Does NO2 really aid lifting?
April 17, 2006 2:12 PM   Subscribe

Does NO2 actually do any help for muscle building?

I am looking at some supplements to aid in building muscle, burning fat. I saw this, but not sure if NO2 really does what it promises.
posted by benjh to Health & Fitness (6 answers total)
Note that you're asking about NO2, nitric oxide, which is a toxic gas if inhaled. Nevertheless, I do see discussions of it on bodybuilding pages. N2O is nitrous dioxide, the familiar "laughing gas". It's a good idea to avoid getting the two confused. (Not that I am implying you did, but I wouldn't have been surprised if some answerers might not have made the mistake if I had not posted this comment.)
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 2:39 PM on April 17, 2006

As a pharmacologist I had a good laugh. (By the way your link only took me the index page of GNC). I used their search engine to get to this: Arginine Alpha-Ketoglutarate extended-Release FormulaNO2 is a powerful nitric oxide-generating, performance-enhancing, HEMODILATOR®.

NO2 is nitrous oxide not nitric oxide. Nitrous oxide is laughing gas.

Nitric oxide is a blood vessel dilator (I guess they've registered the term "hemodilator.") You can get that in a number of products, none of which I would recommend for body building (the nitroglycerin for angina provides NO). However, this doesn't give you nitric oxide (which turns over very rapidly anyhow). It gives you an amino acid, arginine attaches it to a sugar, glutarate and charges you 70 bucks for it. Even if it worked, the price should have been about five bucks.

Or you can look at this site.

I didn't read their whole article, but the tenor of its opening sounded like they were pegging this correctly.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 2:48 PM on April 17, 2006

My bad. NO2 is nitrogen dioxide. NO is nitric oxide. And N2O is nitrous oxide.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 2:50 PM on April 17, 2006

While it has been already mentioned that nitric oxide is a blood vessel dilator, I think one important thing to keep in mind is that your body already uses the stuff to regulate blood flow during exercise. I don't know what supplemental nitric oxide would do (if it could be delivered to the arteries in a digestible form), but I bet more than likely your body would compensate for it by decreasing its own output of it.
posted by Mister Cheese at 3:14 PM on April 17, 2006

Oxides of nitrogen recap:
NO2 Nitrogen dioxide: very toxic.
NO Nitric oxide: dilates blood vessels, other biological processes.
N2O Nitrous oxide: dentists, whipped-cream, car racing.
posted by ryanrs at 3:49 PM on April 17, 2006

NO is also toxic. And a lot of sources for some reason call NO2 "nitric oxide", but that looks to be more misleading than helpful.

By the way, dances_with_sneetches's linked article on these arginine/NO2 supplements pretty unambiguously declares it to be a bunch of snake oil. According to it, studies haven't found any increase in uptake of glucose.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 3:57 PM on April 17, 2006

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