Most guys aren’t against the idea of gaining some lean muscle mass, increasing stamina in the gym, and overall improving speed, power, and agility.
And if you frequent GNC or other health and fitness stores, you’re probably used to being inundated by products that promise these breakthrough results.
And since the supplement industry is ever-evolving, I bet a TON of these new products look foreign to you.
No worries, you’re in good hands.
Nitric oxide (NO2) supplements just might be on of these new-fangled products that’s caught your eye.
And now you’re wondering what NO2 could do for you, your workouts, and your gains.
In this review, we’ll dig into a supplement called NO2 Black created by MRI.
NO2 Black is quickly becoming one of the most sought after nitric oxide supplements on the market.
Their claim being this supplement will increase nitric oxide levels by 950%, actively working all day long.
But is this supplement worth your time?
Or is it just another hyped-up, well-marketed product that’ll have you wanting your money back?
Let’s find out!
So What Is Nitric Oxide Anyway?
Not to be confused with Nitrous Oxide, also known as laughing gas… you know, the good stuff from the dentist that makes you all loopy and sends you into quite the euphoric state?
Nope, this is Nitric Oxide.
And I’ll have you know, these supplements are fast-becomingthe most popular pre-workout products and continue to gain in popularity.
Let’s put our science hats on real quick…
NO2 is a molecule naturally found in the body, and its function is transferring information between cells.
It increases blood flow by dilating blood vessels and has been administered to heart patients, orally and intravenously.
Some studies have shown effects of lowering blood pressure. (Source)
When you have NO2 pumping through your body, the vasodilation effect and resulting blood flow is said to increase athletic performance while drastically cutting down recovery time.
The more blood flow, the more oxygen you get to your muscles, which means you can exercise longer and sneak in those extra reps or laps.
And according to Men’s Health, “Proponents [of NO2] also claim that increased blood flow might increase the “pump’” of your muscles, or how large or pronounced they look (because they’re literally engorged with blood).” (Source)
What is NO2 Black and how does it work?
Alright, so NO2 Black — or really any nitric oxide supplement — doesn’t really contain nitric oxide at all.
But before you go thinking “what a ripoff!”Let me explain.
These supplements work by delivering key ingredients, such as L-Arginine, which in turn promote the creation of NO2 in your body.
NO2 Black separates itself from the other nitric oxide supplements by delivering the purest form of Arginine, the pivotal ingredient.
Arginine-AKG is the name, and it helps your body to maintain high levels of nitric oxide. (Source)
NO2 Black claims their extended release peptide fraction helps achieve higher levels of nitric oxide, not just for your workouts, but throughout the course of your day.
Ingredients in NO2 Black
Arginine Alpha-Ketoglutarate (A-AKG) 3000mg
This ingredient is no stranger to the pre-workout world.
In fact, theproteinworks.com says it’s “the primary ingredient in most pre-workout supplements…” and has been shown to “help increase muscular ‘pump’ and vascularity.” (Source)
While Arginine does in fact increase blood flow and oxygenation in the blood of your muscles, there is no conclusive scientific evidence that it works to improve athletic performance or increase lean body mass on its own. (Source / Source)
Proprietary Blend 150mg which includes:
Alpha-Lipoic Acid (Thioctic Acid) is a water- and fat-soluble antioxidant, and like other antioxidants can help to “halt or reduce oxidative damage in cells and, in many cases, stabilize and even reverse the cell damage.” (Source)
The company claims that it works to “boost your insulin sensitivity and nutrient uptake.” (Source) And it is thought that this compound is “essential for aerobic metabolism.” But how exactly this ingredient helps to improve muscle growth and strength is still unclear.
ACTINOS CFM Nitro (Whey Peptide Fraction)is NO2 Black’s way of slow-releasing the supplement into your body.
They claim “the revolutionary ‘NO-Enhancing’ peptide fraction up-regulates nitric oxide synthase (NOS) and increases your nitric oxide levels by up to 950%.” (Source)
Other Ingredients include:
Calcium Phosphate, Cellulose Ethers And Composites, Seaweed Extract, Corn Extract, Pectin (Citrus Fruit Extract), Magnesium Stearate.
In theory, this formula works.
But a quick overview of the ingredients leaves a lot to be desired.
I mean, theArginine AKG sounds promising as a vasodilator (helps blood flow), but what’s the point of increased blood flow if it isn’t proven to deliver results in strength and/or muscle growth?
As for the other ingredients, there really isn’t any consensus among the scientific community that they work for the purposes of getting you shredded and fit.
NO2 Black user reviews
Let’s start off with a video review of NO2 Black.
So the fellows below don’t love the product.
They break down the ingredients, and pretty much echo my thoughts above.
That the supplement sounds good on paper and in theory, but in practice it’s probably not up to snuff.
With that said… they haven’t tried the product.
And so LOTS of people (who have tried it) chimed in with their opinions in the comments section of the video, and pretty much shut down the review.
They say yes, it does work, and it works brilliantly.
And that’s just the thing with supplements…
All-too-often I encounter a product with amazing marketing (like NO2 Black), with ingredients that sound sexy and super-functional (like NO2 Black), but with no scientific studies proving their effectiveness.
So what do we do?
Throw the baby out with the bathwater?
We have a look at the results that people say they’re getting.
And then make a judgement call based on ALL of the information we’ve gathered.
So without further ado, let’s have a look at the Amazon.com user reviews.
Boom! There you have it.
With 368 reviews, the product weighs in at 3.9 stars.
And let me just say, it’s not very often that I find such overwhelmingly positive reviews for a supplement, on Amazon or anywhere.
The 5-star reviewers say the product just plain works.
This first review is worth reading in its entirety, as he touches on many of the themes that others praise the product for (more reps, more strength, increase in muscle definition, better pump, big pills and kinda pricey).
Another guy was pleasantly surprised after using the product.
He used NO2 Black for a month straight, and then decided to go off of it.
While off the product, he noticed a decline in strength and energy, so like any of us would, he went back on it.
As you’ll read below, at 64 years old, he’s now running 4 miles with ease and adding sprints to the end of his workouts.
His energy isn’t depleted after Spin class, and he even says his heart rate is lower during workouts.
Needless to say, he’s sticking with NO2 Black.
I’ll share one more 5-star review… because this one has a surprising twist.
Sure enough this reviewer below is experiencing better pumps… in and out of the gym.
Yeah, he’s seen an increase in sexual performance while taking NO2 Black.
And it’s no wonder, as the Arginine acts as a vasodilator.
So if you happen to suffer with erectile dysfunction, this one ingredient goes the distance to “pump you up.” (Source) Call it a bonus boner.
Those who didn’t love NO2 Black nitric oxide pills mostly complained of the size of the pills (they’re HUGE), the serving size (5-10 pills per day!), and the price of the product (it ain’t cheap).
Finally, the 1-star reviews just can’t be avoided.
There’s no such thing as a miracle supplement that’ll give you a jacked physique without side effects or having to really work for it.
And NO2 Black is no exception.
I only found a handful of truly negative reviews for this pill, and most of these users were upset because they received what they think are “fake” NO2 Black pills.
So be careful, as there might be counterfeit NO2 Black in circulation.
All in all, most users experienced great results using this supplement, and they mainly praised it for helpingwith vascularity as well as endurance.
NO2 Black FAQ’s
Who makes it?
Medical Research Institute (MRI) makes this product.
The company was established in 1997, and operates with the goal “to develop innovative nutraceuticals that combine novel active ingredients with cutting edge delivery technology to create the safest and most advanced performance products on the planet.”
Other than pre-workouts, MRI manufactures and sells intra-workouts, multivitamins, protein, performance, and thermogenics.
Also, the company is based out of Chatsworth CA and sponsors pro bodybuilders like this fellow here…
MRI is well-established and they typically don’t make promises that they can’t back up.
Are there any side effects?
You should not experience side effects while taking NO2 Black, except maybe anal leakage.
Yeah, anal leakage.
But as you can see, this user believes he was duped and got some of those counterfeit pills that seem to be floating around.
I dug a bit deeper about this issue, and came across this comment from a user…
FYI – he had purchased the product from an Amazon.com seller.
So be careful about that. (Have a look at the ‘Where to Buy’ section below).
According to WebMD, the Arginine AKG contained in the formula can potentially cause various side effects including abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, gout, blood abnormalities, etc.
However, if you take the pills appropriately, and according to the NO2 Black label, you should be just fine.
Is NO2 Black safe?
Yes, this supplement is safe.
But one thing to keep in mind.
Since the formula primarily acts as a vasodilator and expands your blood vessels, it might lower your blood pressure.
Therefore you should not take this product if you already have low-blood pressure.
And for good measure, the makers of the product include the following warning on the label:
“Consult your healthcare professional prior to use if you have or suspect a medical condition, including high blood pressure and a history of cold sores, are taking prescription drugs, or have allergies to arginine or corn.
Do not use if you are pregnant or lactating.
Not intended for use by individuals under the age of 18 years.
Do not exceed the recommended intake.”
How do I take it?
Get ready… because these pills are HUGE.
This isn’t the real size of NO2 Black.
But just be warned, they aren’t small pills.
The serving size is 3 caplets, and there’s a consensus among users that it should be taken30 minutes before breakfast on an empty stomach.
And for optimal results, you can take two more mid-afternoon or before you workout.
They also advise not to take it with a protein shake.
In fact, the owner of MRI, Ed Byrd, said if you use it with a shake, the NO2 competes with the amino acids in the protein that cut down on the full effect of protein absorbed into the muscle.
He also states that whole proteins that are found in foods are what you need while on this supplement.
Where Can I buy it?
I would say buy the product straight from MRI, the company that makes it.
However, it seems as though the product has been discontinued, and is replaced by NO2 Black Full Cycle, which you can read about below.
That doesn’t mean you can’t find the product for sale.
In fact, you can find it at various online retailers like nutrahealthsupply.com.
But I would not buy the product from Amazon.com (because of the counterfeit pills in circulation).But GNC does sell the product, and GNC tends to be a straight-shooter when it comes to this sorta thing.
How much is it?
It depends on where you buy the product, but NO2 Black is priced between $50 (GNC) and $100 (nutrahealthsupply.com) for 60 servings and 120 servings respectively.
Is there a guarantee?
As far as I know, NO2 Black does not come with a guarantee.
What is NO2 Black Full Cycle?
NO2 Black Full Cycle is the follow-up formula to the original NO2 Black nitric oxide pills.
This time around it supposedly “Sustains peak power while delaying the onset of muscle fatigue.”
According to the makers of Full Cycle, this supplement will help to:
- Support muscle protein synthesis
- Drive extended training performance
- Support mitochondrial energy
- and Inhibit arginase for optimal NO (nitric oxide) production
Here’s a quick rundown of what sets it apart from the original version of NO2 Black.
As for ingredients, Full Cycle contains several additional ingredients not found in NO2 Black.
These ingredients include:
- Grape extract
- Citrulline Malate
- N-Acetyl-L-Carnitine Hydrochloride
- and L-Norvaline
The ingredient that stands out among these new additions is the Citrulline Malate.
Citrulline is a popular ingredient in preworkouts because it works.It even made Healthline’s list of The 7 Pre-Workout Supplements to Try. (Source)
Hailed as “The Fatigue Fighter” by bodybuilding.com, Citrulline has been studied to show improved strength and stamina in both runners and weight lifters, while also relieving muscle soreness in athletes. (Source / Source)
So the ingredient profile actually looks to be an improvement over the original, with ingredients that are actually proven to improve strength and endurance.
As for price, you can get a bottle of NO2 Black Full Cycle for $28 on Amazon, which is pretty cheap as far as NO pills go.And you’ll pay about $38 from Walmart.com and other retailers.
For whatever reason, I’m still not seeing this new formula for sale on the company’s official website.
Those that use this product have stated very strongly that it’s an excellent product IF taken as directed.
The only comments that were slightly negative referred to the price, the fake pills (which is not MRI’s fault), and the sheer size of the pills.
I found most people who have purchased NO2 Black are quite pleased with the product and the outcome of what they achieved while using it.
And the user reviews for the new and improved version, NO2 Black Full Cycle, seem to be trending that way as well.
In the end, I would say this product is definitely worth a try if you can find it.
If not, give Full Cycle a shot and see how it goes.
If you’re half as satisfied as the majority of users, then you’ll get your money’s worth.
RELATED:Six Star Nitric Oxide Review
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