Best Nitric Oxide Supplements For Citrulline, Pre-Workout, and More

Discover which nitric oxide product could best suit your supplement regimen.

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Produced by our body’s cells, nitric oxide (NO) plays a big role in blood vessel health. NO naturally widens blood vessels to increase blood flow and simultaneously decrease blood pressure (1). It’s important to understand that supplements that claim to boost NO don’t actually contain NO; rather, they are made of other compounds that amp up the body’s production of NO, most commonly l-arginine and l-citrulline. Many brands also use beetroots in their complexes, a popular ingredient in pre-workouts

While more research is needed to determine the efficacy of increased NO levels on athletic performance, there is some evidence that suggests it may aid in high intensity interval training (HIIT) and prolonged aerobic activity (2)(3). Additionally, some athletes use it because they feel it gives them a bigger “pump” and vascularity while working out.

It is wise to consult with a medical professional before starting on any supplement claiming it can boost NO. For those who are eager to give it a try, we rounded up some of the best nitric oxide powders and pills based on ingredients, dosage amounts, and the latest research.

The Best Nitric Oxide Supplements

Editor’s note: The content on BarBend is meant to be informative in nature, but it should not be taken as medical advice. The opinions and articles on this site are not intended for use as diagnosis, prevention, and/or treatment of health problems. It’s always a good idea to talk to your doctor before beginning a new fitness, nutritional, and/or supplement routine. Individual needs for vitamins and minerals will vary.

Best Nitric Oxide Supplements Video Review

Check out our video review of the best nitric oxide supplements for a more in-depth look at our favorite products.  

Best Nitric Oxide Overall

As with all nitric oxide supplements, this supplement does not contain nitric oxide itself, but rather, it contains four ingredients that may help your body produce, absorb, and use nitric oxide properly without compromising efficacy or performance. 

Jacked Factory N.O. XT Nitric Oxide 

Each three capsule serving of Jacked Factory N.O. XT Nitric Oxide Boosting Agent contains one-and-a-half grams of l-citrulline, 500 milligrams of a proprietary arginine compound, 200 milligrams of glutathione, and an antioxidant — all of which are helpful when it comes to producing nitric oxide in the body. In addition, there are five milligrams of Bioperine, a black pepper extract that may aid in the absorption of these ingredients. It is made with veggie capsules and produced in a facility that meets all manufacturing industry standards.

Jacked Factory N.O. XT Nitric Oxide Boosting Agent
Jacked Factory N.O. XT Nitric Oxide Boosting Agent
Jacked Factory N.O. XT Nitric Oxide Boosting Agent

Anchored by a strong dose of 1.5g l-citrulline, N.O. XT Nitric Oxide Boosting Agent may be a solid option for those looking to raise their nitric oxide levels before training sessions. N.O. also uses a bit of BioPerine black pepper extract, intended to improve the bioavailability of the other ingredients. 

Who Should Buy Jacked Factory N.O. XT Nitric Oxide Boosting Agent

  • Vegans may appreciate that these capsules are made from vegetables.
  • Anyone in search of an all-natural product — this product contains no artificial fillers, dyes, or preservatives.
  • People looking for a supplement that includes glutathione, a key antioxidant. 

Who Shouldn’t Buy Jacked Factory N.O. XT Nitric Oxide Boosting Agent

  • Folks with a black pepper allergy — this product contains Bioperine, which is a black pepper extract.
  • Anyone targeting a higher dose of arginine — there are products with higher doses of this supplement out there. 

Although there are no artificial fillers, dyes, or preservatives, the addition of black pepper extract may be contentious with anyone who has an allergy to it. All-in-all, this supplement has a strong enough mix of amino acids and meets dietary requirements to potentially boost nitric oxide production, which propels N.O. Nitric Oxide Boosting Agent to the top of our list.

[Related: The Best Types Of Supplements For Performance, Weight Loss, and Health]

Best Nitric Oxide For Citrulline

Citrulline is a non-essential amino acid that doesn’t play a role in building protein. Rather, it’s necessary for helping your body rid itself of harmful toxins. In regards to performance, this is the ingredient that widens the blood vessels to improve blood flow. 

Transparent Labs Raw Series Fermented L-Citrulline

Transparent Labs Raw Series Fermented L-Citrulline contains 2,000mg of fermented L-citrulline. Citrulline can play a key role in the urea cycle and the creation of nitric oxide in the body. This product contains no artificial colorings, sweeteners or preservatives, and is both gluten-free and non-GMO. Since this product contains only citrulline, it’s easy to stack with other pre-workout and post-workout products for a complete regimen. And as far as price goes, this is one of the least expensive options on this list.

Transparent Labs Raw Series L-Citrulline
Transparent Labs Raw Series L-Citrulline
Transparent Labs Raw Series L-Citrulline

2000mg of pure L-Citrulline per serving. That's what this Raw Series product from Transparent Labs offers. The simplicity of this product is what makes it so appealing and easy to add into your supplement regimen.

Who Should Buy Transparent Labs Raw Series Fermented L-Citrulline

  • Athletes who want a citrulline supplement to add to their pre- or post-workout routine.
  • Those who are concerned about artificial ingredients will appreciate that this product doesn’t contain any.
  • Buyers on a budget will like this supplement’s affordable price tag. 

Who Shouldn’t Buy Transparent Labs Raw Series Fermented L-Citrulline

  • People who prefer a more dedicated nitric oxide supplement.
  • If you want a product with additional nitric oxide boosting ingredients, you’ll want to look for a more robust ingredient list — this product only contains fermented l-citrulline.

L-citrulline is known to increase blood flow, which is why many athletes take it to enhance their pumps. It is also linked to a boost in nitric oxide and a widening of blood vessels, so this is a great addition to your supplement regimen for that purpose — especially for those who already have an interest in taking a citrulline supplement.

Best Pre-Workout With Nitric Oxide 

If you’re a proponent of taking nitric oxide pre-workout, some pre-workout supplements offer a formula specifically designed for pumps

Kaged Muscle Pre-KAGED

Kaged Muscle’s pre-workout offers six and a half grams of l-citrulline, which is what widens the blood vessels for greater pumps, along with a host of other popular pre-workout ingredients. Pre-KAGED also offers 274 milligrams of caffeine, coconut water powder for hydration, and amino acids to kickstart the muscle recovery process. It’s definitely more expensive due to all the extras, but you’re also getting a lot more for your money.

Kaged Muscle Pre-Kaged
Kaged Muscle Pre-Kaged
Kaged Muscle Pre-Kaged

A tasty pre-workout jam-packed with niacin and many other ingredients linked to power, blood flow, endurance, muscle pump, and focus, as well as antioxidants. 

Who Should Buy Kaged Muscle Pre-KAGED

  • Folks who want a pre-workout with pump-inducing properties. This product contains l-citrulline.
  • Anyone who needs a jolt of energy before a workout; the 274mg of caffeine in this product can help provide this. 
  • Athletes who want extra hydration for intense training sessions — the coconut water powder in this product is there for this purpose. 

Who Shouldn’t Buy Kaged Muscle Pre-KAGED

  • People who just want to buy a nitric oxide-focused product should look for a product without all the extras.
  • Anyone who is caffeine sensitive. This has more than two cups of coffee worth of caffeine. 

This isn’t a pure nitric oxide supplement, but this pre-workout offers a complete formula that may help with hydration, focus, strength, recovery, and, of course, muscle pumps.

[Related: Study: Fruits And Vegetables May Help Switch Off Genes Responsible For Obesity]

Best Nitric Oxide For Vascularity

If you’re pumping hard and looking for the vascular signs that your body fat may also be decreasing, nitric oxide may be able to help. 

Jacked Factory N.O. XT Nitric Oxide

This nitric oxide boosting agent contains 1.5g of l-citrulline that may help widen blood vessels and boost nitric oxide production for more endurance in the gym. It also contains 500mg of nitrosigine, which may help increase nitric oxide in the body and dilate the blood vessels in the process — this can lead to stronger pumps, as well as more visible vascularity. Its 5mg of bioperine (black pepper fruit extract) can potentially help your body absorb these ingredients even better. You can buy this product in 90-count bottles, but you do need to take three capsules for the full dose before your workout.

Jacked Factory N.O. XT Nitric Oxide Boosting Agent
Jacked Factory N.O. XT Nitric Oxide Boosting Agent
Jacked Factory N.O. XT Nitric Oxide Boosting Agent

Anchored by a strong dose of 1.5g l-citrulline, N.O. XT Nitric Oxide Boosting Agent may be a solid option for those looking to raise their nitric oxide levels before training sessions. N.O. also uses a bit of BioPerine black pepper extract, intended to improve the bioavailability of the other ingredients. 

Who Should Buy Jacked Factory N.O. XT Nitric Oxide

  • Athletes who want a solid dose of nitrosigine that may help dilate their blood vessels for more visible vascularity. 
  • Folks who want bioperine included in their supplement to potentially help with absorption.
  • People on a budget. This is a relatively inexpensive nitric oxide supplement.

Who Shouldn’t Buy Jacked Factory N.O. XT Nitric Oxide

  • People who aren’t keen on taking a lot of capsules — you have to take three of these before your workout. 
  • Anybody who has a black pepper allergy should avoid this product because it contains bioperine. 

Nitric oxide supplements can be effective in opening blood vessels, and therefore, increasing vascularity — this pick is one of the best for both. 

Best Nitric Oxide Pills

While some may prefer to get their nitric oxide supplementation from a powder or beet juice, pills are one of the most convenient ways to take this supplement — Jacked Factory offers a solid, yet affordable nitric oxide supplement in pill form. 

Jacked Factory N.O. XT Nitric Oxide

A bottle of pills is easy to grab on your way out the door, throw in your carry-on bag, or even just store in your cabinet for an extended period of time. Jacked Factory N.O. XT Nitric Oxide is one of our favorite NO pill supplements on the market. Each three-capsule dose contains 1.5g of l-citrulline, 500mg of nitrosigine, 200mg of l-glutathione, and 5mg of bioperine.

Each capsule is made of hypromellose, which is a vegetable-based coating, making this a vegan-friendly pill, as well. Since it’s recommended that you take these three capsules 30 to 45 before your workout, having a bottle of capsules you can throw in your gym bag is ultra-convenient. 

Jacked Factory N.O. XT Nitric Oxide Boosting Agent
Jacked Factory N.O. XT Nitric Oxide Boosting Agent
Jacked Factory N.O. XT Nitric Oxide Boosting Agent

Anchored by a strong dose of 1.5g l-citrulline, N.O. XT Nitric Oxide Boosting Agent may be a solid option for those looking to raise their nitric oxide levels before training sessions. N.O. also uses a bit of BioPerine black pepper extract, intended to improve the bioavailability of the other ingredients. 

Who Should Buy Jacked Factory N.O. XT Nitric Oxide

  • Folks who travel a lot or are always on the go and need a bottle of nitric oxide pills they can easily bring with them.
  • Anyone who wants a dose of bioperine in their supplement that may help with absorption. 
  • Buyers on a budget will find this to be a fairly inexpensive nitric oxide supplement. 

Who Shouldn’t Buy Jacked Factory N.O. XT Nitric Oxide

  • People who prefer to get their nitric oxide supplementation from beet juice. 
  • Those with a black pepper allergy — this product does contain bioperine. 
  • Athletes who don’t want to take more than one capsule at a time — you have to take three of these per dose. 

This product is not only a solid dose of nitric oxide-boosting supplements, but its bioperine may also help it absorb better, which is ideal since capsules can be harder for our bodies to digest than liquid supplements. 

Best Nitric Oxide Beetroot Supplement

Since beets are rich in nitrate (which your body can turn into nitric oxide), many people turn to beetroot for nitric oxide supplementation. This product has a solid dose of beetroot powder for this purpose. 

Snap Nitric Oxide Organic Beets

Each serving of Nitric Oxide Organic Beets provides 5,484 milligrams of beetroot powder and zero grams of added sugar. This gluten-free, vegan-friendly product is a great choice for shake mixes and offers nearly half of your daily recommended dose of vitamin C. Additionally, it packs more than a daily recommended dose of vitamin B3 and nearly three-and-a-half times your daily dose of vitamin B12.

Snap Nitric Oxide Organic Beets
Snap Nitric Oxide Organic Beets
Snap Nitric Oxide Organic Beets

Snap's organic beets contain beetroot powder, BCAAs, L-arginine, and L-citrulline. They are great for smoothie mixes, are non-GMO, gluten-free, vegan, and have zero grams of added sugar.

Who Should Buy Snap Nitric Oxide Organic Beets

  • Anyone who prefers to mix their beetroot supplement into smoothies for a potential boost in nitric oxide. 
  • Those who follow a vegan diet or are gluten-free.
  • For those who want a significant boost of vitamin B3 and vitamin B12 in their nitric oxide supplement, this product has both.

Who Shouldn’t Buy Snap Nitric Oxide Organic Beets

  • Anyone who dislikes a foamy or grainy texture in their shakes will not like the texture of this supplement.
  • Those who dislike beets or flavors that are more tart will want to opt for one of the other options on this list. 

The only real knock against this product is going to hinge on how much a user likes or dislikes beets. If you dislike the flavor of beets, then this might be a difficult supplement to get down. If you favor beets, then this might be the best pick on the list. Overall, this is a solid option for those who are more prone to taking their nitric oxide supplement via a smoothie or shake rather than a simple mix in water.

Best Nitric Oxide Supplement Blend

While some people may be looking for a dedicated citrulline supplement or beet juice to boost their nitric oxide production, nitric oxide blends include a variety of ingredients that boast these potential effects, along with other energy-boosting ingredients.

Old School Labs Vintage Burst Nitric Oxide Booster

The most prominent ingredient in Vintage Burst Nitric Oxide Booster is l-arginine, with 1,500 milligrams per serving. This ingredient is one of the most helpful in increasing nitric oxide production in the body. In addition to l-arginine, each serving is fleshed out with 150 milligrams maca root, 100 milligrams spectra, a proprietary blend featuring various vegetable extracts, and 100 milligrams of coffee. These additional ingredients are intended to boost energy. Vintage Burst Nitric Oxide Booster boasts third-party testing for purity. 

Old School Labs Vintage Burst Nitric Oxide Booster
Old School Labs Vintage Burst Nitric Oxide Booster
Old School Labs Vintage Burst Nitric Oxide Booster

This supplement contains 1,500mg of l-arginine, as well as 150 milligrams of maca root, 100 milligrams spectra, a proprietary blend featuring various vegetable extracts, and 100 milligrams of coffee.

Who Should Buy Old School Labs Vintage Burst Nitric Oxide Booster

  • Those looking for bigger energy boosts via caffeine in their nitric oxide booster. 
  • Folks who value sufficient purity testing — this product has been third-party tested. 
  • Anyone who prefers to potentially increase their nitric oxide production and boost their energy with a variety of ingredients, rather than just one or two, will like this robust product. 

Who Shouldn’t Buy Old School Labs Vintage Burst Nitric Oxide Booster

  • People who value a simpler combination of ingredients can find a shorter ingredient list out there.
  • Anyone on a strict budget — this isn’t the least expensive product on this list. 

On a cost per serving basis, Old School Labs Vintage Burst Nitric Oxide Booster is a bit pricier than many of its competitors, which is a knock against it. On the flip side, however, it does have a more extensive ingredient list than comparable options. The high arginine dose is good for those seeking it, but the additional ingredients don’t necessarily aid in augmenting nitric oxide. Ultimately, it’s a solid pick if that potential extra energy boost offered by the additional ingredients is valuable to you.

[Related: Could Baking Soda Be The Best Workout Supplement You’ve Never Tried?]

When Should I Take Nitric Oxide Supplements?

Though there isn’t really a set time you should take nitric oxide — as your body needs nitric oxide to promote immune and heart health as well, for exercise purposes, it is best to consume it prior to a workout. Since nitric oxide can potentially widen blood vessels and increase blood flow, you’ll want to take it right before exercise (approximately 20 to 30 minutes before) for optimal pumps. (4

It’s worth noting that if you are taking a nitric oxide supplement daily, it’s best to get it from a natural source like beetroot. While these supplements aren’t inherently dangerous, if you can get your nitric oxide from a more natural source, that’s always going to be a healthier alternative overall. (5

How Much Do Nitric Oxide Supplements Cost?

As far as supplements go, nitric oxide supplements are generally inexpensive. When calculating cost, it’s better to look at the cost per serving, rather than the overall cost of the container. To do this, you’ll need to consider both the number of servings you’re getting and the overall cost of the product.

The cost of nitric oxide supplements typically ranges anywhere from $0.15 to $2.00 per serving depending on the product and its ingredients. A pre-workout that contains nitric oxide-boosting ingredients is going to be more expensive because it contains more amino acids, vitamins, and minerals than basic nitric oxide supplements. And on the other hand, if you’re getting a simple citrulline supplement that’s just one single ingredient, you’re going to pay far less.

How We Picked These Nitric Oxide Supplements

There are a host of nitric oxide supplements available, many of which can make outlandish claims about their effectiveness. Here’s how we selected products that can actually be effective. 

L-arginine vs. L-citrulline

Two of the most common ingredients featured in NO boosters are the amino acids arginine and citrulline. Both are believed to play a role in helping our cells create more NO which can help generate a “pump” in the gym. The effectiveness of these amino acids is not entirely known, as more research is needed. However, there is some evidence to suggest that citrulline may be a more effective NO booster than arginine. We have included picks that contain both on this list, so you’ll have an option no matter your preference. 

Beetroot

Beetroot is also used in many NO supplements because it has a high content of dietary nitrate, which has shown to increase blood levels of nitrate, nitrite, and biologically active NO. According to a study in Cureus, it has also been “observed to enhance athletic performance in healthy individuals.”

However, benefits may depend on individual aerobic fitness levels. “Dietary nitrate supplementation appears to have a favorable effect on training performance in some patient populations.” (6) We have included options both with and without beetroot on this list, so if you prefer a nitric oxide supplement in a more natural form, beetroot is an option for you.

Dosage

We skewed our picks toward more well-rounded dosages of multiple amino acids. While these doses won’t necessarily work for everyone, they tend to be the most effective doses for the general population. It’s wise to consult with a medical professional before starting on any dosage of a NO supplement. Be sure to pay special attention to how much of each amino acid or natural ingredient is listed on each label, not just for safety reasons, but also to ensure that the dosage of your target amino acid aligns with what is supplied in the product.

[Related: 10 Kinds Of Creatine And What They All Mean]

Ingredients

When shopping for any supplement, we took a close look at all the ingredients. We know some brands incorporate unnecessary or superfluous ingredients to beef up their recipes. There can be some benefits to that — an example is the use of coffee (read: caffeine) in order to increase energy levels temporarily. If you see any of these types of ingredients on this list, rest assured that they serve a purpose in their respective NO supplements — we did not include any products with unnecessary ingredients or additives here.

L-Citrulline vs. Citrulline Malate

Not knowing the difference between these two amino acids is not uncommon. Fortunately, they are different enough that they must be listed differently, but for anyone looking to take citrulline, either can get the job done. 

The actual difference between l-citrulline and citrulline is that the former is free-form while the latter is a combination of citrulline and malic acid. Malic acid is a natural supplement found in fruits like apples that helps to promote the creation of energy for your cells. As a citrulline supplement, both function the same. 

[Related: 7 Pre-Workout Ingredients You Can Take For A Better Pump]

What To Consider Before Buying

Nitric oxide supplements come in a variety of forms and contain an equal variety of ingredients. Before choosing your perfect pick, make sure you know exactly what you want out of your supplement. 

Pill vs. Powder

Nitric Oxide supplements come in both pill and powder form. Neither are totally inconvenient, but pills are definitely the most convenient of the two, as you can easily throw a bottle in your bag, head out the door, and take a couple any time that works for you. However, pills tend to digest slower than powder since your body has to break through the capsule. Therefore, if you’re looking for the nitric oxide supplement to kick in right away, a powder that you mix with liquid to consume directly is a better choice. Neither is more effective than the other overall — it’s all about your personal preferences and priorities. 

Ingredients

When determining which NO supplement to choose from, it’s wise to get a sense of how much of each amino acid or any other ingredient combinations are used. Each choice on our list has a different dosage for each amino acid. Some have very slim ingredient lists while others are rather extensive, both of which offer particular benefits. Before you choose which nitric oxide to buy, make sure you know what ingredients and combinations of ingredients you want in your supplement, so you are not overpaying for a more robust ingredient list than you need.

Speak to a Medical Professional

NO supplements are not for everyone. Consult a medical professional before beginning to use these. If you decide to use an NO supplement, start slow. Different compounds can have different effects for some folks; instead of going straight for a full dose, it may be wise to start with a half dose and see how you feel. A medical professional can help you make the right decision for your body.

Final Word

Nitric oxide supplements offer some variety compared to other supplements on the market. Since these supplements don’t contain nitric oxide — only ingredients that boost nitric oxide production — the ingredients tend to vary from product to product. You’ll find some that contain l-arginine, some with l-citrulline, some with beetroot, and others with a combination of these and other ingredients. Decide which nitric oxide-boosting ingredients suit your regimen best and allow this list to be your guide through the rest. 

FAQs

Do nitric oxide supplements really work?

Limited research on nitric oxide supplements reveals that they may help create more nitric oxide within a body, which could potentially lead to some enhanced athletic performance. However, more studies are needed to make any broad claims about its efficacy. 

Can nitric oxide help erectile dysfunction?

In certain cases, evidence suggests that nitric oxide could be beneficial to folks suffering from erectile dysfunction. However, it’s wise to consult a medical professional. 

What foods are high in nitric oxide?

While no foods contain nitric oxide, some foods contain nitrates that may help boost nitric oxide levels. Beets are among the most well-researched foods that may lead to higher levels of nitric oxide. 

References

  1. Moncada S, Palmer RM, Higgs EA. The discovery of nitric oxide as the endogenous nitrovasodilator. Hypertension (Dallas, Tex : 1979). 1988;12(4):365-372.‌
  2. Wylie LJ, Mohr M, Krustrup P, et al. Dietary nitrate supplementation improves team sport-specific intense intermittent exercise performance. European journal of applied physiology. 2013;113(7):1673-1684.
  3. Lansley KE, Winyard PG, Fulford J, et al. Dietary nitrate supplementation reduces the O2 cost of walking and running: a placebo-controlled study. Journal of applied physiology (Bethesda, Md : 1985). 2011;110(3):591-600.
  4. Mosher SL, Sparks SA, Williams EL, Bentley DJ, Mc Naughton LR. Ingestion of a Nitric Oxide Enhancing Supplement Improves Resistance Exercise Performance. J Strength Cond Res. 2016 Dec;30(12):3520-3524. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000001437. PMID: 27050244.
  5. Bryan NS. Functional Nitric Oxide Nutrition to Combat Cardiovascular Disease. Curr Atheroscler Rep. 2018 Mar 17;20(5):21. doi: 10.1007/s11883-018-0723-0. PMID: 29550903.
  6. Hanna Olsson, et al. Physiological Effects of Beetroot in Athletes and Patients. (2019). Cureus. doi: 10.7759/cureus.6355.