take a look at what MMA fighters should consider.
The Basics of Nitric Oxide
First and foremost, nitric oxide is completely natural and therefore, legal within the MMA community. In fact, this substance can be found in foods such as red meat, watermelon and some green leafy vegetables. The main issue is that the concentrations are rather low. This is why supplements are available in pill or powder form.
Nitric oxide is a vasodilator. In other words, it expands blood vessels. The primary intention is to allow more blood (and therefore more nutrients) to flow throughout the body. This is highly beneficial in terms of hardcore training sessions and fights that require an incredible level of endurance. Nitric oxide likewise increases the amount of oxygen that arrives to the brain, so it can be useful in terms of overall mental clarity.
How Should Nitric Oxide be Taken What About Side Effects?
In general, nitric oxide should be taken on an empty stomach approximately 45 minutes before a training session. It is wise to relax immediately after a dose; instead occupying your time with activities such as watching videos, playing online scratch games or performing another low-key activity. Nitric oxide can be taken in pill form although many athletes feel that powders are associated with a higher absorption rate and more noticeable effects.
The good news is that the effects of nitric oxide are not at all dissimilar to having a cup of caffeinated coffee. Athletes may feel slightly flushed or they may notice a slight increase in their heart rate. However, endurance and muscular strength will also increase if taken on a regular basis. Please note that nitric oxide can also be taken by those who are currently weight training, as there are no contraindications with other natural sports supplements.
It is nonetheless wise to speak with a nutritionist or physician before taking any new supplement in order to make certain that it is right for your needs. Thanks to the powerful effects of nitric oxide, the chances are high that it should feature prominently within the MMA community in the coming years.