Nitrosigine Arginine is a new performance supplement that is popular in pre-workout drinks to increase nitric oxide, blood flow & boost performance.
From pump to power, we’re all looking for that extra boost in the gym. Whether you’re an athlete looking to shave off time or a powerlifter looking to set a new PR, how you perform is going to help you achieve your goals.
Supplements can help us to unlock a bit of hidden potential and traditionally, nitric oxide boosters have been the go-to for improvement in sports performance.
But not all N.O. boosters are created equal.
Nitrosigine has been around for several years, but still remains relatively unknown amongst everyday fitness enthusiasts.
Let’s take a look at nitrosigine arginine, how it differs from arginine hydrochloride, and what the studies say about this performance-enhancing supplement.
What is Nitrosigine (Arginine Silicate Inositol )?
Nitrosigine arginine is primarily taken as a nitric oxide-boosting supplement.
It starts with the very familiar amino acid, l-arginine, which plays a role in a number of important bodily processes including protein building, relaxation of blood vessels, and, of course, nitric oxide production.
Arginine is then paired with inositol, a carbocyclic sugar, resulting in stabilized “Arginine Silicate Inositol” (ASI) or better known as Nitrosigine.
Nitrosigine vs. Arginine Hydrochloride
If arginine is so great, why bother pairing it with silicate inositol?
Arginine has very rather poor bioavailability with an average absorption rate at about 20% because of an enzyme known as arginase which breaks l-arginine down in the intestines. (1)
This is why most people choose to supplement with L-Citrulline over L-Arginine to maximize nitric oxide and blood flow.
However, small scale human case studies show that a single dose of nitrosigine works fast, spiking blood levels of arginine after only 30 minutes. What’s more, nitrosigine keeps these levels elevated for weeks. (2)
What Does the Science Say About Nitrosigine Arginine?
A study on rats showed silicate inositol arginine (nitrosigine) greatly boosts nitric oxide levels. (3)
That’s a great start but at Alpha Wolf Nutrition, we like to focus on human case studies because what happens in rats and monkeys, more often than not doesn’t translate to humans!
There are three landmark studies which have proven the benefits of nitrosigine as a pre-workout and performance supplement:
Study 1: Energy, Pump, and Stamina
Subjects performed an exercise test using a leg extension. Once the initial test was completed, the subjects were given 1,500 mg of a nitrosigine supplement brand called Nitrosigine® for a total of four days.
At the conclusion of the fourth day, the subjects took the leg extension test again.
Researchers found that the subjects had hyperemia or increased blood flow, which is a great symptom to have during a training session.
Increased blood flow implies that nutrients and fuel for your muscle performance are getting to where they need to go fast.
If you’re pairing nitrosigine with another form of muscle fuel such as creatine, for example, the body will have a quick supply of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) on hand.
Subjects also noted that their perceived fatigue levels decreased, which could have something to do with the improvement in nutrient delivery and uptake.
One other important thing to note is that levels of creatine kinase (CK) also significantly decreased in those who took the nitrosigine. This is important to note because CK levels are a sign of muscle damage.
This suggests that those taking nitrosigine arginine experienced less muscular damage and breakdown during their workout.
Overall, researchers concluded that nitrosigine arginine “…prior to workout significantly increased pre-workout energy levels, increased muscle pump immediately following a workout, and decreased biomarkers of muscle damage immediately after a workout and during recovery.” (4)
Limitations of the Study: Some important things to note about the study: All of the subjects were young men, ranging from 19 to 33 years of age, which are the prime testosterone-producing years.
Also, the sample size was small with only 16 men taking part in the study.
Finally, the study was paid for by the supplement brand, ASI, however it was a double blind study meaning the researchers did not know which participants received the placebo and which received nitrosigine.
Study 2: E-Gamers and Performance
Ideal performance goes beyond the physical. If your mental game is off, your body is sure to quickly follow. What better way to test someone’s mental game than to test actual gamers?
Researchers studied 60 male and female gamers, focusing on their processing speed, focus, attention, and reaction time.
All of the subjects were put through an initial testing phase to determine self-reported factors such as mood. But the group also had to complete an actual video game-based test.
Next, half of the subjects were given a placebo, the other half were given nitrosigine. Everyone played a different game and answered the same questionnaire.
Researchers found that executive functioning increased in the group who had taken the nitrosigine.
Researchers also confirmed that “enhancements were seen in processing speed, task switching, and selective attention in eGamers taking the product studied, as observed by positive changes in TMT and Stroop Test performance.” (5)
The implication here goes beyond playing Call of Duty. Taking nitrosigine arginine could be ideal for improving both physical performance and mental performance during your workout.
Limitations of the Study: Two things to note about this study are that it was paid for by the same brand above, ASI.
Once again, however it was a double blind study meaning the researchers did not know which participants received the placebo and which received nitrosigine.
Study 3 – Nitrosigine as Effective as L-Citrulline Malate (2:1)
L-Citrulline Malate (2:1) is one of the most researched and arguably hands down the best nitric oxide boosting supplement available today.
Research shows conclusive evidence that 8g of L-Citrulline Malate may greatly increase nitric oxide levels. So a logical question would be, how does Nitrosigine compare to L-Citrulline Malate?
An independent researcher at the University of Arkansas wanted to find out!
16 men and 8 women participated in the study where they received either 8g of CM, 1.5g Nitrosigine or 8g of a placebo.
It was a double blind study, meaning neither the participants nor researchers new who was getting which powder.
The participants reported for 3 trials followed by a 7 day washout, which means each participant gave all 3 powders a try, 1 at a time and then waited 7 days for their system to fully clear out before trying the next powder.
The supplementation order was also randomized to control for potential order effects.
At the end of the study the researchers found that both citrulline malate and Nitrosigine significantly and nearly identically increased blood serum concentrations of arginine and vasodilation.
In the researchers words both citrulline & nitrosigine are “effective at increasing vascular endothelium nitric oxide producing capacity.” (6)
More Effective When Combined with L-Citrulline Malate
As already mentioned, nitrosigine is a highly bioavailable form of L-Arginine which in its pure state is poorly absorbed by the body.
Researchers found that when pure L-Arginine supplementation is combined with L-Citrulline, athletic performance is improved and perceived post-workout soreness is decreased vs supplementing with either ingredient on their own. (7)
In fact, it appears that L-Citrulline may greatly enhance the bioavailability of pure Arginine. I would loosely assume it would help with the bioavailability of Nitrosigine as well but the combination should certainly be more effective in terms of overall athletic performance as it is with pure L-Ariginine.
Nitrosigine: Do I Recommend It Pre-Workout?
The answer: MAYBE!
I definitely recommend using L-arginine as a part of your pre-workout supplement routine and Nitrosigine appears to be a good form of it.
However, while Nitrosigine has been shown effective against placebo’s in multiple studies, so has L-Arginine!
I would like to see a study which directly compares 1.5g of Nitrosigine vs 1.5 or 2g of L-Arginine because Nitrosigine is a very expensive product and I’m not convinced it works much better until I see data showing that to be the case, especially when L-Citrulline is introduced into the equation, since it appears to improve the bioavailability of L-Arginine.
In short, the studies were paid for by the manufacturer and there is a reason they chose to put it up against a placebo and not against pure L-Arginine.
That isn’t to say Nitrosigine isn’t a great product. I think it likely is. I’m just not sure it’s worth the cost when the combination of L-Citrulline and L-Arginine has been proven highly effective in studies that were not paid for.
How Much Should I Take?
In all 3 human case studies, 1.5g of nitrosigine was the amount given and proven effective so that is what I recommend you go with that as a minimum. Or go with pure L-Arginine which we use in both Uncaged and Uncaged Extreme combined with L-Citrulline for incredible pumps.
What Are the Side Effects?
To date, no research participants supplementing with Nitrosigine have reported any side effects and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has labeled it as “Generally Recognized As Safe” (GRAS).
- O. Tangphao, M. Grossmann, S. Chalon, B.B. Hoffman & T.F. Blaschke. Pharmacokinetics of intravenous and oral l-arginine in normal volunteers. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 1999 Mar; 47(3): 261–266. – Link
- Kalman DS, Feldman S, Samson A, Krieger DR. A clinical evaluation to determine the safety, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacodynamics of an inositol-stabilized arginine silicate dietary supplement in healthy adult males. Clin Pharmacol. 2015 Oct 7;7:103-9. doi: 10.2147/CPAA.S84206. eCollection 2015. – Link
- S.D. Proctor, S.E. Kelly, D.F. Vine, J.C. Russell. Metabolic effects of a novel silicate inositol complex of the nitric oxide precursor arginine in the obese insulin-resistant JCR:LA-cp rat. October 2007 Volume 56, Issue 10, Pages 1318–1325 – Link
- Rood-Ojalvo S, Sandler D, Veledar E, Komorowski J. The benefits of inositol-stabilized arginine silicate as a workout ingredient. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2015;12(Suppl 1):P14. Published 2015 Sep 21. doi:10.1186/1550-2783-12-S1-P14. – Link
- Tartar JL, Kalman D, Hewlings S. A Prospective Study Evaluating the Effects of a Nutritional Supplement Intervention on Cognition, Mood States, and Mental Performance in Video Gamers. Nutrients. 2019;11(10):2326. Published 2019 Oct 1. doi:10.3390/nu11102326 – Link
- J. Rodgers. The Acute Effects of Citrulline Malate and Bonded Arginine Silicate Supplementation on Vasodilation of Young Adults. Health, Human Performance and Recreation. May 2019 – Link
- A combination of oral l-citrulline and l-arginine improved 10-min full-power cycling test performance in male collegiate soccer players: a randomized crossover trial. Izumi Suzuki, Keishoku Sakuraba, Takumi Horiike, Takafumi Kishi, Junya Yabe, Takashi Suzuki, Masahiko Morita, Akihito Nishimura, and Yoshio Suzuki. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2019; 119(5): 1075–1084. Published online 2019 Feb 16. – Link