Unlock Exercise Potential with Flavanols and Nitric Oxide

Are you looking to take your exercise performance to the next level? Whether you’re a seasoned athlete or just starting your fitness journey, understanding the role nitric oxide (NO) in supporting exercise performance could be the missing piece to your puzzle. And, of course, cocoa flavanols are perhaps the most effective (and tastiest!) way to boost NO. Let’s dive in!

The Nitric Oxide Boost: What is it?

Nitric oxide is a gas produced naturally in the body, acting as a vasodilator. This means NO relaxes the inner muscles of blood vessels, causing them to widen and increase blood flow. This vasodilation plays a crucial role in various physiological functions, including regulating blood pressure, promoting blood flow to both muscles and the brain, supporting overall cardiovascular health and even enhancing sexual function (men & women).

Nitric Oxide and Exercise Performance

During exercise, your muscles demand more oxygen and nutrients to sustain increased activity. Nitric oxide helps to optimize this process by dilating blood vessels, allowing for more efficient oxygen and nutrient delivery to working muscles. This supports increased endurance and reduced fatigue during exercise as well as muscle repair and recovery after a workout. Whether you’re hitting the weights, pounding the pavement, or engaging in high-intensity interval training (HIIT), having optimal levels of NO can significantly impact your exercise performance.

How to Naturally Boost Nitric Oxide Levels

Unfortunately, NO production begins to fall off in our mid-20s, dropping about 50% by age 40. But no worries — at any age, maintaining healthy NO levels is well within your reach! These lifestyle factors and dietary choices are proven to support NO synthesis:

1.  Consume Cocoa Flavanols: Cocoa flavanols are potent nitric oxide boosters, supercharging the body’s ability to make NO and enhance vasodilation. Studies show that 500-900mg of flavanols daily increase vasodilation by over 35%!

2.  Exercise: Physical exercise is a powerful stimulator of NO production by our endothelial cells. This is one reason why exercise is so clearly correlated with wellness and longevity.

3.  Eat Foods High in Nitrates: When we eat green leafy vegetables, beets, celery, etc., our bodies convert nitrates to nitrites, and then to NO.

4.  Use Less Mouthwash: Surprised? This one caught us by surprise too! But most antiseptic mouthwashes destroy the good bacteria in our mouths needed to convert nitrates into nitrites. This blocks this second pathway to creating NO.

5.  Enjoy Some Sunshine: Similar to vitamin D, our nitric oxide levels increase when we spend more time in the sun. One large UK study showed that NO levels drop by a third in the winter relative to the summer.

Final Thoughts

Nitric oxide is a potent molecule with far-reaching effects on exercise performance and overall health. By supporting improved blood flow, nutrient delivery, and energy efficiency, optimizing NO levels can help you unlock your full potential in the gym and beyond.