Nitric oxide boosters are some of the most sought-after supplements for exercise performance, commonly known increasing nitric oxide (NO) levels and bringing the PUMP during exercise. Elevated NO levels are associated with improved blood flow, muscle growth, and more efficient energy production. There are various pathways to achieving higher production of NO, and the following NO boosters are proven to increase NO levels in the body.


  • L-Arginine
    • Arginine is a nonessential amino acid (NEAA) from which NO is directly produced. However, absorption of arginine by the intestines is very limited, and much of it is eliminated from the body before it can actually reach the muscles, rendering it useless for sustained NO production [1], blood flow to muscles [2], muscle protein synthesis [3], and strength performance [4].


  • L-Citrulline
    • Citrulline is a nonprotein amino acid (NPAA) which is better absorbed than arginine, and it is converted into arginine in the kidneys in a controlled manner via the urea cycle. This leads to a sustained increase in NO production as opposed to a short spike by arginine. Citrulline supplementation is proven to increase serum levels of arginine, and NO [5, 6].
      • Figure 1 – Citrulline - Arginine -  Nitric Oxide Pathway (Adapted from
    • Citrulline is usually is sold as Citrulline-Malate, malate being a naturally occurring compound in many fruits, due to its increased bioavailability and absorption. Several studies in resistance-trained men and women reported that preworkout supplementation with Citrulline-Malate benefitted weightlifting performance and reduced muscle soreness following exercise [7, 8, 9, 10] though lesser effects were shown in untrained individuals [11, 12, 13].
    • The available research suggests supplementing with 6,000-8,000 mg of Citrulline-Malate before exercise for enhanced sports performance.

PRIME(X) contains 8,000 mg L-Citrulline DL-Malate per serving to achieve optimal benefits!


  • Nitrates (Beetroot)
    • Beetroot is a natural food with high nitrate content which can improve physical performance via increase in NO. Nitrate supplementation has been shown to improve aerobic endurance, power output, blood flow, and muscle recovery. However, due to dietary regulations against freeform nitrates, nitrate supplementation preworkout must be done through consumption of high nitrate content foods, namely Beetroot and leafy greens.
    • As opposed to the Citrulline - Arginine - NO pathway, Beetroot enhances NO levels via the nitrate - nitrite - NO
      • Figure 2 – Arginine - Nitric Oxide Pathway vs. Nitrate - Nitrite - Nitric Oxide Pathway (Adapted from
    • While Nitrate supplementation from Beetroot may be great for more novice and intermediate athletes, well-trained athletes might see less of an effect [14]. The reason for this may be that consistent exercise improves your body’s ability to make its own NO! Elevated plasma nitrite is converted to NO during hypoxic and acidic conditions, which are common characteristics of intense exercise [15]. Also, seasoned athletes’ muscles have more capillaries running through them, which further enhance blood flow during exercise [16]. Lastly, increased nitric oxide synthase (NOS) in performance athletes has a much larger effect on NO production from the Citrulline - Arginine - NO pathway than nitrates might have [17], suggesting that Citrulline supplementation may play a more effective role in acute exercise performance.
      • Figure 3 – Physiological Nitric Oxide Production in Athletes (Adapted from Jones. Sports Med. 2014 [18]

PRIME(X) contains 3,000 mg of Beetroot per serving to improve a variety of performance factors, especially to novice athletes. There are no negative side-effects to Beetroot supplementation, and it gives our formula a pleasant natural sweetness and red color with no artificial dyes!







  1. Alvares TS, Conte-Junior CA, Silva JT, Paschoalin VM. Acute L-Arginine supplementation does not increase nitric oxide production in healthy subjects. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2012 Jun 12;9(1):54. doi: 10.1186/1743-7075-9-54. PMID: 22691607; PMCID: PMC3489573.
  2. Fahs CA, Heffernan KS, Fernhall B. Hemodynamic and vascular response to resistance exercise with L-arginine. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2009 Apr;41(4):773-9. doi: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e3181909d9d. PMID: 19276857.
  3. Tang JE, Lysecki PJ, Manolakos JJ, MacDonald MJ, Tarnopolsky MA, Phillips SM. Bolus arginine supplementation affects neither muscle blood flow nor muscle protein synthesis in young men at rest or after resistance exercise. J Nutr. 2011 Feb;141(2):195-200. doi: 10.3945/jn.110.130138. Epub 2010 Dec 29. PMID: 21191143.
  4. Meirelles CM, Matsuura C. Acute supplementation of L-arginine affects neither strength performance nor nitric oxide production. J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2018 Mar;58(3):216-220. doi: 10.23736/S0022-4707.16.06680-9. Epub 2016 Sep 13. PMID: 27623757.
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  6. Ochiai M, Hayashi T, Morita M, Ina K, Maeda M, Watanabe F, Morishita K. Short-term effects of L-citrulline supplementation on arterial stiffness in middle-aged men. Int J Cardiol. 2012 Mar 8;155(2):257-61. doi: 10.1016/j.ijcard.2010.10.004. Epub 2010 Nov 9. PMID: 21067832.
  7. Wax B, Kavazis AN, Weldon K, Sperlak J. Effects of supplemental citrulline malate ingestion during repeated bouts of lower-body exercise in advanced weightlifters. J Strength Cond Res. 2015 Mar;29(3):786-92. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000000670. PMID: 25226311.
  8. Wax B, Kavazis AN, Luckett W. Effects of Supplemental Citrulline-Malate Ingestion on Blood Lactate, Cardiovascular Dynamics, and Resistance Exercise Performance in Trained Males. J Diet Suppl. 2016;13(3):269-82. doi: 10.3109/19390211.2015.1008615. Epub 2015 Feb 12. PMID: 25674699.
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  11. Farney TM, Bliss MV, Hearon CM, Salazar DA. The Effect of Citrulline Malate Supplementation on Muscle Fatigue Among Healthy Participants. J Strength Cond Res. 2019 Sep;33(9):2464-2470. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000002356. PMID: 29176388.
  12. da Silva DK, Jacinto JL, de Andrade WB, Roveratti MC, Estoche JM, Balvedi MCW, de Oliveira DB, da Silva RA, Aguiar AF. Citrulline Malate Does Not Improve Muscle Recovery after Resistance Exercise in Untrained Young Adult Men. Nutrients. 2017 Oct 18;9(10):1132. doi: 10.3390/nu9101132. PMID: 29057836; PMCID: PMC5691748.
  13. Chappell AJ, Allwood DM, Johns R, Brown S, Sultana K, Anand A, Simper T. Citrulline malate supplementation does not improve German Volume Training performance or reduce muscle soreness in moderately trained males and females. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2018 Aug 10;15(1):42. doi: 10.1186/s12970-018-0245-8. PMID: 30097067; PMCID: PMC6086018.
  14. Porcelli S, Ramaglia M, Bellistri G, Pavei G, Pugliese L, Montorsi M, Rasica L, Marzorati M. Aerobic Fitness Affects the Exercise Performance Responses to Nitrate Supplementation. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2015 Aug;47(8):1643-51. doi: 10.1249/MSS.0000000000000577. PMID: 25412295.
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