Nitric oxide deficiency is widely common; in fact, it's expected that our body's ability to produce nitric oxide (NO) naturally declines as we age. Unfortunately, most people aren't familiar with the vital role this gas plays in our body's ability to perform essential functions like maintaining adequate blood flow. But you're here, and that's a great start. So while nitric oxide levels decline, you can keep a lookout for these symptoms and quickly take action to replenish those nitrates, whether through diet, exercise, meditation, breathing, or supplementation.
These are 5 common nitric oxide deficiency symptoms that you should be looking out for.
Can’t see too clearly? Your eyes might be asking for a nitric oxide boost. Poor vision is a symptom of low nitric oxide, and here’s the science. It’s called intraocular pressure, and nitric oxide is part of the process that helps regulate it. The fluid in our eyes, also called aqueous or vitreous humor (don’t laugh now) located in the front of our eyes, regulates whether intraocular pressure increases or decreases. The proper flow of this fluid is determined by the gas nitric oxide that carries the fluids where it needs to go. If those fluids are not draining properly from the eyes through complex processes, pressure builds up, resulting in weaker vision. Take this opportunity to hit the MORE button on your dietary nitrate intake and see what happens with your vision.
2. Increase in body heat & decrease in movement
Feeling a little feverish? If your nitric oxide levels are low, NO synthase inhibition in the central nervous system may be causing your baseline temperature to rise. You can feel the slight difference in body temperature when NO levels are higher and when they are lower. It might not feel like a full on fever but it could feel uncomfortable like the beginning stages.
If your body is a bit achy and you just can’t move as nimbly or comfortable as you used to, this might also be a sign that your nitric oxide levels are low. Even post-workout related aches are a common symptom of diminished nitric oxide levels. Pain, aches, and muscle soreness aren't normal for a healthy functioning body. When your cells are depleted of oxygen, and your body doesn't receive enough blood flow, it can lead to pro-inflammatory cells not being flushed out. Check for signs of body heat, decreased movement, and soreness as an indicator that your nitric oxide levels may be low.
3. Chronic Stress
Stress is pervasive and is delivered in various forms in today's world. You might not realize that the more stressed you are, the more your body becomes worn down, and blood pressure begins to creep up. When you are stressed, your heart rate increases, blood vessels constrict, and it becomes difficult for your body to perform as usual. Your body goes into a Flight or Fight response, which wreaks havoc on your hormones and normal body processes. If you find that you're experiencing stress, whether frequently or infrequently, it might be an indicator that your nitric oxide levels are low.
While we can't control everything in life, we can control our response to stressful situations. We can also take conscious action to increase our diminished nitric oxide levels through increasing dietary nitrates, getting exercise, meditating, practicing breathing techniques, and yoga.
4. Low Energy
Fatigue can happen for many reasons and can keep you from getting the most out of your days. It's also correlated with a nitric oxide deficiency. Nitric oxide is a great transporter and helps in the cycling of nutrients and oxygen throughout the body, including the brain. So if you're feeling sleepy too often, the sensation of chronic jet lag, or like you've eaten a large meal - check-in with yourself and consider your NO levels might need a boost.
As we get older, our bodies are prone to fatigue unless we take charge to increase nitric oxide levels through diet and exercise.
5. Slow Recovery Times
Working out in your 20s can naturally feel different than working out in your 50s. There's a common factor that remains, the time it takes for your muscles to recover. Low nitric oxide means a decrease in the body's ability to deliver nutrients to sore areas, which becomes more pronounced with age. If you notice that your post-workout recovery time is slow and becoming prolonged, this is a sign that your nitric oxide levels are likely low.
Pairing Beet Boost with an after workout protein-packed snack may help give your body the nutrients it needs to recover faster.
Nitric Oxide Deficiency Symptoms: Don't Let It Bring You Down
These nitric oxide deficiency symptoms are prevalent and easy to overlook if you don't know about this magic molecule. But now that you know the signs, you can listen to your body's call for nutrients and replenish your NO levels whenever necessary.
If you want to learn more about the benefits of nitric oxide and the crucial role it plays in our body, check out our other articles. If you know someone dealing with any of the symptoms above, send this article to them so they can get back on track to feeling 100%.