What’s better than larger muscles? It’s a short, and debatable, list – money, sex, puppies. There are few things more enjoyable than the satisfaction of our own physical progress. While true size only comes after years of hard work, brief periods of muscle enhancement come with each and every workout in the form of pumps.
What is a Muscle Pump?
Any lifter knows the feeling, but what about the underlying physiology of the sensation? What is THAT? It’s a number of things.
In order to contract, a muscle requires energy in the form of ATP. When training to, or near, muscle failure (as one should most of the time), the muscle MUST use glucose to generate ATP. By this process, lactic acid is released as a byproduct.
Lactic acid provides the burning sensation of a good pump. Once thought of as a “waste” product, lactate is now known to increase anabolic signaling, muscle protein synthesis, and muscle cell hypertrophy.
The other factor in skin-tearing pumps is the cardiovascular system – the arteries and veins that surround the musculature. The arteries deliver blood (containing water and other nutrients) that muscles need to thrive while the veins clear metabolic waste so the muscle can get back to work faster.
Muscle cells contain proteins that help them “drink” water, called aquaporins (think “aqua pore”). When active, the muscle requires more fluid, and relies on these “aqua pores” to meet its needs.
One of the most important needs of the muscle is fuel, usually carbohydrate that is already in the muscle as glycogen or in the blood as glucose. At any time, the blood contains a minimum of almost 5 grams of sugar. Even when the muscle siphons off glucose to fuel exercise, the body is constantly working to maintain blood glucose around this level to meet future needs.
When the muscle has a good supply of blood (water, carbs, etc.), it can expand and appear larger than it does during the majority of the day. This swollen effect is the one we all love, and it rests almost entirely on the cardiovascular system. Hence, vasodilation plays a critical role in achieving the glory of inflated muscles.
What is Vasodilation?
Vasodilation is the relaxation of blood vessels, which results in artery and vein widening and expansion. With greater area, the vessels can hold and transport MORE fluid and nutrients, supporting and enhancing muscle function (and muscle pumps).
When blood vessels are able to expand, we don’t just look awesome, we’re getting more awesome. More fluid and more fuel doesn’t just help in the moment. Like lactate, the fluid accumulation and extra repetitions performed as a result of enhanced nutrient delivery promote greater long-term muscle development.
At the cellular level, vasodilation is enhanced by nitric oxide (N.O.). Nitric oxide can be formed from arginine or citrulline and nitrate (such as from beet root), but it requires the enzyme nitric oxide synthase or reducing agents. Thus, a third route to enhance nitric oxide is by improving nitric oxide synthase function – an aspect often overlooked, but one which deserves the attention.
How to Increase Nitric Oxide by Improving N.O. Synthase Function
Nitric oxide synthase is inactivated by a few factors. One of the most common is oxidation by free radicals. When this occurs, nitric oxide synthase is referred to as “uncoupled,” which means it can no longer produce N.O., and may even produce more free radicals!
While supplying precursors to N.O., such as arginine or nitrate, can be helpful, it only matters if nitric oxide synthase is functioning in the first place. Thus, we have yet another reason to increase our intake of antioxidants – they help us get jacked!
One of the best antioxidants for the specific purpose of improving nitric oxide synthase function is a specialized version of one the most popular – green tea. VASO6™ is an ingredient composed of Gallate-Enhanced Green Tea Leaf Oligomers.
The polyphenolic, antioxidant oligomers (a short strand of molecules) that have been supercharged with gallate provide a substantial boost to nitric oxide synthase health. This boost has been substantiated to increase vasodilation by over 50% with just a 300mg serving! To put that in perspective, if you have a vein that is 10cm in diameter, it will expand to 15cm after taking VASO6™!
By comparison, another study has found that 7 grams of arginine may only improve vasodilation by 5%. Although it may be possible to increase vasodilation by more than 5% with arginine, there is no certainty that this will occur because it is dependent upon nitric oxide synthase. On the other hand, just adding VASO6™ by itself, without any other unknowns, provides up to 10x the effects of arginine.
Where to Get VASO6™
The only potential downside to VASO6™ is its novelty and scarcity that make it hard to find. However, a full, 300mg serving of VASO6™ can be found in our premium pre workout, Rhino Rampage. Along with Citrulline and Spectra™, VASO6™ is primed to shine – giving users insane pumps. Of course, Rhino Rampage is a complete pre workout product with energy, focus, and performance enhancing ingredients. When it comes to the capsule delivery format, there is only one true pre workout – Rhino Rampage!