In the crowded world of nitric oxide products (better known as NO or NO2 products) you have two vastly different forms of this supplement, pills or powders. Both have advantages and liabilities yet both are effective. NO products like Nitrix, NO2 and Anadraulic Pump are based mainly on the amino acid L-Arginine, which can convert into nitric oxide. Arginine-alpha-ketogluterate is the preferred form for most NO products on the market, but newer forms like Arginine Nitrate and Arginine Malate are also used commonly.
NO products like Nitrix and NO2 are an important category for any bodybuilder looking to get truly vascular and increase their muscle pumps. This pump effect may not just be for aesthetics, but may actually have a benefit for increased muscle size. Muscles have a “fascia” that that surrounds them. You may recognize it as the thin, clear skin that hold together a chicken breast as an example. This fascia holds in and restricts the amount of muscle that can easily be grown. The “pump” effect not only feels cool, but may help the body stretch out this fascia and thus increase the amount of muscle carried.
L-Arginine has some key benefits for the bodybuilder, it may stimulate mTOR, which is a pathway involved in anabolism and also it may increase fat loss. There are very few side effects associated with NO supplements, but some nausea and rapid heart beat symptoms have been reported but that might be due to some products having a high caffeine content.
Arginine Alpha-ketogluterate has a multitude of studies showing it works for performance enhancement and others that show it doesn’t positively effect muscle mass, but it may increase athletic performance. The main problem with Arginine in general is that much of it is eliminated by the liver before it can get into the blood stream and be converted to nitric oxide. This can be over come by blocking an enzyme called Arginase. Arginase is expressed heavily in the body, making supplements without an Arginase blocker much less effective.
Nitrix contains many ingredients but first off I want to say that it isn’t really a pure N.O. product. It contains a big dose of creatine which is theorized doesn’t mix timing wise with NO precursors like Arginine AKG. That aside, let’s look at each ingredient.
It contains 3g per 3 tablets of L-Arginine AKG, L-Arginine Ethyl Ester and L-Citrulline. Like discussed above Arginine AKG is the preferred form of Arginine and in my opinion Arginine Ethyl Ester is complete junk. The theory behind the “ethyl ester” delivery is that the amino acids will be more bioavailable, but that is a myth in my opinion. Ethyl ester technology has not been shown to be any more bioavailable than standard amino acids and could be counter productive in some respects. It breaks down into ethanol in the body, which is “drinking alcohol”. Sure it is a small amount, but who needs alcohol to be in their body when they are working out. The addition of Citrulline is decent, since it can act as a precursor to NO as well, but the Citrulline Malate form is preferred, which Nitrix doesn’t contain.
Nitrix has an AVT blend that contains Creatine Ethyl Ester, which is just creatine bonded to the same alcohol forming ethyl ester technology. This is where I dislike Nitrix the most, why put creatine in the product? If the customer wants creatine, he would just purchase a creatine supplement. Additionally, the ethyl ester form is the worst form on the market in my opinion. It does contain Beta Alanine, which is very good at buffering lactic acid and increasing performance however, so that part is good along with Creatinol-O-phosphate which can also buffer lactic acid. The addition of creatine in this blend in my opinion takes away from the overall value to the consumer looking to boost NO levels.
Finally, it contains “phospoplexx” which is simply inert ingredients being passed off as supplements, minus the NAD, which is pretty cool stuff. The di-calcium phosphate and di-potassium phosphate are just binding agents that hold the tablet together. I am not sure why Nitrix is claiming these are active, since they are considered inert ingredients.
Anadraulic Pump is quite different, it is a powder that is a mix of free form amino acids. The taste is a very mild citrus and is quite pleasant. it has more than just Arginine AKG in it, but it also contains a healthy dose of Arginine and its variants. Taurine is the first ingredient and has been shown to increase performance and buffer lactic acid in the muscles. L-alanine the second ingredient is the second most consumed amino acid when working out, behind Glutamine. So, it should act in a similar way to Glutamine for muscle recovery. Aspartic Acid has been also shown to boost athletic performance and increase endurance, which should help with the workout.
These amino acids make a “performance base” that helps a person workout harder and more effectively, but don’t really boost NO production. That is left to the Arginine and Arginine molecules plus the Arginase blocker. Anadraulic Pump uses a combination of Arginine HCl, which is just a simple stable arginine molecule. This can have benefit, since it is well studied and is shown to increase NO levels. It also contains Arginine AKG, which is the ingredient of choice for boosting NO and increasing mTOR stimulation and fat loss. Finally it contains Arginine Nitrate, which should benefit conversion to NO, since nitrate is the main precursor to NO and adds in another critical pathway. Nitrate has been shown recently to increase athletic performance and improve NO levels, so its inclusion is interesting in this supplement.
Quercetin is a plant flavone that has been shown to both increase levels of NO itself and reduce the amount of arginase in the liver. This should increase the conversion of Arginine to NO and make the product better at increasing NO levels. Things like NorValine will also have this effect as well and it is used for this purpose in many other supplements. This factor is key in making the product give you the perfect NO boosting effect from Arginine.
Finally in Anadraulic Pump, which is quite different is the inclusion of Geranium Extract. This really separates the two products and is an important difference. Do you want the plain NO boosting of Nitrix or a little stimulation prior to the gym. Geranium extract isn’t a strong stimulant like caffeine, just more of something that will give you a little mental lift. Still, if you don’t want that, then Anadraulic Pump isn’t for you. If you enjoy getting a mood boosting effect along with your preworkout NO product, then this is a good solid choice.
Both Nitrix reviews and Anadraulic Pump reviews are favorable, making either a solid choice for boosting pumps and performance in the gym. The choice comes down to whether you want to take 3 large pills or drink the NO factors and if a little stimulation is good for you. Whether you want creatine in your NO product or would you prefer to take your creatine separate like is suggested. Either way, you can’t make a bad choice.