What is NO2? In sports nutrition, it could mean:
- The nitric oxide pre-workout brands from MRI: NO2 Red and NO2 Black.
- Informally, a generic term for nitric oxide supplements in the sense that some people refer to a class of products by the name of one brand in that class.
However, note the potential confusion. Nitric oxide’s chemical symbol is NO. NO should not be mistaken for NO2 (nitrogen dioxide), a toxic gaseous air pollutant, and N2O (nitrous oxide), an anesthetic gas. As a precaution, dont wander off into a chemical lab or supplies store and order NO2, all right? Woe unto the chemist bodybuilder who says, “I’m bursting with NO2 Is he all ripped or just full of hot air?”
Kidding aside — wait, no kidding. Fitness jargon should be limited the use of NO2 to the MRI brands of NO supplements. Now, before we delve in into these brands, let’s talk a bit about what many pre-workout supplements boast of: nitric oxide or NO. NO is a physiological molecule that affords bodybuilders serious advantages in muscular mass and strength. Nitric oxide does its part by helping relax the blood vessels (vasodilation) supplying the muscles, thereby providing them with copious amounts of nutrients and oxygen.
Note that NO supplements dont contain the gas NO itself. They just support NO synthesis by providing the NO precursors. The problem, though, is how to prolong the vasodilation.
NO2 Black: Advantages
Buy NO2 at:
Ingredients. One serving (3 caplets): arginine alpha-ketoglutarate (AAKG) 3000 mg, NO2 Black proprietary blend 150 mg, alpha-lipoic acid (thioctic acid), ACTINOS2 whey peptide fraction.
Now, NO2 Black is said to solve that problem by not only providing the precursors that are needed to synthesize nitric oxide, but also the machinery to do so. That is, precursors + machinery = nitric oxide. This machinery is the enzyme aptly called nitric oxide synthase (NOS). Humans just produce enough NOS to maintain normal physiological activities. The copious supplementation with the precursor arginine would really amount to nothing without enough NOS machinery to synthesize NO for sports activities.
What is exactly NO2 Blacks solution? Answer: its the premium whey fraction called ACTINOS2. This peptide fraction upregulates NOS synthesis by cranking up the production of NOS needed to turn arginine into NO. ACTINOS2 is said to increase nitric oxide levels up to 950% compared to nitric oxide derived from arginine alone. Not only that, NO2 Blacks version of arginine is arginine alpha-ketoglutarate (AAKG), a more potent and more bioavailable form. Whats more, NO2 Black has alpha-lipoic acid, which improves nutrient uptake by the muscles.
NO2 Black also boasts of pHylex 9, a time-release delivery system. This technology prolongs the blood-borne energy pump into the muscles (the so-called perpetual pump) by releasing ACTINOS2, AAKG, and alpha lipoic acid in controlled amounts for a period of time.
NO2 Black: Drawbacks
NO2 Blacks most obvious drawback is that you need to stack it up with another formula that will help you improve your muscle size, and recover faster from intensive training. It can’t really do such on its own.
NO2 Red: Advantages
Ingredients. One serving (3 caplets): MRI NO2 RED Proprietary Blend 3370.00 mg. (includes L-arginine AKG, L-arginine HCL, L-arginine pyroglutamate, arginine ketoisocaproate, L-glycine, citrulline malate, N-acetyl-L-carnitine HCl, L-glutamine, beta alanine, L-histidine), ACTINOS2. Others: calcium 40 mg, vitamin K1 & K2 0.10 mg, vitamin D3, 5000 IU, vitamin B6 60 mg, vitamin B12 1.00 mg, folic acid 0.80 mg, magnesium 95 mg, zinc oxide 5 mg, vitamin A 250.00 IU, vitamin C 390.00 mg.
Now this is how NO2 Red is different from NO2 Black. NO2 RED is said to raise NO 1250% more off the baseline by stacking up multiple strategies that involve the previously discussed ACTINOS2, AAKG, and pHylex9, plus other premium NO precursors, enhancers, and protectors.
And then, with the so-called hemobolic technology, one can also build more muscle mass and sustain it as the strategic stacks channel premium nutrients efficiently to the working muscles. The nutrients in turn fortify the muscles from muscle aging, and increase their mass.
End result: with NO2 RED, you can:
- Boost the delivery of nutrients to your muscles.
- Feel a strong pump.
- Pack on more mass.
- Fortify muscles from aging.
- Recover faster.
NO2 Red: Drawbacks
Many reviews of NO2 Black and NO2 Red seemed fair. They may work awesome for some; they may not work for others. Theres a lot to be said about MRIs claims of boosting your NO levels to totally awesome levels, because there is not much research on this. Their claim centers on helping raise NO levels (it may help you so), but beyond that, in terms of the reviews, they fare well with other supplements in their classes.
Now, when NO2 Red addressed the main problem of NO2 Black (e.g., it cannot help increase your muscle size and recovery), it created another problem: high cost. More so, if you further stack this up with another formula.
Side effects of NO2
Common side effects of both NO2 brands include headache, weakness, dizziness, dry skin and mouth, tummy discomfort, nausea and vomiting, and hypersensitivity reactions. To prevent any side effect, you need to carefully read the instructions on the product label, avoid overdosing, and keenly attune yourself to your bodys response to sports supplementation. Before starting on NO2 Red or Black, you also need consult a doctor if you have health issues, or are: pregnant or breastfeeding; below 18 years old; or taking medicines or other food supplements.