Nitric Oxide Supplement Nonsense.
The Truth About Nitric Oxide Supplements
Oh, yeah! There are plenty of companies capitalizing on the discovery that nitric oxide may improve athletic performance. Okay, that may be true, but supplements just aren't capable of doing this! Arginine alpha ketoglutarate will indeed maintain blood levels of L-arginine, but every study that looked at adding this amino acid to the diet flopped.
Adding arginine can aide in the production of NO, but it doesn't trigger that production, nor does it cause you to make more.
Prescription drugs like Viagra (sildenafil citrate), Cialis (tadalafil), and Levitra all help you produce more NO. They do this in a way that clearly makes them drugs, not supplements.
The only way to augment your production of NO is to inhibit PDE-5 (phosphodiesterase) to augment the production of cGMP (cyclic guanosine monophosphate). Viagra was originally formulated as a blood pressure medicine (because NO is a vasodilator, thus opening blood vessels to deliver more blood). Arginine, nor anything else that can be derived from the diet (which is the FDA's definition of a legal supplement) is capable (at least not that we know of) inhibiting phosphodiesterase. The only substances that we have that really do this have been engineered by pharmaceutical companies..
I'm not saying some of these pre-workout supplements aren't effective, some are. What I am saying is there is absolutely no way that they help you produce NO.
This is something to bear in mind when choosing a supplement. If the claims aren't backed by some science, well, then they're probably bullshit.