Let’s face it – we are all getting older. I mean this literally; we get older every day. As we age, our minds and bodies change. Don’t get me wrong, aging is a natural process, but it has its fair share of complications. Two of the best things you can do as you age are to remain active and make smart health choices. You want to stay energetic and be able to perform everyday motions well, but aging makes that more difficult. How do we combat energy loss and stay as healthy as possible? YOU CAN MAKE SURE YOU ARE GETTING ENOUGH NITRIC OXIDE IN YOUR DIET. One way we can do this is through our diet. We will look at what nitric oxide is and how certain drinks can boost your nitric oxide levels.


What Is Nitric Oxide?

Nitric oxide (NO) is a gas that is naturally produced in the body. We use NO as a vasodilator which expands blood vessels by relaxing the smooth muscles within vessel linings. Nitric oxide production is vital for many of the processes our body completes to stay healthy. Primarily, the vasodilation effect allows blood, oxygen, and nutrients to flow more efficiently throughout the body.


Why Is Boosting Nitric Oxide Levels Important?

The biggest reason NO is so important is because of how many processes NO is a part of. It acts as a signaling molecule for cells in the body, acts as a neurotransmitter in the brain, and lowers blood pressure. To really drive the point home, here are just SOME of the other benefits of nitric oxide:


  • promotes skin health
  • helps improve heart health
  • provides immune system support
  • improves cardiovascular system
  • reduces the risk of blood clots forming
  • reduces the risk of plaque buildup
  • supports brain health
  • can improve sexual health
  • increases exercise performance

As I said, these are just some of the benefits nitric oxide provides. If you do not understand how important NO is for your health, you haven’t been paying attention.


How Do We Boost Our Nitric Oxide Levels?

Now that you know the importance of NO, it’s time to look at how you can boost your nitric oxide levels so they stay high as you age. If you want to promote high levels of NO, you want to focus on exercise and diet first and foremost. Getting adequate exercise and eating the right foods are a great start for boosting nitric oxide levels. However, the things you drink can also boost or bust your nitric oxide levels. Most people don’t take the time to consider the liquids they drink, but the liquids in your diet matter too. So now, let’s look at six different drinks that can boost your nitric oxide levels.


1. Beetroot Juice

This one is probably the one most nitric oxide people know about. This drink is widely popular in fitness and health circles as a pre-workout drink as well as a daily health drink for boosting nitric oxide levels. Beetroot is one of the best sources of dietary nitrates you can find in food. Nitrates are converted into nitric oxide in the body, so getting plenty of them via vegetables is highly recommended.

However, if you are not a fan of the beet itself, you can opt for a good beetroot juice to get those nitrates. You can make your own beetroot juice at home, buy some juice in certain stores, or find a beetroot powder. 


2. Red Wine

This drink is a little bit controversial given the mixed research on the health benefits of red wine. However, when it comes to boosting nitric oxide levels, red wine is a good choice under specific circumstances. Firstly, you need to be 21 or older before considering drinking red wine for any reason. Secondly, there are plenty of other choices coming up, so no need to limit yourself to red wine if that’s not your thing. Lastly, red wine is alcohol, which would normally work against the production of NO. However, what makes red wine different from other alcohols is its antioxidant component.

Red wine can do two things: provide antioxidants that destroy free radicals that create oxidative stress within the body and promote a strong vascular system by enhancing nitric oxide synthase in the endothelium of our blood vessels. Red wine not only helps our body produce more NO but also provides antioxidants that allow for more nitric oxide to stay in our body longer by eliminating free radicals. Make no mistake, red wine should still be consumed in moderation (1 drink per day max) because it is alcohol. Too much red wine will actually be detrimental to nitric oxide levels.


3. Arugula-Dominant Greens Juice

This one is right up there with beetroot juice as far as popularity, maybe even more so. Greens juices have been pushed on us for years as a healthy drink. There is some truth to the hype: the vegetable extracts within these green juices such as spinach and kale have high concentrations of nitrates in them. However, what you want to look for is a greens juice containing arugula would be best. Arugula has one of the highest concentrations of nitrates compared to other leafy green vegetables. You can make this at home with some arugula, spinach, kale, and lemon juice. 


4. Celery Juice

Celery, just like many green vegetables, is a nitric oxnide-boosting food. So celery juice works just as well. Celery juice goes great with some lemon to make a tasty drink that will not only boost your nitric oxide levels but will also help you lose weight. It contains plenty of nitrates and other nutrients needed for a healthy body.


5. Red Spinach Juice

This one is lesser known compared to other juices but packs a healthy punch. Red spinach has a high concentration of nitrates, making it a good choice for boosting nitric oxide levels. You can combine this with other high nitrate vegetables to make a juice at home if you’d like. Red spinach juice itself is not easy to find, so making it at home or finding a powder would be the best bet here.


6. Watermelon Juice

You didn’t think vegetables were the only way to boost your nitric oxide levels, did you? Not a fan of vegetables? Well, you’re in luck. Many fruits can also boost your nitric oxide levels. This is because many fruits contain precursors that the body uses to produce NO. Two of these precursors you will find in fruits are the amino acids L-citrulline and L-Arginine. The amino acid we are looking at right now is L-citrulline. Citrulline promotes nitric oxide production by being converted into Arginine, which is then converted into NO.

One of the best sources of L-citrulline is watermelon juice. One of the best things about watermelon juice is its versatility. You can drink it by itself or add it to your vegetable juices as a natural sweetener. It is also great at hydrating you since it is mostly water. Watermelon juice is a great choice for boosting nitric oxide levels if you want a sweet and hydrating option that is as effective as the vegetable options.


Other Ways To Boost Nitric Oxide Levels

Obviously, all of the vegetable juices come from a vegetable, so eating those vegetables will serve the same purpose. While juicing is an easy way to add more NO to your diet, there are still plenty of tasty choices for foods that will boost your nitric oxide levels. Some other choices that are easy to incorporate into your diet are:


  • Garlic
  • Lettuce
  • Pomegranate
  • Cucumber

Your diet is the best way to boost your nitric oxide levels, but there are other nutrients you can get from food and supplements that will help your body utilize nitric oxide more efficiently. They may not contain nitrates or amino acid precursors of No, but they will help the body produce NO and slow down the rate of depletion of NO. Because of this, they are also considered NO boosters. These include:


  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • Glutathione
  • Other antioxidants


Exercise To Boost Nitric Oxide Levels

While diet should be the primary way you boost your nitric oxide levels, exercise accomplishes this as well. When we exercise, we promote the health of our endothelium. This is where NO is produced in the body, so exercise promotes these endothelia to produce NO. NO production gives us more energy and improves exercise performance, which makes it easier to work longer and harder. A cycle is created where doing one improves the other. To reap the nitric oxide boosting benefits of exercise, aim for no less than 15-20 minutes a day or up to 30-45 minutes 3-4 times a week of moderate-intensity exercise. Great examples include brisk walking, swimming, cycling, and strength training.


Final Thoughts

Aging is natural but can become scary and hindering if the right precautions are not taken. These six drinks are a great way to ensure you are taking the steps needed to stay healthy and age with grace. Keeping your NO levels high will help you maintain a high level of activity and energy as you age. Make sure you share these drinks with your friends. For more health tips and education on nitric oxide, check out the rest of our blog.